SBA broadens program eligibility for businesses

PROVIDENCE – The U.S. Small Business Administration recently took action to allow more small businesses to become eligible for the agency’s loan guarantees and contracting programs.

The SBA has issued an interim final rule to adjust its monetary-based, industry-specific small-business size standards by nearly 8.4% to account for inflation since the last adjustment was made in 2014.

The SBA estimates that nearly 90,000 more businesses will gain small-business status under the adjusted size standards, thus becoming eligible for SBA loan guarantees and contracting programs.

It could possibly lead to as much as $750 million in additional federal contracts awarded to small businesses and up to 120 additional small-business loans totaling nearly $65 million, the agency said.

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The new standards will go into effect Aug. 19 and will be reviewed again in the future, as mandated by the Small Business Act of 2010.

The SBA also is adjusting its revenues-based size standards for agricultural industries, which were previously set by statute.

In addition, the SBA is adjusting its program-specific monetary-based size standards by the same amount for sale or leases of government property and stockpile purchases.

However, the SBA said it is not adjusting the tangible net worth- and net income-based interim alternative size standards that apply to the SBA-guaranteed 7(a) and 504 Certified Development Company loan programs, which also were established under the Small Business Act.

Scott Blake is a PBN staff writer. Email him at