The U.S. Small Business Administration this morning (Oct. 6) changed its size standards to reach out to more companies in three commercial sectors, affecting businesses in retail trades, accommodations and food services and other industries.
The changes — sparked by the first comprehensive review of size standards in more than 25 years — will broaden businesses' eligibility for financial assistance, contracts and more programs from the SBA and other federal agencies.
The SBA says more than 17,000 additional businesses now may qualify for its programs.
Officials proposed reviewing size standards, based on industry-specific data, last October. SBA chief Karen Mills said in a statement today that the administration wanted to make sure "the factors that determine eligibility are aligned with current economic and industry indicators, and ensure that small businesses across the country have the tools they need to drive economic growth and create jobs.”
The SBA said the provisions are slated to affect these industries:
Retail trade: Affecting new-car dealers, the SBA changed the revenue-based standard ($29 million in average annual receipts) to an employee-based standard (200 employees). An estimated 5,700 new-car dealers will become eligible for programs. Also, the SBA increased size standards for 46 industries under retail trade. More than 14,400 retail firms now may qualify for programs.
Accommodation and food services: The SBA increased size standards for five industries. An estimated 2,050 businesses will become eligible for programs.
Other services: The SBA increased size standards for 18 industries. An estimated 1,400 businesses will become eligible for programs.
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