There are 33.2 million small businesses in the United States. That’s 33.2 million stories of small-business ownership. Representative data drawn from these stories can shed light on more universal experiences.
But representative data on small businesses are limited. That’s particularly true when it comes to how and why owners seek financing for their businesses.
Through the annual Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS), the Federal Reserve Banks capture one-of-a-kind data on small business financing year after year. The data are an aggregation of thousands of small-business voices who have responded to questions that can’t be answered through other data sources. For example: If you applied for credit in the past year, were you satisfied with your experience?
By sharing their perspectives, small-business owners can proactively inform policy conversations and decision-making. It’s also a way to help represent other, similar small businesses. SBCS data are used to produce public reports that delve into credit experiences by firm characteristics. In the first half of 2023, we used data from the 2022 survey to provide information on firms with employees, entrepreneurs without employees, and startups owned by people of color. We also published ready-to-use slide decks that feature data on different types of small businesses.
Informing solutions around small business access to credit
Apolitical and independent, the Fed is in a unique position to collect, analyze, and distribute this data.
My Federal Reserve colleagues are prepared to convene conversations at the federal, state, and local level, and to bring information to the table. A few details about the survey:
- The survey takes 10–12 minutes to complete.
- It’s open to for-profit businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
- Responses are confidential.
- Small-business owners do not need to provide any personal information.
Small-business owners: Tell us what you’re experiencing. My team and I will combine your responses with the experiences of thousands of other small-business owners across the United States to help uncover the universal.
Learn more at FedSmallBusiness.org.
The 2023 Small Business Credit Survey is now open!
Thank you for contributing to one-of-a-kind data on small business credit experiences.
Last updated September 6, 2023 at the start of the 2023 Federal Reserve Small Business Credit Survey.