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Isabella Casillas Guzman Offers Update on SBA’s Veteran Small Business Certification Program

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Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the Small Business Administration, shared updates on SBA’s new Veteran Small Business Certification Program, including plans to give a one-year extension to all veteran-owned small businesses verified by the Department of Veterans Affairs through the Center for Verification and Evaluation as of Jan. 1, 2023, to give companies enough time to be recertified under the SBA system.

SBA said Thursday new entrants certified by the agency after Jan. 1 will get the certification period of three years.

Adding this certification to SBA’s portfolio of capital, bonding, and contracting programs will enable us to better serve our veteran entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses through federal procurement opportunities,” Guzman said.

The fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act gives self-certified service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses a grace period of one year, which will run through Jan. 1, 2024.

Under the grace period, SBA said companies have one year to submit an SDVOSB certification application and may continue to use their self-certification to compete for contract opportunities set aside for non-VA SDVOSBs.

Self-certified SDVOSBs that file before the grace period expires will keep their eligibility until SBA makes a final decision on eligibility.

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, VOSBs and SDVOSBs are required to have certification to compete for set-aside contracts “unless an application from a self-certified firm is pending an SBA decision,” the SBA notice reads.