In the heart of Washington, the APEX program has been igniting the potential of HUBZone-certified small businesses since they joined the Early Engagement Initiative (EEI) partnership four years ago. With a deep understanding of the value this collaboration brings, Washington APEX has transformed the landscape of HUBZone certification, benefiting both businesses and the local community. The journey began when Washington APEX’s dedicated team recognized the value the EEI could bring to HUBZone-certified businesses. The government’s underutilization of the goal to facilitate the HUBZone certification process for local entrepreneurs—coupled with the lack of awareness among small businesses—underscored the importance of their role. Most of the counties within their coverage area were in qualified HUBZones, making the partnership a natural fit.
As an EEI partner, Washington APEX embarked on a mission to guide HUBZone businesses through the certification process, ensuring they were well-prepared and procurement ready. The partnership provided a comprehensive framework, beginning with an in-depth document review. This meticulous approach involved meetings with clients to verify and digitize documents, aligning them with the stringent requirements of HUBZone certification. Through their dedication, Washington APEX not only facilitated the certification journey but also ensured that clients understood every step of the process. By walking through the application together and offering personalized guidance, they empowered clients to navigate complex questions with confidence.
The referral process became a testimony to the partnership’s success. Word-of-mouth recommendations between industry peers and the impact of APEX’s educational sessions generated a steady stream of businesses seeking EEI assistance. These referrals, often from businesses previously unaware of HUBZone certification, underscored the program’s vital role in raising awareness and readiness. Guiding businesses toward procurement readiness, Washington APEX became a beacon of support. They recognized that success hinged on businesses comprehending the intricacies of HUBZone eligibility and compliance, alongside completing essential steps such as establishing their businesses and registering with SAM.
Looking forward, their advice to potential EEI partners is clear—thoroughly understand the HUBZone program and stay updated on its evolution. The resources provided by the SBA, such as the Eligibility Tool, Screening Tool, and the Supporting Documents Checklist, proved invaluable in Washington APEX’s journey.
“Through our partnership with the EEI, we’ve witnessed businesses not only navigate the HUBZone certification process but thrive in the federal contracting arena. It’s about empowering dreams and driving economic growth—a true testament to the power of collaboration.”
– Aleesha Roedel, Government Contract Assistance Specialist
By empowering businesses with knowledge, guidance, and thorough preparation, this partnership enhances HUBZone-certified businesses’ prospects for success. As Washington APEX continues to be a catalyst for growth in their local business landscape, their commitment to driving prosperity remains unwavering.
Contact Aleesha Roedel, Government Contracting Assistance Specialist.