Bank of America Doubles Support for Veteran Loan Fund to Aid Growth of Veteran-Led Small Businesses

    November 8, 2023

    Bank of America Doubles Support for Veteran Loan Fund to Aid Growth of Veteran-Led Small Businesses

    First-of-its-kind fund to grow to $100 million for former military personnel 

    Albuquerque, NM (November 8, 2023)DreamSpring is honored to be one of 12 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) announcing the expansion of the Veteran Loan Fund, with Bank of America as the lead capital investor. Bank of America is seeding a second round of financing for Veteran Loan Fund, doubling a two-year-old commitment that has already funded more than 500 small businesses built by former military personnel across 37 states.  

    The Veteran Loan Fund, a collaborative effort of a growing number of CDFIs and specialized veteran service organizations, offers an online platform that connects military veterans and their spouses with mission-focused lenders and education partners to help them build and sustain small businesses. Eligible veterans benefit from loan capital at below-market interest rates and free business coaching.     Veteran-Loan-Fund-logo3


    "Together with the Veteran Loan Fund, we are proud to help veterans foster innovation, economic growth, and vibrant futures for their families and communities through entrepreneurship,” said DreamSpring President/CEO Anne Haines. 

    DreamSpring — a New Mexico-based CDFI, Small Business Administration (SBA) lender, and managing member of the Veteran Loan Fund — helps underserved veteran entrepreneurs access capital and small business resources across its 27-state footprint. Since its inception 30 years ago, DreamSpring has deployed nearly $34 million to more than 1,500 small businesses owned by veterans across the United States.  

    One of those small businesses is Golden Crown Panaderia, owned by 23-year Air Force veteran Pratt Morales. Despite decades of success and a loyal following behind his iconic New Mexico bakery, limited credit history was a barrier to buying his dream business property. A banker referred Pratt to DreamSpring, where he got approved for a Commercial Real Estate loan.

    Website-Client-Stories-LP-image-Golden-Crown-PanaderiaPratt Morales (right), owner of Golden Crown Panaderia located in Albuquerque, NM, with son Chris Morales (left)

    “I feel so comfortable with DreamSpring,” Pratt says. “For me, it was just incredible and very fruitful.” Over the years, additional DreamSpring loans have helped Pratt grow and protect the business he’s worked so hard to build. 

    “Many veterans have the drive, discipline and leadership skills to fuel small business growth but lack the funding or network to help them grow. We have seen the benefits of low-cost capital in catalyzing entrepreneurship and are pleased to continue to support this work,” said Dan Letendre, head of CFDI Lending at Bank of America.  

    Veteran Loan Fund plans to grow to $100 million across the nation by 2027 — an amount equal to the estimated annual demand for capital from veteran entrepreneurs who lack any funding for their businesses. Its first $15 million round was made possible by a $5 million commitment of long-term, below-market-rate lending capital from Bank of America as lead investor, along with support from other major institutions. Bank of America will provide $10 million in support of the new $25 million fund.    

    Bank of America is the largest investor in CDFIs, with $2 billion in financing to more than 260 CDFIs across all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.



    About Veteran Loan Fund

    Member CDFIs currently include: Access to Capital For Entrepreneurs (GA), Appalachian Community Capital (VA), Black Business Investment Fund (FL), Business Impact Northwest (WA), Colorado Enterprise Fund (CO), DreamSpring (NM), Economic and Community Development Institute (OH), Pathway Lending (TN), Justine Petersen (MO), PeopleFund (TX), Pursuit (NY), and Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WI).

    Specialized technical assistance partners currently include: Bunker Labs, Vet Met, Vet to CEO, as well as local partnerships with Veteran Business Outreach Centers, SCORE and SBDCs.  

    For more information, please visit www.veteranloanfund.com


    About Bank of America

    Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 69 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs (automated teller machines) and award-winning digital banking with approximately 57 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BAC).

    For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for news email alerts.


    About DreamSpring 

    DreamSpring is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lender dedicated to accelerating the economic inclusion and strength of underserved communities. Founded in 1994, the organization provides rapid access to capital and customized wrap-around support to the most vulnerable small business owners in 27 states, focusing on communities including people of color, women, low- to moderate-income earners, people with disabilities, and start-ups. To date, DreamSpring has issued more than 48,796 loans totaling over $538 million to small businesses that support an estimated 65,138 jobs. Learn more at DreamSpring.org. 


    For Press Inquiries:  

    Melissa Anchan, Bank of America  
    Phone: 1-646-532-9241 



    Laura Marrich, DreamSpring Communications
    Phone: 505-456-0104