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Veterans urged to explore business benefits

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POSTED: August 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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Jack Kingston

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WASHINGTON, D.C., — U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston is encouraging all interested veterans to attend an Aug. 19 Small Business Administration symposium in Savannah to learn about programs and services available to veterans. The half-day seminar will cover agency programs and services, including the Patriot Express loan program for both active and retired military personnel who are starting or expanding small businesses.
"Veterans have a unique skill set that can prove very beneficial when operating a small business," Kingston said. "This forum will help provide them with the information they need to take advantage of programs designed to help them get their foot in the door or expand an existing business.  It’s small businesses like these that employ a majority of Americans and serve as one of our primary economic drivers."
The free forum will run from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm Street, Savannah. The forum will focus on financing for small business start ups and include information on the agency's 7(a) and 504 Economic Development Loan programs.
The event also will explain the assistance that is available from the agency's SCORE Program, the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center in Savannah as well as the Small Business Assistance Corporation, a certified development company based in the port city. In addition, a representative will be on hand from the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center to explain its services.  
The SBA's Patriot Express loan program offers guaranteed business loans of up to $500,000 for veterans to start or expand a business. The program is intended for veterans as well as their spouses, along with reservists and National Guard members. The program also applies to active duty military who are eligible for the military's Transition Assistance Program and prospective retirees within 24 months of separation.   
The forum also will cover incentives offered to service-connected disabled veterans including Patriot Express and other federal programs.
To pre-register, e-mail Jorge.valentin-stone@sba.gov. You can register by fax at 202-481-5239. Provide your name, phone number and/or e-mail address. To register online, go to www.sba.gov/ga and select Public Training and Seminars, "Register Now" in the spotlight section of the Web site's main page. Please provide your name, telephone number and/or e-mail address.
 

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