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2015 Small Business Credit Survey

To learn more about business conditions and the financing needs of small businesses, the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Boston, and Richmond collaborated on the 2015 Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS). The survey, conducted between September and November of 2015, gathered responses from 5,420 small firms in 26 states. For more information and background on the SBCS, click here.


The 2015 Small Business Credit Survey Report on Nonemployer Firms highlights the results for the survey’s 1,576 nonemployer firm respondents—small businesses with no employees other than the business’s owners. The report illustrates some of the unique characteristics and challenges that set nonemployer busi¬nesses apart from employer firms. While these firms, by definition, have no employees, nearly a third use contract workers. In addition, the survey results show that profitability is often a challenge for nonemployers, and that many of these firms face difficulties obtaining credit.)

  • 2015 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Nonemployer Firms (pdf report)
  • 2015 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Nonemployer Firms infographic (infographic)

Click, Submit: New Insights on Online Lender Applicants from the Small Business Credit Survey draws from 2015 SBCS data to examine the characteristics and experiences of small firms that applied for financing at an online lender. The analysis finds that these firms tend to be smaller, younger, and less profitable. They reported lower overall credit approval rates and lower satisfaction with their lenders. (pdf report)


The 2015 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Employer Firms features responses from the 3,459 employer firms in the sample. More than half of these firms reported that their revenues are increasing and that they are operating profitably. The results indicate that 47 percent of the respondents applied for financing, and of these, about half were approved for all the credit they were seeking. Financing shortfalls were more prevalent among smaller and newer firms. In addition, the results show that small banks were the most common source of credit, and that business owners are most satisfied with small bank lenders. The complete report and related materials are accessible through the links below.

  • 2015 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Employer Firms (pdf report)
  • 2015 SBCS Data on Employer Firms (excel file)
  • 2015 SBCS Questionnaire (pdf file)

Check here for related Small Business content, including analyses, other credit-survey results, commentary, and more.

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