The Small Business Credit Survey 2021 Report on Nonemployer Firms, part of a series of reports from a national survey of small businesses conducted by the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, found that businesses with no employees other than the owner reported larger declines in performance than employer firms. In addition, nonemployers more often struggled to access the funding necessary to keep their businesses afloat.

Main findings:

  • More than three-quarters of nonemployer firms reported declining revenues between 2019 and 2020 and often turned to personal funds in response to financial challenges.
  • Nonemployer firms accessed COVID-related assistance at lower rates than employer firms, although 30 percent of nonemployer firm owners received enhanced unemployment benefits.
  • Nonemployer firms that applied for emergency funding were less likely than employer firms to receive the full amount they sought.
  • Nonemployer firms with less than $100,000 in annual revenues faced more challenges and worse outcomes than larger-revenue nonemployers, which often reported conditions similar to those of smaller-revenue employer businesses.

Access the report to read more.