USDA ANNONUCES INITIATIVE TO AID SERVICE DISABLED VETERAN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced an initiative to increase the number of contracts USDA awards to disabled veterans who own small businesses, as part of President Bush's commitment to enhance their participation in federal contracting.
"USDA is eager to support disabled veterans who own small-businesses by working with them when USDA has a need their companies can fulfill," Johanns said. "It is certainly appropriate to do so considering that their service and sacrifice secured the system of government and freedoms we all enjoy."
Johanns has designated USDA's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization to serve as the lead for coordinating and implementing this USDA-wide effort.
Michael J. Harrison, Assistant Secretary for Administration, said, "We have developed a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Strategy to provide the formal direction and aggressive activities necessary to achieve our goal of awarding three percent of contracts to these businesses."
President Bush signed an executive order in Oct. 2004 ordering federal agencies to more effectively implement section 15 (g) of the Small Business Act, which establishes the goal of 3 percent participation by service disabled veteran-owned small businesses in federal contracting. Section 36 of the Act gives agency contracting officers the authority to reserve certain procurements for service disabled veterans who own small businesses.