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SBA announces updates for Veteran Small Business Certification Program

By Stephanie Meador, posted Nov 9, 2022 on

Photo courtesy of the SBA

On Nov 3, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration announced updates to the planned launch of the SBA’s new Veteran Small Business Certification Program.

Included in these updates was an announcement that Guzman intends to grant a one-year extension to firms previously verified by the Department of Veterans Affairs’s Vets First Verification Program through the Center for Verification and Evaluation as of the Jan. 1, 2023 transfer date.

North Carolina Military Business Center Program Manager for Veteran-Owned Business Development Fran Perez-Wilhite spoke with Greater Fayetteville Business Journal to answer some questions about this new Veteran Small Business Certification Program.

According to Perez-Wilhite, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 officially requested that the current VA Verification Program, handled by the Center for Verification & Evaluation, be transferred and administered solely by the SBA as a certification as of 1 Jan 2023. The CVE personnel will transfer to the SBA as well to handle the certification process.

The end goal of the SBA Veteran Small Business Certification Program is to increase Veteran-Owned Small Business and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business participation in federal contracting.

“We would like to thank SBA Administrator Guzman for granting a one-time, one-year certification extension to current VOSB and SDVOSB businesses verified by VA’s Vets First Verification Program.  It’s not only the right thing to do but it is also the sensible course of action as well.  It enables the VOSBs and SDVOSBs already VA-verified to continuously compete for sole source and set-aside federal contracts without interruption. It also allows the SBA to concentrate on new applications during the changeover,” said Perez-Wilhite.

A key difference between the new program and the former is that the VETS First Verification program only applied to VOSBs and SDVOSBs competing for set-aside VA Contracts only. The new Veterans SB Certification Program will certify those SDVOSBs competing for set-aside contracts for the other 23 federal agencies as well, according to Perez-Wilhite. However, at this time, there are no set-aside contracts outside of VA for VOSBs, only SDVOSBs.

Perez-Wilhite also shared that, when considering pursuing this certification, it is important to understand that the benefit is to be eligible to compete for VOSB and SDVOSB sole source and set-aside contracts. Additionally, it communicates to the federal government, prime contractors and potential teaming partners that you have been vetted and are an ongoing/existing business concern with a high probability to fulfill a contract properly.

In North Carolina, Perez-Wilhite shared that there are over 7,600 active and 4,600 inactive VOSBs and SDVOSBs combined registered in from North Carolina. This means that these businesses are 51 percent or more operated and controlled by Veterans or service-disabled Veterans.

Another perk of the new program is that it will be a benefit for business owners desiring to certify for multiple certifications such as women-owned small businesses. Perez-Wilhite confirmed that business owners will no longer have to apply multiple times to different entities and/or resubmit much of the same documentation over and over. Their information will now be stored in the SBA’s new platform: MY SBA which will allow for all set-aside certification applications to be accessed through only one source.

In terms of getting involved with this new program, Perez-Wilhite informed GFBJ that Veteran business owners can refer to, their local SBA District office or the NC Small Business and Technology Development Center at  Additionally, Veteran business owners can contact Fran Perez-Wilhite, 704.806.6858 or All of these resources are free to access.

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