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HUBZone - Historically Underutilized Business Zones

by Max Franks - August 8, 2017

In 2017, the Small Business Administration (SBA) updated the areas nationwide that we call HUBZones. These areas are based on low median gross family income and on high unemployment in areas across the United States based on census and other economic indicators. The HUBZone program is one of four set aside certifications for small businesses that are used in federal procurement. In June, the SBA updated the maps that are used to verify the location of a business in the program. The HUBZone search area is easier to use, using only the physical address that matching the information used in the Systems for Award Management (SAM), a federal vendor registration database and is linked to the SBA Dynamic Small Business Search. This registration information is used by the SBA when confirming the company’s location and as well as that 35% of the company’s employees are live with in a HUBZone location.

The search for HUBZone location is located on the SBA website at .

What should all small businesses do in regard to verifying their location is in a HUBZone?

  • First, verify the physical address of the company is correct and is active in SAM, as well as confirming the NAICS codes used in their industry are also listed correctly.
  • Then go to the SBA Map page and enter the company address and see how the system shows your company as qualified or not.
  • If your company is not located in a HUBZone, consider the other small business certification programs, including: 8a, Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) or the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).
  • If your business is located in a HUBZone, then you should have your payroll department check the addresses for any employee that works more than 40 hours in a month. The 40 hour a month requirement is the SBA HUBZone definition of an employee.
  • Then if you are over the threshold of 35% of your employees living in a HUBZone you are then ready to register with the SBA General Login System (GLS) and obtain a password and fill out the online registration and upload backup documentation. The SBA General Login site is located at this You must use the link on the left to register for an ID and Password.
  • When you have completed the process then you are ready to login and find the HUBZone program and check the box. Once you log back in you will have a direct link to the HUBZone application. To upload any documents that are required for backup for your online application, you must use the SBA sister site that is for the WOSB program certification, the new SBA Certify website at .

The Advantages of being a certified HUBZone small business are many, first of all of the small business set aside programs HUBZone has missed its 3% goal and many agencies set aside projects just for HUBZone companies. Also in open competition with large businesses, HUBZone business receive a 10% pricing advantage as part of the HUBZone program, but only against large businesses. The certification of a HUBZone business takes on average 12 to 16 weeks and depends on the work load of the Washington DC SBA HUBZone office at the time of completing the application. There are two ways to receive HUBZone assistance: 1) E-mail the SBA HUBZone Help Desk at or 2) call the Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center for help with SAM, SBA DSBS and the HUBZone application.

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