Log in
Log in


Thursday, March 25, 2010 20:27 | Frank Mancini
FEDERAL DEFINITION: under Federal Law a VETERAN is any person, who served honorably on active duty in the armed forces of the United States. (Discharges marked GENERAL AND UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS also qualify.)

To this end those of us who own a business should not be classified a socio economic group at the convenience of those who would benefit by such classification and hence creating either disparity or friction amongst others who may indeed have such classification.

We are a group yes, a group that has already been defined and the definition speaks of an action and fulfillment of a contract, and after such fulfillment one earns the status of a Veteran. I understand that we must be careful on the choice of words and I believe we can, however not taking this opportunity to have this definition on the record could prove to be a mistake, it is my opinion that should this be achieved the Veteran community will stand to greatly benefit.

As you know this began when some in the community suggested that SDVOSBs should be placed in the same category as 8(a) firms, this sparked immediate disagreement in me and as I began to verbalize the reasons why Veterans should not be placed in the same category of any other socio-economic group I realized that we are not a socio-economic group. This term is used liberally by many and it has found itself in many government documents, this is our opportunity to set the record straight by following the meaning of word its true definition rather than the popular accepted meaning.

Below is just a very loose draft an initial response to those whom were either indifferent or wanted SDVOSB and VOB to be categorized as a socio-economic group. Please keep in mind that the draft you see below is just a quick and dirty response and that more work is needed. Defining Veteran Owned Small Businesses (VOSB) and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) as class of citizen rather than a socio-economic group, a group of individuals defined by their contract with their government administered and managed by the department of defense.

The reality is still before us and not improving, 26% of Veterans are unemployed, 41% of disabled Veterans are unemployed, and too many are homeless (25% of the homeless population) and of those who own small businesses they have to fight and struggle to have access to government contracting in a fair and competitive environment and on and on.

It is obvious that we have been defined by action to Second Class Citizenry.

We must shift the paradigm by defining for once and for all what a Veteran is and what a small business owned by a disable Veteran IS. Should this be done it will be used by many to make progress in the Veteran community for years to come and perhaps real change will take root, this is vital to the Veteran community.

The limitations of language are many and I will due my best to shine some light on what many of us desperately needed, we need a paradigm shift. Hopefully I will be successful to make these differences self-evident. I will begin by saying that we need the various federal, state agencies and large primes to adhere to the existing laws and regulation, this is key, since we are compounding the problem by thinking of solutions to federal contracting or the lack thereof for SDVOSBs and VOSBs when we are aware that the contracting community is ill informed, our current government in havoc and is suffering from the highest deficit and debt since 1776.

If the current laws were observed and the contracting community was following their own regulations, it would not be so bad would it? Yes we do need changes but let’s not re-write the book without first reading it. For now let’s concentrate on the laws, their enforcement and the impact of these laws on government contracting regulations!

The 8(a) program is a specific program that we do not want to either compete with or concern ourselves with. The 8(a) program is a Business Development Program, if a business needs development and qualifies to use the 8(a) program then fine, HOWEVER we should not apply this to SDVOSB, many SDVOSB do not need business development, they just need to be considered by the federal contracting community at large, like most of the SDVOSB we need equitable access to federal and state contracting and we can gain access at no one’s expense, plain and simple.

A paradigm shift is necessary, the SBA's 8(a) BD Program, named for a section of the Small Business Act, is a business development program created to help small disadvantaged businesses compete in the American economy and access the federal procurement market.

Service Disabled Veterans Owned Businesses are not claiming a disadvantage. Veterans are not a disadvantage socio-economic group!

Veterans have the EARNED RIGHT to equitable access, the EARNED RIGHT to access opportunities within the federal procurement market we are not asking to make special provisions or assistance to access. We are asking to LET US INTO THE DOOR!

There are many of us that have already demonstrated potential for success and do not need to be babysat by the SBA, we just need for the Federal Procurement Arena to Open Up to the Veteran Business Community so that we can maximize our success, that is all. We do not want to interfere with nor be concerned with the 8(a) programs or HUB-Zones or Women-Owned for that matter or with any other program addressing socio-economic groups.

As Veterans we ARE NOT socially disadvantaged, how can the same individuals that have preserved the freedom and civil liberties of this Country also be socially disadvantaged? (Please continue below it does make sense).

When analyzing the definition of socio economic status the variables affecting these are several: education, work experience, occupation and income or one’s family’s economic and social position relative to others, based on income, education, and occupation.

A Veteran transcends these, a Veteran defines or depicts anyone whom has honorably served in the Armed Forces and therefore EARNED THE RIGHT to access specific services, benefits, etc. reserved for the Earner of these benefits (the Veteran). Someone who willingly or acceptably (during the draft) has forfeited their civil liberties (military rule), followed orders without concern for their safety/life and for many of our sisters and brothers the proverbial blank check was and continues to be cashed as we celebrate their lives on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

It is true that an individual may be part of a specific socio-economic group and may also be a Veteran, but as a Veteran s/he has the EARNED RIGHT while as a non-veteran s/he has the GIVEN RIGHT.

For example a woman owned business in accordance with the designation from the SBA it is presumed to be Socially Disadvantaged. Now if that same woman volunteers for the Armed Forces at her honorable discharge she will be Veteran of the Armed Forces. As a woman she has more likely than not been subjected to social discrimination and be at a disadvantage.

Yes it is true that she is still a woman but she is also a Veteran and to presume that she will be disadvantaged because she is a Veteran is to presume that historically Veterans and women have suffered the same oppression and discrimination.

As Veterans we have been responsible for protecting the Nation and Earned certain Rights that no one else can claim unless they too have served the armed forces. As a woman her business have been Given the Right to apply for the 8(a) Busineess Development program, however as a Veteran she has Earned the Right to have equitable access to the federal procurement market.

A Military Veteran is manufactured and therefore an objective truism rather than a subjective presumption.

The assumption that a special socio-economic program should be created or adapted to SDVOSBs and VOSBs is very dangerous. Other than Vietnam historically Veterans have always occupied a special place in society, in every civilization Veterans have had a special place, a well regarded and respected place. To make Veterans a part of a program that addresses socio-economic disadvantaged groups is to speculate that Veterans have traditionally been discriminated upon and this is NOT TRUE.

The 8(a) program is designed to develop businesses that have traditionally experienced social discrimination and the government is basically saying that if the community and society is negative then this negative will be counter-balanced by having the US Government open up access to those who qualify as 8(a) firms.

The US Government has a moral and ethical obligation to open up access to Service-Disabled Owned Small Businesses and Veteran Owned Small Businesses.

The catalyst is not SOCIETAL, Veterans do not claim that society or the community is hampering their development or growth but ASSERTING a CLAIM that Veterans have EARNED THE RIGHT to enter into contractual agreements with the very same Corporation that they served to defend; the United States Government.

As you can see 8(a) are apples while SDVOSBs and VOSBs access to Federal, State and ANY Tax Payers’ derived contracting are oranges.

-- in progress
DOD Welcome home-small.jpg

A welcoming home for our Troops.

Welcoming home our men and women doesn't end after the crowd disperses, it MUST continue on for the life of the Veteran! They've served us, now we will serve them with programs that work so they reintegrate into society.

We are a national public benefit nonprofit organization that educates American Communities about best practices to serve Veterans.  We honor their service by empowering Veterans to apply their training and skills to successfully transition to productive careers and enterprises.

We provide free vocational training 24/7 to all of our members through our website, in addition to local events.  We believe the tenet that American Communities are the ultimate beneficiaries when Veterans claim their benefits and invest in productive endeavors.

The SWVBRC enlists the support of members of local Communities like you to increase Veteran awareness of the value of obtaining a VA card and receiving earned benefits.

Sponsorships, donations, volunteers and support from communities like yours enable us to reach out to Veterans and empower them to transition back into successful, productive enterprises that ultimately benefit all Americans and support future generations.

Subscribe to our Newsletter


The Internal Revenue Service has determined that Southwest Veterans' Business Resource Center, Inc. is an organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A donation to SWVBRC, Inc. is deductible to the extent permitted under law.

© 2008 - 2016 Southwest Veterans' Business Resource Center, Inc.

 Privacy Policy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work is posted under fair use without profit or payment as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and/or research.

Contact Us
Designed by The ARRC® & Powered by Wild Apricot.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software