SBA Launches Destination: HUB
The Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet, announced the launch of Destination: HUB. For over 17 years, the HUBZone program has served as one of SBA’s signature initiatives and has helped small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.
The program encourages economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing opportunities for firms to become active participants in the federal supply chain. Destination: HUB will promote and highlight HUBZones for opportunities in federal procurement.
“More than any other SBA initiative, the HUBZone Program has been a critical resource, creating jobs, alleviating poverty and reducing unemployment in our nation’s most vulnerable communities. The program has had a transformational effect on small businesses all across the country. SBA’s Destination: HUB will put a spotlight on our underserved small businesses and promote HUBZones as ideal places for government contractors to do business,” said Contreras-Sweet.
“In our 2013 scorecard, we reported that HUBZone businesses only received 1.7 percent of federal contracts – well short of our 3 percent goal. This new initiative is an example of how the SBA actively working to achieve that goal.” said Contreras-Sweet.
Destination: HUB will promote and support HUBZone firms in federal contract opportunities, while ensuring local economic development boards, government officials, federal buyers, and prime contractors work hand in hand to bring more sole-source and set-aside awards directly for these HUBZones.
Overall, Destination HUB will consist of three major components; first, an in-depth examination of successes and needs in the HUBZone program; second, analysis of ideal situations for successful HUBZone collaboration, harnessing the power of our public-private partnerships and market research to recruit more firms for HUBZone participation; and third, launching a broad
grassroots educational initiative, together with community organizations, faith leaders, local economic development, and key stakeholders, to encourage participation in and inspire collective ownership of, the HUBZone program, at both the regional and national levels. As a result, Destination HUB furthers SBA’s effort to improve access to capital and close opportunity gaps in communities of color, by empowering entrepreneurs and small business owners economic and social mobility through employment and business growth.
The HUBZone program, enacted in 1997, helps small businesses located in areas that have been identified and designated as historically underutilized in both rural and urban communities, and on Indian reservations, receive contract help, thus promoting job growth, capital investment and economic development. The SBA regulates and implements the HUBZone Program and determines which businesses are eligible to receive HUBZone contracts. In FY 2013, the federal government awarded $6.2 billion to HUBZone firms. To see if your area is a designated HUBZone and to apply for the program, visit www.sba.gov/hubzone.