Contracting with the U.S. government can help your business grow and provide it greater stability in difficult times like the pandemic we are experiencing. Government contracting may also sound more difficult than it is. There are multiple opportunities to alleviate this concern for veteran-owned businesses. This includes the federal government’s policy to award at least three percent of all federal contracting dollars to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses each year. Below you will find information on resources and benefits specific to veteran-owned businesses and how to work with government contracts if you are one.
Veteran-owned businesses receive the advantage of two programs that help them acquire government contracts. The VA’s Veterans First Contracting Program and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program provide veteran-owned businesses an advantage when competing for government contracts.
Vets First Verification Program
The Veterans First Verification Program allows businesses owned and controlled by Veterans and Service-disabled Veterans the opportunity to compete for government contracts (set asides). These are contracts that limit competition for certain contracts to small businesses. SDVOSBs/VOSBs must be verified through the VA Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database to participate in the Veterans First program.
To receive benefits from the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business program, businesses must meet the following requirements: Participants must be a small business. The size of your business can be determined by the type of economic activity at their website. At least 51% of the business must be owned and controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans. The business’ day-to-day operations and long-term decisions must be managed by one or more service-disabled veterans. Eligible veterans who own businesses are required to have a service-connected disability.
SDVOSBs may represent their businesses to the federal government by changing the socioeconomic status section in their business profile at https://www.sam.gov/SAM/.
The Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program (VFPETP) provides veteran business owners with the knowledge and skills to acquire government contracts. The National Center for Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) manages the program. It aids veteran entrepreneurs through three different courses. VIP START provides a curriculum of over 20 topics to help businesses accelerate their growth in the federal market through best business practices. VIP GROW is a certification program that helps veteran-owned small businesses increase their ability to win government contracts. VIP GROW graduates are known to increase their revenue by 40% within their first year of graduation and 80% two years after graduation. Participants receive instruction on topics from Human Resources to Compliance Contracting to help them develop best business practices for government contracting. For more information, visit its website.
VIP INTERNATIONAL is a certification program designed to help veteran-owned small businesses enter or expand their Federal and commercial contracting opportunities in foreign countries. Market-based construction is used to accelerate businesses' win and execute international OCONUS and commercial contracts. The program gives instruction in courses such as Cross-cultural business implications and Program management/internal controls.
The U.S. government limits competition for specific contracts to small businesses. These “small business set-aside” contracts are either competitive set-asides and sole-source set-asides.
Boots to Business (B2B)
B2B is a training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). It is a public-private partnership program that gives service members support to learn how to start a business and access SBA resources available to them. Participants receive an overview of business ownership and transition service members and their spouses into the business market.
For more information on resources available for veteran-owned businesses to acquire government contracts, please contact the experienced attorneys at Veterans Advocacy Law Group at (888) 680-9612 or complete an online contact form.