SBA extends comment period for size standard restructuring

The Small Business Administration has extended the deadline by 60 days for comments on the advance notice of a proposed rule related to the agency's effort to restructure small business size standards. Comments are now due by April 3, rather than Feb. 1.

The comment period was extended in response to requests from the public for additional time to review the issues described in the advance notice and because of the scope and nature of the size standard issues themselves.

The SBA published a proposed rule last March to restructure its small business size standards by establishing them based primarily on the number of employees of a business concern and by reducing the number of different size standard levels to 10.

Although a majority of the more than 4,000 comments on the proposed changes expressed support for the proposal, the SBA also received a large number opposing various aspects of SBA's approach to simplifying size standards. As a result, the SBA withdrew the proposal on July 1.

The SBA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comments on several issues that were raised during the public comment period for the proposed rule. The notice sought comments on:

  • Approach to simplify size standards

  • Calculation of the number of employees (including how SBA defines an employee for size purposes)

  • Use of receipts-based size standards

  • Designation of size standard for federal procurement

  • Establishment of size standards for use solely in federal procurement programs

  • Establishment of tiered size standards

  • Simplification of affiliation regulations

  • Simplification of small business joint venture eligibility regulations

  • Grandfathering of small business eligibility

  • Impact of SBA size standards on the regulations of other federal agencies.

  • Comments may be submitted by e-mail; by fax to 202-205-6390; or by mail to Gary M. Jackson, Assistant Administrator for Size Standards, 409 Third Street, SW, Washington DC 20416.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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