It’s no secret that veterans of the U.S. armed forces often have a tough time finding employment upon exiting the military, but according to Atlanta-area NPR station WABE, the unemployment rate is higher among veterans who have served in the years since September 11, 2001.
The good news is that the government is taking steps to help veteran-owned businesses (and other small businesses) win government contracts. Last month, the National Veterans Small Business Engagement convention was held in Atlanta, for the purpose of connecting veteran-owned businesses with federal agencies and larger businesses.
This gives business owners like Kurt Sobotka, who owns an IT, software development, and cyber security company, to connect directly with organizations who could benefit from his services. Because of the convention, Sobotka was able to pitch directly to RTI, which is an international research company.
“When veterans come back or get off active duty there are a lot of transitional issues for them to deal with,” Dr. Laura Strange, the director of clinical studies for RTI and veteran, told WABE. “For the federal government to have a program in place that supports small veteran businesses is really important to facilitate that transition.”
Last year, the 25% of businesses that attended the convention were able to secure more than $560 million in federal contracts.
“Now more than ever, small businesses are required to do more with less,” says Ken Silver, VP Sales & Marketing, Executive Business Services, Inc. “Making sure everyone understands the milestones and data points up front is critical to being both competitive and efficient during proposal generation. Also, having the right infrastructure can make or break your proposal. Companies with state-of-the-art back office systems are able to spend more time on analysis and less time number-crunching, giving them a clear advantage in the procurement process.”
In addition to attending conferences like the one in Atlanta, veteran-owned businesses may also benefit from using proposal software to assist in developing and managing proposals. Business owners can use the software to write proposals, develop presentations, document letters, contracts and quotes, and store all relevant information in an easy-to-use database.
Good news for small businesses also comes in the way of a proposition by the Small Business Administration for a new rule for the 2013 Defense Authorization Bill. According to Federal News Radio, the provisions would allow two or more small businesses to bid on contracts as one joint venture.