By statute, the Department is mandated to apply SBA small business size standards to determining whether a firm is a small business. The Department is also mandated to apply the statutory size cap ($16.6 million in the current legislation, which the Department adjusts for inflation from time to time). Consequently, the Department cannot adopt the variety of comments we received to adjust size standards or the gross receipts cap to take differences among industries or regions into account. We are adopting the proposed language, using the new statutory gross receipts cap. As under part 23, a firm must fit under both the relevant SBA size standard and the generally applicable DOT statutory cap to be eligible for certification.
A few commenters asked for additional guidance for situations in which a firm is working in more than one SIC code, and the SBA size standards for the different SIC codes are different. First, size determinations are made for the firm as a whole, not for one division or another. Second, suppose the size of Firm X (e.g., determined through looking at the firm's gross receipts) is $5 million, and X is seeking certification as a DBE in SIC code yyyy and zzzz, whose SBA small business size standards are $3.5 and $7 million, respectively. Firm X would be a small business that could be certified as a DBE, and that could receive DBE credit toward goals, in SIC code zzzz but not in SIC code yyyy. This approach to the issue of differing standards being involved with the same firm fits in well with the general requirement of part 26 that certification be for work in particular SIC codes.