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Size Standards: Additional firms become eligible for SBA programs


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SBA News

The U.S. Small Business Administration published a final rule in The Federal Register that will increase some of the size definitions of small businesses in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services and Other Services sectors.

The final rule will increase 37 of the revenue-based size standards in 34 industries and three sub-industries in the “Professional, Scientific and Technical Services” sector.  It will also increase one size standard in the “Other Services” sector.

As part of an ongoing review of all size standards, the SBA evaluated all of the revenue-based size standards in these sectors to determine whether to revise the existing size standards.  SBA took into account the structural characteristics within individual industries, including average firm size, the degree of competition, and federal government contracting trends to ensure that size definitions reflect current economic conditions within those industries.  Under provisions in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, SBA will continue its comprehensive review of all size standards for the next several years. 

After receiving numerous public comments to the proposed rule published in The Federal Register on March 16, 2011, the SBA determined that increasing the size standards in these industries:

  • will enable more small businesses to retain their small business status; and
  • will give federal agencies a larger selection of small businesses to choose from for small business procurement opportunities. 

SBA estimates as many as 8,350 additional firms will become eligible for SBA programs as a result of these revisions. SBA’s programs range from guaranteed loans to disaster assistance and procurement programs.  But how can you know if your business qualifies for SBA assistance?  After all, what makes a small business “small” and a large business “large?” 

The short answer lies in size standards.  Size standards are definitions SBA has established to ensure that a business is eligible to participate in an SBA program. 

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Between 2002 and 2007, minority-owned firms outpaced the growth of non-minority firms in gross receipts, employment, and number of firms. Minority firms are an engine of job creation.
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