Small businesses can be categorized based on their ownership.  Classifications include Minority Owned Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), 8(a), HubZone, and others.  Firms must complete a verification process in order to become certified within their classification, and may be designated as more than one category.  There are programs in place guiding government agencies to award these businesses a certain percentage of their contracts each year.  The purpose of these programs is to level the playing field by allowing small businesses which may not otherwise be able to compete with larger firms a chance to perform government contracts.  The percentage of contracts to be allotted depends on a number of factors, including the source of the contract’s funding.  For example, at least 3% of federal contracting dollars are earmarked to be awarded to SDVOSB firms each year.  As of April 1, 2016, all New York State agencies are mandated to include a 6% SDVOSB usage requirement on all contracts.  This means that the prime contractor would include an SDVOSB firm (or MBE, WBE, 8(a), HubZone, etc.) on their project team in order to meet the contracting goals.  In addition to the portions of contracts that are designated for SDVOSBs, there are also entire contracts that are SDVOSB set-aside, meaning that only SDVOSB certified firms can submit a proposal and be considered for the job.
 
Encorus Group is as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business at both the federal level (through the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Verification and Evaluation) and the New York State level (through the New York State Office of General Services Division of Service-Disabled Veterans’ Business Development).  According to the US Small Business Association, qualifications to be a verified SDVOSB include being a small business, be at least 51% owned and controlled by a service-disabled veteran, have a service-disabled veteran control operations and long-term decision making, and that veteran must have a service-connected disability.
 
This SDVOSB classification is an important part of Encorus’s identity and how we function as a business. These usage requirements allow us to team up with other firms and work on projects that we may not have been considered for as a singular small business. It also allows us to increase our participation in contracting opportunities and play a greater role in the state’s economy.  Partially as a result of our SDVOSB classification, Encorus has hired 26 new employees over the last two years to staff the projects we have been awarded, some of which were the result of the firm’s SDVOSB classification.
 
If you have a project that includes a SDVOSB requirement, contact Senior Marketing Coordinator Tara Lowry at (716) 592-3980, ext. 120 or tlowry@encorus.com  to help you reach that goal.