HOULTON, Maine — Businesses in Aroostook County now have another tool to grow their sales. The federal government recently announced a change in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program, which should benefit southern Aroostook.
“The recently updated HUBZone Map now has all of Aroostook County in a qualified HUBZone,” said Amy Bassett, District Director of Maine SBA. “While we understand the challenges Aroostook county small businesses are facing, we want to seize on the opportunity and benefits that the HUBZone program presents and help stimulate the region’s economy by getting federal contracts flowing to eligible small businesses.
“The HUBZone Program can help with that, and by working with SBA and Maine Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) counselors to apply, Maine small businesses will receive quicker decisions from SBA’s HUBZone Program office,” she said.
To learn more about the HUBZone designation, Southern Aroostook Development Corporation and Maine PTAC will hold a workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Houlton Regional Hospital’s Community Health Education Center, 20 Hartford St., Houlton.
“The HUBZone program is an excellent tool for southern Aroostook companies interested in competing for federal opportunities,” said SADC Executive Director Jon McLaughlin. “SADC is happy to partner with Maine PTAC to assist area businesses that would like to become HUBZone certified.”
The Historically Underutilized Business Zones program was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997. The program encourages economic development in historically underutilized business zones through the establishment of preferences. Those preferences to HUBZone-qualified companies include competitive and sole source contracting, 10 percent price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions, as well as subcontracting opportunities, and the federal government has a goal of awarding 3 percent of all dollars for federal prime contracts to HUBZone-certified small businesses.
The workshop is free and open to any business owner or representative that wants to learn more about the program. Maine PTAC Business Counselor Dana Delano, will also present on what it takes to sell to government entities and opportunities that are available locally and outside the area.
Space is limited, and RSVP’s are encouraged. To register, contact Delano at email@example.com or by calling (207) 521-1713.