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Isabel Casillas Guzmán visiting veteran owned business.
SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzmán visited various veteran-owned businesses. Photo: @SBAIsabel.

SBA announced one-year extension for veteran-owned small businesses

The initiative supports the US Small Business Certification Program operated by this group.

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As part of National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW), the administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Isabella Casillas Guzmán, presented a series of updates to the program that includes a one-year extension to verified companies by the Veterans First Verification Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through the Verification and Evaluation Center (CVE) as of January 1, 2023.

Casillas Guzmán stated:

Adding this certification to SBA’s portfolio of capital, bonding, and contracting programs will enable us to better serve our veteran entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses through federal procurement opportunities.

New opportunities

In order for veteran-owned small businesses to qualify for single-source and set-aside federal contract awards, the certification period will be extended to 4 years one-time for VA-verified businesses beginning January 1, 2023.

Updates in the new program include:

  • Firms verified by the VA Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) as of January 1, 2023 will be automatically granted certification by SBA for the remainder of the firm’s eligibility period.
  • All firms verified by VA as of the January 1, 2023 transfer date will receive a one-year extension to their eligibility giving veterans an extra year to get recertified under the new SBA system.
  • The extension will allow SBA to process applications from new entrants into the program and grow the base of certified firms.
  • During the grace period, businesses have one year to file an application for SDVOSB certification and may continue to rely on their self-certification to compete for non-VA SDVOSB set-asides.
  • Self-certified SDVOSBs that apply before the expiration of the one-year grace period will maintain eligibility until the SBA makes a final eligibility decision.

For their part, new applicants certified by the SBA after January 1, 2023 will receive the standard three-year certification period. Additionally, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 provides a one-year grace period for self-certified SDVOSBs until January 1, 2024.

“Our team is committed to supporting a smooth and seamless transition for our veteran customers and will be providing a one-time, one-year certification extension for VA certified veteran-owned firms, making it as easy as we can for them to continue their entrepreneurial journey,” added Casillas Guzmán.

Reactions

“The decision to extend the certification will make a real difference for our nation’s veteran business owners as we move forward with transitioning this certification from the Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition to supporting a smooth transition for currently certified firms, we will be able to focus on certifying new entrants and growing our base of certified firms,” said Larry Stubblefield, Associate Administrator for the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development. 

Jay Bowen, chairman of the Veterans Employment and Education Commission at the American Legion, pointed out: “We know that the veteran community will be well-served by this move and that the SBA will make the transition from the VA as smooth as possible. The announcement of the one-year extension for both veteran and service-disabled veteran small business owners further demonstrates the SBA’s dedication to helping the veteran small business community succeed and thrive.”

“We applaud the SBA’s leadership in driving a process focused on success and supporting veteran-owned businesses and are excited to see the implementation. We also applaud the Administrator’s decision to extend existing certifications for one year. This decision will provide valuable relief to those already certified during a year of increased demand as other companies pursue the mandatory certification requirement,” noted Scott Jensen, Executive Director at the National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC).

Dan Clare, Chief Communications and Outreach Officer at Disabled American Veterans (DAV), stressed: “Service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) will positively benefit from the one-year extension of existing certifications, and for self-certified firms to be able to continue to compete for designated set-asides during the grace period. I am confident that both DAV and the SBA will support SDVOSBs through the transition and certification when the time comes.”

Beginning January 1, 2024, both veteran and service-disabled veteran small business owners will need to be certified to compete for federal contracting set-asides, unless an application from a self-certified firm is pending an SBA decision.

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