SBDC Guidance Leads Veteran-Owned Business to Larger Contracts
Navy veteran Frank Brown leads his three-year-old Columbus company, IPCE LLC, by four core values: integrity, quality, care and service. Additionally, he encourages his team members to learn something new every day, advice that he, too, follows. These practices, along with tapping into the business knowledge offered by the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, have led his company to rapid growth and success.
Brown launched IPCE LLC in May 2016 as an environmental infection prevention and control company. Within three months, he had contacted consultant Michelle Griffin at the UGA SBDC in Columbus with questions about government contracting.
“Frank was interested in 8(a) certification and had started working to get certified as a Veteran-Owned Business (VOB),” said Griffin. “His company was too new to provide financials and other information required for 8(a) certification, but it would qualify for the VOB. I provided him the requirements, and he gathered the packet together and submitted it.”
Griffin also connected Brown with the Georgia Tech Procurement Center. “Michelle made these connections so we could complete our certification, and it went through seamlessly,” he said.
IPCE LLC’s new VOB certification allows Brown to look for contracts with set-asides targeting veteran-owned businesses. This strategic move helped his sales grow nearly 90 percent after year one, with 138 percent growth projected for fiscal year 2019. Employment has grown to 13 team members, with more positions expected to open this year.
Brown is now working with the SBDC to ensure his company is compliant with the federal government’s new cybersecurity requirement, NIST 8000, and completing his application for 8(a) certification.