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Tuesday August 9th, 2022 7:14AM

NE Ga.-based bank launches Veteran Advantage Program

By Staff
BLAIRSVILLE - United Community Bank (UCB) hopes to make it easier for veterans to get access to capital to start, grow and sustain their own businesses through its new Veteran Advantage program. The program was inspired by a national initiative previously launched by one of the bank's executives.<br /> <br /> Through the Veteran Advantage program at United Community Bank, veterans will receive lower upfront guarantee fees and interest rates, and the Small Business Association (SBA) packaging fee will be waived.<br /> <br /> "As a veteran, I am proud to support veteran-owned businesses and the national effort to make it easier for them to get funding," Richard Bradshaw, President of Specialized Lending at United Community Bank, said. "Our SBA lenders have national experience with these types of loans, which are backed by the federal government. Our team will guide veterans through the commercial lending process to find the best solutions for their individual needs."<br /> <br /> Bradshaw is a retired Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve Intelligence Program and served five years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL). In that role, Bradshaw was instrumental in launching "Operation: Vet Access," a nationwide initiative encouraging NAGGL members to offer special incentives and discounts to veterans.<br /> <br /> Operation: Vet Access serves as a complement to the SBA's Veteran Pledge initiative announced earlier this year for top national, regional and community lenders to increase their lending activity to veterans by five percent per year over the next five years. Still serving as Chair of the committee that oversees the NAGGL program, Bradshaw is passionate about its mission to support veterans and bringing it to local markets across the United Community Bank footprint.<br /> <br /> "We are thrilled to bring this offer to our local veteran community," Dick Valentine, Regional President of United Community Bank, said. "We have a significant number of veteran owned businesses in our region, and United Community Bank is proud to support the entrepreneurial dreams of our country's service men and women."<br /> <br /> UCB has more than 100 offices in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee - including several in the Gainesville area.
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