The Small Business Administration has released a final rule that amends Historically Underutilized Business Zone Program regulations in a move to expand investment and contracting opportunities for companies that want to do business with the government.
The new rule, which takes effect Dec. 26, will allow some entities to maintain HUBZone certification for 10 years and vie for task orders under a multiple-award contract upon meeting specific requirements, SBA said Tuesday.
HUBZone maps will receive updates every five years from the Census Bureau and the departments of Labor and Housing and Urban Development. Additionally, employees residing in HUBZones and overseas on a temporary basis may retain their residency status.
"The exciting improvements outlined in this rule were designed to address longstanding uncertainty from both small businesses contemplating an investment in a designated HUBZone, as well as government agencies which seek to use HUBZone companies," said Chris Pilkerton, acting administrator of SBA.
SBA added it plans to expand the Early Engagement Initiative to help certification applicants prepare for procurement opportunities through SBA district offices, technical assistance centers and small business development facilities.