In 1997 Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo) championed the idea of creating a program that helps small businesses located in HUBZones (Historically Underprivileged Zones). The idea was to provide opportunities to people living in these areas by supporting small businesses. This program is designed to help these areas to overcome high unemployment and low wage rates.
In 2005 the program was revamped with regulatory changes permitting up to 49% ownership in a HUBZone firm by a non-US Citizen, as long as the firm met the other requirements. Another change was HUBZone firms employing tribal members from reservations could become HUBZone certified without the necessary number of HUBZone residence. Once a Federal Contract was awarded the firm would then have to meet the 35% HUBZone residency provision. This allowed businesses startups to locate on or near Indian Reservations bid on Federal contracts. In addition firms in tracts no longer in Historically Underprivileged Zones due to economic improvement could keep their HUBZone Status until the 2010 Census was completed.
In 2006 the Federal Government increased the targets of the HUBZone program from 2% of the Federal Budget to 3% of the Federal Budget.
In 2008 due to low controls placed on firms the application process for the HUBZone program was revamped and more stringent guidelines were put in place for the HUBZone program.