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Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization

 

VA Small and Veteran Business Programs

VA Small and Veteran Business Programs implement the requirements to aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small and Veteran business concerns. When acquiring products and services, the federal government must award these businesses a fair proportion of total VA property and services purchases, contracts, and subcontracts. For acquisition purposes, small and Veteran businesses must be independently owned and operated, not dominant in the field of operation in which they are bidding on government contracts, and otherwise qualify as small businesses according to the Small Business Administration (SBA) criteria and size standards.

Learn more about the following VA Small and Veteran Business Programs and how VA encourages the involvement of small businesses at the subcontract level.

VA Small and Veteran Business Programs
ProgramDescription
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program Consistent with Public Law 109-461 and per VA’s mandate and mission, encouraging the participation of SDVOSBs in VA acquisition programs and awarding these firms contracts are highest priority for VA Small and Veteran Business Programs.
Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Program VA encourages and is mandated to maximum use of VOSBs for participation and contracting priority in the Veterans First Contracting Program. As a complement, VA contract specialists conduct market research to seek out VOSBs that can meet their procurement needs.

VA is the only agency that sets a goal and tracks participation of VOSBs.

VA OSDBU is the advocate that monitors the Veterans First Contracting Program. Under the authority granted in Public Law 109-461, VA is authorized to set aside contracts and/or award sole source contracts to both SDVOSBs and VOSBs.
8(a) Business Development Program The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program—a two-phase business assistance program—helps small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the federal contracting marketplace.

Contact your local SBA District Office to connect with a SBA representative for free counseling and information regarding eligibility requirements, training, financial assistance, and more.
Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program is designed to help small businesses in rural and urban areas gain preference with federal contracting opportunities. Learn more »
Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program Effective February 2011, the WOSB Federal Contract Program helps to expand federal contracting opportunities for WOSBs. Authorized contracting officers can set aside certain federal contracts for eligible WOSBs or Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs).

VA OSDBU is responsible for negotiating annual goals with VA acquisition officials to increase the number of federal prime contracts awarded to WOSBs. The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA) set an overall goal of 5 percent for WOSBs. Learn more »

How to participate in the WOSB/EDWOSB Program:
  1. Read the WOSB Federal Contract program regulations in the Federal Register and the WOSB Compliance Guide
  2. Register and represent your status as WOSB or EDWOSB in the System for Award Management (SAM)
  3. Log onto SBA’s General Login System (GLS) to obtain or access an account
  4. Go to the WOSB program repository (through GLS) and upload/categorize all required documents
Small and Disadvantaged Business Program To improve and stimulate this small business segment, VA established a realistic Department-wide goal for the award of contracts to Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs)—small business concerns that are owned and controlled by socially- and economically-disadvantaged individuals.

VA OSDBU is the advocate and manager for VA Small and Veteran Business Programs that encourages greater economic opportunity for minority entrepreneurs.

Full definitions of social and economic disadvantage are outlined in 13 CFR § 124. Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identities as members of groups and without regard to their individual qualities. The social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control. Learn more »

Small Business Program Goals and Accomplishments

Goals for VA Small and Veteran Business Programs are aggressive and aimed at maximum utilization. VA’s Small Business Procurement Scorecard and socioeconomic accomplishments for each type of reporting mechanism are available. Learn more »

Small Business Set-Asides

Federal agencies are required to set aside certain contracts for qualified small business concerns only. Limiting competition to these firms ensures that small businesses do not have to compete with large businesses for the same contracts or procurement opportunities.

The federal government is required by law to purchase goods and/or services at competitive prices.

If an agency expects at least two small businesses to submit competitive bids for a contract in terms of market price, quality, and delivery—it can set aside that contract to ensure adequate competition. SBA establishes size standards on an industry-by-industry basis, using dollar volume of sales or number of employees to determine firms’ eligibility to submit bids. Learn more »

Non-Manufacturer Rule

The Non-Manufacturer Rule stipulates that "a recipient of a contract set aside for small business or the Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) contract program, other than the actual manufacturer or processor, must provide the products of a small business." Learn more »

Small Business Subcontracting Plans and Goals

Federal contractors are required to maintain an acceptable subcontracting plan if they are a large business (including all affiliates) and the estimated dollar value of the base contract and all option periods exceeds, or is expected to exceed, $700,000. Learn more »

Government Contracting

The federal government procures goods and services from small businesses based on needs and following regulations that govern federal contracts.
Learn more »

Connect with
VA OSDBU

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  • Mail only:
    810 Vermont Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20420

    OSDBU Call Center:
    1–866–584–2344
    Email: osdbu@va.gov
    Hours: 8 a.m.–6 p.m. (Eastern)
For advice on potential procurement opportunities in your area, contact your local

VA Small Business Liaison.

Use the Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS) to access VA benefits and more.