Walter Perry, SBA District Director, Ed Ellis, HUD Knoxville Field Office Director, and Congressman Phil Roe
On August 15, 2013, approximately 90 residents from Kingsport, most of them veterans, received a plethora of information from how to find housing to the steps needed to establish a new business.
A day of "Services for Those Who Have Served" was hosted by Congressman Phil Roe (1st District-TN), and included representatives from federal agencies and service providers. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Tennessee Small Business Development Center at East Tennessee State University, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, and the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs discussed programs accessible to veterans.
With skills learned in military service, returning soldiers may have an interest in starting a small business. The Tennessee Small Business Development Center and SBA discussed what it takes to start a small business and loans available specifically to veterans. "Veterans are eligible for SBA's Patriot Express loan through local banks of up to $500,000" said Walter Perry, District Director for SBA. "Working capital is available for both veterans and their spouses to start a small business."
"With today's low home mortgage rates, veterans may purchase a home through a FHA insured loan," explained during a housing panel Ed Ellis, HUD Knoxville Field Office Director. Other panel participants were Kim Cox, HUD Multifamily Director; Retha Patton, Executive Director for Eastern Eight Community Development Corporation; Anne Cooper, Executive Director, Appalachian Regional Coalition on Homelessness; and Jackie Gilliam, Veterans Coordinator with the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
Employment opportunities were also discussed for veterans in Northeast Tennessee. Representatives of staffing firms, along with the region's largest employer, Eastman Chemical, encouraged participants to determine how their military skills directly links to job openings in the region.
"Ensuring our service members have a better quality of life for the sacrifices they made is always at the forefront of my mind. That is why I am pleased to host such an important event that will create new opportunities for our veterans. As a veteran, I support action to better the health and well-being of our service members and their families through my work in Congress, and as a member of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs," said Congressman Roe.