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Proposed SBA Changes Could Spell Assistance for Travel Companies

April 14, 2004

Proposed SBA Changes Could Spell Assistance for Travel Companies
April 14, 2004 – New rules proposed by the U.S. Small Business Administration last month 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.

Under the proposed rules, the size of a business would be determined by the number of employees in almost all cases. Tour operators with less than 50 employees would now be eligible for assistance, regardless of their gross or net income, according to NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini.

The proposed rules change is a marked difference from SBA standards that were based on gross revenue as recent as three years ago. Tour companies who sought assistance just after Sept. 11, 2001 were stymied because of a standard that denied assistance to a business that made more than $6 million in gross revenue. Largely due to NTA’s influence, the eligibility standard was changed to include a ceiling of $6 million in net revenue in 2002.

Other travel and tourism related businesses and their "size of business" limits proposed under the new rules include:

  • Scheduled passenger air transport: 1,500 employees
  • Passenger car rental: 150 employees
  • Travel agencies: 50 employees
  • Hotel and motels: 100 employees
  • Full-service restaurants: 50 employees
  • Limited-service restaurants: 50 employees

    To learn more about the rule change, click here.

    If you would like to provide a public comment on the proposed rule change, e-mail your response to before May 18. Also, please forward your comment to Matt Grayson, NTA director of Industry & Government Relations, at

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