Governor Moore Announces New Maryland Small Businesses Opportunities Through Additional HUBZone Designations

Published: 2/22/2024

ANNAPOLIS, MD —Governor Wes Moore today announced the approval of Maryland’s petition for new HUBZone areas from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The three new designations for Worcester County, census tract 22 in Allegany County, and census tract 9302 in Somerset County, will help make Maryland more competitive by bringing significant economic development opportunities to some of Maryland’s most rural communities.

“We need to expand access and opportunities to our small businesses—especially those in areas that have been historically overlooked and undervalued; that’s what the HUBZone program will continue to help us achieve,” said Gov. Moore. “I’m grateful for our partners across federal, state, and local governments, and we thank the U.S. Small Business Administration for the opportunities that this petition will create for Marylanders everywhere.” 

The Historically Underutilized Business Program, better known as the HUBZone Program, creates opportunities for certified small businesses in economically challenged areas to partner directly with the federal government. Businesses within HUBZone-designated areas can compete for federal set-aside contracts and receive preferential procurement consideration. The U.S. Small Business Administration allows governors to petition the agency once per year to designate rural and distressed areas of the state for HUBZone status.

Maryland’s new HUBZones were selected based on criteria determined by the U.S. Small Business Administration, including location, population size, and average unemployment rates. The designated areas have been added to the HUBZone Map and will be effective for one calendar year—as long as the selected areas continue to meet the required criteria. 

“The new distinction will help provide preferential consideration for federal contracts to certified businesses in areas that have been economically underrepresented,” said Maryland Department of General Services Secretary Atif Chaudhry. “This opportunity will not only attract new business investment to these areas but will help invigorate job growth in parts of Maryland that have far too often been left behind.”

The federal government is one of the largest buyers of goods and services in the world, committing approximately $694 billion to contracts—$20.8 billion of which was set aside for HUBZone certified firms—in FFY 2022. Businesses that are interested in participating in the HUBZone program, must be certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration. HUBZone-certified businesses can continue to compete for contracts under other socio-economic programs they qualify for.

“This approval will give rural small businesses the chance to access federal government contracts, leading to new jobs and new investment in the areas that need it most,” said Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson. “We are very grateful to the U.S. Small Business Administration for its constant support of our state’s small business efforts.”