HUBZone Program Updates from 2018 NDAA

The HUBZone program is undergoing some changes per the recently signed 2018 NDAA. Most of the changes are not taking effect until 2020, except for one change which is effective immediately. The current HUBZone maps will be frozen until January 2020 which means any areas currently designated or redesignated as HUBZone areas will remain eligible until early 2020. SBA has been charged with developing a new public mapping tool to depict HUBZones with the current maps remaining the same until the new tool has been developed.

SBA’s new online tool for depicting HUBZone areas will not be updated as frequently so businesses can ascertain how long their location will remain HUBZone eligible. The maps will only be updated every 5 years for areas that are HUBZone census tracts or nonmetropolitan counties, so a HUBZone certified firm can be sure that their location will remain HUBZone for at least 5 years.

Other changes to the HUBZone program include a shorter processing time for HUBZone applications from 90 to 60 days. HUBZone designation of a military base closure will begin when SBA designates an area as a base closure area, not when the base actually closes. State governors may also make a request to SBA to request an area be designated as HUBZone, pending SBA approval.