Yesterday, President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297) which mandates equal treatment for HUBZone and other Small Business Administration (SBA) preference categories. As discussed in the E&B Alerts dated May 11, 2009, July 16, 2009, and March 16, 2010, confusion reigned as the GAO and the Executive Branch disagreed over whether procurement officers were required to analyze whether a HUBZone preference applies before turning to other preference categories. As of our last update, the Court of Federal Claims had held that HUBZone preferences did take priority under the then-current statutory regime. See Mission Critical Solutions v. United States, 91 Fed. Cl. 386 (Mar. 2, 2010). Consequently, Congress took legislative action to codify the previous, preferred interpretation of the law pertaining to SBA preferences.
With the passage of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, Congress and the President returned HUBZone preferences to equal footing with other SBA preferences, such as veteran-owned small businesses.
For additional information or if you have questions on this topic, contact the attorneys at Eckland & Blando.