Small Business Borrowers Poll
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Office of Regional and Community Outreach polled small businesses about their business performance, financing choices, and borrowing experiences. The poll was conducted online and distributed through a network of local government and nonprofit partners.

Poll Questions
Adirondack North Country Association Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
American Institute of CPAs Minority Business Development Agency
Bronx Community College Mohawk Valley SBDC
NYC Business Improvement Districts Office of the New York State Governor
Bronx Chamber of Commerce NJ Small Business Development Centers
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce NJ Builders Association
Business Council of NY NJ Business & Industry Association
Chamber Alliance of the Mohawk Valley NJBiz
New York City Council New Jersey Economic Development Authority
Clinton Chamber of Commerce New York City Department of Consumer Affairs
NYC Community Boards North Country Chamber of Commerce
Community Capital Resources North Warren Chamber of Commerce
Community Development Corporation of Long Island NY Business Development Corporation
Connecticut Business and Industry Association NYC Business Solutions Centers
Consulado de Mexico en Nueva York New York City Department of Small Business Services
Development Authority of the North Country New York City Housing Authority;
Development Corporation of Plattsburgh NY Oneida County Convention and Visitors Bureau
New York City Economic Development Corporation Oneida County Tourism
Empire State Development Pratt Area Community Council
East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corporation Office of the Queens Borough President
Fulton Avenue Business Alliance Queens Chamber of Commerce
Grand Central Partnership Queens Economic Development Corporation
Hadley Business Association Rising Tide Capital
Hague Chronicle United States Small Business Administration
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Small Business Development Centers
Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency
Jay Community News Staten Island Chamber of Commerce
Jefferson County Job Development Corporation Sunset Park Business Improvement District
Kingston Avenue Merchants Association State University of New York Institute of Technology
Long Island City Partnership Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce
Long Island Development Corp Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce
Lower East Side Business Improvement District Women Presidents' Educational Organization

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. Read more »

Key Findings

Restoring health to the small business sector, and the credit necessary to support its recovery, are continuing concerns. While recent surveys indicate an easing of underwriting criteria, data also show a 10 percent decline in small business lending between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012.

View Key Findings »

A Day in the Life

The New York Fed visited three different companies and had in depth conversations with their owners. Explore what we learned about their goals, motivations, and challenges by clicking on each picture.

View interviews »

The Small Business Borrowers Poll asks small businesses in New York, New Jersey, and Fairfield County, CT about their business performance and financial and credit experiences. The poll is distributed through a network of civic and nonprofit partners. The poll generally captures the perspectives of smaller firms (typically fewer than 10 employees and under $5 million in annual revenues) who respond to the questionnaire.

In total, there were 544 poll respondents to the poll fielded in May 2012; however, it is important to note that the number of respondents to each individual question varied. The graphs featured on this page each identify the number of respondents (n=) for relevant questions. If the analysis required cross-tabulation of multiple questions, only firms which responded to all relevant questions were included.

Note on Poll Methodology: The poll is not a random sample and thus the information should not be interpreted as a statistical representation of small businesses in the Second District or the nation. Rather, the results should be viewed as suggestive and analyzed with awareness of potential methodological biases.

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Company Name:
 Allison O'Neill
Year Founded:
 Infant and Toddler Clothing & Accessories
 Soho, New York, NY

One of the things I found was that, of all of retail, children is kind of the most recession proof.        


I had great credit. I had basically four times the amount of a loan I was looking for, in my brokerage account, and they didn't care. They were just like, we're not taking any risks on start ups.        


Whatever you think cash flow wise you will need for your worst, worst scenerio, like the one you think is never going to happen, double it.        


Everyone who works here wears many hats...everyone who's here is a Sales Associate, and a Social Media Manager, and a Marketing Manager, and an Inventory Specialist.        


Luckily, I'm not looking for credit just yet. But, a year from now I likely will be. And, I hope conditions gets a little bit better, because I think it's still really hard for young businesses.        


There were landlords who are basically like we're just not interested in a startup of any type.        


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DISCLAIMER: The views expressed by the small business owners in the interactive slides are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System.

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