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2022 Report on Firms Owned by People of Color: Based on the 2021 Small Business Credit Survey

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.

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.

Suggested Citation

“2022 Report on Firms Owned by People of Color: Based on the 2021 Small Business Credit Survey.” 2022. Small Business Credit Survey. Federal Reserve Banks.

The views expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the the Federal Reserve Banks. Data used in this report may be subject to updates or changes.