SBA drops new small business rules

The Small Business Administration is withdrawing a proposed rule that would have revised the standards used to determine what businesses qualify as small.

Public comments led agency officials to reconsider the changes.

"All new rules have a 60 day comment period," explained Allegra McCullough, SBA's associate deputy administrator for government contracting, in a statement. "Because we knew this issue was so important to America's small business owners, we actually extended that period to 105 days. During that time, we strongly encouraged our small business customers to contact us with their thoughts on the revisions. They did just that, and what they told us was, 'Good intention, good idea, but needs a little more work.' "

The intent was to reduce the number of different standards from 37 to about 10, and to measure as many types of businesses as possible by the number of employees. Right now, some industry types are measured by employees and others are measured by annual receipts.

SBA administrator Hector Barreto "has worked hard to make the SBA more like the small businesses it serves everyday, and that means being responsive to our customers," McCullough said. "That is why we have decided to revisit this issue."

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