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A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By Alyssa Lozier, Wyoming Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) specialist
“What is the HUBZone program, and how do I know if my business is eligible to be a part of it? Are there any special requirements?” Dave, Riverton
HUBZones (Historically Underutilized Business Zones), created by Congress in 1997, are areas designated through data gathered and analyzed by the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Community Survey and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
These areas typically have low median household incomes or high unemployment rates. The Small Business Administration (SBA) HUBZone program works to help small firms in certain communities gain access to federal contract opportunities while promoting economic development and employment growth.
Historically, underused business zones are areas located within one or more of the following: qualified non-metropolitan counties; qualified census tracts; Native American land; and qualified base closure areas.
The federal government’s goal is to award 3 percent of its federal prime contracts to HUBZone-certified small business concerns. And, it is the SBA that determines which businesses are eligible to receive HUBZone contracts.
To qualify for the program, a list of requirements must be met:
-- The business must be a small business by SBA standards.
-- The business must be owned and controlled at least 51 percent by U.S. citizens, or a community development corporation, an agricultural cooperative or a Native American tribe.
-- The principal office of the business must be located within a historically underused business zone.
-- At least 35 percent of the company’s employees must live inside a HUBZone.
To determine if your business or home is located within a HUBZone, visit the SBA website and view the HUBZone map at http://www.sba.gov/content/hubzone-maps.
To date, these Wyoming counties are considered HUBZones: Hot Springs, Lincoln, Niobrara, Goshen and Albany, and the Wind River Indian Reservation.
When applying, you must ensure that your business has a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number; be registered in System for Award Management (SAM); have a Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) page; and complete the registration in the General Login System (GLS).
Finally, after the online application is complete, and you have reviewed the list of supporting documentation that will need to be submitted, the next step is to simply apply for the HUBZone certification online.
Keep in mind that HUBZone certifications do not expire. The certified business just needs to hold and retain the program requirements. Businesses are inspected every three years for verification.
A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.
The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.