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Survey & Reports 

The Small Business Credit 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. Analysis of this dataset is issued through a series of reports.

 




2023
  • Date Published
  • Report
  • Data Appendix
  • Questionnaire
Startup firms owned by people of color were more likely than white-owned startups to expect to add employees in next year but less likely to be approved for financing.   June 16, 2023
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Nonemployer firms are less likely to be profitable than their employer firm counterparts, and they face more substantial challenges accessing credit.   May 31, 2023
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Firms in Focus is a series of chartbooks presenting Small Business Credit Survey data across various business and owner demographic characteristics, as well as by state and metropolitan statistical area (MSA).   May 9, 2023
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Small business revenue, employment, and profitability each improved from 2021, but expectations worsened year-over-year. With the end of pandemic-related funding programs, the application rate for traditional financing rebounded to prepandemic levels.   March 8, 2023
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2022
  • Date Published
  • Report
  • Data Appendix
  • Questionnaire
Most businesses with no employees other than the owner earned lower revenues in 2021 than they did before the pandemic. These nonemployer firms continued to be less likely than employer firms to seek pandemic-related financial assistance.   Sep 29, 2022
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The 2021 Small Business Credit Survey revealed much about small businesses that sought credit from an online lender instead of a bank.   Aug 16, 2022
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Seventy-five percent of employer firms tried to hire workers in 2021; close to half called the experience "very difficult." In response, firms most often increased wages or shifted more work to existing employees.   Jul 12, 2022
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Businesses owned by people of color faced more financial and operational challenges than their white-owned counterparts and often were less successful at obtaining the funding needed to weather the effects of the pandemic.   Jun 29, 2022
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Revenue and employment improved for small businesses since 2020, but performance largely lags prepandemic levels. Financing approval rates continued to trend lower than in years prior to the pandemic.   Feb 22, 2022
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2021
  • Date Published
  • Report
  • Data Appendix
  • Questionnaire
Businesses with no employees other than the owner often turned to personal funds in response to financial challenges during the pandemic. These nonemployers were less likely than employer firms to seek pandemic-related emergency funding and less likely to be approved.   Aug 2, 2021
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Firms of color were more likely to experience financial and operational challenges stemming from the pandemic. These challenges are particularly salient given the important role business ownership plays in wealth building and employ¬≠ment in communities of color.   Apr 15, 2021
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Small businesses continue to face significant challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including weak demand, heightened expenses, and limited credit availability. Nearly one-third of firms say they’re unlikely to survive without additional government aid until sales recover.   Feb 3, 2021
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2020
  • Date Published
  • Report
  • Data Appendix
  • Questionnaire
Counties with the highest density of COVID-19 cases are also areas with the highest concentration of Black businesses and networks. Our analysis shows stark PPP coverage gaps in these hardest hit communities.   Aug 4, 2020
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We examine how firms are likely to weather the impacts of COVID-19 by unpacking small firms’ financial resiliency. Most firms would need to take significant cost-cutting measures or borrow if faced with sustained revenue loss.   Apr 7, 2020
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Small businesses reported stronger revenue and employment growth and continued levels of credit demand, with more firms applying to online lenders for financing.   Apr 7, 2020
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2019
  • Date Published
  • Report
  • Data Appendix
  • Questionnaire
Though they represent a small share of total small-business lending, nonbank online lenders are a growing source of small-dollar credit for small businesses.   Dec 18, 2019
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Many minority-owned small businesses faced financial challenges and lagged in key performance indicators for profitability, revenue growth, and employee growth.   Dec 13, 2019
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Despite being a key income source for their owners, nonemployer firms face acute profitability and financing challenges.   Aug 14, 2019
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Small businesses reported stronger revenue and employment growth and continued levels of credit demand, with more firms applying to online lenders for financing.   Apr 16, 2019
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2018
  • Date Published
  • Report
  • Data Appendix
  • Questionnaire
Cover of Report on Nonemployer Firms from 2017 Small Business Credit Survey Nonemployer firms make up 81% of all U.S. small businesses, generating $1.2 trillion in annual sales. But are they succeeding financially?   Dec 12, 2018
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Cover of the Report on Employer Firms based on the 2017 Small Business Credit Survey Heading into 2018, small businesses with employees reported stronger revenue growth and profitability, but some segments of firms continued to face financial challenges.   May 22, 2018
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Forty percent of firms in FEMA-designated disaster areas reported losses from recent storms. We examine which firms were hit hardest and how heavily they depend on aid and credit to get back in business.   APR 17, 2018
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Report on How Do Firms Respond to Hiring Difficulties? based on the 2017 Small Business Credit Survey Two-thirds of small businesses report hiring challenges. We look at the different difficulties they face and how they solve for them.   MAR 22, 2018
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2017
  • Date Published
  • Report
  • Data Appendix
  • Questionnaire
How do rural small businesses compare with their urban counterparts?   DEC 22, 2017
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Is there a gender gap between small businesses owned by women and those owned by men?   NOV 30, 2017
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Microbusinesses, or nonemployers and small businesses with four or fewer employees, account for about 9 in 10 U.S. firms.   NOV 29, 2017
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Minority-owned small businesses face more financial challenges and funding gaps than nonminority firms.   NOV 9, 2017
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Startups, or small businesses that were five-years-old or younger in 2016 with full- or part-time employees, reported stronger growth and more optimism than mature firms, but have greater credit risk and experience more financial challenges.   AUG 8, 2017
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While many small businesses with employees were profitable and optimistic in 2016, a significant majority faced financial challenges, experienced funding gaps and relied on personal finances.   APR 11, 2017
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