If the Small Business Administration changes the criteria for defining a small business, larger companies could qualify for government programs and federal contracting jobs.

The SBA published its proposed changes today for comment in The Federal Register.

Proposed revisions apply to businesses in 36 industries, and one sub-industry in professional, scientific and technical services, and one industry in other service sectors. SBA’s size standards vary from industry to industry to account for differences among them.

If passed, these revisions would increase the amount of revenue that businesses need to qualify as small businesses. As many as 9,450 companies would be eligible for SBA programs.

Since 2007, the SBA has been reviewing and updating size standards based on industry-specific data. Prior to then, the last overall review of size standards occurred more than 25 years ago. Under provisions in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the SBA will continue its comprehensive review for the next several years.

Numerous metrics are used to measure businesses, including average firm size, structural characteristics within individual industries, the degree of competition, and federal government contracting trends – which ensure that size definitions reflect current economic conditions within those industries.

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Small businesses that are close to exceeding their current size standards could retain small-business eligibility under higher size standards, giving federal agencies a larger selection of small businesses to choose from for small business procurement opportunities.

Comments can be submitted on this proposed rule on or before May 16, online at: www.regulations.gov, or mailed to Khem R. Sharma, chief, Size Standards Division, 409 3rd St., SW, Mail Code 6530, Washington, DC 20416. For more information about revisions to small-business size standards, click on “What’s New” on the SBA’s website.


  1. I hope thought has been given to the fact that the proposed changes could mean that much larger, predator fish would be allowed to swim in the pond of opportunity now occupied by the smaller fish who are in far more need of assistance. In this world where the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer”, that may be the whole plan.

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