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We’ve been talking a lot about companies in the first stage of growth, but we also want to talk about others. Companies start to build momentum as they grow, yet that puts you in danger of growing bigger than the size standard of your industry area – according to the NAICS code(s) you selected when you registered your business.

For example, management consultants can have up $7 million in revenue and still be considered a small business, while for accountants the number is $8.5 million. Professional engineering companies can make $4.5 million and information technology companies can earn $25 million. There are a whole variety of standards based on the work you do.

These standards are meant to protect you and level out the playing field. For example, if you’re in management consulting, as a federally-recognized small business you’re competing only against other little companies. So what happens when you grow bigger than that number? You grow out of the small business protected area, and are thrown into competition with everybody else.

Once your management consulting firm makes more than $7 million, all of a sudden you’re in direct competition with companies like Booz Allen Hamilton, who makes billions of dollars per year. Whether your company earns $7.1 million or a $1 billion, you’re now in the same category.

Once you’ve grown bigger than the size standard, you’re considered a mid-tier company. You’re not big enough to be counted among the “giants” of the industry, yet you’re forced to compete with them.

Having noticed this inequitable situation, a group of mid-tier companies have banded together as the Mid-Tier Advocacy Group (MTA)  to lobby the government for support for second-stage companies and legislative action towards eliminating this competitive disadvantage.

TAPE, LLC, my own company, is on the Mid-Tier Advocacy council because TAPE, LLC is in the process of growing out of our own NAICS code size small business standards.

On February 7th, 2012, there is a meeting where the Mid-Tier Advocacy Group (MTA) will speak to congress about these issues. There will be speakers from House and Senate Small Business Committees, from selected Industry councils interested in small business and mid-tier, as well as from Government agencies.

MTA is working on legislation to establish a mid-tier set-aside, similar to the small business set-asides, and a pilot program has been proposed to “try this option out.”

Please visit this event registration page for full details and information about how to participate:


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