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Widening the Gap: SBA Size Standard Increases Close Door on Small Federal Contractors

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Thursday, December 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 26, 2013

I'm convinced there is some scientific methodology at-play when it comes to SBA raising the bar on companies eligible to receive small business assistance for federal contracting opportunities. However, I'm not convinced the scientist(s) in question are not mad.

I commented on this topic in 2012 when the size standards for information technology NAICS Codes were increased, and my opinion hasn't changed. What I see is the Government doing it's best to seed the proverbial pond in order to increase the number of companies eligible to pursue small business set-asides and small business subcontracting opportunities, companies considered "other than small" or that would have been if not for the changes. One result of these changes is quieting the advocates of small business by taking away the foundation of their arguments, and moving closer to government-wide achievement of small business goals. They meet the numbers, the discussion is over and no one pays attention any longer.

One of the reasons for the increases, besides the fact the Government and proponents say it's overdue, is dwindling competition, so I've heard. Raising the size standard brings more established companies in the affected industries back under the veil of protection, as it were. Here's my question. Is the number of companies that outgrow the size standards each year larger than the number of companies under the threshold that are starting up or transitioning to federal contracting? I would like to see those numbers.

I guess my point is that the opportunity for true start-ups and even some established companies from other sectors seeking to engage Uncle Sam, are seeing the intended benefits of the small business programs being morphed into perks for mid-tier and larger companies.

Who's forgotten about the not-so-quiet movement that's made it to the Hill to establish an assistance program for mid-tier companies? Who wants to bet against me that it will happen eventually, on the backs of America's true small businesses?


The Chief Visionary

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."

Tags:  construction  information technology  NAICS Codes  sba  size standard  utilities 

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