The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) began accepting applications through the Veteran Small Business Certification(VetCert) program as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to expanding access to resources for Veterans and other underserved populations.
The improvements in the customer experience for Veteran entrepreneurs and business owners made by VetCert will build upon the $25 billion in government contract spending with service-disabled Veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) in Fiscal Year 2021.
“The SBA’s new Veteran small business certification program is designed with our commitment to deliver exceptional support for our skilled entrepreneurs from America’s military community,” Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said.“Supporting these Veteran entrepreneurs with access to government contracting will ensure they can continue their valued service to the American people, whether working in manufacturing, retail, R&D, or helping us build critically needed infrastructure to promote America’s long-term growth, job creation, and wealth generation.”
“Small businesses owned by Veterans are eligible for key benefits and well-deserved support because of their owners’ selfless service to our nation,” Denis McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs said.“Certification is a critical part of that process, and I encourage all eligible Veterans to submit their verification applications to the Small Business Administration starting today.”
The transfer of Veteran certification responsibility from the Veterans Administration (VA) to the SBA aligns with the Biden Administration’s focus on stronger inter-agency collaboration. The two agencies working closely together to accomplish a complex task benefits not only the Veteran community but the nation as a whole.
“When federal agencies work together toward a common goal, great things can be accomplished,” Larry Stubblefield, Deputy Associate Administrator for the SBA’s Office of Government Contracting & Business Development said.“The collaboration between the SBA and the VA means that Veterans, who have dutifully served our country, will be well served on their entrepreneurial journey and Veteran business owners will have additional opportunities in the federal marketplace.”
The program will be the Agency’s primary certification vehicle for all Veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) and SDVOSBs, important classifications that enable those businesses to qualify for sole-source and set-aside federal contracting awards. Certified VOSBs are eligible to compete for sole-source and set-aside contracts at the Department of Veterans Affairs, while certified SDVOSBs can compete for sole-source and set-aside contracts government-wide.
The Agency began accepting applications on January 9, 2023. As the SBA moves forward to ensure more Veteran entrepreneurs have access to economic opportunities, Administrator Guzman has granted a one-time, one-year extension to the current Veteran small businesses verified by the Veterans AdministrationCenter for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) as of January 1, 2023.
The SBA is implementing several improvements to streamline the certification experience for Veteran entrepreneurs. These include:
- Providing Veterans with a central support platform for their small business certification needs.
- Providing reciprocal certification for businesses with remaining eligibility in the women-owned small business (WOSB) and 8(a) programs.
- Creating a more business-friendly approach by streamlining the application process and aligning ownership and control requirements across the VetCert, 8(a), and WOSB programs.
All changes to the certification process, along with new eligibility requirements may be viewed at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/11/29/2022-25508/veteran-owned-small-business-and-service-disabled-veteran-owned-small-business-certification