Small business workshop to focus on HUBZone advantages

It pays to be in the Zone.

Businesses in certain federally designated areas are eligible for preferential access to U.S. government contracting opportunities. Find out where HUBZones are in West Virginia and how your business can benefit during a free workshop Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in Fairmont.

The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) is partnering with the West Virginia District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to explain how to apply the requirements of the HUBZone program to help small businesses receive their fair share of federal contracting opportunities. George Murray, deputy district director of the West Virginia Office of the SBA, will explain the advantages of the program, how businesses can become certified and how they can maximize use of the certification.

HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone) certification provides small businesses an advantage when bidding on federal government contracts. HUBZone-certified small businesses qualify for the program’s set-aside contracts and receive a 10 percent price evaluation preference when competing for open contracts.

Most of north central West Virginia is HUBZone qualified, including all of Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Taylor, Tyler and Wetzel counties; and parts of Monongalia County, Murray said. To qualify, a small business must have its principal office in a HUBZone and 35 percent of its employees must live in a HUBZone (but not necessarily the same one as the business location).

While West Virginia historically has had one of the lowest rates of HUBZone participation, certifications have increased significantly in the past two years, according to Murray. RCBI has worked with the SBA and other partners to promote HUBZone participation through a series of statewide workshops and social media campaigns.

Registration is required by September 23 at 3 p.m. Register at For more information, contact RCBI’s Tyler Brandstetter at 304.781.1681 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .