SBA Proposes Size Standard Changes to Reflect Current Marketplace Conditions


Post a comment

A proposed rule published today for comment in The Federal Register by the U.S. Small Business Administration would adjust the size definition of small businesses in the transportation and warehousing sector to reflect changes in marketplace conditions in those sectors.  

The proposed revisions would increase the revenue-based size definition businesses must meet to qualify as small businesses in 22 industries of the transportation and warehousing sector. As part of its ongoing comprehensive review of all size standards, the SBA evaluated all industries in this sector that have revenue-based size standards to determine whether the size standards should be retained or revised.  

In 2007, the SBA began the process of reviewing and updating size standards based on industry-specific data.  Before this, 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 the next several years.  

The proposed changes take 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.  

The changes would allow some small businesses that are close to exceeding their current size standards to retain small business eligibility under higher size standards, give federal agencies a larger selection of small businesses to choose from for small business procurement opportunities and allow small businesses to qualify for financial assistance from the SBA.  SBA estimates as many as 1,200 additional firms will become eligible for SBA programs as a result of the proposed revisions, if they are adopted.  

The SBA issued a White Paper entitled “Size Standards Methodology” on Oct. 21, 2009, which explains how the SBA establishes, reviews and modifies its receipts-based and employee-based small business size standards.

Comments can be submitted on this proposed rule on or before July 12, 2011, online at:, where they will be posted, or mailed to:
Khem R. Sharma, Chief
Size Standards Division
409 3rd St., SW
Mail Code 6530
Washington, DC  20416. 

For more information about SBA’s revisions to its small business size standards, click on “What’s New” on SBA’s Web site at:

SBA also has extended for an extra 30 days the comment period for a proposed rule published March 16 increasing the size standards for 35 industries and one sub-industry in the professional, scientific and technical services and other services sectors.  Comments on that rule will be accepted up until June 15.

The industries that will be affected by the proposal published today include:  

NAICS Industry Title Proposed Standard
($ million)
Current Standard
($ million)
481219 Other Non Scheduled Air Transportation $14.0 $7.0
485111 Mixed Mode Transit Systems $14.0 $7.0
485112 Commuter Rail Systems $14.0 $7.0
485113 Bus and Other Motor Vehicle Transit Systems $14.0 $7.0
485119 Other Urban Transit Systems $14.0 $7.0
485210 Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation $14.0 $7.0
485310 Taxi Service $14.0 $7.0
485320 Limousine Service $14.0 $7.0
485410 School and Employee Bus Transportation $14.0 $7.0
485510 Charter Bus Industry $14.0 $7.0
485991 Special Needs Transportation $14.0 $7.0
485999 All Other Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation $14.0 $7.0
486210 Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas $25.5 $7.0
488111 Air Traffic Control $30.0 $7.0
488119 Other Airport Operations $30.0 $7.0
488190 Other Support Activities for Air Transportation $30.0 $7.0
488210 Support Activities for Rail Transportation $14.0 $7.0
488310 Port and Harbor Operations $35.5 $25.5
488320 Marine Cargo Handling $35.5 $25.5
488330 Navigational Services to Shipping $35.5 $7.0
488390 Other Support Activities for Water Transportation $35.5 $7.0
488510 Freight Transportation Arrangement $14.0 $7.0

Related content

Last updated: 04/19/2017 - 4:11pm