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SBA’s HUBZone Program- Helping Urban and Rural-Based Businesses Succeed

SBA’s HUBZone Program- Helping Urban and Rural-Based Businesses Succeed

Published: March 3, 2014 Updated: March 3, 2014

SBA’s Historically Underutilized Business Zone, or HUBZone Program, helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to government contracting opportunities. If your business is located in an area where business development and growth has been fairly limited, you may qualify.

Location, location, location

The first step to determining your HUBZone Program eligibility is to locate your place of business on our HUBZone maps. By entering your address, you can quickly find out if your business operations are in a HUBZone. You’ll see a clear message on the results screen telling you whether the location is or is not qualified.

Am I eligible?

Once you determine that your business is located in a HUBZone, there are a few additional eligibility requirements to consider. Generally, businesses must:

  • Be a small business by SBA standards
  • Be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative or an Indian tribe
  • Have its principal office within a HUBZone, which includes lands considered “Indian Country” and military facilities closed by the Base Realignment and Closure ActNote:  HUBZone regulations define “principal office” as the location where the greatest number of the concern's employees at any one location perform their work. For businesses whose primary industry is service or construction, the determination of principal office excludes the firm’s employees who perform the majority of their work at job-site locations to fulfill specific contract obligations.
  • Have at least 35% of its employees residing in a HUBZone

What are the benefits?

Along with the growth you’ll help bring into your community, there are unique benefits to the HUBZone Program. Because of specific government set-asides that require a certain percentage of work to be obtained from HUBZone businesses, you’ll gain a competitive edge in the contracting arena. And when your business competes among other HUBZone-certified companies, you’ll be competing within a smaller pool of contractors – so you’re chances of winning are greater. Additionally, you’ll also receive a 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions. 

Need additional assistance?

Interested in more HUBZone help? HUBZone offers eligibility assistance on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-3pm (eastern time) at-888-858-2144 (access code 3061773#). The staff facilitates the discussion – which is driven by participant questions – by providing the answers and introducing specific topics as time allows. You’ll learn how to maintain eligibility and decrease the possibility of an initial application being declined or being decertified after obtaining the HUBZone certification.

If you’re looking for status information, need help in resolving technical difficulties or need individualized assistance, you can email


About the Author:

Mariana Pardo
Mariana Pardo is the Director of the HUBZone Program. She is responsible for issuing final determinations on applications for HUBZone certification, for the continuing monitoring of certified HUBZone firms and for resolving eligibility protests in connection to HUBZone contracts.