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The SBO is part of the Economic Census program, which the Census Bureau is required by law to conduct every 5 years (Title 13 of the United States Code), for years ending in "2" and "7." The Census Bureau combines data from the SBO with data from other economic surveys, economic censuses, and administrative records and presents them in American FactFinder, the Census Bureau's online, self-service data access tool. The published data include number of firms (both firms with paid employees and firms with no paid employees), sales and receipts, number of paid employees, and annual payroll; they are presented by kind of business, geographic area, and size of firm (employment and receipts). These results will also contain summary statistics on the composition of businesses in the United States by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status. Additional demographic and economic characteristics of business owners and their businesses will be included, such as: owner's age, education level, hours worked, and primary function in the business; family- and home-based businesses; types of customers and workers; sources of financing for start-up, expansion, or capital improvements; outsourcing; use of Internet and e-commerce; and employer-paid benefits.
The SBO requests 2007 information now because the survey sample cannot be selected until all business income tax returns are available for 2007. The use of tax records delays the survey start until records are available, but reduces the number of survey questions and survey costs.
The SBO is the only source of statistics about the demographic characteristics of the owners of approximately 26 million American businesses, including their business organizations and activities. SBO statistics have been produced every 5 years since 1972 and have proven useful in helping to understand changes taking place in our dynamic and growing economy. SBO results have helped to profile census-to-census changes in business performance, highlight conditions of business success and failure, and compare minority-/nonminority- and women-/men-owned businesses.
The ethnicity and race categories listed on the SBO questionnaire are consistent with those mandated by the Office of Management and Budget. These standards were developed by both the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Federal Government.
The Hispanic or Latino origin category is:
The race categories are:
Government program officials, industry organization leaders, economic and social analysts, and business entrepreneurs routinely use the SBO statistics. Examples of data use include those by:
Businesses were eligible to be selected for this survey if they reported any business activity on any one of the following 2007 Internal Revenue Service tax forms:
You can use the following Census Bureau web sites to access the current SBO and the Economic Census results:
The 2002 SBO results are available on the Census Bureau's Web site at www.census.gov/econ/sbo/02menu and through American FactFinder (AFF), the Census Bureau's online, self-service data access tool.