(Washington, D.C.)–Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today issued a statement after the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued its final rule to begin implementing the Runway Extension Act—Cardin legislation to ensure that small business size standards are calculated using average annual receipts from the previous five years, instead of the previous three. The rule takes effect on Monday, January 6, 2020.

“Small businesses are our nation’s innovators, and they help the federal government solve some of its most complex problems,” Ranking Member Cardin said. “After this new size standard takes effect, small businesses will be able to make critical investments to grow their businesses without fearing that they will lose access to resources and contracting opportunities.”

Federal contracting is a key industry in Maryland, where it accounts for 8 percent of the state’s GDP and serves as a pathway to the middle class for thousands of working families.

In Fiscal Year 2018, the federal government spent $33 billion in federal contracting dollars in Maryland, including $11 billion to small businesses.

Cardin’s Runway Extension Act takes effect at a time of great concern for small government contractors. A recent Bloomberg Government report found that the number of small businesses with federal contracts in Fiscal Year 2018 was at a 10-year low, despite a steady rise in government contract spending over the same period. According to the report, federal agencies awarded contracts to 32 percent fewer small businesses in Fiscal Year 2018 than in Fiscal Year 2009. Meanwhile the number of large vendors receiving federal contracts fell by only 4 percent in the same period.