The Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS), a collaboration among all 12 Federal Reserve Banks, is an annual survey of small businesses that has been conducted nationally since 2016. The survey questionnaire includes long-running questions on business performance and financing needs, including questions on special topics such as challenges with hiring and retaining workers. Since its inception, the SBCS has provided stakeholders from researchers to policymakers valuable data on the challenges business owners face when trying to grow and fund their firms. Importantly, the SBCS also collects data about owner and business demographics. The data allow for detailed analyses of business conditions across subcategories such as race and ethnicity of the owner(s), age of the business, and geography.
While SBCS data are reported across those demographic characteristics in the data appendix that accompanies the 2023 Report on Employer Firms, the Firms in Focus chartbooks are intended to help interested audiences easily compare 2022 SBCS employer-firm data within different demographic breakouts. For example, a researcher might want to quickly compare the credit-seeking experiences of women-owned firms to those owned by men, while another might be interested in how the challenges small businesses in their state face compare to those that small businesses across the United States face. Firms in Focus simplifies the process of exploring SBCS data.
The Firms in Focus chartbooks include appendix slides that provide information on the SBCS, and additional information on survey methodology and definitions can be found in the 2023 Report on Employer Firms.