Wednesday, August 17, 2011

VA Opens Small Business Conference in New Orleans

Government Leaders and Procurement Specialists On Hand for

Largest Nationwide Conference of Its Kind

WASHINGTON - The National Veterans Small Business Conference and Expo in
New Orleans is underway. Hosted by VA for the first time, it is 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. The conference
runs through Thursday.

"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 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 offers 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 also have an exceptional opportunity to network via the
VetGovPartner platform that enables 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 also offers 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 provides 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 are
on-site to assist firms to initiate verification applications, and to
provide updates on status of applications in process.

The conference learning sessions are 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 are attending 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

A video news release about the conference can be viewed on YouTube at

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