Advocacy’s New Research Resource

Interested in delving into the data on businesses owned by women, veterans, or minorities? Looking for the latest statistics on small business lending or venture capital? Advocacy has a new user-friendly web page, Small Business Data Resources, that can point you in the right direction.

Since its creation by Public Law 94-305 in 1976, the SBA’s Office of Advocacy has been tasked, among other things, to “examine the role of small business in the American economy.” Given an ambitious mission and limited resources to develop databases of our own, the Office of Advocacy has spent the past 35 years acquiring expertise in working with federal agencies like the Census Bureau and others to develop data sets that provide relevant and timely business information by firm size. Along the way, many other government and nongovernment organizations have also developed data and surveys relevant to particular aspects of the study of small business. These many databases have been the starting point for hundreds of research studies commissioned by Advocacy over the years.   

Small Business Data Resources is a hyperlinked list of most of the key federal government and nongovernment data sources that can provide information on small businesses, their sales, employment, benefits, and related information. It points users to databases that provide insight on specific topics such as demographics, employment, finance, firm size data, health care, income and sales, taxes, and training.

So—if you’re interested in the statistics on small business lending or venture capital, check the databases listed under “Finance.” There you’ll find, for example, the source for SBA lending data, as well as Call Report Data from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, and the National Venture Capital Association’s Total Venture Capital Investments. If you’re looking for data on businesses owned by women, veterans, or minorities, scan the checked boxes under “Demographics,” where you’ll find, among others, the hyperlinks for the Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners and the Census Bureau/Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey.

Those are just a few of the rich veins of small business-related data you can mine from one Office of Advocacy site. Let us know what riches you find!

—Kathryn Tobias