Small businesses can prosper relocating into a HubZone area

Published 6:04 pm Friday, July 20, 2018

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors heard a sales pitch about the benefits of having businesses relocate to a HubZone area, of which Picayune and Poplarville currently qualify.

HubZone is a program under the United States Small Business Administration designed to help small companies working and employing people in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HubZones).

Will Rachal is the owner of Dream Builders, a Slidell based company that promotes the benefits of participating in the HubZone program.

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A HubZone is an area where the median income isn’t high and/or the unemployment rate is higher than the national average, he said.

Currently there is only one certified HubZone company in Pearl River County, Wheatley Consulting LLC, Rachal said.

The U.S. Small Business Administration website states that in order to qualify for the HubZone program small businesses must have their central office located within a Hubzone and at least 35 percent of their employees must live in a HubZone. By participating in the program, that company has access to federal contracts that can help it grow.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said several businesses could benefit by relocating into a HubZone area. Pearl River County is poised to benefit from that fact since it is situated close to Stennis Space Center, which is home to a number of federal companies.

Pearl River County Board of Supervisors Vice-President Hudson Holliday said the program provides an avenue for companies to not only provide more jobs and but could also be an avenue to attract more companies to this area.

Hudson said it would also provide a chance to focus on existing businesses in the county.

“Sometimes we forget about the businesses we have and search for new businesses… we need to help existing businesses grow and be prosperous,” he said.

While the county has areas that qualify, the Board wants to establish the costs involved before making a decision, Holliday said.