SBA change to help marine businesses to qualify for loans

WASHINGTON — The Small Business Administration announced it will permanently increase the size standards for boat, personal watercraft, and RV dealers to $30 million, according to a recent release from the NMMA. The ruling will take effect on Nov. 5, 2010.

Size standards are used to determine eligibility for federal small business assistance programs for private sector industries.

Previously, SBA had established different size standards for each respective industry. In a written request to SBA last year, the NMMA stated that there are many similarities among the three industries and suggested that SBA establish a common size standard for all three.

The request emphasized the NMMA’s support for the increasing of the size standards for both the boat and personal watercraft dealer categories.

Cindy Squires, chief counsel for public affairs and director of regulatory affairs for the NMMA, wrote in the request, “The resulting credit tightening has meant that boat dealers have limited or no access to credit to keep their business operating. This tightening also affects boat manufacturers, who are unable to provide boats to dealers to restore depleted inventories. Consequently, boat dealers and manufacturers alike have and will continue to face lay-offs, furloughs, plant closures, as well as liquidations and bankruptcies. The SBA action to improve the marine industry access to SBA business and dealer floor plan loans will help to mitigate the credit crunch and restore lost jobs.”

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