HUBZone - Historically Underutilized Business Zone

The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. These preferences go to small businesses that obtain HUBZone certification.

In fiscal year 2017 , federal agencies obligated nearly $3 billion in sole source or set-aside contracts to firms participating in the HUBZone program. Created in 1997, the program provides federal contracting assistance to small businesses located in economically distressed areas  (HubZones) with low income levels or high unemployment rates.

Qualified businesses in these areas are eligible to bid on federal prime contracts and subcontracts available exclusively to program participants, in addition to benefiting from other contracting preferences.

The SBA must certify that a small business meets the criteria to be a HubZones qualified businesses.

HUBZone Small Business

The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program is designed to stimulate economic development in urban and rural communities by providing contracting preference to small businesses located in such zones.  "HUBZone" means a historically underutilized business zone that is an area located within one or more qualified census tracts, qualified nonmetropolitan counties, or lands within the external boundaries of an Indian reservation.

In order to qualify, a firm must be owned and controlled by a U.S. citizen, be located or have its principal office located within a designated HUBZone area, and certify that at least 35 percent of its employees are HUBZone residents.  In order to qualify, you must be a small business concern and certified by the Small Business Administration that your principal office is located in a HUBZone.  The certification is good for a 3-year period; however; a firm must self certify annually to SBA that it remains a HUBZone entity.

Log onto the Web at and scroll down to �How do I determine if an address or area is in a HUBZone?�  You can search the system using several designations, including a specific address, a county, or a full state.

The HUBZone program promote economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing access to more federal contracting opportunities through the establishment of preferences.

The program falls under the guidance of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

SBA does the following:

  • Determines which businesses are eligible to receive HUBZone contracts.

  • Maintains a listing of qualified HUBZone small businesses that federal agencies can use to locate vendors.

  • Adjudicates protests of eligibility to receive HUBZone contracts.

  • Reports to the Congress on the program's impact on employment and investment in HUBZone areas.

Benefits of the HUBZone Program:

  • Competitive and sole source contracting.

  • 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions, as well as subcontracting opportunities.

Eligibility for HUBZone status:

  • It must be a small business by SBA standards.

  • It must be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe.

  • Its principal office must be located within a �Historically Underutilized Business Zone,� which includes lands considered �Indian Country� and military facilities closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act.

  • At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.

Hub Zone Locations Map



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