WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Mike Enzi wants the Small Business Administration to ensure the Historically Underutilized Business Zones program is fulfilling its mission and improving economic opportunities in distressed communities across the country.
In a news release, Enzi said reports showed the HUBZone program funds are going to some of the nation’s wealthiest areas, instead of being targeted to the country’s neediest communities, as the program was intended.
Enzi said he was troubled to read that the program may be falling short of its intended purpose in some areas.
“As a former small business owner, I want to ensure that the Historically Underutilized Business Zones program is fulfilling its mission and improving economic opportunity in distressed communities across the country, including in my home state of Wyoming,” he said.
The Government Accountability Office has raised concerns about the program and noted that improvements are needed to more effectively target the program to its intended recipients.
Enzi specifically wants to know what steps SBA will take to improve the program’s ability to target and spur economic development in the neediest communities, SBA’s oversight role in the HUBZone certification and recertification processes, and how the agency combats fraud, waste and abuse in the program.
In Wyoming, there are HUBZones in Washakie, Fremont, Hot Springs, Goshen, Campbell, Niobrara, Platte and Albany counties, along with the Wind River Reservation.