WASHINGTON - Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to the Small Business Administration requesting the agency rescind its proposal to restructure the way companies are determined to be small businesses.

“Small business advocates have informed me that this proposal could threaten or eliminate over 8 million jobs,” Kerry wrote in his letter today to SBA Administrator Barreto.

An estimated 69,000 businesses would be directly affected by the size standard change. While the SBA estimates that 35,000 businesses would be reclassified as small, approximately 34,000 small businesses would immediately lose their small business status and access to the many benefits provided by the federal government to encourage entrepreneurial growth and job creation, such as access to low-interest loans, contracting assistance, R&D grants, financial and management training, trade counseling, and disaster help.

“The proposal would punish the 34,000 firms that are currently considered small, have been acting in good faith with the Federal government, but will lose their small business status abruptly as a result of the change,” Kerry wrote.

“As a result of the comments I have received from small businesses in my state and throughout the nation, as well as various national small business advocates, I strongly believe that the SBA’s proposal to restructure the size standards for small businesses could have severe, far-reaching, unintended consequences on small businesses and their local communities.”

According to the SBA, the agency has received over 3,700 comments regarding the proposed size standard change, which was introduced on March 19, 2004. The last day for public comment on the SBA’s proposed size standard change is Friday, July 2, 2004.

A copy of Kerry’s letter to the SBA can be read online at https://www.sbc.senate.gov/democrat/sbasizestandardsletter1.pdf