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Published June 10, 2016
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 will it benefit my business?” Kevin, Laramie
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program was implemented to help small businesses in urban/rural communities and Indian reservations obtain preference in accessing federal contracting opportunities.
The program encourages economic growth and development in locations with low-median incomes and high unemployment rates. The SBA continues to regulate the program by reviewing applications and determining which businesses qualify, maintaining a list of all certified firms federal agencies can use to locate vendors, and reporting the program’s economic impact in HUBZone areas.
To determine if your business is located in a HUBZone and meets the program requirements, visit the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/. If you meet the eligibility requirements, participating in the HUBZone program provides your business with many benefits. Competitive and sole-source contracting are two, in addition to a 10 percent price evaluation in full and open contract competitions.
Not only does this level the playing field for your business, but contracts can be awarded to HUBZone-certified firms if a contracting officer determines:
-- At least two qualified HUBZone small businesses will submit offers, and the contract will be awarded at a fair market price (competitive).
-- That a qualified HUBZone small business is responsible to perform the contract (sole source).
-- Two or more qualified HUBZone small businesses are not likely to submit offers (sole source).
Contracts available for full and open competition can be awarded with a price evaluation preference. Offers from HUBZone firms are considered lower when compared to offers of non HUBZone other than small businesses, considering these offers are not 10 percent higher than their competition.
Federal regulations also require prime contractors to subcontract work out to HUBZone businesses to assist the federal government in working toward the procurement goal of 3 percent.
Depending on your business structure, the supporting documentation required to be uploaded as part of the application process into the SBA’s general login system will vary. It’s important to note that during the application review process, the SBA may request additional documentation to assist in determining final status.
Working with the PTAC is important during this application process. Not only is it another set of eyes reviewing your documentation, but submitting a thoroughly completed application will lower the likelihood of being denied.
For assistance in determining if your business qualifies for, or if you’re seeking guidance in the application process for the HUBZone program, contact a local PTAC specialist.
A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at www.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 email@example.com, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.