Changes in Government Regulations Create More Sales Opportunities and More Competitors

November 02, 2012

Do you provide goods or services to the federal government or want to? There’s good news or bad news, more opportunities or more competitors, depending on your perspective.

According to the Small Business Administration Office Of Advocacy, the Small Business Goaling Report, 2012 reported that in fiscal year 2011, 21.7 % of federal government small business eligible purchases went to small businesses. Starting October 24, 2012, over 18,000 larger businesses became eligible for federal contract opportunities with the potential of even more after November.

As of October 1, 2012, Federal agencies and programs must use the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) small business size standards that are based on "NAICS 2012". These are modifications adopted by the Office of Management and Budget. They include 76 new industries and changes to 11 sectors. This has big implications for federal purchasing, loans, etc.

On October 24th, the SBA officially increased the small business size standards for real estate, rental, leasing, educational services, health care and social assistance (NAICS Sectors 53, 61, and 62). Size increases are already in place for NAICS Sector 54, Professional, Technical, and Scientific Services. Changes are in process in 19 additional Sectors:

  • Sector 56 Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
  • Sector 11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting - which includes Logging
  • Sector 71 Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
  • Sector 23 Construction
  • Sector 52 Finance and Insurance
  • Sector 51 Information
  • Sector 55 Management of Companies and Enterprises
  • Sectors 48 and 49 Transportation and Warehousing
  • Sector 22 Utilities

The changes would affect more than 39 industries that make up these sectors (including International Trade Financing). The public can comment only on Sectors 52 and 55 because comment is closed on the others. To comment, use the Federal eRulemaking Portal: The deadline is November 15, 2012.

The SBA's White Paper, “Size Standards Methodology”, is worth reading. It explains how the SBA establishes, reviews, and modifies its receipts-based and employee-based small business size standards.

For more on this issue, you may want to read "What's New with Size Standards" and my post, "Are You a Small Business or a Mouse".

To keep up with size regulations, I recommend you go to:

  • Title 13, Code of Federal Regulations, part 121 (13 CFR 121).
  • Federal Acquisition Regulation, 48 CFR part 19 for procurement
  • The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR), maintained by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, includes all changes to the small business size regulations, current as of the date specified at the top of the linked page.

This expansion also means more ways for federal agencies to legitimately say they are supporting small business. In reality, they are really doing business with firms that small business owners would never consider small.

In 1991, I was honored to be selected by the SBA as Texas' Small Business Advocate. I still take my role as small business champion seriously.

My advice: stay informed; stay engaged; vote.

Topics: Sales & Marketing

Jan Triplett

Business Success Center

Jan Triplett, Ph.D. is the CEO of the Business Success Center (BSC), a City of Austin certified green business, that provides sales and financial growth strategies, planning, and implementation. She is also a professor in Business and Professional Skills for the online MBA program at Mary Baldwin University. Triplett is a national and international speaker, author of A Networker’s Guide to Success and co-author of Thinking Big, Staying Small and Easy to be Green. She published The Networker ” magazine for over ten years and moderated KUT radio’s nationally syndicated program, “The Next 200 Years”. She was co-creator of the award-winning “City Management Academy” and the “Owners MBA” and co-founded the Entrepreneurs’ Association Hatchery incubator and accelerator. She is a small business activist. She served as a White House Conference on Small Business and Congressional Summit delegate, served on the Mayor’s Task Force on International Infrastructure, initiated the Northcross IBIZ District and recommended portions of Austin’s Big Box Ordinance. She was a founder of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas and the Greater Austin International Coalition. The SBA honored her as Texas’ Small Business Advocate. She has also earned her CBTAC and Director credentials. Her company received a Small Business Administration (SBA) five-star national award and the Austin Business Journal named it a top 20 management consulting firm.
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