New York • The Small Business Administration says it has lined up pledges from more than 120 banks to increase lending to veterans.
The agency said Tuesday it's starting a program, the SBA Veteran Pledge Initiative, aimed at increasing lending to veteran-owned businesses by 5 percent a year for the next five years. The 20 major banks known as SBA National Lending Partners are making the pledge along with about 100 regional banks across the country. The program is expected to help an additional 2,000 veterans get loans totaling $475 million over the life of the program, the SBA said.
The agency started the program after finding there was a gap in lending to veterans, SBA head Karen Mills told The Associated Press. In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the SBA backed more than 3,200 loans to veterans worth more than $1.25 billion.