Sandy Adams Proposes HUBZones for Space Coast
With space shuttle program over, Florida Republican hopes SBA program will keep workers in Brevard County
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It's a bill to keep NASA workers in the area by launching a “historically underutilized business zone” (HUBZone) in Brevard County.
Originally enacted into federal law in the 1990s, the HUBZone program, which is run by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA), would create regions for economic development and employment growth by opening up more federal contracts in the area.
Businesses that qualify under the HUBZone program must have Americans as the majority owners and be based and have 35 percent of their employees living in the designated HUBZone. Under the initial act setting up the zones, federal agencies can send more than 3 percent of their budget through prime contracts to small businesses based in HUBZones.
“As Brevard families continue to struggle with the ending of NASA’s space shuttle program, I will continue to look for ways to bring much-needed jobs and new employers to the district,” said Adams on Wednesday. “Establishing Brevard County as a HUBZone will help promote economic development and growth by providing access to more federal contracting opportunities. In addition to providing new tools for Brevard County, my legislation will not cost the federal government a single additional dollar, nor does it authorize or appropriate any additional funding. The HUBZone designation would give the county a competitive edge and encourage our nation to better utilize the space industry work force in our community.”
U.S. Rep. Bill Posey announced Wednesday that he is backing the proposal from his fellow Florida Republican.
“This legislation has the potential to create jobs in Brevard County,” said Posey. “We have many of the best engineers, technicians and scientists in the world – truly creative and brilliant people – right here on Florida’s Space Coast and this bill can help put some of them back to work.”
Adams’ proposal garnered the backing of Space Florida and leaders on the Space Coast.
“Space Florida sees the creation of a HUBZone as a great benefit – not only to Florida’s Space Coast, but the state’s overall space industry,” said Frank DiBello, the president of Space Florida. “We are pleased that Representative Adams has introduced this legislation. This bill has the potential to greatly benefit Florida's small and midsized businesses in the aerospace sector – and these types of businesses will play a key role in assuring Florida maintains its leadership in the global space marketplace.”
The proposal also won the backing of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast (EDC).
“The EDC stands behind Representative Adams' pursuit of a countywide HUBZone” said Lynda Weatherman, president of the organization. "This zone will provide small business another tool in their efforts to obtain a federal contract. We applaud the representative for her initiative to promote tools for further economic development on the Space Coast.”
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