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Small businesses set to thrive as part of HUBZone



Small businesses set to thrive as part of HUBZone

For a longtime manufacturer in Ashville, Chautauqua County, precision is its middle name — literally. 

Chautauqua Precision Machining are the makers of tight tolerance, small diameter cylindrical parts, turned to the customer’s specification.

What You Need To Know

  •  Small businesses in New York state make up about 98% of the state’s business sector
  •  HUBZones are federal SBA programs designned to drive economic development
  • There are several HUBZones across the state

“It could be for the military, it could be for an engine component. We do not design anything. We take drawings from the customer and work with them to make sure we produce a product that fits into their products,” said Jeff Christie, president of Chautauqua Precision Machining.

The company is located in what’s called a Historically Underutilized Business, or HUBZone, typically found in rural, low to moderate-income regions, designed to drive economic development. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA, runs the newly expanded program, which can be found in a number of counties across New York state to help grow small existing businesses and recognize their many contributions.

“They’re our innovators. They employ our families. They frame Main Street for us and they actually build our economy,” said Victoria Reynolds, district director, U.S. Small Business Administration.

To help do that, the federal government awards 3% of its contracts to HUBZone-certified firms, which are also required to have at least 35% of its workforce live in the HUBZone area.

The SBA has field offices across the state and also works with resource partners such as Small Business Development Centers, like the one at SUNY JCC.

“So it really is a community development, an economic development tool,” said Reynolds. “So if you have a product or service that you can sell to the federal government, this certification is kind of a no-brainer.”

That’s why Christie, grateful for the opportunity to apply and get certified, would encourage other small businesses to do the same.

“The HUBZone will get a certain percentage of business, so you do have a leg up,” he said. “One more opportunity. One more bite at the apple. One more chance to get work into your business.”

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