Learn how veteran-owned DAP Construction Management grew with help through SBA contracting assistance programs.
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What traits do military veterans and successful small business owners have in common?
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Dedication, commitment, leadership, strategic thinking,
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adaptability, team collaboration, and a willingness to seek answers—just to name a few.
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Alicia Hernandez is a veteran who embodies all these characteristics.
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Since founding DAP Construction Management, LLC in 2009, it has earned $40+ million in revenue through general construction services and management contracts in 14 states.
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How did Alicia achieve her success? She persevered!
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Alicia was a Captain in the Army and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor during Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf War.
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In civilian life, she worked for an 8(a)-certified construction firm looking to open an office in Arizona.
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After seeking assistance from the SBA District Office in Phoenix, she discovered how she could set out on her own.
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SBA staff encouraged Alicia to pursue her own business dreams. With their assistance and mentorship, she confidently formed DAP Construction Management.
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DAP qualifies as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, Women-Owned Small Business, HUBZone, and 8(a)-certified firm.
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It’s also dedicated to providing employment for combat service-disabled veterans.
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Alicia established a lasting relationship with SBA and continues to look to the Arizona staff for assistance in contracting and building the business.
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She also has a close relationship with the local Procurement Technical Assistance Center which partners with SBA to help businesses better compete for federal contracts.
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She credits SBA with helping her navigate through business start-up; bonding restrictions and limitations; regulatory requirements and compliance;
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training and leadership courses; client, large, and small subcontractor exposure; business development tools; payment protection; and financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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For example, Alicia received $147,000 in funds through the PPP loan program to support her business during the pandemic.
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Alicia credits SBA’s support with helping DAP flourish and expand to a national presence.
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She routinely participates in the SBA District Office’s monthly workshops and joint SBA/GSA “Industry Days,”
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where contractors are asked to pitch their capabilities to contracting agencies.
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DAP is currently working on contracts in Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Texas, and California, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the Davis Monthan, Cannon, and Luke Air Force bases; and the General Services Administration.
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Alicia says her success is due to her persistence and tenacity, as well as diversifying and understanding her clients and employees.
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Her advice to others? “View your SBA as a free, trusted advisor and wealth manager.”
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To learn more about the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, visit SBA.gov.
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[SBA logo] All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. This video does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.
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This ensures you are ready to do business with the government before obtaining certifications.
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Can you identify the federal agencies that purchase what you sell?
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You can see what agencies are purchasing by searching SAM.gov.
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After searching SAM.gov, can you identify work that you currently do that the government might be interested in?
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Do you have a DUNS number? Selected a NAICS code? Are you registered in SAM?
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If not, you will need to obtain a DUNS and register in SAM (at SAM.gov).
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Step 2: Is your business eligible to participate in the HUBZone program?
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If everything is on track, the next step is to confirm you meet the HUBZone program qualifications.
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A HUBZone firm must be a small business according to SBA size standards.
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The firm also must be at least 51 percent owned by U.S. citizens…
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…or be a business owned by:
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In addition, the firm’s principal office must be located in a HUBZone.
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Find your business on the HUBZone map at www.sba.gov/hubzone.
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Finally, the firm must have at least 35 percent of its employees living in a HUBZone.