Each fiscal year (FY), the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), as part of the Small Business Outreach Program, conducts approximately ten sessions of 15-minute pre-arranged meetings with small. companies. VOS provides a platform for small businesses to discuss their capabilities, learn about DHS procurement and meet with large businesses to discuss subcontracting and partnership opportunities. We reserve four sessions for women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, small disadvantaged (including 8(a)) and HUBZone small businesses. These Vendor Outreach Sessions (VOS) are conducted by DHS Small Business Specialists (SBS) from each operational contracting component and large businesses (“Counselors”). The next DHS VOS is December 15, 2022, and is open to all small businesses. Reference to the DHS VOS FY 2023 schedule to view or download the calendar and the Small Business Vendor Outreach Sessions’ Instructions carefully.
Effective October 1, 2022 (fiscal year 2023 VOS), there are significant changes to the VOS program:
- It matches small businesses with consultants by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes or core competencies. There is no longer a “first come, first serve” approach to VOS meetings.
- After being matched by the scheduling system, small businesses must request meetings with the advisors. You can open up to three business days after each VOS.
- The meeting request will be reviewed, and the counselors will decide if the request meets current skill needs. Upon acceptance, we will send a meeting confirmation email to the small business to include a link to the virtual meeting information.
- Small businesses with confirmed meetings will be in their meeting dashboard DHS Vendor Outreach Scheduling System.
- Small businesses without a confirmation email or a confirmed meeting in the dashboard do not have a meeting scheduled and cannot participate in the VOS for that specific month.
- The meeting places are still limited.
NOTE: All small businesses that have previously registered to participate in a VOS must update their profile to complete additional mandatory fields. For example, NAICS codes and a capacity statement are now required. Some businesses may need to re-register. If you have previously met with a DHS component in the past three months, please consider this before registering for any VOS. Contact directly the Component small business specialists to schedule a follow-up discussion outside VOS instead. This allows more opportunities for other small businesses that have not met with DHS to request a meeting and discuss their capabilities.
Each profile must include a valid email address compatible with various virtual meeting tools (eg Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, etc.). If connectivity issues occur with the virtual VOS links offered, expect to do the session by phone. There are some DHS components that cannot access certain virtual tools. In those cases, we consider Microsoft Teams to be the preferred tool.
There is no charge for VOS. Please report any fee-related inquiries and questions about the VOS program [email protected].
Read more at SAM.gov