Small Business Research

Small businesses continue to face a number of challenges. As Florida’s principal provider of small business assistance and the leading thought-leader for small businesses in the state, the Florida SBDC Network conducts a number of research studies on the needs and challenges of small businesses each year. View our latest and archived research studies below.

Florida Small Business Confidence Index

Conducted in partnership with the University of West Florida, the Florida Small Business Confidence Index survey highlights the insights of Florida’s small business owners. The survey is administered to clients of the Florida SBDC Network.

Survey Results: Second Quarter 2017

For the second quarter of 2017, the Florida small business confidence index was down slightly to 2.36 from 2.45 (2Q 2017 versus 2Q 2016, Table 1). Respondents were less likely to report strong sales, less likely to intend to hire new employees and slightly less optimistic about sales for the next year. Conversely, respondents were more optimistic about the Florida economy. For this item, more than 54 percent
agreed or strongly agreed the state economy would grow significantly over the next year.

According to the survey, Florida small businesses are most concerned about:

  1. Access to capital (28 percent)
  2. Economic uncertainty (24 percent)
  3. Workforce quality (22 percent)

Past Results:


National America’s SBDC Generational Study

New research by America’s SBDC uncovers the strong entrepreneurial drive of Millennials and the needs and challenges they face.

This national study by America’s SBDC, the association representing SBDCs nationally, highlights the state of entrepreneurialism in America to support and promote the success of current and future generations of entrepreneurs. This study uncovers research-based insights into the entrepreneurial mindset of Americans, and how to engage them by understanding their perceptions, motivations, and behaviors when it comes to small business.

Learn more about the generations surveyed and the findings from the study here


Federal Reserve Small Business Credit Survey

Access to capital remains one of the top issue small businesses face. The Florida SBDC Network recently has partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank to shed insight into the capital needs of our state’s small businesses.

The Survey collects information about business performance, financing needs and choices and borrowing experiences of firms with 500 or fewer employees. Responses to the Survey provide insight into the dynamics behind aggregate lending trends and about noteworthy segments of small businesses. The results are weighted to reflect the full population of small businesses in the states of coverage. The Survey is not a random sample; therefore, results should be analyzed with awareness of potential methodological biases.

The Survey was launched in 2014 through an effort that merged the regional surveys conducted by several Federal Reserve Banks. The 2016 Survey is the first iteration that was conducted on a national scale with involvement from all 12 Federal Reserve Banks and input collected across all 50 states. The 2016 Survey collected 15,991 responses in total, 10,303 of which were from employer firms.

Past Results: