MHEDA Journal Online examines effects of changing SBA standards.

Press Release Summary:

"What Is Small," featured in The MHEDA Journal Online's "On the Edge" section examines what constitutes a small business. In examination of size standards, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is revising North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes that ascribe maximum limit, by number of employees or average annual receipts, for qualifying small businesses. Recent proposed adjustments, doubled or more from previous standard, would increase competition for limited accounts.

Original Press Release:

What the Changing SBA Standards Could Mean for Distributors

The MHEDA Journal Online examines what constitutes a small business.

Dewitt, NY: The MHEDA Journal Online (, is the leading online magazine for the forklift, conveyor, storage & handling, and general material handling equipment industries. As part of its continued commitment to highlighting the biggest and most important issues in the material handling industry, the site has a feature called "On the Edge" for discussing hot-button industry issues. In material handling, distributors work hard to gain and retain customer accounts. To do so, they must outsmart and out-service a host of other distributors who are vying for the same accounts. But what if the number of companies that qualified to bid on those accounts doubled?

Recently, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has begun to redefine what constitutes a small business. What will it mean for material handling distributors that are bidding on government contracts if the size requirement changes?

In examination of size standards, SBA is revising the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, which ascribe a maximum limit, either by number of employees or average annual receipts, for qualifying small businesses. (See the SBA's Table of Small Business Size Standards). The SBA review encompasses every private sector in the U.S., calculated based on data from the 2007 County Business Patterns and the 2007 Economic Census. The most recent proposed adjustments, which would affect the professional, technical and scientific services sectors, saw many requirements double-or more.

"One of the great mysteries of life is what constitutes a small business," says Richard Sinclair, president and CEO of Jefferds Corporation in St. Albans, WV. "It's like the tide. It's constantly moving and changing."

Government contracts are extremely lucrative and ultra-competitive, spending in excess of $425 billion last year on training, service and goods. A review of size standards has the potential to send shock waves through the material handling industry. "There is no question that small businesses have an advantage," says Sinclair. "If a project is set aside for small business and you don't qualify, you're out of the hunt. That's not to say that if you do qualify you're going to get it, but you'll have a chance to get up to bat. If I get up to bat, I might get a hit. If I never get up to bat, I'll never get a hit."

To learn more about the changing SBA standards, read the entire article on The MHEDA Journal Online. The MHEDA Journal is published quarterly, in January, April, July and October. For more information, contact Steve Guglielmo, content editor of The MHEDA Journal, (315) 445-2347, email:

Founded in 1954, the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its member journals (, e-magazines, newsletters and industry wiki (, MHEDA connects the manufacturers of storage & handling, lift trucks and conveyor equipment and distribution leaders for the purpose of delivering optimal solutions to the users of those products. MHEDA publications are the industry's voice for all matters related to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning the movement and storage of all materials. A 501(c)3 organization, MHEDA members span all of North America.

More from Test & Measurement

All Topics