VetLikeMe, Volume 4, No. 2

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Cohen Seglias Wins Big Case for Service-Disabled – Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

 

Return to PL 109-461 Debate?

 

By Edward T. DeLisle (Special to VetLikeMe)

 
(Vol 4, No.2 – April-May 2013) – For many Veterans and Service-Disabled Veterans attempting to do business with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the hope outlined in the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (the “Act”) has largely been elusive.
The Act called for the VA to give “priority to small business concern[s] owned and controlled by veterans” when soliciting work. As the program developed, it was left to the VA to devise a system to verify companies as veteran owned small businesses (“VOSBs”) and service-disabled veteran owned small businesses (“SDVOSBs”), the latter of which were to receive first priority in contracting opportunities with the VA. The verification system that took root in 2010 has frustrated many a veteran, as it has prevented legitimate companies from obtaining verified status and resulted in many others to lose their status. In an important decision published last week, which we argued, the Court of Federal Claims has attempted to right the ship.
Miles Construction, LLC v. United States, No. 12-597C (2013) involved a construction contract set aside for SDVOSBs. Our client, Miles, a verified SDVOSB, was the prospective awardee. A competitor protested the award, raising issues of control by the minority shareholder of Miles, a non-service disabled company. While the VA decided that the issues raised by the protestor had no merit, it nonetheless upheld the protest following an independent review of Miles’ governing documents. According to the VA, three provisions of Miles’ operating agreement violated the VA’s verification regulations. The most important provision involved a “right of first refusal.” That provision required the service-disabled veteran to offer the minority shareholders of Miles the right to purchase the veteran’s shares prior to any sale. The VA took the position that such a provision denied the service-disabled veteran unconditional ownership, a prerequisite to verification. On that basis, not only did the VA sustain the protest, eliminating Miles from competition, but it also removed Miles from its verified list of SDVOSB companies. Miles would not be eligible for any further contracts set aside for such concerns. Following our challenge of this decision on behalf of Miles, the court saw it differently.
The court determined that the VA’s interpretation of its own regulations was arbitrary and capricious. While the regulations did, in fact, require “unconditional ownership” by the service-disabled veteran, that requirement did not preclude standard “right of first refusal” language. The court concluded that such provisions fall within the ambit of “normal commercial practice” and do “not affect the veteran’s unconditional ownership.” Further, the court found that Miles was not provided with an adequate opportunity to respond to the allegations that led to the VA sustaining the protest. On this point, the court opined that “[a]n agency should not act without affording the entity whose award or projected award is protested with notice of an alleged defect and an opportunity to respond.” Calling such a position lacking in “basic procedural due process,” the Court held that the VA’s decision to sustain the protest was “plainly erroneous.”
Miles is a major victory for veterans and service-disabled veterans, who have been stung by a lack of common sense and fair play at the hands of the very agency that is supposed to be there to assist them. Many have questioned the VA’s position on “rights of first refusal,” including members of Congress. Now, a court has ruled that such provisions in an SDVOSB’s operating agreement cannot, in and of themselves, prevent one from being verified by the VA. The ruling makes practical sense and is certainly consistent with the governing regulations. As the decision is extremely important to SDVOSBs, expect to see further comment from us in the days and weeks to come.
Links in the News
http://tinyurl.com/a6m4f2s
Related Content:
http://tinyurl.com/bdoywnf
WASHINGTON — Even as it faces budget cuts and forced employee furloughs, the Pentagon is spending nearly a $1 billion a year on a program that sends unemployment checks to former troops who left the military voluntarily.
http://tinyurl.com/bghaz69
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SDVOSB Fraud: DOJ Alleges Non-SDVs Received $13 Million
by Steven Koprince
Two brothers fraudulently misrepresented themselves to be service-disabled veterans and received $13 million in VA SDVOSB set-aside awards, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.
The brothers, Raymond Testa and Gerald Testa, both of New York, were recently arrested and charged with major wire fraud. If convicted, they face penalties of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million.
According to the DOJ, in or around 2008, the brothers started a company and represented it as a SDVOSB. The company was ultimately awarded $13 million in VA SDVOSB set-asides.
However, the press release indicates, neither brother was a service-disabled veteran. ”The defendants stand accused of pretending to be disabled service veterans,” said the U.S. Attorney prosecuting them.
Like anyone else accused of a crime, the Testa brothers are presumed innocent and entitled to their day in court. But if they are found guilty, let’s hope that the judge throws the book at them.
After all, this isn’t a “gray area” case involving one of the finer points of SDVOSB eligibility. If the allegations are true, the brothers knew full well that they weren’t eligible–and deprived legitimate veterans of millions in contracting revenue.
Stay tuned.
How many hats can an OSDBU director wear?
By Matthew Weigelt, FCW, 3/27/2013
Tom Leney, executive director of VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization is on the hot seat after two House subcommittee chairmen took the Department of Veterans Affairs to task for not complying with small-business statutes.
VA has what Reps. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) and Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) consider an inappropriately dual-hatted official: Tom Leney is executive director of the department’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), a job that also involves overseeing the VA organization that verifies companies’ ability to compete for contracts.
However, in a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, Hanna and Coffman wrote that the Small Business Act requires the OSDBU director to carry out that job exclusively and not hold any other title or position.
They noted that the department is required to verify the status of small businesses owned by veterans, including those owned by service-disabled veterans, and that VA has assigned those functions to the Center for Veterans Enterprise, which falls within Leney’s purview.
Although the act allows for adding duties if they are necessary, Hanna and Coffman wrote that Leney’s dual responsibility “belies the inherent conflict between the advocacy role assigned to the OSDBU and the auditing function now associated with CVE.”
Hanna is chairman of the Small Business Committee’s Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee, and Coffman is chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.
At a joint hearing on March 19 to examine disparities between the VA’s and the Small Business Administration’s contracting programs for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, Leney said he could perform both sets of duties because he is ultimately an advocate for veterans.
“I can do both because the act of verifying [companies] enabled 5,400 veteran-owned small businesses to participate in a program that has distributed more than $3.8 billion” in contracts, he told the subcommittees. “This is real money to real vets, and it is a program that benefits veterans….
So I personally do not have any issue with a conflict of interest because we are helping vets.”
In the letter, Hanna and Coffman asked Shinseki to document how the department intends to achieve compliance with the Small Business Act. VA officials had no comment on the letter but plan to formally respond to the subcommittees.
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Editorial
by Hardy Stone:
Since the Distinguished Warfare Medal is under scrutiny…
VetLikeMe is dedicated solely to service disabled veteran owned business. As a disabled veteran, I advocate for other veterans who were injured in the line of duty. Most every VSO and Purple Heart recipient have given their voice on the DWM. I want to give mine. My opinion does not necessarily reflect those of our sponsors.
I was a ‘Cold Warrior.’ In other words, I served in the U.S. Army right after Vietnam but before the collapse of the Soviet Union. As an infantryman, I thought the Purple Heart was the most honorable decoration, one that meant valor, guts, courage under fire and the willingness to sacrifice everything for country and unit. And because most recipients expect nothing in return for their demonstrations of ultimate allegiance, I looked at the Purple Heart with jaw-dropping awe.
Sandwiched between Vietnam and the first Gulf War, I never experienced the true horror of the battlefield, the personal devastation, the loss of fellow soldiers. I was lucky I missed out, and though we train for battle and welcome it, to escape it is a blessing. Vietnam vets agree, as do veterans of all foreign wars. There is nothing quite like the sweat, the fear, the nerves, the tension and the guilt of battle I’m sure.
The Distinguished Warfare Medal (DWM) is a United States military decoration announced by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on February 13, 2013. It is the first American combat-related award to be created since the Bronze Star Medal in 1944. The new blue, red and white-ribboned medal will be awarded to individuals for “extraordinary achievement” related to a military operation occurring after September 11, 2001. It is intended to recognize military achievement in cyber warfare or combat drone operations for actions that do not include valor in combat.
Digging further, the citation includes language of “remote activity” in warfare, a far cry from the screaming of incoming 500 pound shells or 50 caliber rounds whizzing by the ear. Sitting at a computer monitor and fighting a battle via digital signals is the wave of the future of battles and combat operations. Getting soldiers away from hot metal and flesh-tearing explosions is what we all wish for, and one that should be recognized as heroic.
But it’s not nearly as heroic as the Purple Heart or the Bronze Star. DWM would take priority over these citations of valor and rest just beneath the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Veterans Groups and Purple Heart recipients are not happy. Eugene Ogozalek put it this way :
“DWM diminishes the ultimate sacrifices of those who did not survive to hold the sacred Purple Heart Medal in their hands. What valor, what sacrifice, what courage has one displayed in the Distinguished Warfare Medal?”
E.M. Ogozalek : India Co., 3rd Bn / 4th Marines / 3rd MARDIV , Vietnam 67’-68’ : MOS 0311, Combat Wounded, Purple Heart Recipient
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Right of First Refusal
By Marc Goldschmitt
What impact does it have on a Veteran Owner’s ability to sell his/her ownership interest? The recent CoFC case (Miles) effectively threw out CVE’s standard for evaluating unconditional ownership and raises the question of how to treat “Right of First Refusal.” Since this may bring into question many of CVE’s denials, I’m sure that CVE may seek an appeal, particularly since a number of these denials has resulted in lost contracts as well as lost opportunities.
My purpose is not to examine the CoFC decision that provides a definition of “ownership benefits” and constrasts these to “ownership interests” but to look at the concept of “Right of First Refusal” and how it affects a veteran’s ability to sell to anyone at anytime.
Right of First Refusal (ROFR), defined
First, let’s define “Right of First Refusal.” Two definitions of ROFR from the web are provided
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_of_first_refusal
http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/rightoffirstrefusal.asp#axzz2LH1WPlXx
Both have in common that the “holder” of the first right of refusal can effectively hold the seller hostage, so if language in an operating agreement or bylaws invokes this definition, perhaps, it limits a veteran’s ability to sell at anytime to anyone.
Right of First Offer (ROFO)
Right of first offer means that as a veteran owner, I must first offer any ownership interest to my partners before I open negotiations with a third party. Note that there is not an obligation to sell to my partner only an obligation to negotiate in good faith. I just have to notify them and I can open negotiations with third parties at anytime. This does not create any obstacles to my selling at anytime to anyone. In fact, it helps create an environment that will help me to receive more for my ownership interests.
Another ROFR Variant
A typical ROFR variant is my ability to negotiate with third parties, establish a term sheet, but before I can sell to the third party I must offer it to my partner(s) who will have, typically, 30 days to agree to the same terms. If they pass or take longer than 30 days, I am free to close with my third party buyer.
So, What’s the Impact?
A Simplified M&A Timeline
To determine the impact, it helps to lay out a timeline of actions and milestones for the buying/selling of a company. These are the basic steps and there are many variants.
Decide to sell
Develop company valuation
Engage a broker/agent
Search for potential buyers
Screen buyers
Buyers perform due diligence
Negotiate term sheet
Close the deal.
What if my partner doesn’t have some sort of ROFR?
When performing due diligence, what happens when my potential buyer discovers a hostile partner that believes we are out to screw him, may proceed with protracted litigation and will probably be a royal pain? Will that enhance the salability or value of my ownership interest? Or will it scuttle my ability to sell at anytime to anyone?
Bottom Line
Bottom line is that selling or transferring my ownership interest is a long, complex process. Having a well crafted Buy/Sell agreement, which may include a ROFO or ROFR, helps me in my quest to sell to anyone at anytime. It also eases the path to obtaining resources, capital, etc. So why would something so good for business be a disqualifier to doing business? That’s a question for CVE.
VetLikeMe is published bi-monthly by:
Editor and publisher: Hardy Stone
Marketing Director: David Coakley
Contributing Writers: Steven Koprince, Marc Goldschmitt, Edward T. DeLisle
[email protected]
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VLM has featured unvarnished national news and editorial opinion concerning the SDVOSB community since Nov. 2009. From the beginning we’ve operated in the red, but this publication will always be free.
We hope VLM keeps the SDVOSB community informed so that decision makers will provide increased federal contracting opportunities for those of us injured while serving our country.
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Editorial opinions expressed in VetLikeMe do not necessarily reflect the views of our sponsors.
Joint House Hearing Clarifies Difficulties for SDVOSB Certification
Single Verification Process Encouraged, but Unlikely
(SDVOSB New Services, Washington DC 3/19/2013) – At a joint hearing of the HVAC Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (O&I) and the HSBC Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, Mr. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Chair of the O&I Subcommittee, opened the hearing, titled “Consistently Inconsistent: Challenges for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.”
Chairman Hanna expressed a central concept within the small business contracting arena: “We need to give Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business (SDVOSB) one clear set of guidelines. [It seems…] SBA has not done enough to prevent fraud and VA has done too much.”
The joint hearing came about because of the growing confusion and often contradictory rules set by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Veterans Administration (VA), particularly within the VA, where certification can require multiple submissions to the Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) before approval of an SDVOB application. SBA, conversely, relies on a ‘self-certification’ system. Self-certification was roundly criticized in 2009 by the House Small Business Committee of the 111th Congress.
Mr. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Chair of the HSBC Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce added: “VA’s different interpretation causes SDVOSB to qualify under one agency but not another.”
Panel One included: Joe Wynne, VET-Force; Davy Leghorn, Economic Division Director, American Legion; Jonathan T. Williams, Esq. Piliero Mazza, PLLC, Washington, DC; and Marc Goldschmitt, PMP, CEO, GOLDSCHMITT AND ASSOCIATES, LLC
Panel one testified before the committees on the statutory, regulatory and interpretive differences in the two programs and how these regulatory differences affect SDVOSB. Mr. Williams indicated that CVE “seems to operate on a ‘deny first, ask questions later’ approach” to the SDVOSB certification process.
Panel two included Mr. William Shear, Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment, U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC; Mr. John Shoraka, Associate Administrator, Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration and Mr. Tom Leney, Executive Director, Veterans and Small Business Programs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC.
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (MI-11) asked questions regarding the merging of the SBS and VA systems: “It just makes sense that when a veterans application comes to SBA, for SBA to go to VA to confirm veteran or SDVOSB status, and then official certification would be finished. “Why do we have separate programs?”
Mr. Shoraka added, “Expanding VA’s verification program to support the government-wide SDVOSB contracting program would require VA to improve its verification process and address a number of operational and policy issues.”
Tom Leney, Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business (OSDBU) delivered testimony on the continuous improvements of the certification program and outlined the differences between the SBA and VA certification programs. At one point in his testimony, Leney referred to a GAO report that VA was observing in efforts to improve the certification program.
Mr. Ralph Baxter, an SDVOSB out of Frederick, MD, who attended the hearing, had this response to Mr. Leney’s claim that VA was following the guidance of the GAO: “How can the VA observe one GAO decision yet ignore at least two dozen GAO sustained protests in favor of SDVOSB regarding its Veterans First program?”
Collaboration and cooperation was a central theme. SBA has developed a data system to handle set-aside programs, and the suggestion surfaced that the agencies combine efforts. By citing statistics on the number of veteran applications, reconsiderations and appeals, Mr. Leney, indicated that the VA certification process could overwhelm SBA.
Written testimony was issued for the record to the Committees:
Panel 1:
Mr. Joe Wynn
http://tinyurl.com/d6zu7xt
Mr. Davy Leghorn
http://tinyurl.com/d754rlq
Mr. Marc Goldschmitt
http://tinyurl.com/c6dgum4
Mr. Jonathan T. Williams
http://tinyurl.com/conj3yl
Panel 2
Mr. William Shear, U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC
http://tinyurl.com/d77vrrn
Mr. A. John Shoraka, Associate Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
http://tinyurl.com/d7km97p
Mr. Tom Leney, Director, Small Business Programs, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC
http://tinyurl.com/c4ov2uw
Programs for ‘Younger’ Veterans Proposed
Public and Private Employment Remedies Sought
SDVOSB News Services—The job problems for younger vets continue despite a wide range of private and public efforts. The unemployment rate for veterans between 18 and 24 exceeded 20 percent last year. It was also in double digits for those 25-34.
Some of the employment boosts for veterans that government has attempted include: Under the guidance of Senate Veterans Committee Chair Patty Murray, Congress approved tax credits for companies that hire veterans. Most reports give mixed results on the “Vow to Hire Veterans Act.” But the jury is still out.
Federal agencies have reportedly “stepped up” their preferential hiring of vets. This tactic was first mentioned with PL 106-50, and mandated that federal agencies devote 3% of their annual procurement budgets to contracts with SDVOSB, either prime or subcontract. This gateway legislation gained renewed vigor with Executive Order 13-360. However, few federal agencies have ever met their 3% rate, and the SBA, tasked to track agency performance under this initiative, develops an annual ‘SBA Scorecard’ that tallies contract expenditures that are awarded to set-aside contracting groups. Oddly, SDVOSB has typically ranked dead last. As a policing agency of the federal government, SBA could sue agencies that continuously fall short. We’ve hoped for decent results under this type of federal action and mandate, but it has had little or no effect on hiring SDVOSB in the aggregate.
Senator Max Baucus introduced S. 1154: “Honoring Promises to Service-Disabled Veterans Act of 2011” required transparency for Executive departments in meeting the Government-wide goals for contracting with small business concerns owned and controlled by SDVOSB. That bill went nowhere.
Though thousands of returning younger veterans have taken advantage of generous educational benefits instead of entering the job market right away, every major element of the American military has pulled back funding for these worthwhile benefits because of looming sequestration budget cuts.
Introduced by Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC), The “Careers for Veterans Act” would require the Director of Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to coordinate with federal agencies and departments to hire 10,000 veterans to fill existing vacancies, utilizing the Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) authority over the next five years.
In addition, the “Careers for Veterans Act” makes licenses and credentials in many industries more accessible. This bill will help our nation’s veterans and their families by opening up career opportunities for them without adding to the national deficit.
The bill would also direct individual states to establish a program to administer examinations to each veteran seeking a license or credential without requiring that they undergo training or apprenticeship. If a veteran receives a satisfactory score on completion of the examination and have at least 10 years of experience in a military occupational specialty that is similar to a civilian occupation for which the state requires a license or credential, the veteran qualifies for certification/licensure. This Act provides assistance from certified SDVOSB/VOSB on successful ways to navigate VA’s SDVOSB verification process.
But it’s the private sector that has gained the most attention and traction. Companies such as Wal-Mart, General Electric and many others announced programs designed to hire more veterans. Organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have helped put on hundreds of job fairs around the company.
The enforcement of Veterans Administration PL 109-461 could do great things for the unemployment situation for returning vets. Veterans owned businesses hire veterans. The more business awarded to SDVOSB and VOSB, the less veteran unemployment. ~~~
After publishing VetLikeMe for more than three years, I decided—for my own mental health – that I needed to upgrade the news platform and try to run with the big dogs. Fortunately, along came Mr. David Coakley, who guided me into the digital age — with much more to offer SDVOSB. VLM’s website, ‘vetlikeme.org’ is becoming a site that is hard to beat in breaking news regarding veteran business owners.
Readers recently received a request from VLM to subscribe; I hope you will. There are more than 7000 veterans from across the nation on our mailing list. VLM will continue to be a bi-monthly email publication, but our web site will be updated continuously. I hope this helps your business, and I hope it helps mine.
David Coakley is the owner of GovCon, a network of web sites that concentrates on government contracting. Thanks to those SDVOSB who has given their time, energy and laughs. Keep moving. Airborne!
Hardy
Senate Votes Against Cuts to Disabled Veteran Benefits
from Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs News Release
WASHINGTON, March 22 – The Senate tonight voted to block cuts in benefits for Social Security and disabled veterans.
The amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) put the Senate on record against changing how cost-of-living increases are calculated in a way that would result in significant cuts.
“The time has come for the Senate to send a very loud and clear message to the American people: We will not balance the budget on the backs of disabled veterans who have lost their arms, their legs and their eyesight defending our country. We will not balance the budget on the backs of the men and women who have already sacrificed for us in Iraq and Afghanistan, nor on the widows who have lost their husbands in Iraq and Afghanistan defending our country,” Sanders said.
The amendment opposed switching from the current method of measuring inflation to a so-called chained consumer price index. President Barack Obama favors a chained CPI as part of what the White House calls a “grand bargain” that Obama hopes to reach with congressional Republicans.
The proposed change would affect more than 3.2 million disabled veterans receiving disability compensation benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans who started receiving VA disability benefits at age 30 would have their benefits reduced by $1,425 at age 45, $2,341 at age 55 and $3,231 at age 65. Benefits for more than 350,000 surviving spouses and children who have lost a loved one in battle also would be cut. Dependency Indemnity Compensation benefits already average less than $17,000 a year.
More than 55 million retirees, widows, orphans and disabled Americans receiving Social Security also would be affected by the switch to a chained CPI. That figure includes 9 million veterans with an average yearly benefit of about $15,500. A veteran with average earnings retiring at age 65 would get nearly a $600 benefit cut at age 75 and a $1,000 cut at age 85. By age 95, when Social Security benefits are probably needed the most, that veteran would face a cut of $1,400 – a reduction of 9.2 percent.
A chained CPI would cut Social Security benefits for average senior citizens who are 65 by more than $650 a year by the time they are 75 years old, and by more than $1,000 once they reach 85.
Groups supporting Sanders include AARP, the AFL-CIO, National Organization for Women, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS and others.
Sanders is chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the founder of the Defending Social Security Caucus.~~~
State Activity
Maryland
Military veterans see both promise and potential pitfalls in a new Prince George’s County law that includes veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned companies in its Minority Business Enterprise program.
http://www.gazette.net/article/20130201/NEWS/130209837/1033/prince-george-x2019-s-adds-veterans-to-mbe-program&template=gazette
Massachusetts
Governor Deval Patrick signed an executive order to help small businesses owned by disabled veterans increase access to contracts for public projects in the areas of construction, design and goods…
http://www.mass.gov/governor/legislationeexecorder/executiveorder/executive-order-no-546.html http://bostonherald.com/business/business_markets/2013/03/order_aids_mass_disabled_veteran_businesses
http://www.wbur.org/2013/03/10/disabled-veterans-businesses
http://roslindale.patch.com/articles/rush-joins-patrick-to-help-disabled-veteran-owned-small-businesses-6e63c703
Pennsylvania
A pair of Cranston legislators have introduced companion bills that would give a boost to businesses owned by disabled veterans. The bills would waive corporate filing fees and the business corporations tax for businesses whose majority owners are veterans with service-related disabilities.
http://www.johnstonsunrise.net/stories/Lombardi-and-Ucci-bills-support-veteran-owned-businesses-,80081?category_id=4&town_id=2&sub_type=stories
Washington
A bill that would ensure veteran-owned businesses are recognized and designated as such in communities statewide passed the state House of Representatives March 13, the final day for bills to be passed out of the House to be considered by the Senate.
http://www.thesubtimes.com/veteran-owned-businesses-would-be-designated-under-measure-co-sponsored-by-oban/
Indiana
A Republican state senator wants each state agency to set aside 10% of its contracts each year for veteran-owned small businesses, a move supporters say the will help reduce veteran unemployment.
http://www.nipr.fm/post/lawmakers-hope-boost-veteran-owned-businesses
http://tinyurl.com/cydbty4
Texas
Austin—Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Council member Chris Riley have sponsored an item that would direct staff to include veteran-owned businesses in the disparity study conducted by the city.
http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2012/11/07/city-considering-aid-for-veteran.html
Connecticut
NORWALK — Republican and Democratic leaders scraped politics and joined together to laud new legislation Tuesday designed to help veterans readjust to civilian life and ensure their sacrifices in battle will not be marred.
http://tinyurl.com/cphnk6x
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VetLikeMe.org Updated Continuously
Believe me, we understand that running a business is straight-up tough. I’ve been producing VetLikeMe for 3 1/2 years, and I know it’s wracking. I don’t know of any other SDVOSB in the journalism/news distribution business, so I can’t really comment how rough it’s been for any NAICS codes but mine.
I don’t suggest an investment in advertising unless you’ve got a bankroll to support promotion and other ancillary items that don’t really effect overhead. For those who do have nickels and dimes to promote their business, here’s the deal:
Sponsorship allows us to deliver VetLikeMe free to our subscribers. We are the only national news publication devoted to Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. We publish bi-monthly to more than 7,o00 subscribers and update our website continuously.
Monthly sponsorship rates are as follows:
All VLM sponsors receive advertisement space in our bi-monthly VetLikeMe publication delivered to over 7000 subscribers, as well as on our website. In addition, sponsors are listed in the sidebar of every page of our website and on our ‘Sponsors” page. Sponsorship level determines ad sizes and placements. VLM currently has space available for the following online banner ad sizes: 728 x 90 (header or following post), 250 x 250 (sidebar). Ad sizes in the print version can be full page, half page (top or bottom), or quarter page.
Placement is flexible and rates vary accordingly. SDVOSBs receive discounted rates so please be sure to check the appropriate box when submitting the form on vetlikeme.org
As of Mar 30th there are over 6,500 subscribers on our email list, website traffic is ~2,000 unique visitors and ~10,000 page views a month. Everything we post is tweeted and put on Facebook, so the link to your advertisement can make it all over the world. The website traffic is rapidly rising.
$50 – Business will be listed on all pages of our website in the sidebar (name hyperlinked to your website). Business with logo will be displayed on our Sponsors page. $100 – All of the above plus listed on the email that goes out to subscribers. $200 – All of the above plus a 250×250 banner ad rotating on website in sidebar in “Featured Sponsors” section above the fold. $500 – All of the above plus 728×90 banner ad rotating on website in header and below posts on all pages plus a 250×250 banner ad rotating in the sidebar on every page.
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