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NTA Comments on Proposed SBA Rule Change

April 16, 2004

NTA Comments on Proposed SBA Rule Change
April 16, 2004 – NTA submitted the following comments today to the U.S. Small Business Administration in regards to the proposed rule change for small business size standards. The proposed rule would change how the size of a business is determined, making many tour and travel companies eligible for low-interest SBA loans and other assistance.

Dear Mr. Clark:

The National Tour Association is an organization of nearly 4000 tourism professionals focused on the promotion and development of tour operator packaged travel. For more than 50 years, NTA has served as an advocate for tour directors in North America and around the world.

NTA appreciates the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed rule regarding small business size standards. Since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the Small Business Administration has been extremely supportive of the tour operator industry and has worked with the National Tour Association to enable more tour operators to partake of the Administration’s many programs.

NTA’s comments specifically relate to the "tour operator" category as listed in Sector 56 (Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services), subsector 561 (Administrative and Support Services), NAICS code 561520 (tour operators). The National Tour Association strongly supports the proposed size standard based on the entity’s number of employees rather than an economic standard.

The average tour operator member of the National Tour Association had 29 full-time employees in 2000, the last year for which statistics are available. The recent business climate has most certainly reduced that average. The fifty-employee standard will ensure that valuable SBA programs and services will be available to a wider spectrum of the tour operator population. SBA loans and technical support will help our nation’s tour operators, comprised of numerous small businesses, strong and a vital component of the travel/tourism industry sector.

Should you have any questions about these comments, do not hesitate to contact Matt Grayson at 800-682-8886 or via email at


Hank Phillips

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