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SBA Patriot Express initiative expands in Georgia
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ATLANTA — The U.S. Small Business Administration Georgia District Office reports that 21 SBA guaranteed loans, totaling $1.3 million, have been issued to small businesses to date in Georgia under the Patriot Express Loan Initiative that promotes veteran-owned enterprises
So far, 16 commercial banks have been registered as participating Patriot Express lenders in the state.
“We are very grateful that these banks have joined with us in offering the agency’s new loan program for veterans,” said Terri L. Denison, SBA Georgia District director. “With this kind of support from our lending partners, we feel sure the program will continue to grow as it helps our veterans and others in the military community expand small businesses in the state.”
The program is open to veterans, service-disabled veterans, as well as active-duty service members who are participating in the military’s Transition Assistance Program. In addition, the program covers Reservists and National Guard members, current spouses of any of the above, spouses of active duty members and the widowed spouse of a service member or veteran who died during service or of a service-connected disability.   
The Patriot Express Loan Initiative began in June 2007. Patriot Express Loans can be used for most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business-occupied real-estate purchases.  Loans are available up to $500,000 and feature SBA’s fastest turnaround time for loan approvals.
Retired Maj. Gen. Marcelite Harris is the recipient of the largest Patriot Express Loan made so far in Georgia. A 31-year U.S. Air Force veteran, Ms. Harris is co-founder and president of National Urgent Care Centers LLC. She plans to use her loan to fund the opening of the first of what she hopes will become an international chain of urgent health care centers. Sunrise Bank of Atlanta provided the Patriot Express financing for her first care center, which will open in January on Piedmont Road in Buckhead. Harris is the first African-American woman to ascend to the rank of major general in the Air Force.
Bank of America, currently the leading lender for the initiative, made the first Patriot Express Loan in Georgia. The $35,000 loan was made in mid July to Adreka Inc., an advertising/marketing company based in Suwanee, Georgia.      
If you have questions about the program, contact Jorge Valentin-Stone at 404/331-0100, ext. 609 or by email to  
For a list of Patriot Express lenders, go to the Georgia District web site at and click on “financing.”
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