Back to Basics: Get in the Zone, The HUBZone

The SBA’s HUBZone  Program, short for “Historically Underutilized Business Zone,” is likely the SBA program that we hear the least about. Tucked away in Title 13, Section 126 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, the HUBZone Program gives HUBZone participants benefits in multiple federal government contracting situations in an effort to revitalize historically underutilized business zones through increased employment opportunities, investments, and economic development. So, what exactly makes an area a HUBZone, and how can your small business be designated as a HUBZone participant? Read on to find out.

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Breaking: SBA Proposed Rule Gives OHA Jurisdiction over HUBZone Status Protests

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has proposed to amend the rules of practice for its Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) and the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program to “implement procedures authorizing appeals to OHA” from adverse status determination protests for certified HUBZone small business concerns. Currently, HUBZone status protest determinations are decided by the Associate Administrator of Government Contracting and Business Development per 13 C.F.R. § 126.805. But those appeals, in our experience, are fairly limited and SBA does not publish the appeal decisions, meaning they provide little help for companies and attorneys wishing to understand how SBA interprets its HUBZone This is a big step for SBA and will certainly bring consistency and insights to the protest process and regulatory interpretation for HUBZone participants, bringing that program more in line with other SBA programs.

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House Passes HUBZone Price Evaluation Preference Clarification Act of 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H. R. 5879, clarifying the application of the price evaluation preference for qualified HUBZone small business concerns to certain contracts. If this becomes law, the Act would make sure the HUBZone Price Evaluation Preference applies to certain orders under partially restricted multiple award contracts.

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Final 2022 NDAA Draft Allows HUBZone Appeals

The final version of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, agreed upon by negotiators for both the House and Senate and signed by the president, will allow the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals to hear appeals related to the SBA’s HUBZone status decisions.

We here at Koprince McCall Pottroff LLC welcome the pending change, which will be a big step forward for the HUBZone program in terms of transparency and fairness.

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House-Approved 2022 NDAA Makes HUBZone Changes, Including HUBZone Appeals

The House-passed version of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act would make some significant changes for the HUBZone program. Among them are the ability to have HUBZone appeals heard by administrative judges. Below is a summary of the key changes The House version of the 2022 NDAA includes some amendments that could come about if they are all included in the final law.

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HUBZone FAQ Update: Maps and Other Changes

The SBA’s HUBZone program can be a confusing program to understand and comply with. Keeping on top of the regulations requires keeping up on legislative and program changes on a revolving basis. The SBA has recently frozen the HUBZone maps and changed principal office rules. In a corresponding move, the SBA has updated the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section for the HUBZone program to clarify some details on HUBZone Program rules.

Here are some key points you should know about this latest FAQ update.

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New HUBZone Program Guidance Sheds Light on Principal Office Long-Term Investment Rules

The HUBZone Program has released updated FAQs that provide guidance on important HUBZone rules and how SBA will be interpreting them. While these don’t have the authority of a regulation, the new guidance shows how SBA will come down on certain HUBZone questions that aren’t answered in the regulations. These include the details on long-term investment in a principal office as well as a few other rules. Read on for how SBA will interpret these rules.

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