This bill would allow certain areas affected by disasters or base closures to qualify for HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zones) status -- which provides small businesses in certain areas with preferential access to economic support and business development opportunities. HUBZone is a program that is operated by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Qualified areas that have suffered from a disaster could obtain HUBZone status for five years in the case of major disasters, and 10 years for catastrophic disasters. There is also a provision affecting HUBZone areas that had been home to a military base which has since been closed, that would allow these HUBZones to maintain their status for eight years. Under current law, base closure HUBZone status lasts for five years.
Businesses that participate in the HUBZone program must conform to the SBA’s definition of a small business, be majority-owned and operated by U.S. citizens, have its primary office located in a HUBZone, and at least 35 percent of its employees live in a HUBZone.
Participants in HUBZone receive a 10 percent price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions, as well as subcontracting opportunities. They also can obtain competitive and sole source contracts. The federal government has a goal of awarding 3 percent of all dollars for federal prime contracts to HUBZone-certified small businesses each year.