New SBA Initiative Offers More Access To Government Contracts For Minority Small Business
A new U.S. Small Business Administration initiative promises to make the path to government contracts easier with a much smoother process. The administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet, who is a member of President Obama’s cabinet, has announced the launch of Destination: HUB.
The HUBZone program has been offered for more than 17 years, one of SBA’s signature initiatives helping small businesses in urban and rural communities get preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. Now Destination: HUB aims to better promote HUBZones for opportunities in federal procurement. According to a press release, it will boost the SBA’s effort to improve access to capital and close opportunity gaps in communities of color, by empowering entrepreneurs and small business owners economic and social mobility through employment and business growth.
“More than any other SBA initiative, the HUBZone Program has been a critical resource, creating jobs, alleviating poverty and reducing unemployment in our nation’s most vulnerable communities. The program has had a transformational effect on small businesses all across the country. SBA’s Destination:HUB will put a spotlight on our underserved small businesses and promote HUBZones as ideal places for government contractors to do business,” said Contreras-Sweet.
“In our 2013 scorecard, we reported that HUBZone businesses only received 1.7 percent of federal contracts – well short of our 3 percent goal. This new initiative is an example of how the SBA actively working to achieve that goal.” said Contreras-Sweet.
The goal of Destination: HUB is to ensure local economic development boards, government officials, federal buyers, and prime contractors work hand-in-hand to bring more sole-source and set-aside awards directly for these HUBZones, according to a press release.
Destination HUB will have three parts:
–an in-depth examination of successes and needs in the HUBZone program
–analysis of ideal situations for successful HUBZone collaboration, using the power of its public-private partnerships and market research to recruit more firms for HUBZone participation
–the launching of a broad grassroots educational initiative, that will work with community organizations, faith leaders, local economic development, and key stakeholders, to urge participation in and inspire collective ownership of, the HUBZone program, at both the regional and national levels.