The U.S. Census Bureau today announced the beginning of data collection for Phase 8 of the Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS). This experimental survey was designed and launched in April 2020 to measure the effect of changing business conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. It has also proven valuable in measuring the impact of other major events such as hurricanes on our nation’s small businesses. The SBPS complements existing Census Bureau data by providing detailed, near real-time information on the challenges that small businesses face.
Phase 8 includes:
- A new question to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on the availability of supplies, current employees’ availability to work, and employee COVID tests.
- Updated planned capital expenditure question to reference year 2021.
- Adjusted questions asking about changes from normal levels prior to the pandemic. Survey now asks how levels have changed from six months ago for remote work, demand and prices paid.
- Information consistent with previous phases regarding operations, workplace COVID-19 vaccinations and testing requirements, supply-chain disruptions, measures of overall well-being, and recovery expectations.
The SBPS takes only minutes to complete. Each week, it will be sent to approximately 100,000 small businesses. Over the course of nine weeks, nearly 1 million small businesses will receive an invitation to participate. This survey defines small businesses as having a single location with one to 499 employees.
SBPS results inform the public, businesses and policymakers how changes in business operations, employment, hours, and the availability of consumer goods and services are impacting small businesses. The data will be posted every Thursday from February 24 through April 21. They will include estimates for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the nation’s 50 most populated metropolitan statistical areas.