GSA Expands Federal Business Opportunities for Service-Disabled Vets
GSA # 10459
March 3, 2008
Contact: Viki Reath, (202) 501-1231
WASHINGTON – A new Twenty-One Gun Salute initiative aims to maximize the number and percentage of agency contract dollars going to service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced today.
The strategy of the Twenty-One Gun Salute initiative is to raise awareness among GSA buyers and contract officers, identify service-disabled veteran businesses that provide high-demand government products and services, assist those businesses in finding markets; establish a mentor program, partner with veterans organizations and support business-to-business partnerships among businesses in this category.
GSA will work closely with The Veterans Corp. (TVC), a federally chartered 501(c)(3) organization, created by the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 to provide valuable business resources to veterans, such as access to capital, surety bonding, education and prescription coverage.
“We are gratified that TVC has volunteered to support our new initiative,” said GSA Administrator Lurita Doan. “Those who step forward in our national times of need do so at great personal sacrifice. Reaching out to service-disabled veterans is the right thing to do and provides government with resourceful women and men who have honed on the battlefield the skills that are the elements of business success, discipline and cooperation.”
Named for one of the nation’s highest honors, the goal of the Twenty-One Gun Salute is to allocate at least 3 percent, or $143 million in GSA contract dollars to service-disabled veteran businesses in 2008.
“It is an honor to support service-disabled veterans,” said Chief of Staff John Phelps, the retired U.S. Army officer who leads the initiative. “Service-disabled veterans continue to serve our nation, applying their talent and commitment to others, developing successful businesses and creating jobs.”
The Twenty-One Gun Salute supports President Bush’s Disabled Veterans Executive Order (13360), which directs all federal agencies to develop and implement strategies to meet a goal of at least 3 percent for participation by service-disabled veteran businesses in federal contracting. GSA, the premier federal procurement agency, has met its 3 percent goals in the other socio-economic categories.
TVC looks forward to working with GSA to further the GSA mission, as well as the TVC mission to create more prosperous communities and a stronger national economy, by fostering business opportunities for Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans, and members of the National Guard and Reserve,” said TVC Board Chairman Jeffrey W. Gault.
The new initiative builds on GSA’s accomplishments in 2007. In the past year, GSA awarded the first governmentwide information technology contracts set aside for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses to 44 companies and added 700 businesses in that category to its vendor list, up from 100 in 2006.
Founded in 1949, GSA serves as a centralized procurement and property management agency for the federal government. GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 208,000 vehicles. GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 425 historic properties, and as manager of USA.gov, the official portal to federal government information and services. GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and E-Gov travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.
Did You Know? GSA's local Small Business Utilization offices are available to assist service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses throughout the contracting process.
Veteran business owners interested in working with GSA should contact the Small Business Utilization office for assistance.