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HUBZone - GovITwiki


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The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) agreement is the first governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) to be set aside exclusively for what are known as HUBZone certified small business firms.


Background on HUBZones

The HUBZone Empowerment Contracting program was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997. The program falls under the auspices of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The program encourages economic development in historically underutilized business zones - "HUBZones" - through the establishment of preferences.[1]

SBA's Hubzone program is in line with the efforts of both the Administration and Congress to promote economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing access to more Federal contracting opportunities.

How It Works

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) regulates and implements the program,
  • determines which businesses are eligible to receive HUBZone contracts,
  • maintains a listing of qualified HUBZone small businesses Federal agencies can use to locate vendors,
  • adjudicates protests of eligibility to receive HUBZone contracts, and
  • reports to the Congress on the program's impact on employment and investment in HUBZone areas.[1]

A small business must meet all of the following criteria to qualify for the HubZone program:

  • it must be located in a "historically underutilized business zone,"
  • it must be owned and controlled by one or more U.S. Citizens, and
  • at least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.

The definition of a "HUBZone" is an area that is located in one or more of the following:

  • a qualified census tract (as defined in section 42(d)(5)(C)(i)(I) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986);
  • a qualified "non-metropolitan county" (as defined in section 143(k)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) with a median household income of less than 80 percent of the State median household income or with an unemployment rate of not less than 140 percent of the statewide average, based on U.S. Department of Labor recent data; or
  • lands within the boundaries of federally recognized Indian reservations.

See also HUBZone Business Program.

HUBZone Contract Details

Contracts awarded under the HUBZone GWAC are for five-year contract periods and provide a wide variety of technology services in four functional areas. HUBZone enables federal agencies to purchase technology services from companies located in HUBZones and, in turn, spurs economic expansion and job creation in areas of unemployment and underdevelopment. Federal agencies benefit by gaining access to pre-competed contracts with high-quality companies while meeting their 3 percent statutory procurement preference goals.



[1] From the HubZone who we are page at the U.S. federal Small Business Administration.

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