Skip Header

FAQs - Small Business Pulse Survey

How is your business doing now?

Help officials understand changes to your business.



Expand All

Collapse All

Yes, the Small Business Pulse Survey is a legitimate U.S. Census Bureau survey conducted solely via email to continue to gauge the economic effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on U.S. small businesses.

The survey contains the OMB number, 0607-1014, authorizing the collection of the data and is signed by the U.S. Census Bureau Associate Director of Economic Programs.

The Census Bureau will always send email invitations for surveys from an email address that ends with If survey assistance is required, please respond to the email address.

The Small Business Pulse Survey collects data on a weekly basis about location openings and closings, changes in employment and revenues, COVID 19 vaccine and testing requirements in the workplace, the use of federal assistance programs, plans for capital expenditures as well as overall well-being and expectations concerning future operations.

The Small Business Pulse Survey is being conducted in phases, and some content differs between the phases. See the SBPS Questionnaire for more information on the content in each phase.

For this survey, the U.S. Census Bureau defines a small business as a single location business with between 1-499 paid employees and at least $1,000 in annual revenue.

The Small Business Pulse survey complements existing U.S. Census Bureau data collections by providing high frequency, detailed information on participation in small business-specific initiatives such as the PPP Loan Forgiveness Program, Restaurant Revitalization Fund, and Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

The results from this survey are particularly useful to policymakers as they seek to address some of the challenges faced by small businesses. In addition, the data are useful to business owners for decision making and researchers studying the effects of and responses to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Include all employees who receive salaries or wages from this business and are eligible to receive a 2021 W-2 form. Do not include contractors (those receiving a 2021 Form 1099), volunteers, or owners who are not on the payroll.

Please respond by selecting all programs this business received financial assistance from and which programs this business received funding from since December 27, 2020.  Since December 2020, two legislation relief packages were enacted, Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 passed on December 27, 2020, and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 passed on March 11, 2021. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund and Shuttered Venue Operators Grants were part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

Thank you for responding to the earlier phases of the survey. We are now conducting the fifth phase of the survey in May through July.

During the pandemic, economic conditions for businesses change quickly and because of this, we would like to measure any additional changes to your business.  It is worth noting that the survey only takes a few minutes to complete.

Phase 1: April 2020 - June 2020

Phase 2: August 2020 - October 2020

Phase 3: November 2020 - January 2021

Phase 4: February 2021 - April 2021

Phase 5: May 2021 - July 2021

For this survey, businesses were selected to participate based on their EIN.  You may have received multiple emails If the email address for the business is associated with more than one EIN in our records.  Please respond for the business listed in each email.

Your unique 12-character Login ID is included in the email invitation that you received. To provide enhanced security, we give each respondent a new Login ID for each phase.

The Login IDs provided in earlier phases of the survey will not permit access to the survey instrument during the current phase.

Please note that your unique 12-character Login ID is case-sensitive. If you copy and paste, make sure you do not capture any blank spaces.  If issues persist, please email us at

The last five digits of the EIN will be displayed for review in the first question on the survey instrument.  You will have the ability to update or correct the EIN if needed.

Your response is linked to the EIN and the company name is only listed for reference. If the company name associated with the EIN does not match, you do not need to update it. 

Please email us at and let us know the month and year your business closed.

Expand All

Collapse All

This short survey only takes a few minutes and helps policymakers and other officials understand how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected small businesses across our nation. While we highly encourage your response, the survey is voluntary.

If you received an email from the U.S. Census Bureau with a unique Login ID, go to to complete the survey. All responses are confidential and we only report summary information based on the responses we receive.

We heard your feedback and added a way to print your responses. The feature is available at the end of the survey before you click submit.  Please make sure that you click “submit” to make sure that your responses are captured.

Unfortunately, no. While we appreciate your willingness to respond, only businesses that received the invitation to respond can access the survey at this time.

No, each Login ID is unique and assigned to your business and cannot be transferred or shared.

Please email us at

Federal law requires the U.S. Census Bureau to keep your information confidential and use your responses only to produce official statistics. Census has strict measures in place to protect your privacy as well as the identity of your business, organization, or institution.

No, the U.S. Census Bureau is barred from releasing any information that could identify an individual, business, organization, or institution – and tightly safeguards confidentiality using tough, ever-improving cybersecurity measures.

Yes. We appreciate responses by the requested due date, but your Login ID will still allow you to access the survey through mid-July.

Responses to the survey provide valuable information for businesses and policymakers to understand the effect of changes in business conditions on small businesses. The replies provide real time data about the significance of the pandemic.

Data tabulations and visualizations from the Small Business Pulse will be available at beginning late May and updated weekly through July.

For information on other resources, visit





Back to Header