HUBZone Status Granted to Town of Altavista and Gladys/Long Island Area of Campbell County
Campbell County Economic Development is pleased to announce that two census tracts in the County, including the Town of Altavista and a large area encompassing Gladys and Long Island, have been officially granted Governor-designated HUBZone status as of March 23, 2022.
The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program, run by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. The HUBZone program’s goal is to award at least 3% of federal contract dollars to HUBZone-certified companies each year. The federal government purchases an extraordinary range of goods each year from American small businesses. HUBZone-certified small businesses can be awarded these contracts even if their quote is up to 10% higher than non-HUBZone certified competitor quotes.
Virginia is only the third state to have taken advantage of the opportunity to grant “Governor-designated” HUBZones since they were added to the program through regulatory changes in 2020.
“The recent changes to the HUBZone Program have helped in making it part of the arsenal for economic development in communities that are economically distressed,” says Carl Knoblock, District Director of the SBA in Richmond. “The Altavista area is a perfect example of recent regulation changes where the Governor can give a recommendation to include economically distressed areas into the HUBZone program. I commend Campbell County for taking a leadership role in making this happen to help their communities.”
Nina Rezai, Economic Development Manager, initiated the nomination request with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBDC) in coordination with Knoblock in 2021, near the end of former Governor Northam’s term in office. Campbell County Economic Development worked with both Governor Northam’s and Governor Youngkin’s administrations to be nominated for the HUBZone designations, which the SBA officially approved in March 2022.
“We would like to thank both governors, as well as Virginia Delegate Matt Fariss, for their assistance in securing these designations, which can not only benefit current Campbell County businesses that qualify, but also help attract new business to the area,” says Rezai. “Having two HUBZones in the county provides us a competitive advantage when federal contractors or sub-contractors are searching for a new business headquarters location.”
In order to qualify for HUBZone certification, a business must employ staff who live in a HUBZone and maintain a “principal office” in one of these specially designated areas. Once a business has received certification as a HUBZone small business, they will need to recertify with the HUBZone program once a year. There is no limit to the length of time a business can participate as long as it continues to qualify.
Small businesses with principal offices in these new Governor-Designated Covered Areas may visit sba.gov/HUBZone for more information about the HUBZone program and how to become a certified HUBZone small business.