WASHINGTON — The U.S. Small Business Administration issued four final rules to modify revenues-based small business size standards in 16 North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) sectors. This will increase small business eligibility for SBA’s federal contracting and loan programs for approximately 59,000 additional firms. 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, the SBA received more than 1,100 public comments during the proposed rule stage of the four rules. As a result, the SBA will increase 229 size standards across 16 sectors.
“SBA continues to evolve its approach on size standards to ensure that we create access to contracting and loan opportunities for as many small businesses as possible,” said Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development Bibi Hidalgo. “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. 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.”
In addition to expanding access to SBA programs for approximately 59,000 additional 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 $45.0 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, the SBA will retain current size standards where otherwise data suggests that size standards should be lowered. The increases in size standards in 16 sectors 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.
As part of the ongoing review of size standards, in the coming months, SBA plans to issue additional rulemakings on size standards in Sector 42 (Wholesale Trade), Sector 44-45 (Retail Trade), and Sector 31-33 (Manufacturing).