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Michelle Burnette: Executive Director of the HUBZone Contractors National Council

 In Blog, Success Profiles

As an advocate of the HUBZone program for almost 10 years, Michelle Burnette shares her viewpoint about the program and other insights to help small businesses understand and survive the federal marketplace.

BACKGROUND

Michelle Burnette is the current appointed executive director of the HUBZone Contractors National Council,  a member-based nonprofit organization established to advocate, educate, and promote the HUBZone program

Her knowledge of the program and expertise on government contracting stems from 10 years supporting the said community both as a small business consultant and a contractor.

While also supporting this mission, Burnette is also managing her own company, PEPBURN LLC, which aims to help small businesses in terms of various government programs.

THE HUBZONE CONTRACTORS NATIONAL COUNCIL

The HUBZone Contractors National Council is made up of a group of companies, organizations, and individuals who have a shared viewpoint on the HUBZone program which is a federal contracting program aimed at facilitating job creation and economic growth.

Their organization is made up of different types of groups. They have large businesses that want to meet their small business subcontracting goals. They also have multiple strategic partnerships with the Society of American Military Engineers and an active MLU with the Small Business Administration. Lastly, they are working together with Native Americans.

“It’s a bunch of people coming together, and that’s how all these nonprofit organizations are. We all have different views, we all have different opinions, but we all have a shared mission of seeing this program meet and fulfill its true mission, which is economic development, job creation in these communities that are historically oppressed.”

THE HUBZONE PROGRAM

The HUBZone program is the only small business program that’s location-based. It was initially enacted as a means to provide a competitive advantage for companies and encourage them to relocate into certain areas that were significantly impacted by unemployment.

“The understanding is that when these companies move into these areas, what do they do? They have to hire individuals. When you hire people, those people, when you have money, spend money. You can’t spend money if you don’t have it.”

When companies relocate to these economically-disadvantaged areas, they live and work in the communities. They’re not just creating jobs for the people, they are providing a holistic effect in investing in the community.

“When companies come into these communities and they are successful and they build an infrastructure, they’re investing in the schools, the medical care, the environment. Some are very environmentally friendly and they change these communities, communities that were lost, that had completely just dwindled and might be being overwhelmed by crime… They breathe life back into these communities, and that’s the point.”

ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES 

The first thing that you should understand as a small business owner is that you cannot be good at everything. And with this, you need to collaborate with other businesses. Don’t just network to your target agencies, network with other businesses as well.

“Trying to reinvent the wheel on your own, by the time that you even get to the point where you develop the wheel, somebody is going to literally have a hybrid car that is so far past you. It’s not about doing it on your own and starting over. Sometimes, it’s about figuring out ways to work with each other in order to improve on the product.”

Remember that the intelligence, creativity, and technology that stem from small businesses that come together and collaborate could beat even the large businesses in the industry.

However, in order to take advantage of the benefits of your network, you should also bring something to the table.

What value can you provide to your client and to other small businesses? 

RESOURCES

If you want to watch the full video of the interview with Michelle Burnette as she shares her viewpoint about the HUBZone program and other insights to help small  understand and survive the federal marketplace, then be sure to click the links below:

008: Michelle Burnett – The Passionate & Driven Executive Director behind the HUBZone Contractors National Council

https://govcongiants1.wpengine.com/podcast/08-2/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPSi05DwDJE

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