Program Description

Since 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has helped Veterans start, manage and grow small business. Today, the SBA provides specific programs for Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans, and Reserve and National Guard Members, and it offers a full range of entrepreneurial support programs to every American, including Veterans.

There is a Veterans Business Development Officer at each SBA district office. In Providence, the Veterans Business Development Officer is Norm Deragon.


  • Advice, mentorship, and classes for veterans considering starting a small business.
  • Access to entrepreneurship classes.
  • Access to Patriot Express Loan Program, Surety Bond Guarantees and Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The Patriot Express Loan can be used to establish or expand a small business and is offered by participating lenders. The program features fast turnaround for loan approvals, low rates, and a government guaranty on 75-85% of the loan amount.


  • Small business advice is available to all.
  • Eligibility for entrepreneurship classes varies by program.
  • Patriot Express Loan Program: The business must be owned and controlled (51 percent or more) by eligible veterans and members of the military community. This includes veterans with honorable discharge; National Guard and Reserve members; transitioning service members; current spouses; and widowed spouses of service members who died during service or of a service-connected disability. Collateral and good credit are required.

How To Apply

  • Contact Norm Deragon for more information.

Contact Info

380 Westminster St
Room 511
Providence, RI 02903

About U.S. Small Business Administration, RI District Office

The U.S. Small Business Administration is an independent agency of the federal government which helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. There is a district office located in downtown Providence. MORE