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Press Release

Federal Reserve Banks Release State-Level Findings from the Small Business Credit Survey

The Cleveland Fed highlights findings for Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the Fourth District (which includes data from Kentucky and West Virginia small businesses)

In April, the 12 Federal Reserve Banks released the 2016 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Employer Firms, which examines the results of an annual survey of business conditions and the credit environment faced by small business owners who have one or more full- or part-time employees. The Report on Employer Firms reflects the responses of firms across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As a supplement to that report, state-level results are now available.

Survey data from small businesses in the four states that lie wholly or in part within the Fourth Federal Reserve District -- Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia – show that, in many respects, the results for respondents in the Bank’s region are similar to the findings for small businesses across the US. But the data also reveal some regional differences, both in the demographics and performance of the firms in the Fourth District and in their financing experiences. Those differences, and a spreadsheet containing the data, are highlighted in 2016 Small Business Credit Survey: State-Level Results in the Fourth District.

The 2016 Small Business Credit Survey was conducted through the joint efforts of the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Richmond, San Francisco and St. Louis.

The April nationwide Report on Employer Firms found that, although many employer small businesses were profitable and optimistic, a significant majority faced financial challenges, experienced funding gaps and relied on personal finances. These issues were even more pronounced for the smallest firms, which were less likely to receive necessary funding and more likely to rely on personal finances to operate. Key findings can be found in the Report on Employer Firms’ executive summary.

Additional reports on the 2016 Small Business Credit Survey will be released throughout 2017. These will take an in-depth look into specific types of small businesses, including start-ups, minority firms and microbusinesses.

The Survey collects information about business performance, financing needs and choices and borrowing experiences of firms with 500 or fewer employees. Responses to the Survey provide insight into the dynamics behind aggregate lending trends and about noteworthy segments of small businesses. The results are weighted to reflect the full population of small businesses. The Survey is not a random sample; therefore, results should be analyzed with awareness of potential methodological biases.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.218.1892