In a recent article, published by Bloomberg BNA in their Federal Contracts Report, Jon Williams and Katie Flood talk about Revitalizing the HUBZone Program and calls on Congress and SBA to take the steps outlined in the article to revitalize the HUBZone program so it can realize its full potential.
The HUBZone Program was created in 1997 to spur economic development in historically underutilized regions of the country. The aim is as worthwhile now as it was then, and there remains a real need for the HUBZone Program to be the engine of economic growth in many struggling communities. However, despite the needs, HUBZone spending has been in steady decline over the past several years, and is overall much lower than the other small business programs, both in terms of prime contracting and subcontracting goal achievement. The hard data and anecdotal evidence indicate that, to reach its full potential, the HUBZone Program needs to be simpler and more business friendly. This article lifts up the hood of the HUBZone Program as an engine of economic development and offer several suggestions for how to fine tune the program and get it running more efficiently and effectively. Indeed, heightened attention to the Program is more necessary than ever, as Congress is currently considering several significant proposals, such as S.2838, which proposes to change the length of a HUBZone’s redesignated status from three to seven years.