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By Debbie Gregory.

Firearms maker Sig Sauer has been awarded a $48 million DoD contract to create a suppressed upper receiver group (SURG) based on its MCX system for the service weapon, an upgrade to the current M4A1 Carbine, a fully automatic version of the M4 Carbine that went into service in 1994.

According to an August 7th release on the SIG SAUER website, its MCX Rifle System outperformed the competition in order to secure the contract.

“The SIG SAUER suppressor withstood the stringent stress and torture requirements set by DoD for firing specifications, vibration, sound, and temperature requirements to ensure soldier safety.”

SOCOM has been developing its requirements for the M4A1 SURG since 2015, the Firearm Blog reports. The SURG upgrades the current M4A1 lower receiver assembly used by SOCOM.

The contract award comes as the Marine Corps continues to pursue suppressed firing capability for many of its infantry troops. Troops who deployed in early 2017 with suppressors  said that the devices, previously reserved for elite units, enabled better battlefield communication and reduced fog-of-war “tunnel vision.”

“The requirements set by DoD for the SURG procurement demanded significant improvements in reliability, thermal characteristics, and durability that went well above anything we are currently seeing in the industry,” said Ron Cohen, Sig’s president and CEO. He continued, “We worked very hard to develop the MCX SURG System to specifically meet and exceed the DoD requirements. I am extremely proud that our hard work paid off, and endured the stringent and demanding military testing requirements, to ultimately gain the confidence of DoD to support their operations in the field.”

Headquartered in Newington, New Hampshire, SIG SAUER is an ISO 9001 certified company with over 1,200 employees that strives to meet the needs of their military, law enforcement and commercial markets worldwide.

The project is expected to be completed by July 2023

By Debbie Gregory.

Many veterans transition out of the military with the skills and attributes necessary to succeed as veteran business owners. Often times, the main roadblock for these entrepreneurs is financing their new mission: to become a veteran business owner or a service disabled veteran business owner.

Investing in your business operations doesn’t always have to come with a big price tag, as there are some cost-efficient ways to invest in your small business to get it going and growing.

Begin by identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Invest in personal growth, so that you can turn those weaknesses into strengths. Take classes. Do your research on the web. Seek out tutorials. Don’t overlook the value of a digital marketing platform. Make sure you have a website.  Utilize Facebook, LinkedIn, Google AdWords, Instagram, etc. There are plenty of free resources available to help you navigate these waters.

If there are skills that you can’t or don’t want to do, and you don’t have the staff to do them, outsource! Perhaps tax returns, web design and the like are best left in the hands of the experts. You might even be able to barter services. And for those occasions when the work load is on an upswing, don’t rule out freelancers or temporary workers.

But when it comes time to assemble a staff, your hiring strategy should be based on talent, not functions. If your team is versatile with diverse talents, they will be better positioned to grow with the business.

Identify your business’s core values and build a team aligned with them. Having your values in place will give your business purpose and direction, and will in turn provide a culture for your employees to be proud of. Along with values, don’t underestimate the value of a corporate identity. You want to be your own company, not just a “light’ version of another company.

Have a rainy-day reserve account. As a business owner you’re probably thinking, “How in the world can I save for this?” The key is to start small and build up. This safety net will get you through rough times, which are inevitable.

Invest the time in writing Standing Operating Procedures, a set of step-by-step instructions to make sure there is a “Bible” for routine operations. Answer what tasks need to done? Who needs to do them? What are the best ways to approach these tasks?

By Debbie Gregory.

Army Green Beret turned coffee brew master Evan Hafer started Black Rifle Coffee Company to provide a high-quality, roast-to-order, coffee to the pro-2A and veteran communities. Between deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, he was working on refining both his coffee roasting and his firearms skills.

Hafer’s love affair with coffee started 20 years ago. His deployment to Iraq began his roasting career when he catered to the caffeine needs of his fellow servicemembers.  From that passion grew a company that supported Hafer’s missions: to roast great coffee, have a business that allowed him to hire veterans, and the resources to support the causes that he championed.

One of Hafer’s first hires was a soldier who served alongside him in Afghanistan. With 86 employees, 60 percent are veterans. That was a big part of Hafer’s vision.

“It’s not PR – it’s who we are,” Hafer said.

As with many veteran entrepreneurs, Hafer’s time in the Army served him well.

“In the military, you have to push yourself past mental and physical limits, every day to the point where you’re almost desensitized to the work,” he explained. “Now I feel like I have an endless capacity to just always work. The military gave me the context to reach into basically a bottomless well of endurance.”

Black Rifle Coffee Company roasts over a million pounds of coffee per year and grosses over $30 million annually. The company seems to have approached the box, but prefers to stay outside. The company offers a coffee club that allows consumers to get their coffee delivered to their doors. It also offers the chance to win tactical swag and discounts by teaming up with rifle and tactical gear companies such as LaRue, LWRC, Hodge Defense, Vortex Optics, Tactical Tailor, Freedom Group, Readyman and Article 15 clothing. If exclusive Black Rifle Coffee Company swag is what you crave with your coffee, the company has discount codes for that too.

By Debbie Gregory.

You may be wondering how the latest tax bill will affect your veteran-owned small business.

For starters, the new small business tax laws allow you to take the full deduction in one year for most purchases that are intended to last for less than 20 years, rather than depreciating them over time. As a result, this just might be the year to upgrade your equipment or machinery.

While small businesses don’t get as hefty a tax break as corporations do, they do get a 20% reduction of taxable business income. S-Corporations, sole proprietorships and partnerships are pass-through entities, which mean they don’t pay income taxes. Instead, the individual owner is directly taxed. So, a sole proprietor generating $200,000 of business income would be able to deduct $40,000 on his Schedule C. Instead of adding $200,000 to his adjusted gross income, he would add $160,000.

Starting in tax year 2018, all businesses with less than $25 million in receipts in the three prior tax years, even if they have inventory, will be able to make use of the cash method. For tax purposes, there are definite advantages to the cash accounting basis for accounting. Cash accounting ensures that taxes are not paid on monies that have not yet been received; this improves cash flow and ensures that funds are available for tax expenditures.

On the downside, you might not be able to deduct the full interest on your veteran business loans. In 2017, you could deduct the full interest from your loans, but now, any net interest expense over 30% of your company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization will be disallowed. This only applies to businesses with average gross receipts over $25 million, so most small businesses won’t have this problem.

You will no longer be able to carry back your business losses, and the net operating loss carry forward is limited to 80% of taxable income.

By Debbie Gregory.

The System for Award Management (SAM) is an official website of the U.S. government, and there is no cost to use SAM. You can use this site to:

  • Register to do business with the U.S. government
  • Update or renew your entity registration
  • Check status of an entity registration
  • Search for entity registration and exclusion records

However, there are system-wide changes that you need to be aware of if you’re logging in to SAM online for the first since June 29, 2018.

First of all, if you don’t already have one, you’ll be asked to create a login.gov user account. Login.gov is a service that offers secure and private online access to government programs, such as federal benefits, services, applications, and SAM.gov. If you do have an account, you’ll be asked to change your current username and password, as previous ones will no longer work.

If you have a login.gov account, check the email address.

If you already have a login.gov account, the associated email address must match the email address associated with your SAM.gov account in order to migrate your roles. If the email addresses don’t match, you’ll need to create a new login.gov account.

If you don’t have a login.gov account, enter an email address. Use the same email address you use for SAM.gov. If you don’t currently have a SAM.gov account (are a brand new user, for example), you may use any email address you have access to.

Create a new password.

Pick if you want to receive your one-time security code for authentication via mobile phone, landline, or an app installed on your mobile phone or  computer. Each time you want to log in, you will be required to enter your login.gov email address, password, and the one-time security code that you receive.

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