The federal government has never been able to achieved its goal of awarding 3% of government contracts to HUBZone-certified businesses. The program’s participation has dropped off since the redesignation of HUBZone areas by the 2010 decennial census. Some newly introduced legislation seeks to revitalize the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program.
Click HERE for the SBA HUBZone Map
The bill has been called “The HUBZone Unification and Business Stability Act of 2017”. It seeks “to clarify the definitions relating to HUBZones” and is intended to increase participation in the program. Many current laws, income and unemployment numbers used to designate HUBZones are updated every year. HUBZones shift on an annual basis, making it difficult for businesses seeking HUBZone certification and government contractor to perform long-term planning and consider relocation of their headquarters. Also, hiring employees in such a way that maintains compliance is critical. This new bill aims to solve these problems by initiating new and updated schedules for HUBZones to be reevaluated once every five years, starting in 2020. An obvious drawback to a five-year reevaluation program would be an even slower bureaucratic reaction to quickly changing economic situations caused by hurricanes, tornados, and other extreme weather events.