In a victory for architectural firms, the Small Business Administration has backed away from a proposed major boost in the revenue a firm can have and still be rated “small.” That ceiling governs eligibility for small-business programs, such as contracts set aside for such firms.
Last year SBA proposed hiking the “size standard” for both architectural and landscape architectural firms to $19 million in average annual receipts, from $4.5 million for architects and $7 million for landscape architects. Under the higher caps, small firms would compete against much bigger ones for small-business set-asides. After architects flooded SBA with criticisms about the $19-million plan, SBA retreated. In a final rule printed on Feb. 10, SBA raised architects’ ceiling to $7 million and kept landscape architects’ cap at $7 million.