Senate Passes Merkley HUBZone Bill

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United States Senate unanimously passed a bill sponsored by Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley that would reduce the wait time for small businesses to benefit from a federal program that aids companies in hard-hit counties. There is currently a two-year lag time after the census is completed before metro areas can be designated HUBZones.  

“Help is coming soon to the Oregon small businesses in counties waiting on a HUBZone designation and to unemployed Oregonians who are looking for work,” Merkley said. “I am pleased we could get this bill done today. Struggling small businesses will no longer have to wait two years to get the leg up in the federal contracting process they deserve.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure passage in the House and get the bill to the President’s desk for his signature.”

The HUBZone program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. The federal government has a goal of awarding 3% of all dollars for federal prime contracts to small businesses in HUBZones.

The HUBZone bill was cosponsored by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), ranking member and chair of the Small Business Committee.