Small Business Administration representative, Josie Salinas, discusses the program, "We have several social and economically disadvantaged programs, and HUB Zone is one of them. We try to work with a lot of people. And in fact where we are right now, we have a resource partner, the Small Business Development Center".
Bud Darby owns two businesses here in Abilene, and got his start using the HUB Zone program. He now runs a successful organization that is too large to qualify for the program.
"Small businesses come in, where you would be competing with the large companies that have the financial advantage--this puts everyone on the same playing ground", says Darby.
About two hundred businesses in the Abilene area are eligible for the HUB Zone program. Most of them are located on our around Treadaway Blvd. Out of that number, only one business is currently taking advantage of the SBA's program".
This federally funded program allows small businesses to score government contracts, under a reserved budget for certified HUB Zone companies.
The Dyess Air Force Base has strong ties with this program, as they award around seven percent of their contracts to certified businesses. "The small businesses are the backbone of America. That's just as true anywhere else as it is here in Abilene. We understand that the small businesses here in Abilene are interested in doing work with the federal government", says Lieutenant Wade Morris.
Darby recalls his start in business, "I started at Dyess Air Force Base in 1989. They were instrumental in giving me my first shot at starting with the government contracts".
To qualify for the program, a business must have thirty-five percent of its employees living in a recognized HUB Zone area, and of course, must be a small business.
For more information on the hub zone program or to see if your business qualifies, visit http://www.sba.gov/