Because U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, strongly supports the extension of Monroe County's HUBZone status, he recently sent a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Small Business Committee asking that a bill he cosponsored be passed by the full committee.
Monroe County's HUBZone status is set to expire in October, and Rep. Barletta is working to make sure that doesn't happen.
A member of the Small Business Committee, Rep. Barletta sent a letter to Chairman Sam Graves, R-Missouri, and Ranking Member Nydia Velazquez, D-New York, asking them to bring H.R. 2131 before the full committee. That bill would delay any changes to Monroe County's HUBZone status for three years.
The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. These preferences go to small businesses that obtain HUBZone certification in part by employing staff who live in a HUBZone. As many as 100 businesses in Monroe County benefit from the HUB designation at any given time.
"My district has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, and a rate higher than the national average. Now is not the time for the federal government to change the HUBZone program and hurt the people of Monroe County," Rep. Barletta said. "The loss of the HUBZone status for Monroe County will make it harder for small businesses there to obtain federal contracts. Northeastern Pennsylvania needs that work, and my constituents need those jobs.
"I'm urging my colleagues on the Small Business Committee to act quickly and protect Monroe County's HUBZone status."