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Small Business Federal Contract Eligibility Expands To Five Counties

Man typing on laptop on desk with person moving boxes in background, prepping small businessWutzkoh/Adobe Stock

Small businesses in Boone, Clay, Hampshire, Monroe, and Preston counties are now eligible for financial help through a federal program.

The counties are now designated as Historically Underutilized Business Zones, or HUBZones. Small businesses located in these areas are given exclusive federal contracting opportunities and preferential price evaluations for those contracts.

The program’s goal is to give three percent of federal contract dollars to businesses certified with the program.

Department of Commerce Secretary James Bailey says the program is meant to help businesses in these designated, underserved areas compete.

“It gives a tremendous opportunity to small businesses throughout the state to get into the game,” Bailey said. “It’ll help small businesses in West Virginia compete against huge federal vendors in other parts of the country.”

Gov. Jim Justice requested the counties be granted the designation by the U.S. Small Business Administration last month. In 2022, 59 West Virginia businesses located in areas automatically designated as HUBZones federally received almost $100 million in total funding.

The SBA will update its HUBZone map July 1, which shows where designated HUBZone areas are located nationwide. Bailey says once the map is updated, they’ll be able to identify additional HUBZones and add more areas designated by the governor’s office.