Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, verification of veteran-owned small businesses will be handled by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The process is currently overseen by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Verification and Evaluation.
The VA will stop taking applications for new verifications and reverifications on Oct. 24, 2022. Veterans can continue to apply for verification and recertification through the VA’s Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization until that deadline.
The verification process allows veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) to compete for a portion of government contracts and the opportunity to purchase surplus government property.
Twenty-four federal agencies have a goal to award 3% of the dollar value of their procurements to SDVOSBs, according to Larry Stubblefield, associate administrator for SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development. In fiscal year 2021 alone, $24 billion in government contracts were awarded to SDVOSBs.
“So the advantage is being able to compete,” Stubblefield said during a recent DAV Caffeine Connect live discussion.
The transfer of the Center for Verification and Evaluation from the VA to SBA was mandated by the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 116–617) to streamline and consolidate services offered to VOSBs and SDVOSBs.
The VA’s Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization will continue to advocate and provide education, training and guidance to help VOSBs and SDVOSBs secure government contracts.
“The reason we’re really excited about the transition is that, for the first time ever, all the certification programs will be housed at SBA,” Stubblefield said. “We’re also working on a unified platform where all of the certification programs and all of our lending programs will be on this one platform.”
Stubblefield said the new one-stop platform is expected to roll out in 2024.
“Veteran entrepreneurs need to be aware of this change. In addition to a streamlining of the verification process, they need to know that self-certification is going away,” said DAV Chief Communications and Outreach Officer Dan Clare, who is a member of SBA’s Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs. “It’s a significant change that will ultimately be very helpful to veteran entrepreneurs. We’re also grateful to the Office of Veterans Business Development for involving veterans and organizations like DAV and welcoming our feedback.”
For more information, watch the video below of DAV Patriot Boot Camp’s Caffeine Connect episode with Stubblefield. Learn more about DAV Patriot Boot Camp for entrepreneurs at patriotbootcamp.org.