Using data from the national 2024 Report on Employer Firms: Findings from the 2023 Small Business Credit Survey, this brief summarizes responses from the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD metropolitan statistical area. The survey finds that 57 percent of small businesses in the Philadelphia metro said financial conditions were poor or fair in 2023. This is the second straight year that more than half of small businesses reported financial conditions were poor or fair.

The 2023 survey of 239 small businesses in the Philadelphia metro also finds that compared to 2022:

  • more small businesses reported revenues decreased or did not change in the last 12 months.
  • fewer small businesses carried debt, but about the same share of businesses applied for loans, lines of credit, or merchant cash advances.
  • hiring or retaining qualified staff, reaching customers or growing sales, and supply chain issues remained the top operational challenges.

The Federal Reserve’s Small Business Credit Survey is a national sample of small businesses, or firms with fewer than 500 employees, aimed at providing insight into firms’ financing and debt needs and experiences. The Fed conducted its survey from September through November 2023 and reached more than 6,000 small employer firms nationwide.

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