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The U.S. House recently approved H.R. 1694 and passed it on to the Senate for consideration. The legislation, drafted by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-PA, would include veterans in the Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program.

“The Fairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment Act is a bipartisan, common sense way to update legislation that redresses the exclusion of veteran small businesses at no cost to the taxpayer,” said James Oxford, chairman of the American Legion’s Veterans Employment and Education Commission. “The American Legion encourages the Senate and the White House to level the playing field for these veterans by turning Rep. Fitzpatrick’s legislation into law.”

“This legislation is necessary to provide parity for the nearly 1 million veterans who are small business owners seeking government contracts,” Oxford said. “Veterans should not be placed at a disadvantage in competing with other government procurement programs.”

According to the Small Business Administration, veterans own 380,395 construction firms, 64,542 manufacturing companies and 414,519 businesses in the professional, scientific and technical services. Currently, only half of the states meet their DBE goals. Adding veteran small businesses to this program would increase the pool of eligible firms at the states’ disposal.  For states that already meet their goals, this bill does not affect them or the small business contractors they employ.

National Veterans Small Business Engagement

Annual Event to Increase Contract Opportunities for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will sponsor the 5th annual National Veterans Small Business Engagement (NVSBE), November 17–19, 2015, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

This premier event for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses provides the opportunity to learn from federal and commercial procurement decision makers the most effective ways to compete for and win federal contracts. More than 400 exhibitors and 25 government agencies will also participate in the event. The 2015 theme, ACCESS, is focused on promoting and supporting Veteran-Owned Small Businesses’ access to economic opportunities.

Featured speakers include: VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald, General Dennis L. Via, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Maria Contreras-Sweet, and Lockheed Martin’s Vice President of the Health & Life Sciences, Horace Blackman.

For details about the 5th annual NVSBE, visit www.nvsbe.com.

VAMBOA, the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, a 501(c) 6 non-profit trade association, is committed to the development, growth and prosperity of Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are not only the backbone of our economy, they are also responsible for job generation.

VAMBOA recognizes that these business owners are highly qualified to build successful businesses as a result of their leadership abilities, and a work ethic second to none

Also championing their success is the Small Business Administration (SBA). Created in 1953, the SBA has numerous programs and resources to help veterans start or expand a small business, including loans, mentoring and training. Especially useful to active-duty members preparing to transition to civilian life is the SBA’s entrepreneurship training program, Boots to Business.

The curriculum of the three year old program leads participants through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and provides the foundational knowledge to develop a business plan.

“The ‘can do’ approach that served them well during their military careers can also be applied to their new businesses,” said VAMBOA founder Debbie Gregory. “When they were in the military, these entrepreneurs were part of a team. Surrounding themselves with people who can give them a hand up as they start or grow their business will help contribute to their overall success.”

Many Veteran entrepreneurs have found success by taking practices, standards and ideologies from their military service and applying them to their civilian companies.

We salute these business owners during their designated week, and all year round.

About VAMBOA
VAMBOA, a 501(c) 6 non-profit organization, has been providing its members with knowledge of government provisions that help service-disabled veteran business owners, Veteran business owners and military business owners since 2010. VAMBOA’s mission is to help drive the success of these veteran business owners. VAMBOA also connects it members to contacts within large corporations and government agencies who can mentor members, and in some cases, can even directly provide members with government contracts and vending contracts within large corporations. Membership in VAMBOA is complimentary.

Do You Have A Hobby, Job Or Business?

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Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious via photopin cc

Looking to start a business?

Or would you rather have a J-O-B… maybe that hobby would be fun, perhaps you can profit with that?

To clarify, hobbies, jobs, and startups are great ideas. Just be sure to approach them in the right way.

Webster’s Definitions:

Hobby – an interest outside one’s general occupation, particularly for unwinding.

JOB – routine work that someone does to earn a paycheck.

Business – a venture of making, purchasing, or offering products/services in return for money.

Can I turn my hobby into a business?

You can. But it won’t be your hobby any more. We all ought to have a diversion in life…something you do on special occasion or to relax.

I love awesome BBQ (like I’m the only one, right?). I love cooking it, hanging around the smoker and seeing it reach perfection.

However, imagine a scenario where I needed to get up each morning at 3am to put meat on the smoker and get everything prepared for my customers. Would I like it as much? Would it transform my enthusiasm into drudgery? Possibly.

Owning a BBQ smokehouse has around 22,418 more “jobs” to it than simply smoking some brisket from a lawn chair. I would need to have a full comprehension of the restaurant business before making my BBQ pastime into a business.

At that point I would need to get another hobby!

What if I make a business out of my current job?

Ok. Suppose you have killer welding abilities at the place you work at presently. Why not open a welding shop in your town and satisfy all their welding needs?

But your welding skills were just one part of your previous employers company. How did they attract customers? Who purchased the supplies? Who did the bookwork…managed the utilities?

You might need to trade in your welder’s helmet for the various business hats you’ll end up wearing. At that point, are you doing more jobs than the just the welding, at which you excelled?

But won’t I be more relaxed if I great my business like a hobby?

Sure…if by “relaxed” you mean “failed”. You just can’t run your business the same way you treat your hobby.

I took up biking and it cost me $300 for a used mountain bike. Fishing is fun and got a fly rod for Christmas last year. I purchase a few flies each time I go to Bass Pro.

However, I can stop fly fishing for a time and not have any effect on my salary, employment or business.

That’s the reason it’s a hobby… you don’t HAVE to do it.

And, in the event that you switch or stop a hobby,

you likely won’t miss a car payment.

You can start and stop hobbies often. Nobody will mind. Well maybe if you have 28 fly rods and only use them once every 4 years, your wife might comment on it! But that topic is for another day.

Run your business with intention. Create SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound). Define the jobs within the business and the people that should be doing them.

Organizations ought to be run diligently (with the proper time off for those hobbies). Try not to “wish” or “hope” things get completed… dole out every one of the tasks BEFORE you open for business. You’ll have enough surprises without making them yourself.

Brian Richardson runs VetLaunched.com. He helps veterans start their own business through coaching, training, classes and trusted resources. Pick up a copy of his unique resource list at www.VetLaunched.com.

On Tuesday, October 13, 2015, from 10 am – 12 pm attend the Veterans Small Business Forum hosted by US Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Small Business Programs, Washington, DC

The agenda includes: Doing Business through USAID, New Veterans Small Business Coalition, VA Veterans National Small Business Conference – Pittsburgh, Doing Business with WMATA, and Kingdomware at the Supreme Court.

Network with new and experienced business owners. You MUST Pre-Register at http://conta.cc/1j0Zsbp to attend. If you can’t make it in person, you can participate by phone: (641) 715-3605, Code 877589# (Call lines will open up at 9:55 am)

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