What is the HUBZone Program, and How Can It Help You Succeed?

By Lori Benson

HubzoneMany federal contracting officers aren’t aware of all the programs available to help them succeed. But there are key opportunities that can give your department or agency a decisive advantage, such as the federal government’s HUBZone program.

What is HUBZone?

HUBZone stands for Historically Underutilized Business Zone, and refers to urban and rural communities where the government seeks to encourage business and promote growth. The program encourages agencies to spend a given percentage of their budgets with business located in these communities, giving them preferred access to certain procurement opportunities. 

Today, the federal government aims to spend 3% of all federal prime contracting expenditures with small businesses that have HUBZone status. Many agencies, however, are not meeting their goals — and as a result, they’re actively searching for qualified firms to help them meet their targets. The Department of Defense, for example, is currently spending only 1.29% of its budget with HUBZone firms, well short of its goal. 

Perhaps you are one of those agencies. For contracting officers, HUBZone firms can represent a tremendous opportunity.

Advantages of HUBZone Firms for Buyers

Preferential access isn’t the only key advantage of certified HUBZone status. Sole source acquisitions can move quickly — completing in less than 30 days — saving valuable time and effort for all stakeholders.

Additionally, HUBZone certification often allows firms that otherwise might not have been able to contract directly with a particular agency to do so, opening up a wider pool of vendors to help you meet your needs.

For federal buyers, HUBZone certified firms present an opportunity to save both time and money, while meeting federal guidelines and working with qualified small businesses.

Taking the First Steps with a HUBZone Firm

How can you get started working with a HUBZone firm? One helpful tool for identifying potential service providers is called the Dynamic Small Business Search, a searchable database of HUBZone firms maintained by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The search tool can enable you to find vendors based on factors including industry, geography, and more.

Though some contracting officers aren’t aware of this, it’s important to remember that for any acquisitions over the simplified acquisition threshold, agencies must consider the HUBZone program. As a HUBZone certified vendor, Big Sky Associates has rich insight into this process and advantages for all stakeholders. If you’re a procurer searching for a HUBZone certified service provider, we’d be happy to hear from you.

Easy Contracting with HUBZone