SBA Finalizes Revisions to Expand Opportunities for Small Businesses


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration published today a package of revised size definitions for three broad commercial sectors affecting businesses in retail trades, accommodations and food services, and other services.

The changes were proposed on October 21, 2009, and will broaden small business eligibility and help them gain access to SBA’s financial assistance, contracting and other programs.  The agency estimates as many as 17,000 additional firms will become eligible for SBA programs as a result of the revised size standards.

“These increases in the size standards mean more of America’s small businesses will be eligible for and can access the resources and services the SBA and other federal agencies have available,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills.   “This comprehensive review is aimed at making 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.”

Last year, SBA began the process of reviewing and updating size standards based on industry-specific data.  Before this comprehensive review, the last overall review of size standards occurred more than 25 years ago.  Since then, most reviews of size standards have been limited to in-depth analyses of specific industries at the request of the public and federal agencies.

The SBA also makes periodic inflation adjustments to its dollar-denominated size standards.  The latest inflation adjustment to size standards was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2008.

Under provisions in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, SBA will continue its comprehensive review of all size standards for the next several years, as the law specifies.

The three final rules will affect the following industries:

Sector 44-45, Retail Trade (RIN: 3245-AF69)

In retail trade, a change in the new car dealer industry from a revenue-based standard of $29 million in average annual receipts to an employee-based standard of 200 employees will allow 5,700 additional new car dealers to become eligible for small business programs and services.  Also, size standards were also increased for 46 industries under retail trade.  SBA estimates more than 14,400 retail firms will become eligible for small business programs and services.

Sector 72, Accommodation and Food Services (RIN: 3245-AF71)

Size standards were increased for five industries.  SBA estimates 2,050 additional firms will become eligible for small business programs and services.

Sector 81, Other Services (RIN: 3245-AF70)

Size standards were increased for 18 industries.  SBA estimates more than 1,400 additional firms will become eligible for small business programs and services.

For more information about SBA’s revisions to its small business size standards, visit and click on “What’s New.”