Is it really veteran-owned?

July 29, 2011
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Too many small-business owners are claiming status as veterans or disabled vets, the Army Times reports, so the Veterans Affairs Department is investigating.

The problem is big. More than three-quarters of businesses claiming the status were problematic, the government said, with an initial check suggesting at least 1,400 businesses falsely received more than $500 million in contracts set aside for vets.

The main problem is contracts subbed out to non-veterans. But other issues were uncovered, like a “disabled” vet who was discharged from the Marines after being injured in a football game. He served for a mere five weeks.

New verification systems might be helping, but the department won’t know more until it digs deeper.

How do you feel about set-aside policies like veteran-owned companies, or minority- and women-owned companies? Are fraud or even simply misunderstandings as rampant as the Veteran Affairs probe suggests?
 

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  • Indiana is NOT Veteran Friendly
    I don't doubt that there's a problem - especially with so many Federal contracts in the works. However, we don't have legislation in Indiana that builds a preference to Veteran-owned businesses. It's so bad, in fact, that Vetrepreneur magazine has called Indiana 'totally vetrepreneur-unfriendly'. I would encourage businesses to verify the business through NaVOBA (http://www.navoba.com/). And I'd encourage IBJ to do a story on how Indiana doesn't give any preference to Veteran-owned small businesses.
    • Gov't contract for DAVs
      Can you tell me where to sign up for small business DAV contracts for services I offer.

      Thank you,
      Bob
    • an actual vet
      I am a vet currently in Iraq I have been looking for jobs that are vet friendly in Indianapolis for weeks now and I can't find one. I feel ashamed that the city I love can't even help me get a job in the country myself and my wife protected in war torn counrties more then once.
    • Wife of veteran-business owner
      As a wife of a veteran who owns his own security company here in Indianapolis, it saddens me that people would actually claim their business was veteran-owned when that is not necessarily case. My husband was in the US Marines for 8 years, and once his contract was up he was honorably discharged with one Iraq tour under his belt. Since he was trained in electronics and had experience overseas, he felt a calling to continue protecting his fellow America’s on the home front, which lead to starting Morrison Fire & Security. In his third year of business providing residential and commercial security systems, camera systems, etc to all of greater Indiana- he finds his main competition being the larger national companies. To hear that his competition becomes even more difficult because some people are falsely claiming their business is vet-owned, is shameful. I say this not only because of the dishonesty, but more because it’s a disgrace to those who have nobly served years in the military and put themselves in harm’s way while overseas. I hope that a system is created to rectify this situation of falsely listed businesses because I know that my husband is one of those veteran’s whose businesses is affected by those committing fraud by falsely listing their business as veteran-owned.

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