North Texas HUBZone Firm Has the Right Zip Code for Multi-Million Dollar Business
Doctor Marcus Martin, owner and CEO of 2M Research Services, is in the right zip code for business. It was seven years ago when he sat at his kitchen table and created the perfect recipe for a thriving business that today has created 56 jobs and has been awarded federal contracts in excess of $10 million dollars. In addition to the high quality work he and his staff perform, his success has a lot to do with his company’s zip code.
A former college professor, Dr. Martin has a knack for research. His investigation uncovered the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In 1997, Congress put SBA in charge of this program to help high-unemployment and low-income areas by funneling three percent of all federal contracts to small businesses in these locations. Bingo.
Now in the right zip code, Martin mixed in his company’s unique products to produce a business that is in hot demand for at least 13 federal agencies.
2M Research offers public health research, clinical research, human services research, education research, applied econometrics, large-scale data analysis, program evaluations, survey research, and policy analysis consulting services to its federal and commercial clients. 2M also recently launched a new research center – “the Center for Spatial Analytics, Statistical Innovation, and Survey Research” that will focus on bringing innovative, high impact, data driven solutions to the challenges many of its federal and commercial clients face.
“We bring something fairly unique to the table,” he explained. “We have the ability to perform complex research and policy analysis as a small firm that would rival the capability of a large firm.” The company’s latest HUBZone contract award is a $3 million-job with USDA Food and Nutrition Services Division.
2M Research has also been very successful at winning large IDIQ Prime Contracts with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services Division, the Health and Human Services Program Support Center, and the Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
To earn SBA’s HUBZone certification, firms must not only be in the right zip code, but at least 35 percent of its employees must live in a HUBZone. That’s a requirement Dr. Martin is happy to comply with. He said there is quite a bit of research that documents how people who live in HUBZone areas are excluded from the networks that allow them to get good paying jobs.
Dazmin Dorris, a recent college graduate, moved to Arlington, Texas from Nashville, Tennessee looking for employment. She saw an ad for a position at 2M Research and was thankful to find a professional services firm in her neighborhood. She was hired as a research assistant.
“I didn’t know much about government contract work before I began working at 2M,” she said. “I didn’t know things like this existed. It’s helped me to discover a new world and new opportunities.” Dazmin plans to pursue a master’s degree in information systems, a desire inspired by 2M Research.
“The fact that Marcus opened up this company to give people like me a chance is really great,” said Dazmin who grew up in a low income family. The 24-year-old added that she may one day open her own business. This is exactly what Dr. Martin hopes will happen for Dazmin and others.
“Being in a HUBZone, I get to assist the type of community I grew up in,” said Dr. Martin, a native of southern Louisiana. 2M’s new 13,000 square foot office space is big enough for a training center, and Dr. Martin’s goal is to help launch 100 more HUBZone firms over the next 10 years.
“I want to make sure other entrepreneurs can build off what we have learned rather than starting from ground zero,” he said.
Although headquartered in Arlington, 2M also has offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Washington, D.C.
Two years shy of the age of 50, Dr. Martin expects next year’s sales to exceed $15 million, and his plans are to create another 150 jobs in the next five years.
“My only regret is that I didn’t start my own business sooner,” he said.