The U. S. Small Business Administration announced two new rule changes which will help more U.S. small businesses in the information technology and testing lab industries qualify for Federal contracts and SBA loans. The changes become effective January 28, 2004. IT Value Added Resellers: The SBA created a new classification just for IT Value Added Resellers. Under their own category, Resellers now can have up to 150 employees and still be considered a "small business." The SBA says the change will allow smaller IT firms to better compete for Federal contracts. It will also result in some 1,700 small firms being eligible for SBA loans. Testing Laboratories: Testing laboratories can now have up to $10 Million in average annual receipts and still qualify as a "small business," up from $6 Million previously. The testing lab rule change came as a result of requests from testing laboratories to review the size standard because of upgraded capacities and skills that federal agencies have recently required of laboratories. The SBA estimates that 120 additional firms in this industry will obtain small business status.The current changes affect only IT Resellers and Testing Labs. Each industry group is subject to separate size standards. For more on size standards, click here. Hat tip to Chris Seper at Cleveland.com Chatroom Live for alerting me to this change.