As I type this, I wait on hold with the St. Louis VA.
I started this adventure with two objectives: Order extra lapels pins for my SDVOSB, and find out how long it would take for one of my clients to have their firm listed on the searchable directory of SDVOSB’s at vip.vetbiz.gov.
Reading the letter I received from the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Veterans Enterprise, I noted this paragraph:
“If you would like additional lapel pins for members of your staff, please visit www.VetBiz.gov for instructions on how you may order additional pins.”
I encourage any reader to visit www.vetbiz.gov and if you find out how to order additional pins, please let me know.
After spending ten minutes rooting around, I decided to move on to objective number two. As part of GallantFew’s work, I consult with the Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) to help guide veteran owned small businesses through the certification process. Any money I receive goes directly into GallantFew in order to serve more veterans.
In early November, I was introduced to a cool small business. Owned by a Service Disabled Veteran, no one (and they had multiple governmental resources assisting their start-up) ever took them through the process of applying for the VA’s CVE designation – which is becoming more and more important for a governmental agency looking for a legitimate SDVOSB in order to satisfy set-aside purchasing requirements. So I told the owner about my experience, which was one of going to www.vip.vetbiz.gov and registering my business as a SDVOSB. This involved downloading a form, completing and faxing it back and in a few days my company appeared in the directory, without the cool little wreath logo indicating a “certified” veteran business. About six months later and a few more hurdles and I became “certified” and entitled to display the wreath.
So November 15th this business submitted their packet, and almost immediately received an email response that stated:
“Congratulations VETERAN! (The real person’s name was here)
Did you mean: www.vip.vetbiz.gov