The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
Regional & Community Outreach connects the Bank to Main Street via structured dialogues and two-way conversations on small business, mortgages, and household credit.
Economic Education improves public knowledge about the Federal Reserve System, monetary policy implementation, and promoting financial stability through the Museum and programs for K-16 students and educators, and the community.
The New York Fed’s Small Business Credit Survey collects
information from small businesses in New York, New Jersey,
Connecticut and Pennsylvania—about their performance, financing decisions and
In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy struck the region,
resulting in direct and indirect damages to local small
businesses. The May 2013 Small Business Credit Survey asked
businesses about their damages, insurance coverage, and
disaster relief applications.
The Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS) is a semi-annual establishment survey
conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, reporting information about
business performance, financing needs and choices, and borrowing experiences.
The fall 2013 survey also asked small businesses about the immediate and
longer-term impact of Superstorm Sandy. The SBCS captures the perspectives of
businesses with fewer than 500 employees in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut,
and Pennsylvania. The SBCS is distributed through civic and non-profit
partners, primarily Chambers of Commerce, industry associations, and
In total, there were 1548 responses to the survey fielded from October 10, 2013
to December 31, 2013. The number of responses to each individual question
varied based on relevance. Results are weighted to reflect the full population
of small businesses in the four states of coverage, along the dimensions of
industry, age, employee size, and geography.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Office of Regional and
Community Outreach asks small businesses about their business
performance, financing choices, and borrowing experiences. The
survey was conducted online and distributed through a network
of local government and nonprofit partners.
More than three years into the economic
recovery, the number of small business loans stands at three-quarters
of its 2008 peak. National data show that the number of small
business loans—defined as $1 million or less—declined by
4.7 percent in 2011.
A closer look reveals that most of the recent decline was due
to a drop in the number of microloans—those less than $100,000. While
lenders report easing credit standards for large and medium-size
firms, loan standards for small businesses have not changed in the
last four consecutive Federal Reserve Senior Loan Officer Opinion
As part of its regional and community outreach, the New York
Fed monitors credit conditions by asking small business owners about
their credit needs and experiences. In April/May 2012, we heard from
544 small businesses. Evidence from small business owners suggests
that the recent drop in lending may be due in part to weaker firms
self-selecting out of the credit market. Fifty-nine percent of firms
did not seek any financing during the last year. Half of the
non-applicants said they did not apply because they did not think
they would be approved. However, the poll also suggests that the drop
in microloans is not wholly due to lack of demand. In fact,
applicants expressed strong demand for microloans—but firms also
reported higher denial rates for these loans than for larger amounts.
Here are the key findings:
Self-selection out of the credit market
59% of firms did not apply for credit between May 2011
and May 2012.
Half of non-applicants said that they did not apply because
they did not think they would be approved. These firms were
younger, smaller, had weaker sales, and less frequently
identified a bank as a primary financing source.
Applicants sought small dollar loans but
encountered limited supply
58% of applicants sought a microloan ($100,000 or
less), most often for short-term working capital.
However, denial rates were higher for firms seeking
microloans than those seeking larger amounts. The credit profile
of unsuccessful applicants included young age (5 years or less in
business), weaker sales performance, and infrequency of strong
Partial credit was a common
63% of applicants were able to get at least some of the
credit they sought. However, only 13% percent of applicants
indicated obtained the full amount of credit sought.
Two-thirds of credit applications were denied, and the most
sought-after product, lines of credit, had the highest denial
Loan demand for Q3 and Q4 2012 is anticipated from re-applicants and previously discouraged firms
Overall, 43% of respondents plan to apply for some form
of credit in Q3 and Q4 2012.
Of these, half are re-applicants who received only partial
credit in 2011-12 but who resemble successful applicants in
The other half of firms that intend to apply did not apply
between May 2011 and May 2012. Their credit profile is more
similar to that of recently unsuccessful applicants.