The SBA’s HUBZone Program
The HUBZone program was created in 1997 with the intention of promoting economic development in historically underutilized business zones by establishing preferences for government contracts in these areas. This program is a great opportunity for qualified small businesses to secure government contracts.
Who should/is eligible to apply to the HUBZone program?
Any small business that is located in an approved HUBZone (can check if a business is located in a HUBZone here: http://map.sba.gov/hubzone/init.asp#address) should consider applying to the HUBZone program.
The eligibility requirements for the HUBZone program are the following:
- The business must qualify as a small business under the SBA standards. Can check here: http://www.sba.gov/regulations/121/
- At least 51 percent of your company must be owned by citizens of the United States of America
- The principal location of your business must be located within a HUBZone
- At least 35 percent of your employees must live within the area of the HUBZone
What are the benefits of the HUBZone program?
There are certain contracts that a HUBZone certified business can be awarded:
- Competitive Contract — This pertains to contracts where the SBA contracting officer identifies two or more qualifying businesses that then must compete for the contract at a fair market price.
- Sole Source Contract — In this instance, the SBA contracting officer determines that there is only one HUBZone qualified business that meets the criteria of the contract. The officer also determines a fair price that the contract can be awarded for; the government estimate cannot exceed $5 million for manufacturing purchases or $3 million for all other requirements.
- Full and Open Competition Contracts — An open field where qualified companies can submit offers or bids and the best bid is accepted to do the job. HUBZone businesses are given preference in the contract process.
Other benefits include:
- Possible qualification for higher SBA-guaranteed surety bonds on construction and service contract bids.
- Can benefit from employer tax credits, tax-free facility bonds, and investment tax deductions.
What is the application process for the HUBZone program?
Per instructions, before beginning the application process “create/register” (online) for what’s called a “GLS User ID password”.
Application for SBA HUBZone Certification is done online (internet). Per the HUBZone help desk, if entrepreneurs cannot complete the application in one sitting, they can go to the last step and ”Submit” the application; later they can log back in to finish the application. Before doing this, however, entrepreneurs have to complete all fields and can then go back in to edit their application.
After submitting the final, completed application, applicants will receive an email from the HUBZone office requesting them to “Authorize/Verify” their application – they must complete the verification within 10 days or they will have to reapply.