SBA Proposes Changes to Expand Small Business Eligibility


Washington, April 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would revise employee-based small business size standards for businesses in nine sectors of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The proposed changes would increase small business eligibility for federal SBA contract and loan programs.

Proposed changes in nine sectors, including manufacturing and transportation, will allow more mid-sized businesses to revert to small business status and existing small businesses to retain their small business status for a longer period, thereby qualifying for SBA supply and loan programs. . These proposed revisions follow an SBA announcement earlier this month, in which the agency released four final rules to change revenue-based small business size standards in 16 industries (NAICS) to help increase small business eligibility for programs federal contracts and SBA loans.

The proposed rule change is part of the second five-year review of size standards, as required by the Small Business Jobs Act 2010. The SBA is proposing to increase employee-based size standards by 150 in nine industries. The table below summarizes the number of revised size standards and the number of increases by sector.

NAICS sector number Sector name # of industries: # of NAICS examined Number of industries: # with proposed increases in size standard
Sector 21
  • Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction
24 ten
Sector 22 11 ten
Sector 31-33 360 120
Sector 48-49
  • Transport and storage
15 5
Sector 51 12 3
Sector 54
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
7 1
Other sectors
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting; Finance
  • and Insurance; Administrative and Support, Waste
  • Management and remediation services.
3 1
Total 432 150

The SBA is also proposing to retain the current standard of 500 employees for federal procurement of supplies set aside for small businesses under the non-manufacturer rule, which requires small businesses that qualify as non-manufacturers to have an average of 500 employees or less in the past 12 months. and be primarily engaged in the wholesale or retail business and supply the product of a small US manufacturer.

The revisions to the size standards in the proposed rule reflect SBA considerations on relevant data and the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses and the overall economy and government response. In response to the pandemic, the SBA is keeping the current size standards where otherwise the data suggests the size standards should be lowered.

In reviewing size standards, the SBA considers structural characteristics of individual industries, including average firm size, degree of competition, and trends in federal government procurement. This ensures that small business size standards reflect the current economic conditions of these industries.

Comments can be submitted on this subject proposed rule no later than June 27, 2022, at, using the following RIN number: RIN 3245-AH09. You may also mail your comments to Khem R. Sharma, Chief, Office of Size Standards, 409 3rd Street SW, Mail Code 6530, Washington, DC, 20416.


About the Size Standards Methodology

The white paper published by the SBA titled “SBA Size Standards Methodology” explains how the SBA establishes, reviews and modifies size standards for small businesses, which can be viewed at

For more information about the SBA’s revisions to its small business size standards, visit “size standards update announcements” to

About the United States Small Business Administration

The United States Small Business Administration helps fuel the American dream of business ownership. As the single, go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA gives entrepreneurs and small business owners the resources and support they need to start, grow, or grow their business, or recover from a declared crisis. disaster. It provides services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit


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