The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program is a “place-based” federal contracting program for small businesses. The program is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and provides both Federal prime contract and subcontract benefits to HUBZone certified businesses.

HUBZone Benefits:

Joining the HUBZone program makes your business eligible to compete for the program's set-aside contracts. HUBZone-certified businesses also get a 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions. 

HUBZone Opportunities:

The Federal Government limits competition and sets aside 3% of all contract opportunities for small businesses that meet HUBZone eligibility requirements. There are two kinds of set-aside contracts: competitive set-asides and sole-source set-asides. defines these as:

  • Competitive set-aside contracts: When at least two small businesses could perform the work or provide the products being purchased, the government sets aside the contract exclusively for small businesses. With few exceptions, this happens automatically for all government contracts under $150,000. Some set-asides are open to any small business, but some are open only to small businesses who participate in SBA contracting assistance programs.
  • Sole-Source set-aside contracts: Most contracts are competitive, but sometimes there are exceptions to this rule. Sole-source contracts are a kind of contract that can be issued without a competitive bidding process. This usually happens in situations where only a single business can fulfill the requirements of a contract. To be considered for a sole-source contract, register your business with the System for Award Management (SAM) and participate in any contracting program you may qualify for. In some cases, sole-source contracts must be published publicly, and will be marked with an intent to sole source. Potential vendors can still view and bid on these contracts. Once the bidding process begins, the intent to sole-source may be withdrawn.

There are additional set-aside HUBZone opportunities for small businesses within the following socio-economic categories: 8(a) Business Development, Women-Owned Small Business, and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned. states that participating in one of these SBA programs means you'll have fewer businesses to compete with to win a government contract. However, you must meet eligibility requirements and certify your business' socio-economic status before you can bid on a set-aside contract.


Only companies certified by the SBA are eligible to participate in the HUBZone program. To qualify, a small business must meet all of the following requirements:

  • The company’s principal office must be in a HUBZone*
  • Be a small business according to SBA size standards
  • At least 51% of the company is owned and controlled by U.S. Citizens
  • At least 35% of the company’s employees must be HUBZone residents
  • 8(a) firms located in a HUBZone will be able to receive contracting opportunities under both programs

After determining if your business is located within a HUBZone, click to understand the HUBZone Designations.

*The HUBZone map was updated as of July 1, 2023. 

Utilize the SBA's Top Tips for HUBZone Certification to ensure that you are on a path to success!

For more information, visit contact the Small Business Administration Virginia District Office at (804) 771-2400 or