Each fiscal year (FY) the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), as part of the Small Business Outreach Program, virtually conducts ten sessions of 15-minute pre-arranged meetings with small businesses. VOS provides small businesses with a platform to discuss their capabilities, learn about DHS procurements, and large business subcontracting and partnering opportunities. Four of the sessions are exclusively reserved 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, which is scheduled for October 20, 2022, is open to all small businesses. Refer to the DHS VOS FY 2023 Schedule to view or download the calendar and read the Small Business Vendor Outreach Sessions instructions carefully.
Effective October 1, 2022, there are significant changes to the VOS Program:
- Small businesses will be matched to counselors by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes or core competencies. There is no longer a “first come, first served” approach to VOS meetings.
- After being matched by the scheduling system, small businesses must request meetings with the counselors. Meeting requests can be requested up to three business days after each VOS opens.
- The meeting request will be reviewed, and the counselors will decide if the request meets current capability need. After acceptance, a meeting confirmation email will be sent to the small business to include a link to the virtual meeting information.
- Small businesses with confirmed meetings will be able to view their meeting dashboard in the DHS Vendor Outreach Scheduling System.
- Small business without a confirmation email or a confirmed meeting in the dashboard do not have a meeting scheduled and will not be able to participate in VOS for that specific month.
- Meeting spaces are still limited.
NOTE: All small businesses that have previously registered to participate in VOS must update their profile to complete additional mandatory fields. For example, NAICS Codes and a capability statement are now required. Some businesses may need to re-register.
Each profile must include a valid email address compatible with various virtual meeting tools (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, etc.). If connectivity issues occur using the virtual VOS links provided, expect to conduct the session telephonically. There are some DHS components that are not able to access certain virtual tools. In those instances, Microsoft Teams will be the preferred tool.
There is no fee for VOS. Please report any fee related inquiries and any questions regarding the VOS program to [email protected].