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We’ve talked before about the NAICS codes (size standards) that the federal government uses to register and classify their prospective vendors. Your business’s NAICS codes (you may have several different codes for different activities) determine, among other things, whether you are eligible for contracts that have been set aside for small businesses.

In March 2011 the SBA proposed new size standards for several sectors including ours (Sector 54 – Professional, Scientific and Technical Services), which were approved in March 2012. They recognized that the codes haven’t kept pace with how businesses have grown. NAICS codes for some businesses and business activities such as social media marketing don’t even exist. The purpose of the Small Business Protection Act of 2012 (H.R. 3987) is to ensure that when the SBA creates new groups and size standards, small businesses are protected.

For example, companies who provide landscaping and companies who build integrative building management systems could both potentially fall under a newly created “building management” group. Yet this could force a small landscaping business with maybe five employees into competition with a million-dollar firm that creates complex systems.

This bill will make sure that any new size standards make sense for both groups that are being merged together and will prevent the merging of groups with radically different size standards.

The bill has bipartisan support, co-sponsored by republican Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access and democrat Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). It’s a simple action that is very good for small businesses.

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