(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – In recognition of Veterans Day, Rep. Trey Hollingsworth is introducing the Investing in Veteran Entrepreneurial Talents (VETs) Act to support service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and increase economic opportunity for veterans.
The Investing in VETs Act raises the current federal government contracting goal for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) from 3% to 5%, bringing it into parity with woman-owned small businesses (WOSBs) and socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses (SDBs). To ensure we continue to root out waste in federal government spending, the Investing in VETs Act also includes a certification protocol so the federal government – and, ultimately, taxpayers – can rest assured that procurement goals are resulting in real opportunities for our service-disabled veterans.
“America’s aim should always be to empower Americans to succeed. Our veterans, and especially those disabled in their service, should have the opportunity to build a bright future for themselves, and I am proud to create more opportunities for them by asking the federal government to eliminate the disparities in purchasing goals,” said Rep. Hollingsworth. “This is about our country championing opportunities for those who defend it.”
Rep. Hollingsworth was made aware of the discrepancy between the federal government contracting goals for SDVOSBs and other contracting categories during a meeting with Eric Hedrick from Jeffersonville, IN. The Investing in VETs Act was drafted by Hollingsworth in consultation with Eric Hedrick and other service-disabled veterans in response to this discrepancy.
“As a service-disabled veteran-owned small business owner myself, I appreciate Representative Hollingsworth’s willingness to introduce the Investing in VETs Act on behalf of veterans, “said Eric Hedrick. “This legislation will allow veterans, injured while defending freedom, the opportunity to work with the very government they volunteered to serve. The Investing in VETs Act is a great step in the right direction to show appreciation to those who made the commitment to our country and to honor their ongoing, innate commitment to continuing that service.”
Congress first enacted a procurement goal for small business contracts in 1988. Since then, Congress has outlined specific categories to focus on with regard to small business contracting, including service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. To date, over twenty-five thousand service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses have registered with the federal government as having an interest in federal contracting.