To watch Rep. Bost address his House colleagues on H.R. 3714, click here.
Washington, D.C.—Today, the House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation introduced by Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12) to help smaller agriculture producers compete with large corporations for federal contracting opportunities. The Small Agricultural Producer Size Standards Improvement Act (H.R. 3714) modernizes Small Business Administration size standards for the agriculture industry, ensuring small businesses can compete on a level playing field.
“I am proud that Republican and Democratic colleagues across the board came together to support my legislation,” said Bost. “This is an indication of the bipartisan commitment we share in modernizing agriculture size standards so our small businesses can compete on an even playing field. That’s a win for economic growth in Southern Illinois and an important step forward in empowering our famers and agriculture producers.”
SBA size standards define what constitutes a small business, providing qualified companies with preferred status in federal prime and subcontracting opportunities. SBA size standards for agriculture producers are not subject to the same analysis and updates as other industries, thereby leaving America’s farmers to deal with an outdated and inaccurate classification. Bost’s bill amends the Small Business Act to empower the SBA to use the same metrics in establishing agricultural size standards that it does for other industries. In additional to helping smaller agriculture producers compete in the market, these reforms will ensure that federal agencies can better assess the impact of Washington regulations on agriculture producers.
Congress removed the SBA’s ability to establish size standards for agriculture producers in 1985 and set the definition at $500,000 a year or less in gross receipts. The standard has been updated only once, in the year 2000 when it was set at $750,000, an extremely low threshold for a small margin industry. Bost’s bill, cosponsored by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), now advances to the Senate for further consideration.