News Release on Businesses Owned by Disabled Veterans

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Disabled Veteran Advocacy Group Announced
Iraqi, Afghan Wounded Gain Business Voice

Washington, D.C. (MSP News Services) – March 16, 2011 – A group of disabled veteran business owners announced today the formation of a political action committee (PAC) to increase business opportunities for Service-Connected Veteran Small Business owners (SDVOSB).

Few employment opportunities exist for disabled veterans reintegrating the United States. Many have very little experience outside their military skills. VetBizFirst will work to open doors within the federal government arena for contract set-aside opportunities that wounded warriors have earned for deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The idea behind VetBizFirst is to increase federal business opportunities for these soldiers that they’ve earned,” said Lynn Lowder, a decorated combat disabled veteran who enlisted to serve in Vietnam. “The majority of federal agencies are nowhere near the 3% minimum in procurement opportunities for SDVOSB. Federal agencies simply ignore Public Law 106-50, the mandated guidelines that President Bill Clinton and the 106th Congress assured them they would have.”

VetBizFirst will track several key Congressional Committees, including the House Veterans Affairs (VA) Committee on Economic Opportunity, the House VA Committee on Contracting and Technology, the House Small Business Committee, The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the Government Accountability Office and the VA OIG.

“President Obama signed an Executive Order last April that directed the Small Business Administration to facilitate a Task Force that includes several major government agencies,” Maggie Bullard-Marshall noted. “They’re working on strategies to increase the 3% and hold agencies accountable that do not meet the minimum. We’ll work to shape the agenda.”

The VA developed Public Law 109-461, the Veterans Benefit, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006. The VA ignores its own mandate. “These honorable men and women have served our country, often with injury to themselves and sacrifices by their family. There is no group more deserving of contracting preference and priority than SDVOSB,” said Chet McClendon. “They deserve to have the law enforced to benefit their small businesses.”
For further information, contact Hardy Stone, 301-845-1330 [email protected]

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