StreetShares Blog | The Center for Veteran Small Businesses

Veteran Small Business Owner Gets Decked by OnDeck: Prepayment Fees

Posted by StreetShares on Dec 9, 2016 9:13:54 AM

An important note to all veteran small business owners across America: the repayment terms of small business loans can vary greatly and be written in very small print. Just ask Air Force Veteran, Mike Dunn. 

A proud Budget Blinds franchisee, Mike was already seeing business take off in Temple and Killeen, Texas. In fact, due to increased customer demand, he needed a location to both display and store inventory. Like many small business owners, he suddenly had a working capital need. His new mission was to quickly build a new showroom. 

Mike started his research as many small business owners do: online. He filled out a survey to match him with the right small business loan. The survey recommended OnDeck as an option for his small business loan, and Mike called them. 

He reviewed the terms of the OnDeck loan carefully. Like most detail-oriented veterans, Mike wanted to ensure he maintained all protections for his scenario. When speaking with OnDeck, he specifically asked if he could pay the loan off early. 

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Topics: veteran

7 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Business Loan

Posted by Madhur Grover, Chief Credit Officer on Dec 7, 2016 3:21:00 PM

As a small business owner, working capital is your lifeblood. Cash-flow management is crucial to your success, which sometimes means you need to take out a small business loan to keep the gears of your business whirring. Equipment replacement, new hires, scaling your business or gearing up for a big contract are all good reasons to start looking for a loan.

There are lots of funding options out there—which is both a good and a bad thing for you. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sudden plethora of emails, phone calls, letters and ads from lenders—how do you plow through the weeds and find the best deal for your business? Is there a clear winner or are they all similar?

We want to help you find the best way to do an apples-to-apples comparison of the loan options out there to help you make the most informed decision when choosing your business loan.

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Topics: Small Business, Veteran Business Loans, investing

10 Finalists Announced for Veteran Small Business Awards

Posted by StreetShares on Dec 1, 2016 2:22:00 PM

The StreetShares Foundation presents the top 10 finalists for the December Veteran Small Business Awards. We had so many great businesses to review, everything from restaurants, subscription services for ammunition and tech startups. They were graded on a weighted scale based on five criteria including their business idea, how they plan to use the award funds, product-market fit, team and company history and their influence on the military and veteran community.

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Spotlight Veteran Business: Q&A with MN8 Foxfire/LumAware

Posted by Shauna Vo Pulayya, Director of Content Marketing on Nov 30, 2016 8:21:00 AM

We had the chance to sit down with Zachary Green, Founder and CEO of MN8 Foxfire/LumAware. Zachary served in the Marine Corps for eight years. He also served as a volunteer firefighter for 15 years. He’s a true veteran entrepreneur who has owned his own company for the past six years. MN8 Foxfire/LumAware specializes in the development and implementation of safety products utilizing advanced photoluminescence technology. Here’s Zachary’s story.

SS: Tell us the story of Zachary Green leading up to founding MN8 Foxfire.

ZG: Ever since I was a very, very young kid I wanted to be in the Marines. My friends were outside riding their bikes and playing soccer but I was running in the woods putting mud on my face pretending like I had machine guns. My parents kept thinking I would grow out of it but I kept getting more and more interested.

When I turned 18 years old, I signed up for the Marine Corps and went to Parris Island. I was in university at the same time. After serving and being enlisted right out of college, I went through the officer candidate program in Quantico. So, I got to experience both the officer side and the enlisted side of the house.

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Topics: Entrepreneurship, veteran

5 Ways Veteran Businesses Can Participate in Small Business Saturday

Posted by Shauna Vo Pulayya, Director of Content Marketing on Nov 22, 2016 3:34:36 PM

The biggest shopping season of the year has begun. Black Friday sales have already started, days before Thanksgiving. Advertisements for Cyber Monday deals and Black Friday doorbusters are in full swing. The majority of these sales come from large retail chains and mass merchandisers. But let’s not forget about the local businesses. Small Business Saturday is right in the middle of the two largest shopping days of the year. This year, it falls on Saturday, November 26.

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting and celebrating local businesses and all they do for the community. American Express started the tradition in 2010 and it has grown enormously since then. Last year, more than 95 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, according to a survey from National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. This day has been recognized by the U.S. Senate and elected officials in all 50 states. Local communities are also getting involved by helping promote and support local small businesses as neighborhood champions and rallying their community.

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Topics: veteran

Using a Credit Card to Fund Your Business: Good Idea or Bad?

Posted by StreetShares on Nov 18, 2016 12:05:52 PM

When you’re thinking of ways to get your business off the ground, you may be cringing at the idea of endless loan applications and the interminable waiting period to see if you’re approved. If you’re racking your brain trying to come up with a different route that doesn’t require so much time and hassle, you may be ready to consider using a credit card to fund your business.

Paying for your business capital using personal or business credit can have some huge perks, especially if you’re on top of making your payments and have a lucrative business. However, as great as the advantages are, there are also some weighty drawbacks to consider. Read on to see how these pros and cons measure up, so you can choose if this method is going to help or hinder you in the long run.

Why You Might Use a Credit Card

There are a number of reasons one might consider using a credit card as business funding. First, if you’re at the very outset of your venture, you may not have the credit score or business assets to qualify for a small business loan. But if you happen to have a credit card with a reasonable limit, that’s quick access to funds with no need to apply for a loan.

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Topics: funding

Patriot Express Line of Credit Now Available for Veteran Business Owners

Posted by Shauna Vo Pulayya, Director of Content Marketing on Nov 16, 2016 3:32:00 PM

When you’re ready to finance your business, there are several ways to approach it. In our “Ultimate Guide for Veteran-owned Small Businesses,” we outline the three main types:  self-financing, equity, or debt financing. And debt financing is the route many companies take once they’re established businesses with some revenue under their belts.

As a reminder, debt financing can include both secured and unsecured loans and lines of credit. It’s for the veteran business owners that need lines of credit that we’ve specifically created the Patriot Express Line of Credit.

Previously, the SBA offered the Patriot Express Loan but it expired in 2013, which was unfortunate. It was a very popular program that funded $663 million in SBA-guaranteed loans. Veterans could get large loans at very low interest rates and low fees.

Fortunately, a few other programs exist to help veteran business owners get funding. The SBA has a similar program called the SBA Express Loan Program. Additionaly, StreetShares has created the Patriot Express Line of Credit, which is not associated with the SBA.

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Topics: funding

Veteran Small Business Award Presented by the StreetShares Foundation

Posted by StreetShares on Nov 10, 2016 9:38:00 AM

Veteran businesses have become the backbone of the United States economy since World War II. Veterans have a wealth of knowledge and experience to create opportunities for themselves in entrepreneurship. They have the leadership skills, the hard work ethic and ability to think strategically among other skills. Veterans have opened businesses such as government contracting, suppliers, restaurant franchises, retail shops and more. How do we continue to support these veteran-owned businesses to be successful?

StreetShares announces the formation of the StreetShares Foundation just before Veterans Day 2016. “The goal of the Foundation is to provide a new generation of veteran small business owners with the support they need to thrive,” said Mark L. Rockefeller, CEO/Co-Founder of StreetShares and an Iraq War Veteran.

The mission of the StreetShares Foundation is to inspire, educate and support veteran small business owners. The Foundation has partnered with JPMorgan Chase to provide up to $10,000 each month in Veteran Small Business Awards.

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Topics: StreetShares, veteran

Saluting Military Veterans Elected for Public Office 2016

Posted by StreetShares on Nov 9, 2016 3:42:13 PM

StreetShares salutes the following military Veterans elected to public office last night, representing all military branches and voters across our nation. See their names below and congratulate them with us.

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Topics: veteran

National Veterans Small Business Week at StreetShares – Free Resources

Posted by Shauna Vo Pulayya, Director of Content Marketing on Nov 1, 2016 12:35:08 PM

It’s National Veterans Small Business Week this week and we’re celebrating with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and every veteran who owns a business. Veteran small businesses make up approximately 2.4 million U.S. businesses or 9 percent of all American firms, according to the SBA.

These businesses have not just started, but most of them have been very successful. The military teaches valuable lessons that translate over to entrepreneurship. Mark Rockefeller, CEO and Co-Founder of StreetShares said there are three main skills that make veterans great entrepreneurs.

“Veterans are good at planning, taking a complicated task and breaking it down into smaller pieces and they’re great at multitasking,” he said in StreetShares’ Facebook Live event yesterday. In the military, you’ve got your primary job and then must accomplish many other tasks while doing well at your main job.

In honor and to help veterans on their entrepreneurship journey, StreetShares is dedicated to providing resources to enhance their ventures. As a veteran-owned and operated business that’s helping small businesses with their financing needs, we understand what it takes to be successful. One of our main resources is “The Ultimate Guide for Veteran-owned Small Businesses.” There are a ton of great resources available for veterans, but this guide puts everything in one place. You’ll learn:

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Topics: Entrepreneurship, Small Business, veteran


StreetShares helps fund veteran small businesses quickly and affordably through its fast-growing group of investors who support the veteran community.