There is established within the Administration a program (to be known as the HUBZone program) to be carried out by the Administrator to provide for Federal contracting assistance, including promoting economic development in economically distressed areas (as defined in section 636(m)(11)), to qualified HUBZone small business concerns in accordance with this section.
The term “redesignated area” means any census tract that ceases to be qualified under subparagraph (A) and any nonmetropolitan county that ceases to be qualified under subparagraph (B) for a period of 3 years after the date on which the census tract or nonmetropolitan county ceased to be so qualified.
A census tract or nonmetropolitan county described in clause (i) shall be considered to be a base closure area for a period beginning on the date on which the Administrator designates such census tract or nonmetropolitan county as a base closure area and ending on the date on which the base closure area ceases to be a qualified census tract under subparagraph (A) or a qualified nonmetropolitan county under subparagraph (B) in accordance with the online tool prepared by the Administrator described under subsection (d)(7), except that such period may not be less than 8 years.
The term “nonmetropolitan county” means a county that was not located in a metropolitan statistical area (as defined in section 143(k)(2)(B) of title 26) at the time of the most recent census taken for purposes of selecting qualified census tracts and does not otherwise qualify as a qualified nonmetropolitan county.
Subject to clause (ii), the term “qualified disaster area” means any census tract or nonmetropolitan county located in an area where a major disaster has occurred or an area in which a catastrophic incident has occurred if such census tract or nonmetropolitan county ceased to be qualified under subparagraph (A) or (B), as applicable, during the period beginning 5 years before the date on which the President declared the major disaster or the catastrophic incident occurred.
Each calendar year, a Governor may submit not more than 1 petition described under clause (ii). Such petition shall include all covered areas in a State for which the Governor seeks designation as a Governor-designated covered area, except that the total number of covered areas included in such petition may not exceed 10 percent of the total number of covered areas in the State.
If the Administrator grants a petition described under clause (ii), the Governor of the Governor-designated covered area shall, not less frequently than annually, submit data to the Administrator certifying that each Governor-designated covered area continues to meet the requirements of clause (v)(I).
A contract opportunity may be awarded pursuant to this section on the basis of competition restricted to qualified HUBZone small business concerns if the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that not less than 2 qualified HUBZone small business concerns will submit offers and that the award can be made at a fair market price.
Not later than 5 days from the date the Administration is notified of a procurement officer’s decision not to award a contract opportunity under this section to a qualified HUBZone small business concern, the Administrator may notify the contracting officer of the intent to appeal the contracting officer’s decision, and within 15 days of such date the Administrator may file a written request for reconsideration of the contracting officer’s decision with the Secretary of the department or agency head.
Subject to subparagraph (B), in any case in which a contract is to be awarded on the basis of full and open competition, the price offered by a qualified HUBZone small business concern shall be deemed as being lower than the price offered by another offeror (other than another small business concern), if the price offered by the qualified HUBZone small business concern is not more than 10 percent higher than the price offered by the otherwise lowest, responsive, and responsible offeror.
The price evaluation preference for purchases of agricultural commodities by the Secretary of Agriculture for export operations through international food aid programs administered by the Farm Service Agency shall be 5 percent on the first portion of a contract to be awarded that is not greater than 20 percent of the total volume of each commodity being procured in a single invitation.
The Administrator shall verify the eligibility of a HUBZone small business concern using the procedures described in paragraph (2) within a reasonable time and not later than 60 days after the date on which the Administrator receives sufficient and complete documentation from a HUBZone small business concern under paragraph (1).
Not later than 3 years after the date that such HUBZone small business concern was certified as a qualified HUBZone small business concern, and every 3 years thereafter, the Administrator shall verify the accuracy of any documentation provided by a HUBZone small business concern under paragraph (1) to determine if such HUBZone small business concern remains a qualified HUBZone small business concern.
A HUBZone small business concern that, based on the results of an examination conducted pursuant to paragraph (5) no longer meets the requirements of paragraph (1), shall have 30 days to submit documentation to the Administrator to be eligible to be certified as a qualified HUBZone small business concern. During the 30-day period, such concern may not compete for or be awarded a contract under this section. If such concern fails to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) by the last day of the 30-day period, the Administrator shall not certify such concern as a qualified HUBZone small business concern.
The Administrator shall include in the online tool a notification of the date on which the online tool, and the data used to create the online tool, will be updated.
Upon the request of the Administrator, the Secretary of Labor, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and the Secretary of the Interior (or the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs), shall promptly provide to the Administrator such information as the Administrator determines to be necessary to carry out this subsection.
In addition to the penalties described in section 645(d) of this title, any small business concern that is determined by the Administrator to have misrepresented the status of that concern as a “qualified HUBZone small business concern” for purposes of this section shall be subject to liability for fraud, including section 1001 of title 18 and sections 3729 through 3733 of title 31.
Not later than 1 year after December 12, 2017, the Administrator shall publish performance metrics designed to measure the success of the HUBZone program established under this section in meeting the program’s objective of promoting economic development in economically distressed areas (as defined in section 636(m)(11) of this title).
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out the program established by this section $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2025.