Recently, the Small Business Administration (SBA) revised the size requirements for a business to label itself as a ‘small business,’ enabling 17,000 more employers to apply for SBA aid, and allowing them to bid for government contracts.
The change will go into effect on July 22, and will affect employers across 70 industries. Every five years the SBA reviews its size requirements, shifting the standards in accordance with economic changes and public input. These changes include raising revenue standards from $7 million to $35.5 million for markets such as amusement parks and casinos (not in hotels), rising from 7$ million to $25.5 million.
So with all these changes coming, let’s take a step back and reconsider everything the Small Business Administration can offer to small business owners, and how you can start to take advantage of those perks.
One of the major roles of the SBA is to assist small businesses in applying for government contracts. Currently, the government-wide goal for contracting with small businesses is 23% of all work, and the SBA is instrumental in ensuring that goal is met.
What does this mean for your business? Generally, these contracts will be a good fit for small businesses that are further down the success pipeline than a recently created start up. However, if you’ve been in business for a few years and have had steady growth throughout, it might be time to start getting involved with the SBA and finding out if your business can bid for a government contract. This will not only give you more work, but will help you to further establish your company as reliable and credible.
The SBA offers a variety of loan and grant assistance to small businesses through relationships with lenders who partner with the SBA. Applying for loans can be a tricky process, so the SBA exists to help move the process along. While the SBA itself does not loan money, it provides government guarantees to lessen the risk to banks issuing the loan. This makes it easier for banks to lend money to first-time business owners needing a loan.
Additionally, the banks that offer loans through the SBA have an array of loans to choose from, so being denied for one loan does not necessarily mean that you cannot secure a different type. This is good news for small business owners who are new to the process, and might not know which type of loan fits their needs best. But like other loans, collateral will be taken if you can provide it.
Small Business Communities and Advocacy
The SBA also makes it a point to invest time in under-served business communities, such as service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, and small disadvantaged businesses. If your business qualifies for one of these specialized types of businesses, you are able to access additional support and resources.
More than anything, the SBA exists to provide support to small business owners. With multiple offices in every state, you have more resources than you might think. Through counseling, training workshops, and matching opportunities with federal buyers, the SBA identifies opportunities and helps small business owners further their success.