Certified businesses to gain access to set-aside contracts and receive preferential pricing

Texarkana, AR-TX, May 11, 2017– Economic developers like the staff of TexAmericas Center are charged with generating local economic growth, creating better jobs for area residents, and facilitating an improved quality of life for our region’s citizens. The economic development industry remains complex and challenging, but is a worthwhile pursuit. The vital work performed by the economic development profession is showcased nationally though the promotion of Economic Development Week (May 8-14, 2017), sponsored by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). TexAmericas Center is excited to celebrate EDW 2017 with the announcement of their new HUBZone designation.

“The designation of TexAmericas Center as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) is a huge win for the greater Texarkana economy. I’m incredibly pleased that my congressional staff and I were able to secure this critical status through our work with the staff at Department of Defense and the Small Business Administration over the past year. Given the enormous potential for increased job creation in this region, I’m very optimistic about the bolstered economic growth this HUBZone designation will bring.” U.S. Congressman John Ratcliffe, Texas’s 4th Congressional District

The HUBZone Program helps small businesses, located in distressed urban and rural communities known as Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones), gain access to federal set-aside contracts and sole source contracts, as well as a price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions.

“The SBA is committed to expanding opportunities for small businesses to compete for and win federal contracts,” said Herbert Austin, Director of Dallas/Fort Worth District.  “In the last five years, HUBZone firms in the DFW District, which includes Texarkana, were awarded more than $236 million in federal contracts– providing a positive impact on these economies, as well as contributing to the creation of good paying, local jobs.”

Each year, the Federal Government has an annual goal of awarding 3% of all federal prime contracts to HUBZone-certified small business concerns. As a proud, 20 year member of the Greater Texarkana region’s small business community, TexAmericas Center is excited to be included as an eligible site location— allowing tenants to participate in the program and play a key role in the Texarkana region’s growing small business community.

“TexAmericas Center is thrilled to offer our tenants and business prospects the opportunity to become certified participants in the U.S. SBA HUBZone Program,” said Scott Norton, CEO/Executive Director of TexAmericas Center.  “This is a big deal for the region.  We are approached, on average, twice a year by companies looking to locate into a HUBZone; this designation will ultimately help with business attraction and job growth for the region.”

Many contractors are unaware of the federal contracting opportunities available, and in particular, that the law requires 3% of prime federal contracts be awarded to HUBZone-certified small businesses. The government has made some progress towards these goals, but by and large, these goals have not been met.

To help increase awareness and understanding of the HUBZone Program, TexAmericas Center is partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration to host a Webinar training on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 for the greater Texarkana area. The training will cover (1) general understanding, (2) initial eligibility requirements, and (3) considerations for maintaining compliance. Details regarding the time and location for the training will be available at a later date and can be obtained by contacting TexAmericas Center at 903.223.9841.

The HUBZone Program establishes preference for award of federal contracts to small businesses in designated areas. To qualify for the program, a business must meet the following criteria (different rules apply for businesses owned by an Indian Tribal Government, an Alaska Native Corporation, a Community Development Corporation, a Native Hawaiian Organization, or a small agricultural cooperative):

  • The firm must be a small business based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) size standards.
  • The business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe (including Alaska Native Corporations).
  • The firm’s principal office (the location where the greatest number of employees perform their work, excluding contract sites) must be in a HUBZone.
  • 35% of the firm’s total workforce must reside in a HUBZone.

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) oversees, regulates and implements the HUBZone Program. SBA does the following:

  1. Determines which businesses are eligible to receive HUBZone contracts
  2. Maintains a listing of qualified HUBZone small businesses that federal agencies can use to locate vendors
  3. Monitors continuing eligibility of HUBZone firms
  4. Adjudicates protests of eligibility in connection with HUBZone contract awards

The program’s benefits for HUBZone-certified companies include:

  • Competitive (i.e. HUBZone set-asides) and sole source contracting
  • 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions
  • Subcontracting opportunities

The SBA helps to foster the growth of these HUBZone federal contractors as viable businesses and, for the long term, helps to empower communities, create jobs, and attract private investment.

The goal of Economic Development Week is to highlight the significant contributions and impacts that economic development and economic developers have on communities. The goal for economic development is to increase awareness of local programs that create, retain and expand jobs, to advance career development opportunities, and to increase the quality of life for all citizens.

“Economic Development encompasses many aspects of people’s lives; growth, prosperity, and the hope for a better future for themselves, their families, their businesses and their communities. All of this is made possible by striving collaboratively to unleash the most powerful force in our economy: quality jobs.” Dennis Washington, City President, Regions Bank and Chairman of the Board for TexAmericas Center


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