Gov. Justice petitions to designate Preston County a HUBZone

Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 3:49 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - Gov. Justice announced on Thursday that he has petitioned for five counties to be Governor-designated HUBZones, including Preston County.

The other four counties in the petition are Boone, Clay, Hampshire and Monroe counties.

The Historically Underutilized Business Zone, or HUBZone, program gives participating small businesses access to exclusive federal contracting opportunities and preferential price evaluations when bidding on at-large federal contracts.

West Virginia is one of the first ten states to petition for expanding access to this program through Governor-designated HUBZones, according to Gov. Justice.

“I am so happy to announce that I have spearheaded this petition,” Gov. Justice said. “Our great state’s small businesses deserve a fighting chance to show the nation the competitive advantage of West Virginia. We remain ready and able to compete for federal contracting opportunities and help revitalize our rural communities through continued hard work and dedication.”

If approved, Gov. Justice said small businesses would now have access to markets where they were previously excluded or where they suffered a competitive disadvantage.

Gov. Justice’s designations are in addition to existing West Virginia HUBZones where businesses are already bringing federal dollars into the state.

Three percent of all federal contracts are to be funded through this program.

In 2020, Gov. Justice said West Virginia small businesses contracted for $48 million worth of goods and services. In 2022, West Virginia small businesses contracted for an estimated $99.7 million.

“The Governor’s decision to seek HUBZone designation for five additional West Virginia counties is further evidence of the State’s commitment to its small business community,” WV Department of Commerce Secretary James Bailey said. “The HUBZone program presents a great opportunity for businesses to not only increase revenue and diversify income streams but to also continue driving economic growth and job creation locally.”

Click here to read the petition.