HUBZone Program Background
The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Empowerment Contracting Program encourages small businesses to locate in and hire employees from economically disadvantaged areas of the United States. Companies participating in the program can receive competitive advantages in winning federal contracts.
The HUBZone Empowerment Act became law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997. The Small Business Administration (SBA) regulates and implements the program, determines which businesses are eligible to receive HUBZone contracts, maintains a database of qualified HUBZone businesses that federal agencies can use to locate vendors, and adjudicates protests of eligibility to receive HUBZone contracts.
Virtually all federal agencies participate in the HUBZone program. The provisions of the Small Business Act apply only to procurements made in the United States. Procurements made by the U.S. Postal Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Congress, and procurements made through GSA schedules are not part of the HUBZone Program. Three percent (3%) of all federal contracting dollars should be awarded to HUBZone firms annually.
HUBZones are determined by economic indicators and include economically-challenged urban and suburban census tracts, non-metropolitan counties, lands within the external boundaries of Indian reservations, qualified base closure areas, and/or other designated areas.
HUBZone Program Requirements
A business must meet the following criteria to become certified as a HUBZone company:
- The firm must be a 'small business' according to the size standards based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
- The firm must be at least 51% owned and controlled by citizens of the United States (or a community development corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe).
- The firm's principal office (where the greatest number of employees perform their work, excluding contract sites) must be located in a designated HUBZone area.
- At least 35% of the firm's total workforce must reside in a designated HUBZone area.
To apply for HUBZone certification, companies are encouraged to use the electronic application on the SBA website.
HUBZone Program Testimonials
Questions? Try These Resources.
The U.S. Small Business Administration's HUBZone Office holds conference calls semi-weekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 to 3 pm ET, when SBA staff address specific eligibility topics followed by a general question and answer session. To use this service, call 888-858-2144 and enter the access code 3061773#.
Firms seeking specific application status updates or answers about supporting documentation should contact their SBA HUBZone Business Opportunity Specialist -- or send a message to email@example.com.
COUNCIL MEMBERS HAVE ACCESS TO A FULL-SERVICE HUBZONE COUNCIL HELP DESK FOR CERTIFICATION AND RECERTIFICATION ASSISTANCE. For more information, visit Help Desk (member login required).
SBA's Frequently Asked Questions about HUBZones
Code of Federal Regulations - HUBZone Program
(13 CFR 126)
Federal Acquisition Regulations - HUBZone Program
(48 CFR CH 1 - Subpart 19.13)
Small Business Size Regulations
(13 CFR 121)
Small Business Administration Reauthorization Act of 1977 (Public Law 105-135 - HUBZone Program)
U.S. Code - Title 15 (Commerce & Trade) - Sec 657a (HUBZone Program)
Small Business Administration Regional Business Development Centers
Small Business Administration Regional & District Offices