A rule, published in the Federal Register, by the United States SBA to boost opportunities for small businesses owned by women was finalized this week and expected to be fully implemented in 2011.

The program authorizes 5 percent of federal contracts to be set aside for women-owned small businesses where the anticipated contract price does not exceed $5 million in the case of manufacturing contracts and $3 million in the case of other contracts.

Under the Jobs Act provisions that went into effect recently, SBA has permanently increased 7(a) and 504 limits from $2 million to $5 million, and for manufacturers and certain energy-related projects seeking 504 loans, to $5.5 million.

At it relates to international trade:

The maximum for International Trade and Export Working Capital loans also has been increased from $2 million to $5 million.

SBA also permanently increased microloan limits from $35,000 to $50,000, raised the limit on Export Express loans, from $250,000 to $500,000, and made the program permanent.

SBA Express loan limits have been temporarily raised from $350,000 to $1 million for one year.

Read more here.