Addison County Designated Federal HUBZone

The U.S. government recently expanded its Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program in Vermont. The HUBZone program assists small businesses in gaining preferential access to federal contracts due to limited economic development in rural communities.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently changed its regulations to implement certain sections of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016.  These section expanded the definition of “base closure area” under the HUBZone program.  As a result, Addison, Bennington, Orange, Rutland, Windsor and Windham counties have all been designated as HUBZones due to the 2011 closures of Courcelle Brothers USARC in Rutland and Chester. 

The U.S. government has a goal of awarding 3 percent of all federal prime contract dollars to HUBZone certified businesses. HUBZone businesses are also eligible to receive a 10 percent price evaluation preference in full and open competition procurements.

To get certified, the business must be small, its principal office must be in a HUBZone, at least 35 percent of its employees must reside within a HUBZone and the small business must be at least 51 percent owned by U.S. citizens, or be a business owned by a Community Development Corporation or be a small agricultural cooperative.

The VT Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) will be holding workshops in the affected counties to help businesses with awareness and registration of the program. The Addison County HUBZone Workshop will be held at the Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) conference room in Middlebury on Thursday January 26th from 10-11:30 am.

PTAC is a state agency tasked with increasing the percentage of federal contracts awarded to Vermont businesses with particular emphasis on small businesses. VT PTAC assists with counseling, market research, bid proposals and other contract issues. VT PTAC can be contacted at 802-828-5237 or accd.ptac@vermont.gov.

The SBA HUBZone office also offers assistance with eligibility teleconferences on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 2 to 3 p.m. EST. Participants influence the topics by their questions and HUBZone staff facilitates the discussion by providing the answers and introducing specific topics as time allows.  To participate, call the number listed at www.sba.gov/hubzone.