Reps. Bost, Meng introduce bill to help small agricultural businesses
Reps. Mike Bost (IL-12) and Grace Meng (D-NY) presented the Small Agricultural Producer Size Standards Improvement Act on Oct. 8.
The purpose of the act is to modernize small business standards for agriculture producers. Without the act, size standards for agriculture producers do not have the same analysis and updates; there is also no standard to determine who is a small business.
“The statutory size standard for agriculture producers doesn’t make sense and may reduce opportunities for small business farms and ranches to bid for federal contracts,” Bost said. “My bipartisan legislation applies the same common sense methods to agriculture producers that are used to determine who qualifies as a small business in other industries. In order to grow jobs and hire more workers, small businesses must have certainty and a clearer definition of the guidelines used to determine their size and status.”
The Small Business Act would be changed as a result of Bost’s Bill so that the Small Business Administration (SBA) would be able to reflect the changes in the economy. As it stands now, the Small Business Act provides small businesses certain preferences in the sale of goods and services to the federal government based on size standards. However, in 1985, Congress set the standard of farm size at $500,000 a year or less in gross receipts and then updated in 2000 to $750,000.
“Rep. Bost’s bill recognizes that farms and ranches should be treated equitably with other types of businesses when the SBA defines what constitutes a small business,” Chuck Connor, president of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, said. “The legislation will mean that farmers, ranchers and growers have greater access to the SBA’s programs and expertise, and it will help promote economic activity and job growth across rural America.”