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the federal reserve bank of cleveland

Small Business

Small Businesses and the Federal Reserve

Issues affecting small firms are a priority for the Federal Reserve System. Not only are small businesses critical to the strength of local economies, but collectively they also make important contributions to national economic growth and employment. The Federal Reserve works with intermediaries to support small businesses and microenterprises, especially those in low- and moderate-income communities. Our efforts aim to strengthen collaboration across entities that provide assistance and funding to small businesses as well as support improved access to credit. In addition, we strive to foster a deeper understanding of trends and challenges facing small business owners.

Here at the Cleveland Fed, our work on these issues includes research on small business credit and capital, a survey of small business owners, and ongoing outreach with small business owners, bankers, and community leaders.

Learn more by browsing the resources here. You can find additional Federal Reserve System resources on small businesses at

Small Business Credit Survey 2021 Report on Firms Owned by People of Color

Small Business Credit Survey 2021 Report on Firms Owned by People of Color

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted communities of color and small businesses of color, in many cases to a greater extent than their white counterparts. For example, firms owned by people of color reported more significant negative effects on business revenue, employment, and operations because of the pandemic. The report shows the pandemic only reinforced already-established disparities between white-owned firms and firms owned by people of color, such as weaker banking relationships, worse outcomes on credit applications, and a greater reliance on personal funds. Read more.