What Is A Small Business? | SBA Size Definition and Standards Guide

One of the most common truisms that people throw out is that “small business is the backbone of the American economy.” While the phrase is certainly overused, it does highlight an important truth, which is that, according to the 2021 data, 99.9 percent of United States businesses are small businesses. What’s more, nearly 50 percent of American employees are employed by small businesses - see the best payroll tools for them - equivalent to 58.9 million people.

Although small businesses are all around us, defining what a small business is can feel elusive. What exactly constitutes a small business? Is it the same thing as a startup? Read on to find out what a small business is and what the SBA definition of a small business is as well. In addition, remember that you can always get professional advice from top formation services and registered agents when forming your business, as long as you know where to look.

Table of Contents

  • What Is a Small Business?

  • SBA Definition of Small Business

  • The Importance of SBA’s Size Definition of a Small Business

  • Full SBA Table of Standards for Small Business by Industry and Subsector

  • Agriculture

  • Mining

  • Utilities

  • Construction

  • Manufacturing

  • Wholesale Trade

  • Retail Trade

  • Transportation and Warehousing

  • Information

  • Finance and Insurance

  • Real Estate, Rental and Leasing

  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

  • Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services

  • Education

  • Health Care and Social Assistance

  • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation

  • Accommodation and Food Services

What Is a Small Business?

There are several definitions of a small business. The reason for this is because there are various institutions, such as the Small business Administration or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), define a small business differently and for different purposes. Naturally, the IRS’s main focus for defining a small business is related to tax purposes. Whereas for the SBA, defining a small business is important for qualifying for SBA and federal government programs. Indeed, satisfying the SBA’s definition of a small business is very important because SBA loan programs and contracting opportunities are specifically reserved for small businesses.

SBA loan document with a calculator


The average American likely has their own standard or definition of a small business, oftentimes thinking of a downtown shop or restaurant, for example. This perception could be based in part on reality because, according to the Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, firms employing fewer than 20 workers account for 89 percent of companies in the U.S. However, small businesses can certainly employ more than 20 workers and be considered a small business.

The IRS mentions on their website that small businesses are those with assets under $10 million. But it’s not an official definition of a small business. The definition of a small business according to SBA standards is more official and more complex.

SBA Definition of Small Business

The SBA has size requirements in its definition of a small business. However, these size requirements vary according to industry as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. For example:

  • In the manufacturing industry, companies with 500 employees or fewer are considered a small business.

  • In non-manufacturing industries, companies with average annual receipts of less than $7.5 million qualify as a small business

The main method that the SBA uses to define small businesses is through its Small Business Size Regulations. These are primarily based on two measures: the average annual receipts or the average employment of a company. The SBA size standard represents the largest size that a business can be while remaining classified as a small business for SBA and federal contracting programs. Thus, if the size standard is based on the number of employees, a size standard of 1,000 would mean your company would need to have 1,000 employees or fewer to be considered a small business by the SBA.

SBA on money

Depending on the industry sector — for example, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction or utilities or construction— small businesses can be defined by millions of dollars in average annual receipts or by the number of employees. But even within a sector, subsectors can be defined by one or the other. For instance, within the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector, small businesses under the subsector, support activities for mining, are defined by average annual receipts, while all other subsectors are defined by the number of employees.

The Importance of SBA’s Size Definition of a Small Business

Complying with the SBA’s size definition of a small business is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, you must meet the SBA’s definition because their SBA loan programs and federal government contract work depend on your company qualifying as a small business by their standard. One of the SBA’s primary roles is to protect and support small business in the U.S. Hence, being properly classified as a small business is a necessary condition in order to qualify for their programs. If you don’t meet their definition, then your company will not be able to qualify, let alone get approved, for funding such as an SBA loan.

Full SBA Table of Standards for Small Business by Industry and Subsector

Here you can find the SBA Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to NAICS Codes, which you can use to determine if your small business fits the definition as laid out in terms of average annual receipts or number of employees. The SBA calculates annual receipts based on all revenue in whatever form — including sales of products or services, interest, dividends, rents, royalties, fees or commissions — received or accrued by a business. For calculating the number of employees, the SBA counts all individuals employed on a full-time, part-time or other basis, including employees obtained from a temp agency, professional employee organization or leasing concern.

Here's a breakdown of what constitutes a small business across major industries and all their subsectors. The table includes the overall industry sector, each subsector with its respective NAICS code, and the maximum size standard in terms of either average annual receipts or by number of employees.

Agriculture

NAICS industry description: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

Sector 11 - Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting

Subsector 111

Crop Production

Size standards in average annual receipts

Size standards in number of employees

111110

Soybean Farming

$1 million


111120

Oilseed (except Soybean) Farming

$1 million


111130

Dry Pea and Bean Farming

$1 million


111140

Wheat Farming

$1 million


111150

Corn Farming

$1 million


111160

Rice Farming

$1 million


111191

Oilseed and Grain Combination Farming

$1 million


111199

All Other Grain Farming

$1 million


111211

Potato Farming

$1 Million


111219

Other Vegetable (except Potato) and Melon Farming

$1 Million


111310

Orange Groves

$1 Million


111320

Citrus (except Orange) Groves

$1 Million


111331

Apple Orchards

$1 Million


111332

Grape Vineyards

$1 Million


111333

Strawberry Farming

$1 Million


111334

Berry (except Strawberry) Farming

$1 Million


111335

Tree Nut Farming

$1 Million


111336

Fruit and Tree Nut Combination Farming

$1 Million


111339

Other Non-citrus Fruit Farming

$1 Million


111411

Mushroom Production

$1 Million


111419

Other Food Crops Grown Under Cover

$1 Million


111421

Nursery and Tree Production

$1 Million


111422

Floriculture Production

$1 Million


111910

Tobacco Farming

$1 Million


111920

Cotton Farming

$1 Million


111930

Sugarcane Farming

$1 Million


111940

Hay Farming

$1 Million


111991

Sugar Beet Farming

$1 Million


111992

Peanut Farming

$1 Million


111998

All Other Miscellaneous Crop Farming

$1 million


Subsector 112

Animal Production and Aquaculture

Size Standards In Average Annual Receipts

Size Standards In Number Of Employees

112111

Beef Cattle Ranching and Farming

$1 Million


112112

Cattle Feedlots

$8 Million


112120

Dairy Cattle and Milk Production

$1 Million


112210

Hog and Pig Farming

$1 Million


112310

Chicken Egg Production

$16.5 Million


112320

Broilers and Other Meat Type Chicken Production

$1 Million


112330

Turkey Production

$1 Million


112340

Poultry Hatcheries

$1 Million


112390

Other Poultry Production

$1 Million


112410

Sheep Farming

$1 Million


112420

Goat Farming

$1 Million


112511

Finfish Farming and Fish Hatcheries

$1 Million


112512

Shellfish Farming

$1 Million


112519

Other Aquaculture

$1 Million


112910

Apiculture

$1 Million


112920

Horses and Other Equine Production

$1 Million


112930

Fur‑Bearing Animal and Rabbit Production

$1 Million


112990

All Other Animal Production

$1 Million


Subsector 113

Forestry and Logging

Size Standards In Average Annual Receipts

Size Standards In Number Of Employees

113110

Timber Tract Operations

$12 million


113210

Forest Nurseries and Gathering of Forest Products

$12 million


113310

Logging


500

Subsector 114

Fishing, Hunting and Trapping

Size Standards In Average Annual Receipts

Size Standards In Number Of Employees

114111

Finfish Fishing

$22 million


114112

Shellfish Fishing

$6 million


114119

Other Marine Fishing

$8 million


114210

Hunting and Trapping

$6 million


Subsector 115

Support Activities for Agriculture and Forestry

Size Standards In Average Annual Receipts

Size Standards In Number Of Employees

115111

Cotton Ginning

$12 million


115112

Soil Preparation, Planting, and Cultivating

$8 million


115113

Crop Harvesting, Primarily by Machine

$8 million


115114

Postharvest Crop Activities (except Cotton Ginning)

$30 million


115115

Farm Labor Contractors and Crew Leaders

$16.5 million


115116

Farm Management Services

$8 million


115210

Support Activities for Animal Production

$8 million


115310

Support Activities for Forestry

$8 million


115310_a_Except

Forest Fire Suppression

$20.5 million


115310_b_Except

Fuels Management Services

$20.5 million


A field


Mining

NAICS industry description: Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

Sector 21 – Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction

Subsector 211

Oil and Gas Extraction

Size standards in average annual receipts

Size standards in number of employees

211120

Crude Petroleum Extraction


1,250

211130

Natural Gas Extraction


1,250

Subsector 212

Mining (except Oil and Gas)

Size Standards In Average Annual Receipts

Size Standards In Number Of Employees

212111

Bituminous Coal and Lignite Surface Mining


1,250

212112

Bituminous Coal Underground Mining


1,500

212113

Anthracite Mining


250

212210

Iron Ore Mining


750

212221

Gold Ore Mining


250

212222

Silver Ore Mining


250

212230

Copper, Nickel, Lead, and Zinc Mining


750

212291

Uranium‑Radium‑Vanadium Ore Mining


250

212299

All Other Metal Ore Mining


750

212311

Dimension Stone Mining and Quarrying


500

212312

Crushed and Broken Limestone Mining and Quarrying


750

212313

Crushed and Broken Granite Mining and Quarrying


750

212319

Other Crushed and Broken Stone Mining and Quarrying


500

212321

Construction Sand and Gravel Mining


500

212322

Industrial Sand Mining


500

212324

Kaolin and Ball Clay Mining


750

212325

Clay and Ceramic and Refractory Minerals Mining


500

212391

Potash, Soda, and Borate Mineral Mining


750

212392

Phosphate Rock Mining


1,000

212393

Other Chemical and Fertilizer Mineral Mining


500

212399

All Other Nonmetallic Mineral Mining


500

Subsector 213

Support Activities for Mining

Size Standards In Average Annual Receipts

Size Standards In Number Of Employees

213111

Drilling Oil and Gas Wells


1,000

213112

Support Activities for Oil and Gas Operations

$41.5 million


213113

Support Activities for Coal Mining

$22 million


213114

Support Activities for Metal Mining

$22 million


213115

Support Activities for Nonmetallic Minerals (except Fuels)

$8 million


Mining

Utilities

NAICS industry description: Utilities

Sector 22 – Utilities

Subsector 221

Utilities

Size standards in average annual receipts

Size standards in number of employees

221111

Hydroelectric Power Generation


500

221112

Fossil Fuel Electric Power Generation


750

221113

Nuclear Electric Power Generation


750

221114

Solar Electric Power Generation


250

221115

Wind Electric Power Generation


250

221116

Geothermal Electric Power Generation


250

221117

Biomass Electric Power Generation


250

221118

Other Electric Power Generation


250

221121

Electric Bulk Power Transmission and Control


500

221122

Electric Power Distribution


1,000

221210

Natural Gas Distribution


1,000

221310

Water Supply and Irrigation Systems

$30 million


221320

Sewage Treatment Facilities

$22 million


221330

Steam and Air‑Conditioning Supply

$16.5 million


Utilities folder

Construction

NAICS industry description: Construction

Sector 23 - Construction

Subsector 236

Construction of Buildings

Size standards in average annual receipts

Size standards in number of employees

236115

New Single-family Housing Construction (Except For-Sale Builders)

$39.5 million


236116

New Multifamily Housing Construction (except For-Sale Builders)

$39.5 million


236117

New Housing For-Sale Builders

$39.5 million


236118

Residential Remodelers

$39.5 million


236210

Industrial Building Construction

$39.5 million


236220

Commercial and Institutional Building Construction

$39.5 million


Subsector 237

Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction



237110

Water and Sewer Line and Related Structures Construction

$39.5 million


237120

Oil and Gas Pipeline and Related Structures Construction

$39.5 million


237130

Power and Communication Line and Related Structures Construction

$39.5 million


237210

Land Subdivision

$30 million


237310

Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction

$39.5 million


237990

Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction

$39.5 million


237990_Except

Dredging and Surface Cleanup Activities2

$30 million


Subsector 238

Specialty Trade Contractors



238110

Poured Concrete Foundation and Structure Contractors

$16.5 million


238120

Structural Steel and Precast Concrete Contractors

$16.5 million


238130

Framing Contractors

$16.5 million


238140

Masonry Contractors

$16.5 million


238150

Glass and Glazing Contractors

$16.5 million


238160

Roofing Contractors

$16.5 million


238170

Siding Contractors

$16.5 million


238190

Other Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors

$16.5 million


238210

Electrical Contractors and Other Wiring Installation Contractor

$16.5 million


238220

Plumbing, Heating, and Air‑Conditioning Contractors

$16.5 million


238290

Other Building Equipment Contractors

$16.5 million


238310

Drywall and Insulation Contractors

$16.5 million


238320

Painting and Wall Covering Contractors

$16.5 million


238330

Flooring Contractors

$16.5 million


238340

Tile and Terrazzo Contractors

$16.5 million


238350

Finish Carpentry Contractors

$16.5 million


238390

Other Building Finishing Contractors

$16.5 million


238910

Site Preparation Contractors

$16.5 million


238990

All Other Specialty Trade Contractors

$16.5 million


238990_Except

Building and Property Specialty Trade Services

$16.5 million


Construction

Manufacturing

NAICS industry description: Manufacturing

Sector 31 – 33 – Manufacturing

Subsector 311

Food Manufacturing

Size standards in average annual receipts

Size standards in number of employees

311111

Dog and Cat Food Manufacturing


1,000

311119

Other Animal Food Manufacturing


500

311211

Flour Milling


1,000

311212

Rice Milling


500

311213

Malt Manufacturing


500

311221

Wet Corn Milling


1,250

311224

Soybean and Other Oilseed Processing


1,000

311225

Fats and Oils Refining and Blending


1,000

311230

Breakfast Cereal Manufacturing


1,000

311313

Beet Sugar Manufacturing


750

311314

Cane Sugar Manufacturing


1,000

311340

Nonchocolate Confectionery Manufacturing


1,000

311351

Chocolate and Confectionery Manufacturing from Cacao Beans


1,250

311352

Confectionery Manufacturing from Purchased Chocolate


1,000

311411

Frozen Fruit, Juice and Vegetable Manufacturing


1,000

311412

Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing


1,250

311421

Fruit and Vegetable Canning3


1,000

311422

Specialty Canning


1,250

311423

Dried and Dehydrated Food Manufacturing


750

311511

Fluid Milk Manufacturing


1,000

311512

Creamery Butter Manufacturing


750

311513

Cheese Manufacturing


1,250

311514

Dry, Condensed, and Evaporated Dairy Product Manufacturing


750

311520

Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Manufacturing


1,000

311611

Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering


1,000

311612

Meat Processed from Carcasses


1,000

311613

Rendering and Meat Byproduct Processing


750

311615

Poultry Processing


1,250

311710

Seafood Product Preparation and Packaging


750

311811

Retail Bakeries


500

311812

Commercial Bakeries


1,000

311813

Frozen Cakes, Pies, and Other Pastries Manufacturing


750

311821

Cookie and Cracker Manufacturing


1,250

311824

Dry Pasta, Dough, and Flour Mixes Manufacturing from Purchased Flour


750

311830

Tortilla Manufacturing


1,250

311911

Roasted Nuts and Peanut Butter Manufacturing


750

311919

Other Snack Food Manufacturing


1,250

311920

Coffee and Tea Manufacturing


750

311930

Flavoring Syrup and Concentrate Manufacturing


1,000

311941

Mayonnaise, Dressing and Other Prepared Sauce Manufacturing


750

311942

Spice and Extract Manufacturing


500

311991

Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing


500

311999

All Other Miscellaneous Food Manufacturing


500

Subsector 312

Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing



312111

Soft Drink Manufacturing


1,250

312112

Bottled Water Manufacturing


1,000

312113

Ice Manufacturing


750

312120

Breweries


1,250

312130

Wineries


1,000

312140

Distilleries


1,000

312230

Tobacco Manufacturing


1,50

Subsector 313

Textile Mills



313110

Fiber, Yarn, and Thread Mills


1,250

313210

Broadwoven Fabric Mills


1,000

313220

Narrow Fabric Mills and Schiffli Machine Embroidery


500

313230

Nonwoven Fabric Mills


750

313240

Knit Fabric Mills


500

313310

Textile and Fabric Finishing Mills


1,000

313320

Fabric Coating Mills


1,000

Subsector 314

Textile Product Mills



314110

Carpet and Rug Mills


1,500

314120

Curtain and Linen Mills


750

314910

Textile Bag and Canvas Mills


500

314994

Rope, Cordage, Twine, Tire Cord, and Tire Fabric Mills


1,000

314999

All Other Miscellaneous Textile Product Mills


500

Subsector 315

Apparel Manufacturing



315110

Hosiery and Sock Mills


750

315190

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750

315210

Cut and Sew Apparel Contractors


750

315220

Men's and Boys' Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing


750

315240

Women's, Girls', and Infants' Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing


750

315280

Other Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing


750

315990

Apparel Accessories and Other Apparel Manufacturing


500

Subsector 316

Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing



316110

Leather and Hide Tanning and Finishing


500

316210

Footwear Manufacturing


1,000

316992

Women’s Handbag and Purse Manufacturing


750

316998

All Other Leather Good and Allied Product Manufacturing


500

Subsector 321

Wood Product Manufacturing



321113

Sawmills


500

321114

Wood Preservation


500

321211

Hardwood Veneer and Plywood Manufacturing


500

321212

Softwood Veneer and Plywood Manufacturing


1,250

321213

Engineered Wood Member (except Truss) Manufacturing


750

321214

Truss Manufacturing


500

321219

Reconstituted Wood Product Manufacturing


750

321911

Wood Window and Door Manufacturing


1,000

321912

Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planing


500

321918

Other Millwork (including Flooring)


500

321920

Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing


500

321991

Manufactured Home (Mobile Home) Manufacturing


1,250

321992

Prefabricated Wood Building Manufacturing


500

321999

All Other Miscellaneous Wood Product Manufacturing


500

Subsector 322

Paper Manufacturing



322110

Pulp Mills


750

322121

Paper (except Newsprint) Mills


1,250

322122

Newsprint Mills


750

322130

Paperboard Mills


1,250

322211

Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing


1,250

322212

Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing


750

322219

Other Paperboard Container Manufacturing


1,000

322220

Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing


750

322230

Stationery Product Manufacturing


750

322291

Sanitary Paper Product Manufacturing


1,500

322299

All Other Converted Paper Product Manufacturing


500

Subsector 323

Printing and Related Support Activities



323111

Commercial Printing (except Screen and Books)


500

323113

Commercial Screen Printing


500

323117

Books Printing


1,250

323120

Support Activities for Printing


500

Subsector 324

Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing



324110

Petroleum Refineries4


1,500

324121

Asphalt Paving Mixture and Block Manufacturing


500

324122

Asphalt Shingle and Coating Materials Manufacturing


750

324191

Petroleum Lubricating Oil and Grease Manufacturing


750

324199

All Other Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing


500

Subsector 325

Chemical Manufacturing



325110

Petrochemical Manufacturing


1,000

325120

Industrial Gas Manufacturing


1,000

325130

Synthetic Dye and Pigment Manufacturing


1,000

325180

Other Basic Inorganic Chemical Manufacturing


1,000

325193

Ethyl Alcohol Manufacturing


1,000

325194

Cyclic Crude, Intermediate, and Gum and Wood Chemical Manufacturing


1,250

325199

All Other Basic Organic Chemical Manufacturing


1,250

325211

Plastics Material and Resin Manufacturing


1,250

325212

Synthetic Rubber Manufacturing


1,000

325220

Artificial and Synthetic Fibers and Filaments Manufacturing


1,000

325311

Nitrogenous Fertilizer Manufacturing


1,000

325312

Phosphatic Fertilizer Manufacturing


750

325314

Fertilizer (Mixing Only) Manufacturing


500

325320

Pesticide and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing


1,000

325411

Medicinal and Botanical Manufacturing


1,000

325412

Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufacturing


1,250

325413

In‑Vitro Diagnostic Substance Manufacturing


1,250

325414

Biological Product (except Diagnostic) Manufacturing


1,250

325510

Paint and Coating Manufacturing


1,000

325520

Adhesive Manufacturing


500

325611

Soap and Other Detergent Manufacturing


1,000

325612

Polish and Other Sanitation Good Manufacturing


750

325613

Surface Active Agent Manufacturing


750

325620

Toilet Preparation Manufacturing


1,250

325910

Printing Ink Manufacturing


500

325920

Explosives Manufacturing


750

325991

Custom Compounding of Purchased Resins


500

325992

Photographic Film, Paper, Plate and Chemical Manufacturing


1,500

325998

All Other Miscellaneous Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing


500

Subsector 326

Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing



326111

Plastic Bag and Pouch Manufacturing


750

326112

Plastics Packaging Film and Sheet (including Laminated) Manufacturing


1,000

326113

Unlaminated Plastics Film and Sheet (except Packaging) Manufacturing


750

326121

Unlaminated Plastics Profile Shape Manufacturing


500

326122

Plastics Pipe and Pipe Fitting Manufacturing


750

326130

Laminated Plastics Plate, Sheet (except Packaging), and Shape Manufacturing


500

326140

Polystyrene Foam Product Manufacturing


1,000

326150

Urethane and Other Foam Product (except Polystyrene) Manufacturing


750

326160

Plastics Bottle Manufacturing


1,250

326191

Plastics Plumbing Fixture Manufacturing


750

326199

All Other Plastics Product Manufacturing


750

326211

Tire Manufacturing (except Retreading)5


1,500

326212

Tire Retreading


500

326220

Rubber and Plastics Hoses and Belting Manufacturing


750

326291

Rubber Product Manufacturing for Mechanical Use


750

326299

All Other Rubber Product Manufacturing


500

Manufacturing

Subsector 327

Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing



327110

Pottery, Ceramics, and Plumbing Fixture Manufacturing


1,000

327120

Clay Building Material and Refractories Manufacturing


750

327211

Flat Glass Manufacturing


1,000

327212

Other Pressed and Blown Glass and Glassware Manufacturing


1,250

327213

Glass Container Manufacturing


1,250

327215

Glass Product Manufacturing Made of Purchased Glass


1,000

327310

Cement Manufacturing


1,000

327320

Ready‑Mix Concrete Manufacturing


500

327331

Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing


500

327332

Concrete Pipe Manufacturing


750

327390

Other Concrete Product Manufacturing


500

327410

Lime Manufacturing


750

327420

Gypsum Product Manufacturing


1,500

327910

Abrasive Product Manufacturing


750

327991

Cut Stone and Stone Product Manufacturing


500

327992

Ground or Treated Mineral and Earth Manufacturing


500

327993

Mineral Wool Manufacturing


1,500

327999

All Other Miscellaneous Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing


500

Subsector 331

Primary Metal Manufacturing



331110

Iron and Steel Mills and Ferroalloy Manufacturing


1,500

331210

Iron and Steel Pipe and Tube Manufacturing from Purchased Steel


1,000

331221

Rolled Steel Shape Manufacturing


1,000

331222

Steel Wire Drawing


1,000

331313

Alumina Refining and Primary Aluminum Production


1,000

331314

Secondary Smelting and Alloying of Aluminum


750

331315

Aluminum Sheet, Plate and Foil Manufacturing


1,250

331318

Other Aluminum Rolling, Drawing, and Extruding


750

331410

Nonferrous Metal (except Aluminum) Smelting and Refining


1,000

331420

Copper Rolling, Drawing, Extruding, and Alloying