January 23, 2022

Loans

Its All About The Money

How to maintain eligibility for the HUBZone federal contracting program

15 min read

Learn what the requirements are to maintain eligibility for the federal contracting assistance program for businesses in historically underutilized business zones, also known as HUBZone. Learn more about HUBZone: https://www.sba.gov/hubzone

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Maintaining Eligibility
in the HUBZone Program

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SBA’s HUBZone program fuels small business growth in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones)
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with a goal of awarding at least 3 percent of federal contract dollars to HUBZone-certified
companies each year.
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That’s about $15 billion dollars!

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In FY2020, SBA rolled out comprehensive changes to the HUBZone program that strengthen recertification requirements and simplify contract verification.

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The new HUBZone regulations require all certified HUBZone firms to recertify annually that they remain in compliance with the program’s requirements.
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This needs to be done within 30 days of their certification anniversary date.

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For example, if the date of a firm’s HUBZone certification was May 15, their anniversary date for subsequent years would be May 15
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and they would have to submit their recertification every year between April 15 and June 15.

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Another benefit of the changes: Contracting officers no longer have to verify a firm’s HUBZone eligibility at the time of award—only at the time of the offer—making it easier for HUBZone small businesses and contracting officers.


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And the firm will be generally considered a HUBZone small business throughout the life of a contract if it was certified at the time of the initial contract offer.

We will walk you through this process so you can complete your individual contributor questionnaire easily.

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Plus, firms are no longer required to report to SBA throughout the year if they have a change in their eligibility status
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unless they are involved in a merger or acquisition or if they fail to attempt to maintain the employee HUBZone residency requirement while performing on a HUBZone contract.

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So, how do you recertify and maintain your eligibility in the HUBZone program?

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First, you will receive a recertification notification 30 days prior to your firm’s certification anniversary date.
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All notifications from the HUBZone program will be sent to the email address listed on the firm’s DSBS profile.

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Remember to check your spam filter to ensure you are receiving all SBA emails!

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Keep in mind that SBA’s automated notification system will not send a notification more than 30 calendar days prior to the anniversary of a firm’s HUBZone certification, so you can’t recertify before then.

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But don’t fall through the cracks!
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If you don’t receive a recertification email within this timeframe, be sure to email the HUBZone Help Desk at hubzone@sba.gov.

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What do I need to do?
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Once you receive notification via email, an authorized officer of the firm must complete and submit the recertification form in the General Login System (GLS).

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If a firm fails to recertify within the required time frame, SBA will propose the firm for decertification.


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Follow these steps to ensure you’re prepared to recertify!

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Step 1: Locate the anniversary date of the firm’s HUBZone certification.

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The date of a firm’s HUBZone certification can be found in the firm’s certification letter.

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Step 2: Verify that the firm will meet all HUBZone eligibility requirements as of the anniversary date of its certification.

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Step 3: Verify that the firm’s information is current in SBA’s DSBS database, including the business and email address.

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Step 4: Make sure you can log in to your GLS account. Contact gls@sba.gov if you need help.

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Check out the recertification fact sheet at www.sba.gov/hubzone for more tips.

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Reach out in advance to the SBA for eligibility questions and application help.
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Email the HUBZone Help Desk at hubzone@sba.gov.

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All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Visit the SBA website at SBA.gov/HUBZone for additional information.

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration

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