The Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS), a national collaboration of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, delivers timely information on small business financing needs, decisions, and outcomes to policymakers, lenders, and service providers. The report findings provide an in-depth look at small business performance, debt holdings, and credit experiences, complementing national data on lending volume and lender perceptions.
Overall, the survey finds:
- A larger share of firms reported revenue growth (net 35%, up from 28%) and employment growth (net 23%, up from 19%) in 2018 compared to 2017, and 72% of firms expressed optimism for revenue growth in 2019—the same share as in the prior year.
- A vast majority of firms (73%) reported their input costs had increased in the prior 12 months. More than half of these firms raised the prices they charge. Firms that raised their prices were twice as likely to see profitability growth as firms that did not pass on cost increases.
- More than one-third of firms reported adding payroll employees in the prior 12 months. Payroll employment gains were most common at startups, firms with five or more employees, firms with more than $1M in annual revenues, and firms with decision makers younger than 46 years of age.