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HUBZone Military Project Commences in Palm Springs

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MCLEAN, Va. - For the past year, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
of Palm Springs, Calif. have sponsored "The Agua Caliente HUBZone Business
Project", part of the "HUBZone and Military Business Project", revitalizing
reservations for transitioning officers and entrepreneurs. The premise of
the project is twofold: Military officers upon leaving service may start
new careers in managing their own consultancies. They may choose to work in
the government once again, and would be able to qualify for contracts
awarded to those who live and work in a HUBZone. This project is also open
to small and start-up entrepreneurs. Agua Caliente will be one of several
within the U.S. starting in 2004.

Because the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is located in downtown
Palm Springs, it is not widely known that most of the City of Palm Springs
is the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. The Agua Caliente tribal members
have allotted tribal land, these areas are recognized by statute as a
"HUBZone."

What is a HUBZone? "HUBZone" is a shortened name for Historically
Underutilized Business Zone. The HUBZone program came into being in 1999,
as a joint effort between the Department of Commerce and the Small Business
Administration. Both federal agencies wanted to see work brought to
economically-underdeveloped areas. The effort also included all Indian
reservations. In their location in Palm Springs, Calif., certain areas
within the downtown area are a designated HUBZone.

In a study done within the United States Army at Fort Belvoir, Va.,
military officers who retire at younger ages, from 47 - 55, often seek new
careers, many in federal contracting. These same officers are interested in
starting new careers that sell products and services to the Department of
Defense and civilian service-based agencies. They are aware of government
bureaucracy and the needs of federal agencies. Rather than simply go to
work for a larger contractor, many have wanted to start their own business
entities, seeking out the DOD and other government agencies such as
Veterans Affairs Center Veterans Enterprise for pertinent data on how to
get started.

When starting out as a newly-minted entrepreneur, many officers seek an
affiliation with the SBA to start their business entities. They are
attracted to HUBZones, and the special criteria their businesses will be
entitled to while working and living in a HUBZone.

"Turn-key" businesses may be affiliated with the Agua Caliente or other
tribal entities (35 percent of all employees must reside within the
HUBZone, over 51 percent must work on the HUBZone site).

Commercial entities that may be attracted to locating within the HUBZone
include government consulting, federal contracting, light industrial and
manufacturing.

"It has been the observation of those following the project that the type
of business owner attracted to the Palm Springs lifestyle are those served
in our nation's military as career officers. The officers are seeking
similar careers in private enterprise, using the skills that are well-honed
from many active years serving our country," said Abbe Buck, president of
HighViz Consulting Group, a small, woman-owned business, whose company's
cornerstone is to assist fellow small businesses and start ups (with a
specialized practice for Native American tribal entities).

Buck said that former military officers, if locating to the Palm Springs
region, would be living and working near Twenty Nine Palms USMC Center, an
hour away, and SPAWAR in San Diego, a little over an hour. "These officers
will be able to obtain business start up and 7(a) loans through the Canyon
National Bank for up to 2 million dollars. The new business owners would
also have full set up support through the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce,
and the Palm Springs Economic Development Corporation, to find those who
would be able to do secretarial and administration work, who are
well-skilled in information technology, manufacturing and other
businesses."

For more information about "The Agua Caliente HUBZone Business Project",
contact HighViz Consulting Group at (800) 380-2825 or e-mail
ACMilitaryproject@highviz.net.