Monday, July 25, 2011

VA Preparing to Open Small Business Conference

Government Leaders and Procurement Specialists Lining Up for Largest
Nationwide Conference of Its Kind

WASHINGTON (July 25, 2011) - The upcoming National Veterans Small
Business Conference and Expo, Aug.15-18 in New Orleans is taking shape.
Hosted by VA for the first time, it will be the largest nationwide
conference of its kind focused on helping Veteran-owned and
service-disabled Veteran-owned businesses succeed in winning federal
contracts and expanding their businesses.

"This conference offers a new approach to providing Veteran-owned
businesses and service-disabled Veteran-owned businesses the access and
tools they need to thrive in the Federal marketplace," said Eric K.
Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. "Our primary goal is to help
more Veterans start and grow their own businesses."

In addition to Secretary Shinseki and other senior VA leaders,
conference speakers will also include Jane Lute, Deputy Secretary for
the Department of Homeland Security, and Frank Kendall, Principal Deputy
Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology.

The conference will offer valuable insight to assist both new and
seasoned Veteran-owned and service-disabled Veteran-owned small
businesses to succeed.  More than 100 sessions will address a range of
topics, including branding, marketing, management, financing and
business opportunities within the federal government as well as how to
secure loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and its new
Express & Pilot Programs, which offer streamlined and expedited loan
procedures for certain borrowers such as Veterans.

Participants will also have an exceptional opportunity to network via
the VetGovPartner platform that will enable them to view extensive
business profiles of all participants at the conference as well as to
identify business opportunities associated with the more than 200
government procurement decision makers in attendance.

The conference will also offer on-site assistance to Veterans and
Veteran business owners on how to become eligible for VA's Vets First
Contracting Program.

For those Veterans or Veterans-owned businesses new to the process, the
conference will provide a learning session that explains current
requirements to become verified accompanied by lessons learned and tips
to help applicants navigate the process.  In addition, VA staff will be
on-site to assist firms to initiate verification applications, and to
provide updates on status of applications in process.

The conference learning sessions will be targeted at a variety of
businesses--from new business owners to well-established Veteran-owned
businesses looking to expand opportunities or increase market share.

Additionally, the state directors of VA from 10 states will attend to
share their 'best practices' on Veterans-owned business development with
conference attendees.

The National Veterans Small Business Conference and Expo is open to both
government and non-government personnel.  For more information and to
register for the conference, go to

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