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Dec. 20, 2017

The Richmond Fed Releases Report on Fifth District Small Businesses

Richmond, Va.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond today issued the 2016 Small Business Credit Survey Report on Employer Firms in the Fifth District, which examines the business conditions and the credit environment faced by small business owners who have full- or part-time employees. 

The report, which includes data from small businesses in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia, found that they are more optimistic about future growth, more likely to use contract workers and more likely to receive funding from large banks compared to their counterparts across the country.

Other findings in the report include:

The majority of Fifth District small businesses are under 10-years-old, have fewer than five employees, operate in the service industry, have low credit risks and earn under $1 million in revenue.

More than three-quarters of small businesses in the Fifth District are located in urban communities.

47 percent of employer firms in the Fifth District applied for financing in the past year with nearly two-thirds stating the desire to expand their business as the primary reason.

85 percent of Fifth District respondents who applied for financing applied for loans/lines of credit. Half applied at large banks, and 46 percent applied at small banks.

State level data is available in the report for Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, but not for the District of Columbia and West Virginia due to small sample sizes.

This report is part of a series on small businesses that the Richmond Fed and other Reserve Banks released in 2017. Additional reports looked at national trends for startups, microbusinesses and women- and minority-owned businesses. This is the first time the Richmond Fed has published a district-specific small business report.


As part of our nation’s central bank, the Richmond Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks working together with the Board of Governors to support a healthy economy and deliver on our mission to foster economic stability and strength. We connect with community and business leaders across the Fifth Federal Reserve District — including the Carolinas, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and most of West Virginia — to monitor economic conditions, address issues facing our communities, and share this information with monetary and financial policymakers. We also work with banks to ensure they are operating safely and soundly, supply financial institutions with currency that’s fit for distribution, and provide a safe and efficient way to transfer funds through our nation’s payments system.

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