Calls for end of prejudice against veteran owned small businesses
Washington, D.C.— After repeated acts of bias against veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), on October 17,2017 the National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) penned a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs demanding changes be implemented within the VA to ensure the fair treatment of NVSBC members.
Despite the existence of the VETS First program, a group of policies created to encourage VA contracts with service disabled veteran and veteran owned small businesses (SDVOSBs and VOSBs), senior VA leadership has demonstrated a bias against working with these companies. Rather than support veterans, the VA has on numerous occasions circumvented federal regulations to work with large businesses that cost the VA more money.
“The VA’s mission is to serve and care for those who have protected the United States,” said Scott Denniston, Executive Director of NVSBC. “By sidestepping their own policies, the VA is furthering the challenges these men and women face when they return home from service.”
In response to the Veterans First Contracting Program Roundtable held on October 11, 2017 by the House Committee of Veterans Affairs, NVSBC submitted the letter that included a list of legislative recommendations. NVSBC believes if implemented, these changes will address the challenges SDVOSBs and VOSBs face when trying to win contracts with the VA. The full letter can be viewed www.nvsbc.org.
As Veterans Day approaches, the VA can honor those that have fought for our country by committing to work with SDVOSBs and VOSBs more. Owning a business is challenging, but veterans can experience even more obstacles with their small businesses. It has been shown that the best way to improve veterans’ lives is through increased self-esteem, which can come from meaningful employment. More contracting opportunities within the VA would level the playing field for SDVOSBs and VOSBs and result in the hiring of more veterans.