About 59,000 small businesses previously ineligible for Small Business Administration federal contracting and loan programs will now qualify under four new final rules.
The new rules modified revenue-based small business size standards in 16 business sectors, qualifying firms in those sectors for SBA’s programs, the SBA announced April 4.
The increases in size standards will enable some mid-sized businesses to regain their small business status and current small businesses to retain their small business status for a longer period, thereby allowing them to benefit from SBA’s procurement and loan programs.
“The publication of these final rules will make 59,000 additional firms eligible for millions of dollars in revenue and business expansion opportunities across a wide range of sectors,” Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development Bibi Hidalgo said. “This expansion is equally important for contracting agencies, as a diverse industrial base helps ensure a healthy supply chain and, in turn, supports our nation’s broader economic health.”
The final rules are part of the second five-year review of size standards, as required under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
As part of the review process, SBA received more than 1,100 public comments during the proposed rule stage of the four rules. As a result, SBA will increase 229 size standards across 16 sectors.
In addition to expanding access to SBA programs for approximately 59,000 firms, SBA estimates that the four final rules will create contracting opportunities estimated at $1 billion for 844 newly qualified small businesses and extend 96 7(a) and 504 loans to newly qualified small businesses worth nearly $45 million.
The size standards revisions adopted in these final rules reflect SBA’s considerations of the relevant data, public comments and impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses and the overall economy and government response.
In response to the pandemic, SBA will retain current size standards where otherwise data suggests that size standards should be lowered.
As part of the ongoing review of size standards, in the coming months, SBA plans to issue additional rule making on size standards in Sector 42 (Wholesale Trade), Sector 44-45 (Retail Trade) and Sector 31-33 (Manufacturing).