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HUBZone Contracting Opportunities

The HUBZone program was created three decades ago to boost the economies of economically distressed communities. It does so by providing government contracts to firms located in those distressed areas, with the idea that those firms will then at least partially employee (35% minimum requirement) of people from those areas.

HUBZone Contracting Opportunities

There are several common ways that HUBZone Contracting Opportunities are obtained.

  • Competitive HUBZone contracts also known as Set-aside HUBZone contracts are contracts that the government only allows HUBZone firms to bid on these contracts. The requirement is that there must be a documented reasonable expectation that at least two HUBZone firms will bid on this contract. The contract will be awarded at a fair market price established by the HUBZone bidders.
  • Sole Source HUBZone Contracting Opportunities can be awarded if the contracting officer believes they have a HUBZone small business that has the capability to perform on and complete the contract. The contracting officer believes it is unlikely that they have a second HUBZone that is likely to make an offer on the procurement and that the contract does not exceed $5.5 million for manufacturing, and $3.5 million for all other NAICS Codes.
  • Full and open or competitive contacts can be awarded with a HUBZone firm receiving a price evaluation preference. The HUBZone firm must be within 10% of the high bidder for this adjustment to be accepted by the federal contracting officer
  • A lesser-known HUBZone Contracting Opportunity has to do with the advantage that HUBZone firms have when competing for contracts on GSA Schedule contracts. Agencies are required to have 3% of their budgets spent with HUBZone firms. This creates a situation where federal buyers seek our HUBZone firms when making purchases from the GSA Schedule system.
HUBZone Contracting Opportunities

Methods for Federal Buyers to locate HUBZone Firms

When federal buyers are wanting to place HUBZone Contracting Opportunities out for bid in many cases they may not know of the HUBZone firm with the capabilities of performing on the contract. There are four places they can search for these firms.

  • Sam.gov – All firms must register with SAM to become a federal vendor and receive payment.
  • Data.gov – Once registered with SAM the firm becomes part of the Small Business Dynamic Data Search. This database essentially aggregates the data in SAM, which provides a brief capabilities statement and primary NAICS code and location for the firm.
  • gsaadvantage.gov – GSA Advantage is where federal buyers can go and use their government issued credit card to purchase over 12 million different products and services.
  • gsaelibrary.gsa.gov – GSA elibrary is the place federal buyers go to find the catalog for HUBZone businesses. These HUBZone Contracting Opportunities are brought on by the 3% agency budgetary requirement.
HUBZone Contracting Opportunities

The two GSA options provide the federal buyers with much more information for conducting market research and this is likely the reason why HUBZone firms with a GSA Schedule have 3x the sales of HUBZone firms without a GSA Schedule.

Once a HUBZone Contracting Opportunity turns into an actual contract it is important to both communicate well with the contracting officer as well as perform well on the contract. This will give your firm a much better shot at getting Sole Source contracts in the future.