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Women Businesses, Small Businesses

Veterans Businesses Get Special Gov't Contracts


Jack Beecher, Chief
Small Business Office
US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk, VA

  Interview Highlights

  • He is Chief of Small Business Programs in Norfolk and he is also Program Manager for Service Disabled Veterans Category for the Corps of Engineers.
  • Service Disable Veterans is the newest category in Federal Government Contracting.
  • Six months ago the government authorized a Women Owned Business Set Aside Program.
  • Before the set aside program there was only a goal of 5% of contracts to go to Women Owned Businesses.
  • A Woman Owned Business is one that is 51% owned and operated by a woman.
  • The contract goal for Service Disabled Businesses is 3%.
  • A set aside is different than a goal, it is a way to get to that 5% or 3%.
  • A set aside means only women owned businesses or service disabled veteran businesses can submit a bid for the contact.
  • The kinds of business that can participate in set aside contracts are:
  • HUB Zone Businesses, Historically Underutilized Business Zones, there are about 5,000 + of these zones that are low in economic development or have high unemployment (you can go on SBA.GOV to find HUB zones).
  • Women Owned Businesses.
  • Small Disadvantaged Businesses.
  • Service Disabled Veteran Businesses (Asian Pacific Americans, Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans).
  • There is also a General Small Business set aside.
  • You do not have to hire anyone to become a certified small business to get contracts.
  • There are government offices who will do this for you for free.
  • The size of a small business can go up to $30 million in gross sales.
  • There is no general veteran set aside program except at the Veterans Administration, the Service Disabled Veteran program .
  • A big MYTH that businesses have about working for the government is that the government is hard to work for.
  • Once you get your foot in the door and you understand the process it become a good business.
  • The government is going to pay within 2 weeks to 30 days.
  • If you don't do quality work you are not going to get another opportunity.
  • More companies are coming to them now because the commercial market place has dried up a little.
  • The amount of contracts the Corps did with Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business went from $58 million in 2004 to $900 million in 2010.
  • Most of those companies never worked for the government before.