You may have seen Aspis, or other small businesses, talk about the HUBZone program. It is one of the most unique and useful certification that you can have if you do government contract work. Since much of our business is as a federal contractor, Aspis decided to making getting this certification a priority. After getting certified last year, Aspis has re-certified out HUBZone status. Since getting certified, we wanted to spread the word about this great opportunity as much as we can. In this weeks blog, we are going to touch on everything you need to know about this incredible program and certification.
What is the HUBZone Certification Program?
The HUBZone program was created by the US Small Business Administration. The Historically Underutilized Business Zones, also know as HUBZone, program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. The goal of the HUBZone program is to help Small to Mid sized Businesses’s in underutilized locations. This program can massively benefit small businesses that are in areas that could otherwise struggle.
Why does HUBZone matter for Aspis?
Since much of our business is as a government contractor, Aspis spends much of its effort bidding and working with other firms to collaborate on getting new local, state, and federal government contracts. Joining the HUBZone program makes our business eligible to compete for the program’s set-aside contracts. For set-aside contracts, the federal government has a goal of awarding at least 3% of all dollars for federal prime contracts to HUBZone certified companies. Agencies may set-aside contracts for which only HUBZone companies are allowed to bid, or they may award sole-source contracts to HUBZone firms in an effort to meet that goal. HUBZone-certified businesses also get a 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions.
This allows our small firm to stand a chance against some of the other large firms with prime contracts that dominate the federal market. This also brings a great opportunity for collaboration with said firms as they try to meet contracting requirements. Want to see if your business qualifies? Check out this helpful map of all HUBZone locations in the US.
Working with HUBZone certified companies
Another benefit of working with a certified HUBZone small business like Aspis is that we help our clients meet federal contracting requirements. Aspis helps contracting officers, program officials, and prime contracting companies get credit for not only small business goals but also HUBZone goals. This is important because there is currently a 3% HUBZone small business contracting requirement that the federal government as a whole and most federal agencies fail to meet each year. It is the only Small Business Administration (SBA) program that consistently does not meet its goals each and every year. A recent memorandum (M-22-03) from the Office of Management and Budget (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/M-22-03.pdf) notified the federal contracting community that the administration was increasing the Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) goals from 15% to 25% by 2025 and that HUBZone small businesses have been added to the SDB requirement.
How can I get certified?
I’m sure this is the next question that popped into your head. Let’s go through it – there are a few qualifications first.
- Be a small business according to Small Business Administration standards
- Be at least 51% owned by a US citizen
- Have its primary office within a HUBZone
- Have at least 35% of its employees living in a HUBZone
If you fit all of these parameters then you can apply. You just hop on their website and go through the application process.
Applying for certification
The HUBZone application process is quite rigorous and will take quite some time to complete so make sure to plan ahead before getting started. Our team recommends working in this order
- Compile a list of all employees with images of the HUBZone map (located above) and a form of identification stating if they are in a HUBZone.
- Create a list of locations and what employees reside in each location
- Have a lease/rental agreement/deed, utility bill, and payroll statement ready
- Have proof of citizenship of founder
- Compile all corporate documents
- Make sure you have a SAM.gov account
- Have a General Login System account
You now have all of the information you need to to start the HUBZone certification process. This certification has helped Aspis so much and we hope it can be of benefit to you and your business as well.
Want to lean more about Aspis and what we do?
Who is Aspis?
Aspis is an IT professional services firm headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, specializing in cybersecurity and management consulting. Our values are Integrity, Community, and Diversity and our vision is to democratize cybersecurity. We make enterprise cybersecurity solutions and professional services accessible to all sizes of organizations from medium-sized businesses to large Fortune 500 enterprises; non-profits; and municipal, state, and federal government agencies. Aspis is an Independent Small Business, Certified HUBZone Small Business Concern, Certified LGBT Business Enterprise, Self-Certified Small Disadvantaged Business, Certified Virginia Values Veterans, and Better Business Bureau accredit ted company. To learn more about how we can help you with your IT needs check out our website https://aspis.consulting and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to stay up to date on cybersecurity news, company updates, and need-to-know tips.