For those who keep up with our website, blogs and newsletter, you have undoubtedly seen that Advize is a Small Business Administration (SBA) HUBZone certified business. In the general business development world, being a HUBZone may have little effect on winning business, but in the government contracting world, it is an important tool used by the government to give businesses a competitive edge.
The qualification requirements are difficult to achieve, and just as difficult to maintain. Businesses must be physically located in the HUBZone area, which are swaths in geographic areas that are considered underserved in the community. When you look at the HUBZone map for a particular area, it can look like a piece of Swiss cheese, and I am not entirely certain how the maps are drawn. Not only does the principle work location need to be in a HUBZone (and principle is defined as the place where the majority of the employees go to work), but at least 35% of your employees must reside in a HUBZone. They do not have to reside in the same HUBZone as the principle office location, but they need to reside in a HUBZone. Maintaining that 35% ratio was, and continues to be a challenge. SBA recently refreshed the rules, and allowed for instances when an employee that previously resided in the HUBZone and moved out, to remain in the mix of the percentages; but it is still a challenge. Some areas that one would not consider economically disadvantaged are in HUBZones, while others that one would think should be, are not.
Each year, business must recertify compliance with the requirements. Once certified, maintaining the 35% ratio is the most important, as offices typically do not move frequently. Anyone reviewing government contract opportunities can often see that a particular opportunity is “set aside” for HUBZone business. This is where the ability to compete can be a differentiator. In government contracting, this allows a company that is HUBZone Certified to be the prime vendor on that contract, allowing the company to grow and compete in ways that it might not otherwise due to size or financial limitations.
While the HUBZone designation is difficult to achieve, it is something that Advize is extremely proud to have landed. This coupled with being a Woman-Owned Small Business, and certified as such in numerous states, helps to provide a competitive edge in seeking opportunities in the government space. In a recent proposal, we were able to submit a proposal specifically because of being certified by a particular state to do business in that state as a Woman-Owned Small Business. As we continue to grow and evolve, we thank everyone who has been part of, and followed us on our journey to continue to be a best in class provider of healthcare fraud, waste and abuse advisory and consulting services. Our team of retired OIG agents and OIG leaders, coupled with our unparalleled analytics and subject matter experts that are trial and courtroom tested, works to provide our clients with everything that they need as a one stop shop.
By Eric Rubenstein