Tuesday, May 28, 2024

SBA Administrator, Louisiana Governor Announce New HUBZones to Expand Federal Contracting Opportunities

by BIZ Magazine

WASHINGTON – Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 33.2 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, the state’s 56th governor, announced the expansion of HUBZone across Louisiana, a program that provides small businesses in low-income communities that hire low-income residents with opportunities to compete in the federal marketplace. The announcement grants Governor Edward’s 2022 petition to add twenty-five HUBZone Governor Designated Covered Areas in Louisiana, expanding access and eligibility to SBA’s HUBZone Program to the small businesses in these areas.

“The SBA’s HUBZones continue to be a critical tool in opening up new opportunities for small businesses to sell their goods and services directly to the world’s largest buyer: the U.S. Government,” said Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “Thanks to Governor Edwards’ vision for Louisiana, the expansion of certified HUBZones will support efforts to empower rural and historically underserved Louisiana small businesses through the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments in critical infrastructure, broadband access and, restoring Made in America manufacturing.”

“I would like to thank SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman and South Central Region Administrator Ted James for continuing to support my administration’s efforts to drive small business growth in Louisiana,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Small businesses lift up families and communities and drive our economy. This program will provide businesses in historically underutilized areas, including economically challenged rural communities, the opportunity to expand and access new markets.”

“I’m excited that Louisiana has become the first state in Region 6 to take advantage of the program, and it will enable us to strive to reach contracting goals set by President Joe Biden,” said SBA’s South Central Regional Administrator Edward “Ted” James.

Below are the approved areas identified in Louisiana’s 2022 petition:

Census Tract 2, Jefferson Davis Parish
Census Tract 9601.01, Beauregard Parish
Census Tract 9601.02, Beauregard Parish
Census Tract 9518.01, West Feliciana Parish
Census Tract 9608.01, Acadia Parish
Census Tract 9512.01, St. Helena Parish
Census Tract 9504, Allen Parish
Census Tract 203.01, St. Martin Parish
Census Tract 9503, De Soto Parish
Census Tract 9515.01, East Feliciana Parish
Census Tract 310.01, Ascension Parish
Census Tract 110.04, Bossier Parish
Census Tract 242.06, Caddo Parish
Census Tract 24.02, Calcasieu Parish
Census Tract 201, Grant Parish
Census Tract 9526, Iberville Parish
Census Tract 279.04, Jefferson Parish
Census Tract 211.01, Lafourche Parish
Census Tract 9601, Union Parish
Census Tract 106.04, Ouachita Parish
Census Tract 135.02, Rapides Parish
Census Tract 406, St. James Parish
Census Tract 401.03, St. Tammany Parish
Census Tract 9502.02, Vermilion Parish
Census Tract 203.01, West Baton Rouge Parish

There are currently 128 active HUBZone firms in Louisiana. In FY 2021, firms located in the state received $217,135,255 in federal contract obligations, $43,682,988 of which were HUBZone contracts.

Under the new HUBZone rule, a governor may submit one petition per year requesting that SBA designate certain qualifying areas, including Opportunity Zones as Governor-Designated Covered Areas. In reviewing a request for designation included in the petition, the Administrator may consider how the selections meet the objectives of the state’s economic development strategies.

The newly designated areas will be added to the HUBZone map as “Governor-Designated Covered Areas.” To be eligible for this program, communities must have a population of 50,000 or fewer, an average unemployment rate is at least 120 percent of the average unemployment rate for the U.S. or state (whichever is lowest) and be located outside of an urbanized area.

For information about the HUBZone program, visit www.sba.gov/hubzone.

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