The past year has been especially challenging for small business owners as they continue to weather the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from the 2021 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Employer Firms, a series of three briefs summarizes small business conditions between 2019 and 2020 in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the Third District overall, respectively.

Each brief explores three key topics:

  • Employer firm performance and challenges
  • Information about emergency funding
  • Expected challenges in the next 12 months

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 in September and October 2020, with 9,693 responses from a nationwide sample of small employer firms.