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SBA-Proposed Size Standard Increases for Information and Administrative Services Industries Reflect Marketplace Changes


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Proposed rules published today for comment in The Federal Register by the U.S. Small Business Administration would adjust the size definition of small businesses in 52 industries in two broad categories of businesses, ranging from travel agencies and movie production to waste management.

The proposed adjustments to size standards in 15 industries in Sector 51 of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), “Information,” and in 37 industries in Sector 56, “Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services,” reflect changes in marketplace conditions in those sectors.

In both sectors, the proposed changes are based on annual gross revenues. The standards delineate how large a business can be and still qualify as small for federal government programs. The dollar limits refer to annual revenues averaged over three years.

As part of the ongoing comprehensive review of all size standards that began in 2007, the SBA evaluated all industries in these sectors that have revenue-based size standards to determine whether the existing size standards should be adjusted. Before 2007, the last overall review of size standards occurred more than 25 years ago. Under provisions in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, SBA will continue its comprehensive review of all size standards for several years.

The proposed changes take into account the structural characteristics within individual industries, including average firm size, degree of competition, and federal government contracting trends. This ensures that size definitions reflect current economic conditions within those industries.

The upward revisions would allow some small businesses that are close to exceeding their current size standards to retain small business eligibility under the proposed higher size standards, and give federal agencies a larger selection of small businesses to choose from for small business procurement opportunities. They also would allow more small businesses to qualify for SBA financial assistance. SBA estimates that up to 500 more firms in Sector 51 and 2,700 more companies in Sector 56 will qualify for SBA assistance and other federal programs if the proposed revisions are adopted.

An SBA White Paper entitled “Size Standards Methodology” was issued on Oct. 21, 2009, explaining how SBA establishes, reviews and modifies its receipts-based and employee-based small business size standards. It is available for viewing at http://www.sba.gov/size.

Interested parties can submit comments on these proposed rules on or before Dec. 12, 2011. The SBA recommends that comments be submitted online at www.regulations.gov or mailed to Khem R. Sharma, Chief, Size Standards Division, 409 3rd St., SW, Mail Code 6530, Washington, D.C. 20416. The SBA will post all comments to www.regulations.gov for public review. The SBA does not accept comments submitted by email.

For more information about SBA’s revisions to its small business size standards, click on “What’s New with Size Standards” on SBA’s website at http://www.sba.gov/size.

The proposed rule would affect the following industries in NAICS Sector 51:

NAICS code NAICS industry title Current Size Standards
($ million)
Proposed Size Standard
($ million)
511210 Software Publishers $25.0 $35.5
512110 Motion Picture and Video Production $29.5 $30.0
512131 Motion Picture Theaters (except Drive-Ins) $7.0 $35.5
512199 Other Motion Picture and Video Industries $7.0 $19.0
512290 Other Sound Recording Industries $7.0 $10.0
515111 Radio Networks $7.0 $30.0
515112 Radio Stations $7.0 $35.5
515120 Television Broadcasting $14.0 $35.5
515210 Cable and Other Subscription Programming $15.0 $35.5
517410 Satellite Telecommunications $15.0 $30.0
517919 All Other Telecommunications $25.0 $30.0
518210 Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services $25.0 $30.0
519110 News Syndicates $7.0 $25.5
519120 Libraries and Archives $7.0 $14.0
519190 All Other Information Services $7.0 $25.5

The proposed rule would affect the following industries in NAICS Sector 56:

NAICS code NAICS industry title Current Size Standards
($ million)
Proposed Size Standard
($ million)
561311 Employment Placement Agencies $7.0 $25.5
561312 Executive Search Services $7.0 $25.5
561320 Temporary Help Services $13.5 $25.5
561330 Professional Employer Organizations $13.5 $25.5
561410 Document Preparation Services $7.0 $14.0
561421 Telephone Answering Services $7.0 $14.0
561422 Telemarketing Bureaus and Other contact Centers $7.0 $14.0
561431 Private Mail Centers $7.0 $14.0
561439 Other Business Service Centers (including Copy Shops) $7.0 $14.0
561440 Collection Agencies $7.0 $14.0
561450 Credit Bureaus $7.0 $14.0
561491 Repossession Services $7.0 $14.0
561492 Court Reporting and Stenotype Services $7.0 $14.0
561499 All Other Business Support Services $7.0 $14.0
561510 Travel Agencies $3.5 $19.0
561520 Tour Operators $7.0 $19.0
561591 Convention and Visitors Bureaus $7.0 $19.0
561599 All Other Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services $7.0 $19.0
561611 Investigation Services $12.5 $19.0
561612 Security Guards and Patrol Services $18.5 $19.0
561613 Armored Car Services $12.5 $19.0
561621 Security Systems Services (except Locksmiths) $12.5 $19.0
561622 Locksmiths $7.0 $19.0
561710 Exterminating and Pest Control Services $7.0 $10.0
561740 Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services $4.5 $5.0
561910 Packaging and Labeling Services $7.0 $10.0
561920 Convention and Trade Show Organizers $7.0 $10.0
561990 All Other Support Services $7.0 $10.0
562111 Solid Waste Collection $12.5 $35.5
562112 Hazardous Waste Collection $12.5 $35.5
562119 Other Waste Collection $12.5 $35.5
562211 Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal $12.5 $35.5
562212 Solid Waste Landfill $12.5 $35.5
562213 Solid Waste Combustors and Incinerators $12.5 $35.5
562219 Other Nonhazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal $12.5 $35.5
562910 Remediation Services $14.0 $19.0
562920 Materials Recovery Facilities $12.5 $19.0

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