Polis Administration and Small Business Administration Announce New Governor-Designated Covered HUBZones
A program presented as a catalyst to bring good-paying jobs to rural and low-income communities across Colorado was announced today by Governor Jared Polis, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). The expansion of HUBZone, a program to support small businesses that hire low-income residents in Archuleta, El Paso, Mesa, Montrose, San Miguel, and Weld counties provides opportunities to compete in the federal marketplace.
“My administration is focused on bringing good-paying jobs for Coloradans, supporting rural small businesses, and ensuring every Coloradan can thrive. We welcome the latest HUBZones designation, which builds on our ongoing work supporting rural economic development and providing equitable access to good-paying jobs across Colorado,” said Polis.
“This expansion of HUBZone areas in Colorado is a big step in bringing rural communities into a national network of small businesses with access to valuable support resources and contracting programs to better leverage the federal marketplace,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “We look forward to partnering with more small businesses in these newly designated regions and we’re happy to see more requests from our governors to expand covered areas in their states to support economic growth.”
“I’m incredibly proud of our Business Funding and Incentives and Rural Prosperity teams for partnering with the Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center (CO-PTAC) and persevering to get this expansion across the finish line,” said OEDIT Executive Director Patrick Meyers. “This program will open countless doors for businesses and workers in our state’s rural communities.”
The HUBzone, or “historically underutilized business” zones, fuels small business growth with a goal of awarding at least three percent of federal contract dollars to HUBZone-certified companies each year. The newly designated areas are now viewable on the SBA’s 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 of 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.
The program allows governors to apply each year to expand their zones by 10 percent of the current number of zones. Colorado intends to apply annually to maximize the impact of this program in rural Colorado, meaning that each year additional rural counties can be added.
The Colorado PTAC supports small businesses around Colorado in obtaining federal, state, and local government contracts and was instrumental in supporting this expansion of HUBZones in Colorado. Small businesses can contact the PTAC based on the information below.
Montrose, a participating county, is also enrolled in Colorado’s Just Transition program, which supports coal workers, employers, and communities as they plan for the future closings of coal plants and develop resilient economic opportunities.