IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 25, 2017
Mrs. Shaheen introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
To improve the HUBZone program.
This Act may be cited as the
Invest in Rural Small Business Act of 2017.
Flexibility for residency in HUBZones
Section 3(p)(5)(A)(i)(I) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(p)(5)(A)(i)(I)) is amended by striking
35 percent each place that term appears and inserting
Enabling local communities to maximize economic potential
The Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631 et seq.) is amended—
in section 3(p)(1) (15 U.S.C. 632(p)(1))—
in subparagraph (E), by striking
or at the end;
by redesignating subparagraph (F) as subparagraph (G); and
by inserting after subparagraph (E) the following:
another qualified area designated by the Administrator under section 31(d); or
in section 31 (15 U.S.C. 657a)—
by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (e); and
by inserting after subsection (c) the following:
Other qualified areas
In this subsection—
the term covered area means an area in a State—
that is located outside of an urbanized area, as determined by the Bureau of the Census; and
with a population of not more than 50,000;
the term governor means the chief executive of a State; and
the term State means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.
A governor may petition the Administrator to designate one or more covered areas as a HUBZone if the average unemployment rate of each covered area is not less than 120 percent of the average unemployment rate of the United States or of the State in which the covered area is located, whichever is less, based on the most recent data available from the American Community Survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census.
In reviewing a petition submitted by a governor under paragraph (2), the Administrator may consider—
the potential for job creation and investment;
the demonstrated interest of small business concerns in the covered area to participate in the HUBZone program established under section 31; and
the consideration by State and local government officials of a HUBZone as part of an economic development strategy.
With respect to a petition submitted by a governor to the Administrator under paragraph (2)—
the governor may submit not more than 1 petition in a fiscal year unless the Administrator determines that an additional petition from the State of the governor is appropriate;
the governor may not submit a petition for more than 10 percent of the total number of covered areas in the State of the governor; and
if the Administrator grants the petition and designates one or more covered areas as a HUBZone, the governor shall, not less frequently than annually, submit data to the Administrator certifying that each covered area continues to meet the requirements of clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph (1)(A).
The Administrator shall establish procedures—
to ensure that the Administration accepts petitions under paragraph (2) from all States each fiscal year; and
to provide technical assistance, before the filing of a petition under paragraph (2), to a governor who is interested in filing such a petition.
Ensuring timely consideration of HUBZone applications
Section 3(p)(5) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(p)(5)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Review of applications
Not later than 60 days after the date on which the Administrator receives an application from a small business concern to be certified as a qualified HUBZone small business concern under subparagraph (A)(i), the Administrator shall approve or deny the application.