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StreetShares Blog - The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

StreetShares Blog

The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

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Mission: Retirement & Your Financial Allies [INFOGRAPHIC]

Attention all military members and veterans: assess your retirement plan for your 2017 New Year’s Resolutions. You served our country. You deserve to able to retire in it. Do not do yourself a disservice.

Like any military mission, planning for “Mission: Retirement” should include a sound strategy and a clear definition as to what success looks like.

Sure, saving as much money as possible seems to make sense. But, how much will you need? And what are some ways to grow your money? What is hand-to-hand combat like on the financial battlefield so you’ll be ready when the time comes?

While no short blog article can cover all that in major details, what follows below is an understanding of “Mission: Retirement” and financial allies that can help any military member or veteran as well any spouses or family members in between.

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2016: The Year of Veterans Funding Veteran Small Businesses

We’re finishing our third year in business and making waves. With almost 30,000 members across the country, StreetShares has hit many milestones this year. We now offer lines of credit and all Americans can invest in Veteran-owned small businesses through Veteran Business Bonds. We’re accomplishing our mission to fuel the American economy, one Veteran small businesses at a time. As we approach the New Year, join us in celebrating and reflecting back on 2016.

1. Focus on Veteran Businesses (Vetrepreneurs)

Approximately 2.5 million business are Veteran-owned in the United States, according to the SBA. As a Veteran-owned and operated company, StreetShares understands what Veterans experience in battle and in business. Veteran entrepreneurs or Vetrepreneurs, like our founders, rely on four key lessons learned in the military: 1. Set a clear mission. 2. Recruit talented people. 3. Keep the mission focused. 4. Lead from the front. Vetrepreneurs understand commitment and perseverance better than any other group of individuals in the country and that makes them great business owners. StreetShares is focused on supporting and creating a community where Veterans fund Veteran small businesses.

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Spotlight Veteran Business: Major Mom Builds Success from a $5,000 Award

“Being a combat missile crew commander was the most stressful career field I’ve ever had. We had the keys to the nukes,” said Angela Cody-Rouget. “Our mission was to go down a hole with another crew partner behind two 10 ton steel doors and wait for a message from the President to launch nukes. We got a lot of fake messages and had to decode the cookies to determine if it was an authentic message from the President.”

For 15 years, Angela Cody-Rouget had a highly technical career in the United States Air Force. She started her career in the ROTC at Indiana University. She went through undergraduate base training as a space communication major and became a satellite command controller, where she monitored flying satellites 26,000 miles into space.

“I was on track to becoming a colonel in the United States Air Force, a very high ranking title and prestigious corporate career. My husband called me “Major Mom,” which is where the name of my business came into play,” said Angela.

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4 Smart Reasons to Secure a Small Business Loan for the Holidays

By StreetShares on December 20, 2016

Are you prepared for the holiday rush? While the holidays can bring excitement and joy, they can also be a stressful time for the unprepared small business owner, especially when it comes to finances.

Working capital is the lifeblood of a small business—it’s the money your business needs to manage the day-to-day operations and transactions. Your working capital affects your ability to meet your monthly expenses, like rent, payroll, inventory and others. While most small businesses expect a significant spike in sales over the holidays, if you’re not prepared to meet some of the short-term, upfront expenses needed to keep your business viable, your business could really struggle these next few months. If you’re concerned about the cash flow of your business, it might be time to consider taking out a small business loan or a line of credit to get you through the holidays.

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Veteran Small Business Award 1st Place Winner: Grunts Frozen Yogurt

Our top 10 Veteran small businesses put up a good fight for the first round of awards presented by the StreetShares Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The public vote lasted for about a week and a half. Without further ado, the winners of the Veteran Small Business Award are…

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Veteran Small Business Owner Gets Decked by OnDeck: Prepayment Fees

By StreetShares on December 9, 2016

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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7 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Business Loan

By Madhur Grover, Chief Credit Officer on December 7, 2016

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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10 Finalists Announced for Veteran Small Business Awards

By StreetShares on December 1, 2016

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

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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5 Ways Veteran Businesses Can Participate in Small Business Saturday

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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