SBA Names Minnesota Veteran Small Business Champion

Release Date: 
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Release Number: 
Advisory Number: 
Sherree Stratton (612) 370-2325

MINNEAPOLIS – Timothy M. Connelly, Esq., sole member, The Law Office of Tim Connelly PLLC, based in Minneapolis, has been named the Minnesota Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minnesota District Office.

The Veteran Small Business Champion Award is presented annually in each state to individuals who have fulfilled a commitment to advancing small business opportunities for Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Sherri Komrosky, Minnesota Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), nominated Connelly for this award.

Connelly is a service-disabled Veteran with a private law practice focused on the needs of small, medium and large businesses seeking to win and perform business agreements with local, state and federal government entities.  He served on active duty as an Army lawyer (“Judge Advocate”) for 20 years.  This experience allows him to see government contract transactions and disputes with a unique perspective – having represented parties on both sides of a typical government contract award challenge, performance issue or dispute.

Connelly has helped Veterans establish businesses in the construction, manufacturing and services industries, including assisting these businesses navigate the often daunting certification requirements of state and federal agencies.

He has assisted many Minnesota businesses, as well as businesses from Wisconsin, Illinois, New Hampshire and Texas navigate the complex and demanding requirements for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans First verification process.  He has successfully filed numerous requests for reconsideration of VA application denials, defended against proposed debarments and rebutted challenges to the Veteran-owned business status of his clients.

Connelly counsels businesses in establishing teaming arrangements and subcontracting relationships with other businesses.  He advises Veteran-owned businesses on compliance with government contract performance requirements, including limitation of subcontracting restrictions applicable to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) and terms and conditions of government prime contracts and subcontracts.  Several of Connelly’s Veteran-owned clients have grown from one-person startups into multi-million dollar revenue concerns performing government contracts across the United States.

Connelly is an active supporter of legislative and regulatory reform to improve government contracting opportunities for Veteran-owned businesses at the state and federal level.

In 2009 Connelly testified before the Minnesota legislature in support of legislation to allow state agencies to provide a bidding preference to small businesses owned and controlled by Veterans.  The legislation provided for preferences at least as favorable as preferences provided to “targeted group businesses.”  The legislation passed and was later extended to apply to the Minnesota Department of Transportation for use in its contracting programs. 

Connelly authored a detailed set of comments on proposed changes to Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 74, of the Department of Veterans Affairs “Verification Guidelines” for the VA’s “Veterans First" contracting Program.  His comments analyzed the underlying statutory language to argue for more favorable application and flexibility for Veteran business owners.  Connelly’s comments were cited in the preamble and discussion included with the published version of the final rule and the VA adopted his recommendations regarding changes to several important rules.

As a member of the Minnesota Chapter of Elite SDVOSB, Connelly authored proposed legislation to extend federal preference principles to state and local highway construction projects funded by the United States Department of Transportation.  He travelled to Hinckley to meet with Congressman Jim Oberstar and his staff to discuss the proposed legislation.  Although the proposal was not adopted, the meeting was an important step in raising awareness of the issue to a prominent and respected member of the United States Congress.

Connelly will be honored at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards program on May 6, 2014, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest.

For more information:
Timothy M. Connelly, Esq.
The Law Office of Tim Connelly PLCC
310 – 4th Avenue S., Suite 5010
Minneapolis, MN 55415