Congressman John K. Delaney introduced legislation this week to extend federal HUBZone status for Garrett County through 2022. SBA HUBZone status helps Garrett County businesses secure government contracts and currently the program supports over 300 jobs countywide.
OAKLAND —U.S. Rep. John Delaney filed legislation Monday to extend federal Historically Underutilized Business Zone Empowerment Contracting eligibility for Garrett County businesses through 2022.
The HUBZone program is a small business federal contracting assistance program designed to encourage economic development in underperforming areas. There are 11 HUBZone certified businesses countywide, employing more than 320 people, according to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. Garrett first received the designation in 2015.
The Garrett HubZone Redesignation Act would reform the Small Business Administration’s management of the HUBZone program, giving the county and similar communities nationwide more time to benefit from the program and adjust to potential changes.
“The county will lose its HUBZone status in the near future and the legislation that Congressman Delaney is sponsoring will soften the blow for these companies and provide additional time for Garrett County to work to retain our HUBZone designation,” said Nicole Christian, president and CEO of the chamber. “We are appreciative of Congressman Delaney’s efforts to help our community and the companies that are thriving because of the HUBZone program.”
Absent congressional action, the county will lose the status in 2018.
“This bill is about protecting local jobs and attracting new economic development in Garrett County,” said Delaney. “HUBZone status supports hundreds of local jobs and it is crucial that we extend eligibility for Garrett County businesses. Three hundred jobs in Garrett County – that’s tremendously important to the community. Local business officials and community leaders have made it clear that there are numerous problems with the SBA redesignation process and it needs to be reformed.”