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The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) has increased its support for California Small Business/Microbusiness (SB/MB) over the last three years, approved awarding more than $9.5 million in SB/MB contracts in FY 2011-12. That represents more than 28% of CalVet’s total contract dollars.

In addition, CalVet awarded more than $2 million in Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) contracts, which accounts for more than 6% of the Department’s total SB/MB contract dollars.

CalVet’s contracting performance has exceeded the State’s 25% SB/MB goal and more than doubled the State’s 3% DVBE goal. CalVet’s contracting efforts also exceeded its own more stringent 5% DVBE goal.

“These numbers directly reflect CalVet’s strategic goals because support of small business and Disabled Veterans Business Enterprises means jobs for veterans,” said CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “It took a lot of work on the part of everyone involved in the procurement process for CalVet to make this happen, and I’m enormously proud of my staff.”

CalVet credits its success to a DVBE/SB first policy which requires buyers to first seek out certified DVBE and SB vendors for any purchases and contracts.  This policy requires an approved waiver prior to contracting with other vendors.  Management support of this policy, and the DVBE and SB programs in general, is also critical to exceeding these performance goals.

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CalVet: Carolyn Ballou
916-653-1355
Jaime Arteaga
916-657-9329
August 1, 2012

Washington, D.C. – Today Chief Counsel for Advocacy Dr. Winslow Sargeant praised Congress’ repeal of the three percent contractor withholding requirement. The requirement would have required federal, state and local governments to withhold three percent of nearly all payments made to contractors, placing a burden on numerous small businesses. By a vote of 95 to 0, the Senate passed the Government Contractor Withholding Repeal Act. The House has already passed a similar piece of legislation. The Office of Advocacy has consistently worked with small businesses for the elimination of this unfair burden. The Chief Counsel called for its elimination in May of this year.

“The repeal of the three percent withholding requirement is a victory for small business,” said Dr. Sargeant. “For small businesses to thrive in government contracting they need an environment that is clear, transparent and predictable.”

The three percent withholding requirement would have adversely affected the accounts all small businesses that provide services to government entities. Most of the small businesses would have had to increase their debt level in order to ensure sufficient cash flows and thus pass these additional expenses on to their government customers. If small firms were unable to secure additional debt, the three percent withholding requirement might force them out of the Federal contracting market.

The three percent provision was included in the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 in an effort to ensure that individuals and companies that receive new payments from the federal government did not accrue tax debt. The law mandated that federal state and local governments with expenditures of more than $100 million withhold three percent of payments for products and services worth more than $10,000. The requirement was scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2013.

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government. The presidentially appointed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policymakers. Regional advocates and an office in Washington, D.C., support the Chief Counsel’s efforts. For more information, visit http://www.sba.gov/advocacy, or call (202) 205-6533.

Washington, D.C. – Fourteen major contracts to transform information technology in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have been awarded for an estimated program ceiling of $12 billion. The Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology program, known as T4, will consist of 15 prime contracts, including seven awards reserved for service-disabled Veteran small businesses and Veteran-owned small businesses.

“This five-year program will help VA transform into a 21st century organization and enable us to deliver the high-quality health care, benefits, and services Veterans have earned,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “In addition, it opens an opportunity for Veterans in business to grow and claim a share of VA’s business.”

Calling the program T4, VA awarded 14 prime contracts together as a tool to close gaps in acquiring IT services to integrate systems, networks and software. A fifteenth contract is pending resolution of a protest filed with the Government Accountability Office. The companies selected will have a fair opportunity to compete for work under T4 over five years. Their services and products may cover the life cycle of a computer system, and include program planning and management, systems and software engineering, cyber security, operation and maintenance, and support to facilities.

One of VA’s main goals is to provide timely access to benefits and high-quality health care to Veterans over their lifetimes, from the day they enter military service until the day they are laid to rest. T4 will be a major tool enabling VA to meet those goals by closing gaps in transforming programs.

The combined contracts will allow the most efficient use of technology to reduce the backlog of benefit claims and delivers real value to America’s taxpayers.

The T4 program will be a single focal point for managing the multiple contracts; give VA access to the best industry capabilities without the traditional long acquisition lead time; and help the department meet its Veteran small-business goals.

Unsuccessful competitors will be notified once the fifteenth, final award is made. They will be given the opportunity to receive a debriefing about their respective proposals and learn how they might improve their future submissions.

PRESS OFFICE/LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles – Whatever the war or conflict, Americans have always believed that America’s military veterans should return home to jobs and opportunity.

Since 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has been providing entrepreneurial assistance to veterans and service-disabled veterans to start, resume and grow their businesses.

“We know that veteran business owners often have different needs and that is why the SBA is here to assist veterans in acquiring capital and technical assistance to grow their  companies,” said Theodore Holloman, district director (acting), Los Angeles SBA District Office. “The Los Angeles District Office has funded 857 veteran entrepreneurs during the last five fiscal years, injecting $217 million into their enterprises.”

With respect to the Patriot Express Pilot Loan Program, the SBA has combined elements of its 7(a) loan program (higher guarantee) and its SBA Express product (simplified processing and greater availability) to create the most compelling and attractive product available.  Patriot Express loans can go up to $500,000, and because it is an Express loan product, lenders and borrowers benefit from expedited and streamlined processing, meaning they will get an answer in most cases in a day or so.

The SBA also offers a targeted loan program, the Military Reserve Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, to help keep businesses operating during the critical months when their key employees or owners are called to active duty.  This SBA loan program has been vital to keeping businesses whole and afloat while saving jobs in local communities.

The SBA continues to provide other veteran-related services by working across federal agencies to increase technical assistance for starting and growing veteran companies.  For example, the SBA and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have an ongoing Partnership Agreement to increase contracting opportunities for 8(a) firms, service-disabled and other veteran firms.

Recently, the West Los Angeles Medical Center has teamed up with the SBA Los Angeles District Office to bring business counseling directly to veterans at the medical center through their Setting Your Compass workshop every third Thursday of the month on the campus of the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center in the Post Deployment Clinic in Building 401 at 10:00 a.m.

Locally, the Los Angeles District Office offers one-stop assistance through its dedicated veterans outreach team and easily accessible technical assistance providers: Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, SCORE Chapter branch offices and the Veteran Business Outreach Center.  These technical assistance providers and programs are a cooperative effort of the private sector, the educational community and federal, state and local governments.

For more information you can contact Patrick Rodriguez, Veteran Outreach Coordinator, Los Angeles SBA District Office at 818-552-3222.

VAMBOA is the fastest growing trade association in the country for Veteran Business Owners and Service Disabled Veteran Business Owners.   We are becoming the Go To organization for resources and information.   The site features tons of valuable information.   Veteran, military and service disabled veterans resources will find all types of resources including government contracting contacts.   Membership is free.  We hope you will register for membership.  We also invite you to fill out the survey that will let us know what is important to you and a little about you.  VAMBOA is about Uniting Veteran and Military Business Owners For Collaboration, Connections and Contracts.

By Allison Bruce
Posted September 1, 2010 at 6:16 p.m.

Veteran and military business owners have a new organization to help support their businesses, land contracts and interaction with other owners.

Started in July, the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, or VAMBOA, is the creation of two local women business owners who saw a need.

“People from the military have wonderful qualities that lend themselves to entrepreneurship,” said Debbie Gregory, one of the co-chairs and founders of the association. She said veterans and active military personnel who own businesses needed an organization that could help them get information, collaborate with each other, and grow through connections with government agencies and private businesses that want to use their goods and services.

There were 2.4 million veterans who owned businesses in the United States in 2007, the Census Bureau reports. Those businesses had receipts totaling $1.2 trillion. California had 9.8 percent of the nation’s veteran-owned businesses.

The association already has several thousand members across the nation. Gregory said it has started a survey to determine member needs and desires for the organization.

The nonprofit association doesn’t charge any dues and relies on corporate sponsors. Its first sponsor is Thousand Oaks-based Amgen Inc.

“We have a tough economy going on, and those who have served our nation, more than anyone, have made a lot of sacrifices and they deserve to have help,” Gregory said. She hopes the sponsor-supported model will continue as the association grows.

Martha Daniel is a disabled veteran who owns Aliso Viejo-based IMRI, which provides technology and engineering services to the private industry and government.

Daniel was excited to join a trade association for veterans. Many veteran organizations are centered around policies and issues, but there hasn’t been a business association that could provide resources, from training and certifications to networking with other veteran business owners, she said.

“I’m hoping VAMBOA will be an umbrella by which we can keep veterans knowledgeable about everything going on,” she said.

Veteran-owned businesses have been around for years — Daniel’s is about 18 years old — but she said there is a new emphasis on supporting those businesses that is encouraging more veterans to become entrepreneurs. President Barack Obama signed an executive order in April creating a task force on veteran-owned small businesses that will look at lending, contracts, training and other support.

VAMBOA connects both new and existing veteran business owners. “We ourselves need to connect and help each other,” Daniel said.

Gregory is chief executive of Military Connection, headquartered in Simi Valley, a website she started that provides an online directory of resources and information for members of the military, veterans and their families.

Gregory said one reason she recently turned down a buyer for Military Connection was that she wanted to use the site, which has 10,000 visitors daily, to help launch VAMBOA.

She joined with Patty DeDominic, a consultant in Santa Barbara and former national president of the National Association of Women Business Owners. DeDominic had a staffing company she built and sold to a large company, and she has experience helping an organization provide resources and advocate for business owners.

Both DeDominic and Gregory are daughters of veterans. “We’re very dedicated to this,” Gregory said.

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Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2010/sep/01/association-aids-businesses-owned-by-military/#ixzz0yUJ0ExrS
– vcstar.com

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