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SBA seeks to boost small business eligibility for federal loan, contracting programs

The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking public comments on a proposed rule that would revise the small business size standards for businesses in five North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) sectors.

The federal agency’s proposed actions will increase small business eligibility across 70 different industries, opening them up to participation in the SBA’s robust loan and government contracting programs, it said.

The proposed revisions to the size standards in these sectors, part of a five-year comprehensive review of small business size standards as required under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, will enable more small businesses to retain their small business status.

Additionally, they will provide federal agencies a larger pool of small businesses to choose from for small business procurement opportunities while also helping eligible small businesses benefit from SBA’s loan programs, it added.

The NAICS sectors reviewed in the proposed rule are: Education services; health care and social assistance; arts, entertainment and recreation; accommodation and food services; and other services. 

“Federal government loans and contracts pose a huge marketplace for small businesses to grow and expand, while increasing job opportunities throughout their communities,” said SBA Deputy District Director for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands District Office María de los Ángeles de Jesús.

“The more industry sectors to participate in SBA Programs, the wider the support for expansion and economic growth,” she said.

As part of the ongoing review of all size standards, SBA considers the structural characteristics of individual industries, including average firm size, the degree of competition, and federal government contracting trends. 

This ensures that small business size standards reflect current economic conditions in those industries, it concluded.


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