HUBZone Primer – an updated course on HUBZone certifications by SBA

Posted by Robert Kelly on May 9, 2012 9:07:00 AM

SBA has posted a free online course called,   The HUBZone Primer.”   The HUBZone program is designed to help small businesses ‐‐in certain urban, rural, BRAC, Indian reservation, and difficult development areas outside the U.S. mainland – to gain access to federal procurement opportunities. HUBZone areas are typically areas of low median household incomes or high unemployment, or both.  There are some 6,000 small firms certified in the HUBZone program.

The U.S. Small Business Administration regulates and implements the HUBZone program. As such, SBA determines which businesses are eligible for the program, maintains a listing of qualified HUBZone small businesses that can be used by federal agencies to fulfill procurement needs and adjudicates protests of eligibility regarding HUBZone contracts.

The HUBZone program offers significant benefits to certified HUBZone firms. These benefits include:

  • Set asides – that is contracting officers can reserve or set‐aside specific contracts for qualified HUBZone firms;
  • Government‐wide contracting goals have also been established requiring that at least 3% of all federal prime contracting dollars and 3% of all federal subcontracting dollars flow to certified and qualified HUBZone firms;
  • In addition, a price evaluation preference of 10% can be applied to certified HUBZone firms in full and open contract competitions.


To be eligible for the HUBZone program a business must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be a small business by SBA standards;
  • It must be directly owned and controlled by at least 51% U.S. citizens or a community development corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe;
  • Its principal office must be located within a designated HUBZone, which includes lands considered “Indian country” and military facilities closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act; and,
  • At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.

The HUBZone Primer provides a basic overview of the program, benefits, eligibility requirements, and an overview of the application process.  The program can provide many benefits to businesses, but it is not without its share of commitment and challenges.

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Topics: HUBZone

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