Texas Looking to Give Disabled Veteran Business Owners An Upper Hand

Disabled veteran business owners in Texas may soon have an easier time securing contracts with government agencies.

Currently, a historically underutilized business, or HUB, status, only applies to certain businesses which, among other requirements are owned by ethnic or gender minorities.  But now Texas is considering allowing businesses owned by service-disabled veterans to attain HUB status.  L.O. Nelson with the Small Business Development Center, says it would be a helpful move.

"The advantage is gonna be broader number of people will qualify for HUB status, which will be great," he said.

Essentially, a HUB status gives a company an upper hand when bidding for contracts with city, county, or state government agencies.  They usually have a certain percentage of contracts set aside for HUB status businesses

"Any initiatives we can do for veterans to recognize them for their services is absolutely a great deal every time it happens," said veteran employment representative Tim Shatto.

He says veteran-owned businesses as a whole are underutilized.  While a HUB status won't guarantee a company a contract, it sure helps.

"This will be an opportunity for them to possibly have access to government contracts that they would not have had access to previously," Nelson said.

One disadvantage Nelson points out is that as the HUB pool grows, businesses have a smaller chance of being selected for government contracts.  But Shatto says even that could be a good thing.

"It also makes that business owner become a little bit more customer service oriented.  Maybe they realize now they're competing against ten other businesses," he said.

In order to attain hub status, a business has to be located in the HUB zone, which in Wichita Falls is on the east and north side of town.  Also, 51% of the company's employees must live within the HUB zone.