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Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization

Direct Connect Program FAQs

(Additional Information)

  1. What is Direct Connect Program?

  2. What is an Opportunity Showcase?

  3. What is a "NAICS" and how is it different from a SIC code?

  4. How do I know if I meet the size standards for small business?

  5. What does it mean to be procurement ready?

  6. How do I find out more information about contracting opportunities with the VA on the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS)?

  7. How do I participate in the Federal Contractors Certification Program?

  8. I'm a Veteran with a small business but I am not interested in selling to the government.  Should I get my small business Verified through the VetBiz program in VA?

  9. How many years do you get on a federal contract?


1.  What is Direct Connect Program?


Direct Connect Program (DCP) is within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) that provides Awareness, Access, and Risk Mitigation to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB), and other small businesses on potential future opportunities with VA and Federal agencies.  DCP creates a venue through Opportunity Showcase (OSC) for Small Businesses that are industry specific the ability to market their products and services with decision makers and other Federal agencies.  DCP also provides outreach educational information and provide small business liaison points of contact to market your small business to the VA.

2.  What is an Opportunity Showcase?


Opportunity Showcase (OSC) is a industry specific event that allows Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB), and other small businesses to network and market their capabilities with a Procurement Decision Makers (PDMs) and other Federal agencies.  OSC helps the small business owners gain a better understanding of the industry vision of future opportunities provided by VA and other Federal agencies.

3.  What is a "NAICS" and how is it different from a SIC code?


NAICS is an acronym for North American Industrial Classification System.  SIC stands for Standard Industrial Classification.  NAICS codes replaced the (SIC) system.  NAICS are similar to SIC codes in that each code identifies a segment of industry by size standards to provide more opportunities for small businesses to participate in Federal programs that give preference to small businesses. SIC codes were originally developed to identify segments of industry internal to the United States.  NAICS are an outgrowth of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Therefore, NAICS are applicable to industry within Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

4.  How do I know if I meet the size standards for small business?


We suggest that you schedule an appointment with the closest Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).  This is an organization funded by the Defense Logistics Agency to ensure that small businesses understand federal procurement rules.  The business coach will explain to you the rules that govern size standards and provide additional useful information to address questions that you might have regarding your small business.

5.  What does it mean to be procurement ready?


Procurement ready is the assurance that small businesses have positioned their company to compete in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other Federal agencies acquisitions and contracts procurement process.  Ensure acquisition eligibilities thru appropriate registrations, certifications, and verification procedures coupled with documentation compliance and readiness.  Provide VA and other Federal agencies a clear, focused, and structured approach to delineating its mission capabilities through research, marketing, and knowledge of industry specific requirements and solicitations.

6.  How do I find out more information about contracting opportunities with the VA on the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS)?


A part of the National Acquisition Center (NAC), the VA Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) program establishes long-term government-wide contracts with responsible commercial companies at established prices, terms, and conditions.  These contracts provide eligible buyers with a simplified process for obtaining more than 1 million commercially available supplies and services.  By placing orders directly with awarded VA FSS contractors, federal customers are able to obtain virtually any commercially available medical service or supply by choosing among thousands of vendors.  See the FSS contracting page for a complete listing of benefits and advantages of the VA FSS Program.

7.  How do I participate in the Federal Contractors Certification Program?


If you are a Veteran you can meet with a PTAC counselor assigned to you from your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center to see if eligible.  At that time you will provide basic information on your company.  Once enrolled you will be allowed to take several online webinars at your own pace until completion.  After successful passing of required test you will be awarded a lapel pin, logo, and certificate for that level.  There are several levels of certification under this program.

8.  I'm a Veteran with a small business but I am not interested in selling to the government.  Should I get my small business Verified through the VetBiz program in VA?


The VetBiz.gov Vendor Information Page’s (VIP) database is a collection of all types of verified Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSB) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB).  This database is used for small business research by the VA, other agencies and the public.  It is a way for them to find a verified VOSB or SDVOSB.  Supporting VOSBs & SDVOSBs is a way to give back to those who gave so much for all of us.  Small business is the backbone of the American economy, and supporting a Veteran-owned & Service-Disabled Veteran-owned business is a way to show pride in our country.  You can get more guidance at the website.

9.  How many years do you get on a federal contract?


The contractual period of performance can vary.  The duration of periods of performance is driven by several factors and several different types of contracting vehicles used to award (e.g. GWAC, IDIQ, T&M, BPAs, Set asides, etc.)  Learn more from the Small Business Administration.

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