Following Shaheen’s Legislative Effort, Small Business Administration Now Allows Governors to Designate HUBZones to Help Small Businesses Access Federal Contracts

January 02, 2020

**Shaheen has long fought to expand the HUBZone program, and this new rule will allow governors the ability to designate HUBZones in economically distressed rural areas, including New Hampshire**

**The Fiscal Year 2018 national defense bill included Shaheen’s legislation to expand the pool of HUBZone eligible communities and enhance the program’s ability to be a targeted economic development tool**

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, applauded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s new rule that went into effect yesterday to empower governors with the ability to designate certain rural areas as Historical Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone). The HUBZone program helps small businesses located in urban and rural communities with low household incomes and high unemployment gain preferential access to federal contract opportunities, in turn, helping the businesses expand and create jobs. Under this new rule, which comes as a result of legislation championed by Shaheen, governors are allowed to designate one new HUBZone area a year. 

“This new rule is a long time coming and responds directly to one of the biggest concerns I hear from our rural business owners: access to federal contracts. I’ve continuously fought to expand the HUBZone program because it is a proven program that helps level the playing field for small businesses throughout our state,” said Shaheen. “I’ve led this legislative effort to expand communities’ eligibility for this program because we know how important it is to New Hampshire business owners in economically distressed communities who want to grow their businesses and hire more workers.” 

Senator Shaheen has long fought to expand this federal program. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Shaheen successfully included her legislation to expand the geographic reach of the HUBZone program in the fiscal year (FY) 2018 national defense bill.