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Thousands more American businesses will be able to seek financial help from the Small Business Administration as of July 14, 2014. By updating the size and asset standards it uses to determine loan eligibility, the SBA is making its broadest changes since 2008.

The updates are based on inflation and on allowing companies to compete with larger competitors. Each industries standards are different, but some requirements were changed to include a greater number of employees that a firm could have. The other 500 industries that are eligible for loans based on how much they have in assets or annual revenue will see those limits increased. The SBA estimates that this will allow roughly 8,400 more U.S. businesses to fall under the definition of “small business.”

Here are some examples of the changes. Under the new requirements, business owners like plumbers and roofing contractors can have up to $14 million in annual receipts before being considered too big for federal help. Family clothing stores will be able to make up to $35.5 million in annual receipts and still be eligible for SBA loans. Telecommunications companies and some insurance companies can have as many as 1,500 employees under the new regulations.

While critics feel that the new regulations water down the definition of a small business, providing more help to mid-sized businesses rather than the traditional home-grown firm, the SBA says that the changes will only improve access to business financing as competition increases. In its press release the SBA said “these changes can also possibly lead to more than $150 million to $200 million in additional federal contracts awarded to small businesses and 80 additional loans totaling about $30 million.”


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AND received FOUR free Business eBooks worth $39.95!
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