ILM Corporation was recognized this week as the first City of Fredericksburg business certified under the HUBZone program since the Oct. 1, 2012, city-wide designation.
Jayne Armstrong, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Richmond District Administrator, awarded the certification to ILM President to Jason Cohen at a Wednesday ceremony.
ILM Corporation was based in downtown Fredericksburg from 1978 - 85, then relocated to Spotsylvania County.
"We decided to move back to the City to take advantage of the designated HUBZone designation," Cohen said.
The national HUBZone program was established in 1998 to provide federal assistance to qualified small businesses in historically underutilized business zones. The goal is to increase employment and stimulate capital investment in designated communities.
HUBZone eligibility requirements are:
- Principal office located in a HUBZone
- At least 35 percent of employees must reside in a HUBZone
- Small by SBA standards for selected NAICS codes
- Ownership and control by at least 51 percent U.S. citizens
The federal government is required to award thee percent of its prime contracting dollars to HUBZone-certified businesses, of which there are approximately 6,000 in the country, according to Tremblay.
ILM Corporation, founded in 1976, provides document management, data entry and document conversion services to federal agencies.
It moved to its renovated 4,960 square foot office in May. The space at 600 Lafayette Blvd. was originally a 1950s era service station (see photos).
"It was a hot mess when we got it and took it down to four walls and a roof," Cohen said in an email to Patch. "We tore up and poured new floors, built out the interior and completely changed the exterior."
The entire city -- zip code 22401 -- was designated a HUBZone on Oct 1, making it "the only Northern Virginia locality falling entirely within aHUBZone," Richard Tremblay, Assistant Director for Economic Development inFredericksburg, said.
“The new citywide HUBZone designation makes Fredericksburg more attractive than ever to qualified contractors seeking to take advantage of the program’s federal contracting opportunities," Armstrong said.
"The HUBZone offers unique set aside federal contracting capabilities that my company can take advantage of," he said. "Before the entire City became certified, there were only a few areas available for us to move. After a long search, we decided to buy then completely renovate this building."