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NEWS | New Support for Veteran-Owned Small Business Owners

From boots to business, NSBA is ready to support opportunities for all our servicemen and women.


With midterms this week, NSBA remembers the reason for this election season and is proud to recognize all veteran-run small businesses for their unique contribution during Small Business Veterans Week and throughout the year.

There are over 1.76 million veteran-owned businesses in­­ the U.S., and these businesses employ an estimated 4 million people.

In an effort to help maximize resources of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), recently, SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman announced the launch of SBA’s Veteran Small Business Certification, with plans to provide a one-year extension to firms verified under the Program.

Guzman said she envisions this certification to teach the “gold standard” in customer experience and provide a means of support for growing the nation’s base of veteran federal contractors, enabling better service to veteran small-business owners in their pursuit of federal procurement opportunities.

For some context, NSBA Board Member and Army Veteran Bill Belknap shared the following perspective on his experience as a Veteran small-business owner:

“As a Veteran of 20 years in the Army, I can vouch for the substantial benefits to being certified by the VA (and in the future, SBA) that have propelled the growth of my SDVOSB General Contracting Company. My company, AEONRG LLC started with utilizing my training and experiences I received in the military. In the last 10 years, AEONRG LLC has increased its contract award amounts 5x since first year of inception, received over 180 government contracts and facilitated the company stability recurring revenue from our prized federal government agency customers.”

SBA’s Veteran Small Business Program will officially launch this January, open for new applications at that time, and the Program will become the primary vehicle for handling certification for veteran-owned small businesses (VOBs), as well as service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs).

Moving away from other agencies and federal offices providing certification processes, VOSB and SDVOSB designations awarded under the SBA will be important classifications required to enable businesses to qualify for sole-source and set-aside federal contracting awards started by other federal Veterans’ programs.

Specifics of the Certification Program under the SBA are listed below.

The certification period will extend to four years on a one-time basis for firms verified by VA as of Jan. 1, 2023

Updates in the new program will include:

  • Firms verified by the VA Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) as of Jan. 1, 2023, will be automatically granted certification by SBA for the remainder of the firm’s eligibility period.

  • All firms verified by the VA as of the Jan. 1, 2023, transfer date will receive a one-year extension to their eligibility giving veterans an extra year to get recertified under the new SBA system.

  • The extension will allow SBA to process applications from new entrants into the program and grow the base of certified firms.

New applicants certified by SBA after Jan. 1, 2023, will receive the standard three-year certification period.

Along with the recertification extension, the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act grants a one-year grace period for self-certified SDVOSBs until Jan. 1, 2024.

  • During the grace period, businesses have one year to file an application for SDVOSB certification and may continue to rely on their self-certification to compete for non-VA SDVOSB set-asides.

  • Self-certified SDVOSBs that apply before the expiration of the one-year grace period will maintain eligibility until the SBA makes a final eligibility decision.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, both veteran and service-disabled veteran small business owners will need to be certified to compete for federal contracting set-asides, unless an application from a self-certified firm is pending an SBA decision.

For the latest information on the Veteran Small Business Certification program, visit here, or email

About the Center for Verification and Evaluation Transfer

This shift is a result of language in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 that officially requested that the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Verification and Evaluation, transfer to the SBA, effective Jan. 1, 2023.


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