The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is seeking public comments on two proposed rule changes. These changes will help some 50,000 small businesses to be eligible for federal government contracts.
The SBA is seeking a revision of small business size standards for two sets of business categories. One includes eight sectors that include agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; utilities; construction under the RIN 3245-AG89. While the other, RIN 3245-AG90, covers businesses in transportation and warehousing; information; finance and insurance; real estate and rental and leasing.
In the rules, the SBA is looking for a review of size standards for 113 industries. What this means is, the pool of small businesses eligible for federal contracts will expand to over 50,000. Additionally a further 280 additional financial institutions will also qualify as small businesses. As a result this will make them eligible to bid in the 23% of contracts federal agencies have set aside for small businesses.
SBA Wants to Allow 50,000 More Small Businesses to Bid for Federal Contracts
If approved the measure will help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 get an additional lifeline towards the road of recovery.
This is also part of a comprehensive review of the small business size standards, as required under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Besides evaluating business size standards, SBA will also consider the structural characteristics of individual industries, including average firm size, the degree of competition, and federal government contracting trends.
Last year federal government agencies provided a whopping $ 132.9 billion in contracts to small businesses by awarding 26.5% of federal contracts to small businesses. Of which, $26 billion in bids were awarded to women-owned small businesses. While a further 33.27% of federal subcontracts bids had been given to small businesses. This is up from the $120 billion of the previous year.
The proposed revisions will not only enable more small businesses to be eligible to bid in federal contracts but also allow them to access SBA’s loan programs.
SBA’s Office of Size Standards must make recommendations to the Administrator of SBA for establishing or revising size standards, according to changes in industries and the economy.