Veteran Owned Businesses Face Problems from VA

Veteran Owned Businesses Face Problems from Veterans Affairs

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by Levi Newman on December 1, 2011

 

The House of Representatives’ Veterans’ Affairs Committee has been questioned recently regarding the Veterans Affairs Department’s priority on veteran-owned businesses. There are laws and regulations that are supposed to put veterans first, but currently they rank eighth in priority for government contracts.

Thomas Leney, executive director of the Veterans Affairs office of small and disadvantaged business utilization, told the Military Times that veteran-owned businesses “have priority in open market purchases.” Mr. Leney was unable to explain the details of that statement when he later appeared before the Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s panels for economic opportunity and oversight and investigation.

It seems as though business owners and VA contracting personnel find the priority list unclear. Getting contracts is only a portion of the problem facing veterans-owned businesses. Certifying veteran ownership and operational control of a company is also a major obstacle.

Complaints of fraud and deception among businesses claiming to be veteran-owned have caused the VA problems in the past. Verifying companies is now one more step in the long process. According to the Military Times, verification has led to nearly 1,800 businesses being removed from the approved vendor list, leaving 1,700 others pending approval. Eight thousand companies have been approved.

The average wait time for approval averages around 75 days. In October and November, 60 percent of companies that were denied certification as veteran-owned businesses have appealed the process, leading to longer wait times once again.

Increasing frequency in denials or changes to legitimate veteran-owned businesses have resulted in numerous problems for business owners, causing several to even close down as a result.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Gregory Richards December 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm

As a service connected small business owner, I’ve found there is no benefit what so ever. Although there is a self-certify web-page for declaring your business Veteran owned or Disabled Veteran owned, there is no actual governemnt or VA verification that I am aware of.

I recently went to a GSA workshop on landing GSA contracts and they (GSA employees) told me they don’t actually give any veteran preference what-so-ever when awarding contracts. -It’s all just feel good hype!

What is the VA business office contact information that actually provides Vets with business services? There is none! You will be refered to the SBA which will inform you that being veteran owned is NOT a competitive advantage.

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Rick A. Welch December 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 13.5 years. I have owned Gladiator Enterprises Inc. Also known as Gladiator Patrol & Guard a Security Guard and Patrol Service for 20 years.

I’ve not gotten any assistance from the Government. I’ve gotten no phone calls because I’m a Veteran who own’s a business, no business from anyone who has used that resource.

If there is someone with a care out there who can take a look at us, and hire us for their security needs. We are here. Check the WEBSITE. 100 percent Veteran.

Rick A. Welch Sgt. USMC Retired and Disabled Veteran.

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Roger G. Cavendish December 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I was a veteran owned company, but July 2010 we changed to a woman owned and started getting government work. I have no regrets of spending 4 years in the USMC, but this Veteran Owned business is noting but pure BS.

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Safety Glasses USA December 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm

In my opinion the wait times listed above are very conservative. We’ve experienced wait times in excess of six months for some of the processes listed in the article. Hopefully Mr. Leney will continue to improve this process in the coming months.

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Joe Beatty December 2, 2011 at 7:31 pm

There is a verification process as of last year, the reason for the verification process was fraudulent businesses claiming they were SDVOSB’s. Additionally, some of our Veteran peers were using their status to act as a front. The process, is not terribly hard to complete, but is time consuming. At current there is a backlog as the CVE (certified veteran enterprise) program is new. You can find out more on how to get verified as a SDVOSB http://www.vetbiz.gov/vip/verify.gov
There are no set asides for VOSB’s but larger contractors are required to meet a certain percentage of SDVOSB and VOSB’S or make concerted efforts to reach this goals along with other disadvantaged small business’. The VA’s website is another good resource and has info about doing business with the VA. On average it takes 12-18 months for a company to earn their first government contract.

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wwilliam boyle April 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I am a disabled vetran trying to get a loan from sba to start a solar panel manufacturer . We have been approved by the veteran department to train veterans in a two year solar manufacturing,and solar installs apprenticeship course.
There is no help fom the government to show interest in what we are doing or offer to buy our panels.
The congress passed a law that our government has to purchase all solar panels through there prison system who manufacture over millions of panels for the government . What about the veterans ! I just don’t get it.

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