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Veterans Entrepreneurship Program Helps Vets Land Government Contracts

Filed under Government Contracting. Fact checked on May 24, 2012.

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The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program is a program that provides government contracting assistance to veterans owning small businesses, especially those who are service-disabled

The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 and the Benefits Act of 2003: Procurement Program for Small Business Concerns Owned and Controlled by Service-Disabled Veterans provides for set-aside and sole-source procurement authority for service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) concerns.

The contracting officer may:

  • award contracts on the basis of competition restricted to SDVOSB concerns if there is a reasonable expectation that two or more SDVOSB concerns will submit offers for the contracting opportunity and that the award can be made at a fair market price
  • award a sole-source contract to a responsible SDVOSB concern if there is not a reasonable expectation that two or more SDVOSB concerns will submit an offer, the anticipated contract price (including options) will not exceed $5 million (for manufacturing) or $3 million otherwise, and the contract award can be made at a fair and reasonable price

The laws limit use of SDVOSB procurement authority to procurements that would not otherwise be made from Federal Prison Industries or the Javits-Wagner-O'Day.

The laws are also designed to cushion the impact on small businesses when their owners or essential employees who are reservists are ordered to active duty during military conflicts by providing loans, loan payment deferrals, and technical and managerial assistance. Moreover, the laws provide for technical, financial and procurement assistance to veteran-owned small businesses under the auspices of the SBA.

There are federal contracting and subcontracting goals required for participation of small businesses owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans. The goals are 3 percent of the prime and subcontract opportunities available.

The Act also revises some common definitions for purposes of taking advantage of the new benefits, including the terms "veteran," "service-disabled veteran," "small business concern owned and operated by service-disabled veterans" and "small business concern owned and operated by veterans."

You can check the status of this program by contacting the SBA Office of Veterans Affairs. You also can find help at the Veterans' Affairs website at www.vetbiz.gov.

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