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MerchantNegotiators Announces Small Business Grant, Supporting Veteran Entrepreneurs

PRESS RELEASE announces a $2,500 Small Business Grant, to provide entrepreneurs from historically underrepresented groups with the seed capital they need to start or grow their small business.

Apply for the 2015 Small Business Grant.

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Houston, Texas – Active military and veteran entrepreneurs can apply for the $2,500 in grants to launch or grow their business through the’ Small Business Grant competition, announced this week. Applications, available at’s website, are open from June 1 through August 1.

Why Supporting Veteran Entrepreneurs Is So Important

Entrepreneurs and their small businesses are the engines of the American economy. Half of all private-sector workers, and 70% of all new jobs are generated by small businesses, and combined small businesses are responsible for more than 50% of US GDP or over $6 trillion dollars annually. Nearly 1 in 10 of these small businesses, or 2.4 million is veteran owned. Collectively, veteran owned businesses employ 6 million Americans and generate more than $1 trillion in receipts each year.

Importantly, entrepreneurship is one of the most common paths for the successful reintegration of veterans back into the U.S. workforce, as veterans are 45 percent more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed. Successful and rewarding employment, in turn, affects nearly every aspect of a veteran’s life, including that very life itself, as rates of veterans committing suicide increase 246% for women and 263% for men when unemployed v. employed.

Raising Awareness of Systemic Underfunding of Veteran Entrepreneurs

The MerchantNegotiators’ Small Business Grant is a small but tangible step that the company is taking to help support active military and veteran entrepreneurship, and raise awareness of need for more funding to support veterans in business. Beyond providing seed capital and services to three entrepreneurs, the company views this as an opportunity to raise awareness about the abundance of veteran owned businesses that are currently being underfunded or not launched due to a lack in funding.

According to Rich McIver, founder of MerchantNegotiators, “Given the historical success that veteran led businesses have had in the US, with examples such FedEx, Johnson & Johnson and Verizon, and the multitude of current programs designed to reduce veteran unemployment, it seems unconscionable that we as a country haven’t connected the dots and supported active military and veteran entrepreneurs to the fullest degree. We view this grant as not only a way to help a few veterans launch their small businesses through our seed funding, but also to encourage awareness, discussion, and change in the larger social causes underpinning this funding discrepancy.”

While $1,500, the winner’s grant amount, may not seem like enough for a veteran to launch a small business, it is in fact sufficient to cover actual the out of pocket cost outlay for most small business launches. Because more than 80% of small businesses use some sort of outside financing to launch their business, the funding hurdle for many veteran entrepreneurs is whether they can come up with the 1% origination fee and related costs necessary to secure a small business loan. With the average total startup cost of $30,000, the Small Business Grant is sufficient to cover startup capital necessary to secure financing well in excess of what the average entrepreneur requires. For those veterans not inclined to use outside capital, according US Small Business Administration, 44% started their business with less than $5,000 in seed capital.

Eligible Applicants:

This grant is limited to individuals who own a small business (defined as having fewer than 50 employees) or want to start a business AND identify as members of one the following historically underrepresented groups in the small business community: U.S. military veterans or active military, Men and women of color, women, persons with a diagnosed disability as defined by the ADA.

Submission Requirements:

Applicants must be submitted electronically at by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on July 1, 2015. Applicants must review and adhere to the full application rules and deadlines listed on This document outlines program details and instructions for submitting an application.

Media Partners:

Your organization can help spread the word about this grant, and encourage discussion of the disparity in startup funding for active military and veteran entrepreneurs in a variety of ways:

  1. Encourage your readers to apply to the Small Business Grant
  2. Add an application badge to your website
  3. Write about the problem of the funding disparity for military and veteran entrepreneurs
  4. Support veteran owned small businesses in your community
  5. Engage with other veteran entrepreneurship advocates via the twitter hashtag #GrantUsAChance

About the MerchantNegotiators’ Small Business Grant:

Businesses are built on dreams, and we want to celebrate the people chasing theirs. That’s why we created MerchantNegotiators’ Small Business Grant, a competition that gives historically underrepresented entrepreneurs a chance to win $2,500 to fund their businesses.

MerchantNegotiators’ Small Business Grant Contest is a nationwide event that will award a combined $2,500 in total cash and services to three deserving U.S. based entrepreneurs and business owners so they can propel their small business to the next level.

The contest is open to any current small business owner or entrepreneur who meets one of the following eligibility requirements: U.S. military veterans or active military, Men and women of color, women, persons with a diagnosed disability as defined by the ADA.

About Merchant Negotiators:

Merchant Negotiators,, is a website dedicated to improving the way small businesses shop for credit card processing services. Through their industry changing online marketplace, small business owners can quickly compare 40 credit card processors on features and price. This enables businesses to save on average 42% on their credit card processing and on average report higher satisfaction with their merchant account services provider.



Contact Information:
Rich McIver, Founder
(877) 296-3690
519 N. Sam Houston Pkwy E., Suite 450N
Houston, TX 77060

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