Fed Small Business features small business research and analysis by the 12 Reserve Banks of the Federal Reserve System, including the national Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS) and related data, reports, and partner opportunities.
Small businesses are important to the national economy
Small businesses play a large role in the American economy. Employing nearly half of private-sector workers, small firms create economic opportunity in local communities and help drive innovation in the macro economy. Given this national significance, the Federal Reserve provides timely information and research on small business economic conditions, financing needs, and credit availability is important.
Learn more in our Frequently Asked Questions.
The SBCS provides critical information
The 12 Reserve Banks of the Federal Reserve System launched the annual Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS) to provide timely insights on small business conditions to policymakers, service providers, and lenders. The survey is a national sample of small businesses, or firms with fewer than 500 employees, aimed at providing insight into firms' financing and debt needs and experiences. Its reports focus attention on growing and changing segments of the small business market, including startups, minority-owned firms, women-owned firms, rural firms, and the self-employed and gig workers.
The survey is timely and responsive
The SBCS provides insights on financing needs and gaps. The survey tracks a fixed set of questions on business financing needs, credit applications, and credit outcomes over time. The survey also contains special topics modules, which vary on an annual basis. Recent special topics have focused on hiring experiences, effects of the pandemic, and natural disaster recovery. The survey is fielded annually from September through November, and reports are issued on a rolling basis beginning late in the first quarter of the following year.
The survey centers on community relationships
The survey is a national collaboration between the 12 Federal Reserve Banks and a diverse network of hundreds of community and business groups throughout the country. Typical partners include chambers of commerce, small business development centers, incubators, business advisory organizations, and government agencies. These organizations encourage small businesses in their networks to complete the survey.
The survey provides context for broader small business research
The Federal Reserve conducts research on small businesses and other key economic sectors as part of its role in supporting a healthy economy; SBCS reports and data products are part of broader small business research across the Federal Reserve System. We invite you to explore research on specific categories of small businesses and across small business research topics.