The Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS), a collaboration of all 12 Federal Reserve Banks, provides timely information about small business conditions to policymakers, service providers, and lenders. In 2021, the survey reached nearly 11,000 employer small businesses, gathering insights about business performance, the financial and operational challenges that businesses face, and financing outcomes. Importantly, the SBCS also collects key demographic data on business owners and their businesses’ characteristics, including the race and ethnicity of a business’s owners. This publication highlights key data from the 2021 SBCS across Asian-, Black-, Hispanic-, and white-owned businesses.
Despite some improvement in revenue and employment performance among employer firms, firms owned by people of color were less likely than white-owned firms to report that either metric had reached prepandemic levels. However, whether seeking pandemic-related funding such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans or more traditional loans or lines of credit from lenders, firms owned by people of color continue to report lower approval rates than their white-owned counterparts. The gaps in financing access for firms of color are consistent with prior years’ findings from the SBCS.