U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced that S. 1292, the “HUBZone Revitalization Act of 2015” was reported favorably to the Senate Floor through the Senate Armed Services Committee as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Their legislation would expand the Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) status to qualified disaster areas, as well as areas impacted by military base closures.
“Providing economic support and business development opportunities after a major disaster is crucial to helping a community and the local economy recover, which is why I am glad to see the HUBZone Revitalization Act pass through Committee with bipartisan support,” said Senator Vitter. “We in Louisiana understand and appreciate the fact that passing this bill will make sure that local small businesses have help recovering, rebuilding, and bringing jobs back.”
“Military bases are often the economic engine of the towns and cities they call home, but when those bases close down, it doesn’t mean a town has to as well,” Senator King said. “With the right investments and federal funding, the government can partner with local redevelopment authorities to revitalize former bases and spur economic growth – and that’s exactly what our HUBZone provision will accomplish. The provision tailors the HUBZone program to cities and towns that have been hit hard by base closures, improving the program to jumpstart economic development, attract businesses, and create new jobs.”
Vitter and King’s legislation would ensure that qualified areas affected by major disasters would be eligible for HUBZone status for five years, and catastrophic disasters for ten years. Additionally, it waives certain requirements of the HUBZone program in order for businesses in communities affected by Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) to qualify for the program.