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The U.S. Small Business Adminstration (SBA) runs the Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program in order to assist small businesses in certain urban and rural areas gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. To participate in the HUBZone program, the small business in question must be located in specific designated areas as found on the HUBZone map (available at https://maps.certify.sba.gov/hubzone/map). The business must attempt to maintain 35 percent of its workforce from residents of such areas, with a floor of a 20 percent HUBZone resident workforce while making "substantive and documented efforts" to reach 35 percent. The map is continuously updated by the SBA.
Participation in the HUBZone program allows a given business to obtain access to competitive and sole-source contracting as well certain preference mechanisms in bidding. Applying for the HUBZone program entails meeting certain eligibility requirements and following certain steps as listed on the SBA’s website.
Does this certification expire? HUBZone certification expires every three years, after which a business must reapply for certification as normal, a process that can be repeated indefinitely as long as the business still qualifies for such certification.
Does this program require bidders attempt to make a good-faith effort to meet participation goals? The SBA states it as a goal that the federal government will, on a yearly basis, award at least 3 percent of all federal contracting dollars to HUBZone businesses, however, this goal is the responsibility of the SBA.