The U.S. Small Business Administration issued four final rules in the Federal Register today, increasing size qualification standards for numerous types of small businesses.

Size standards define the maximum size a firm that can still be considered a small business. The revised standards reflect changes in marketplace conditions and public comments that SBA received to the proposed rules. 

Eleven industries in the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting sector alone had their minimum employee counts raised, which will add more than 7,800 firms that could qualify for SBA's loan and federal procurement programs. The Finance and Insurance sector also saw 36 industries with increased size limitations.

Other sectors with bumped-up business size standards included two industries in the Management of Companies and Enterprises sector, and 17 industries in the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation sector, the latter of which will qualify more than 1,450 additional businesses for SBA assistance. 

New size standards will enable more businesses in these sectors to obtain or retain small business status; will give federal agencies a larger pool of small businesses from which to choose for their procurement programs; and will make more small businesses eligible for SBA’s loan programs.