The Small Business Administration this week unveiled a new loan initiative designed to provide veterans, active duty personnel, Reservists and National Guard members and their families access to low-interest loans of up to $500,000 for their own business ventures.

The Patriot Express loan program will offer both the expedited process of an SBA Express loan with the lower maximum interest rates of the agency's regular 7(a) loans, SBA administrator Steven Preston said at the program's official launch in Washington on Wednesday.

Under the program, qualified applicants could be approved in a single day. The loans can then be used for any business expense, including expansions, start-up funding, equipment purchases, working capital, or business-related real-estate purchases.

"This initiative is going to impact a huge section of the American population -- veterans, citizen-soldiers of the Reserve and National Guard, and also their families," Preston said.

The agency will begin accepting applications for the program on June 28.

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