Small business credit 

Photo: Yahoo

By Isaac Cohen*

Under the leadership of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and the support of the other eleven regional members of the Federal Reserve System, the 2022 Small Business Credit Survey was released in March.

Based on 7,864 responses from US small firms, with 1 to 499 full or part time employees, the survey collected information on “performance, challenges, and credit seeking experiences.” By contrast with previous surveys carried out during the pandemic, the 2022 survey revealed increases in revenues, employment, and profitable operations. Also, with the decrease of pandemic funding sources, more firms sought “traditional financing in the form of loans, lines of credit, or merchant cash advances.”

Some of the main challenges confronted by the firms surveyed were operational, such as hiring staff or from supply chain functioning, while some financial difficulties consisted in meeting operating expenses, or dealing with uneven cash flows. The share of approved applications to loans, lines of credit and cash advances,  to deal with operating expenses, increased to 53 percent in 2022, up from 46 percent in 2021, but still below 62 percent in 2019.

By ethnic segment, the surveyed firms were 81 percent White-owned, 11 percent Asian, 6 percent Hispanic, 2 percent African American and less than 1 percent American Indian or Alaskan Native. By gender, 64 percent firms were men-owned, 22 percent women-owned and 14 percent equally owned.

*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media.

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