Press Release Records
Press Release of Senator King
Senators Collins, King Introduce Bill to Help Create Jobs at Former Military Bases, Including Brunswick Naval Air Station
Monday, February 4, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to make it easier to attract businesses and create new jobs, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) have introduced legislation to expand the geographic boundaries of HUBzones located at former U.S. military installations closed through the so-called “Base Closure and Realignment,” or BRAC process.
The HUBzone, or Historically Underutilized Business Zones, program is administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. The problem is current law defines the geographic boundaries of a BRAC-related HUBzone to be the same as the boundaries of the base that was closed. It also requires that 35-percent of the employees of a company live inside the HUBzone.
“The problem is clear: very few people live on these former bases. That makes it difficult or impossible for businesses that are interested in helping to redevelop them to get the workers they need to meet the requirements of the HUBzone program,” said Senator Collins. “Our legislation would help communities like Brunswick attract new businesses, create jobs, and improve the economy of our state.”
“Maine has endured the closing of two military installations – Loring Air Force Base and Brunswick Naval Air Station – with great resilience, but the economic impact of those closings is undeniable,” said Senator King. “That’s why it’s critical to ensure that redevelopment programs, like HUBZone, are effective. The legislation that Senator Collins and I have introduced will improve the HUBZone program and make it a more powerful and effective instrument of economic development for communities.”
The legislation introduced by Senators Collins and King, which is identical to legislation introduced late in the 112th Congress, would expand the geographic boundaries of BRAC-related HUBzones to include the town or county where the closed installation is located, or census tracts contiguous to the installation up to a total population of 50,000. This will help provide a large enough pool of potential workers to enable qualifying businesses to locate within the HUBzone, and to help host communities overcome the loss of military installations closed through the BRAC process.
Kevin Kelly (Collins)
firstname.lastname@example.org | (202) 224-2523
Crystal Canney (King)
email@example.com | (202) 445-9477