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Waynesboro Named Historically Underutilized Business Zone - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Waynesboro Named Historically Underutilized Business Zone

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The city of Waynesboro has been named a "HUB" or Historically Underutilized Business Zone.

The city may not really want that federal designation, but it could help Waynesboro compete for new business. Being a HUB is something of a catch-22, as Waynesboro's Economic Development Director Greg Hitchin puts it.

This is the first time Waynesboro has earned the designation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It comes from a complex formula of population and poverty measures.

Beginning in 2013, three of Waynesboro's five census tracts qualify as HUB zones. They include the city's downtown, as well as numerous commercial and industrial properties on the north and east sides. 

The U.S. government offers incentives for small businesses in those zones to compete for federal contracts.

"If you go through the process and become HUB zone-certified, that can be your calling card into a federal contractor -  to try to get a federal contract. Anybody that sells anything to the federal government might be interested. And they buy everything," said Hitchin.

He says Powder Coating Solutions and PPI-Time Zero are among the Waynesboro firms that have already done business with the federal government.

Small businesses may qualify for the program if they are headquartered in a HUB zone and have a certain percentage of employees who live there as well.

    

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