SBA increases limit for small business

The change in regulation will allow more than 17,000 companies to be considered small, making them eligible for SBA loan programs and government procurement tracks that target small businesses.

The agency is required to review its standards as part of the 2010 Small Business Jobs Act. The new standards are in response to changes in the marketplace and comments from the public, the SBA claims.

Size determinations are based on different factors for different industries, but are usually a measure of revenues, assets or number of employees. An industry's size, federal contracting needs and competition all are taken into account when determining the SBA's threshold for a small business.

The final rules published in the Federal Register on Thursday increase size limits for companies in five areas: agriculture, forestry and hunting; finance and insurance; company management; arts, entertainment and recreation; and mining support services. Seventy industries will be affected by the change in all.

The rules will become effective July 22.