Federal Contracting (Procurement)

Assess Inclusion for Vets and Others with Disabilities

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Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) offers the following comments concerning federal procurement/contracting policy as it affects veterans and other people with disabilities. PVA is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization representing veterans with spinal cord injuries and/or diseases. Our comments follow below.

Despite programs to promote entrepreneurship and business ownership for veterans and veterans with disabilities, BLS data indicate only 2.6 percent of veterans with a service-connected disability were self-employed compared to 7.3 percent of veterans with no disability. The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Advocacy should be asked to document the number of small businesses owned by veterans with disabilities that are served by SBA's existing small business development programs including: PRIME, the 7[a] loan program, micro-loan direct and guarantee loan programs, and the 8[a] program. Under the Small Business Act, each federal agency is expected to target a percentage of its contracts and subcontracts to small, disadvantaged businesses, women-owned businesses, service-disabled veteran owned businesses, HUBZone small businesses, and other small businesses. Disaggregating this data by gender, sexual orientation, period of military service, race/ethnicity, rural/urban/suburban status, and other demographic factors might help to identify underserved populations.

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Idea No. 276