The HUBZone and Section 8(a) Business Development Programs are two programs that assist small business, including those in construction, to access federal government procurement opportunities. The Hubzone program is based on the location of your business while the 8(a) BD Progam is for those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. They are both administered by the SBA but are independent of any MBE/WBE programs.
The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.
- Competitive and sole source contracting
- 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions, as well as subcontracting opportunities
- 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. (HUBZone Map)
8(a) Business Development Program
The SBA 8(a) Business Development Program is designed to help small, disadvantaged business compete in the marketplace by gaining access to government contracts.
According to this program, socially disadvantaged refers to individuals who have been subjected to prejudice due to race, ethnic origin, gender, physical handicap or other similar causes not common to individuals who are not socially disadvantaged. Economically disadvantaged refers to those who are socially disadvantaged and have had an impaired ability to compete in the same line of business due to lack of capital and reduced credit opportunities.
- Participants can receive sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing. 8(a) firms can also form joint ventures to bid on large contracts
- The business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who have suffered suffered racial, ethnic, or cultural prejudices through no fault of their own
- The business must be a small business according to the SBA guidelines
- The business must have potential for success and show good character
- The individual’s net worth may not exceed $250,000 (excluding primary residence)