Gov. Justice designates Preston County as a HUBZone

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 12:21 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - Gov. Justice has announced the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved his petition for Preston County to be a designated HUBZone.

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.

Gov. Justice said West Virginia is one of the first 10 states to petition for expanding access to this program.

“This announcement will bring more opportunities to these counties, and we’re excited to see what the future looks like,” Gov. Justice said. “We are one of the first ten states that have expanded the HUBZone Program, and that’s really amazing. So, for Boone, Clay, Hampshire, Monroe, and Preston counties, a lot more good stuff is coming to your county, and we can’t wait to see how you take advantage of this news.”

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

The U.S. Small Business Administration and Gov. Justice’s designations are in addition to existing WV HUBZones where businesses are already bringing federal dollars into the state. 3% of all federal contracts are to be funded through this program.

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

“Supporting small businesses and providing them the tools to succeed themselves is critical to the continued economic growth of our State,” Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Commerce James Bailey said. “The Department of Commerce in collaboration with the Governor is working to make those programs and opportunities available and accessible throughout the State.”