The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been approved by both houses of Congress and was signed into law on December 12, 2017. It includes important changes to the HUBZone Program which represent the culmination of the HUBZone Council’s advocacy efforts in 2017. AboutWeb’s grassroots lobbying led by Co-Founder/President & CEO Robert Epstein teamed with the HubZone Council’s excellent organizational efforts which resulted in this successful legislation.
The NDAA makes the following changes to the HUBZone Program:
* Freezes HUBZone maps until January 1, 2020, and transitions the program to map updates only every 5 years after 2020. (This means that redesignated areas that were set to expire in 2018 and 2019 will remain HUBZones at least until 2020.)
* Provides state governors with the ability to petition the Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator to designate areas that have an average unemployment rate at least 120% of national or state average, whichever is lower, as HUBZones. (Petitions require annual resubmission.)
* Removes the qualifier “nonmetropolitan” from “state median income” when determining HUBZone Program eligibility for counties, expanding the number of counties that qualify for HUBZone designation.
* Requires the SBA to process HUBZone certification applications within 60 days of receipt.
* Ensures that Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC) counties receive HUBZone eligibility for a full 8 years, beginning on the date they are designated a BRAC.
* Requires the SBA to conduct a study on small business participation on multiple award contracts (MACs).