New Opportunities for “Small” Construction Contractors as SBA Adjusts Its Size Standards Again Due to Unprecedented Inflation

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The construction industry is comprised of many small businesses that are particularly susceptible to market fluctuations and related economic challenges.

September 11, 2023
Hanna Lee Blake - ConsensusDocs

Thanks to the SBA’s November 17, 2022 adjustments to the size standards and monetary thresholds, a number of construction contractors will be able to retain their “small” status, and more contractors may benefit from federal assistance, programs, and contracts earmarked for “small” concerns. In the SBA’s view, small businesses should not lose their “small” status due solely to price level increases rather than from increases in business activity. It is anticipated that federal agencies may choose to set aside more construction contracts for competition among small businesses given the greater number of businesses that may be deemed “small” as a result of the SBA’s recent rule. In light of this, small construction contractors should consider whether it is prudent to register or update their existing profiles in the System for Award Management (SAM) to participate in federal contracting.

The SBA’s Statutory Mandate
The Small Business Act of 1953 (P.L. 83-163, as amended) authorized the SBA and justified the agency’s existence on the grounds that small businesses are essential to the maintenance of the free enterprise system. The congressional intent was to assist small businesses as a means to deter monopoly and oligarchy formation within all industries and the market failures caused by the elimination or reduction of competition in the marketplace. Congress delegated to the SBA the responsibility to establish size standards to ensure that only small businesses were provided SBA assistance. Since that time, the SBA has analyzed various economic factors, such as each industry’s overall competitiveness and the competitiveness of firms within each industry, to set its size standards.

Ms. Blake may be contacted at


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