Local veterans get help launching businesses through crowd lending

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As more veterans make their way back into the civilian work force, many are opting to launch their own small business. There is now a way anyone can help veterans launch their new life through a concept called StreetShares.

The crowd lending concept is taking off nationwide and right here in Tampa Bay.

“Some folks will do it because they want to see their money grow – other people do it because they want to make a difference,” said Brendon Dibella, who is Vice President of Development & Strategy for StreetShares, Inc.

You can invest just a few dollars or thousands to the fund. Investors can earn 5 percent on their money.

Many of America’s 21.8 million veterans share a strong connection to their fellow vets. The program started with vets lending to vets, but now everyone can join the fund.

For Shane and Melissa Underwood, a $20,000 loan allowed them to purchase a piece of equipment that launched their small business Driveshaft Specialists.

“Sales have probably doubled, tripled since we started this business three years ago,” said Shane Underwood, who runs Driveshaft with his wife Melissa.

Shane is retired from the US Marine Corp and has always wanted to run his own small business that is now thriving in Tampa Bay.

Learn about StreetShares here.

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