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FAQs - Small Business Pulse Survey

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How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your business?

We are surveying a random sample of businesses. Check your email to see if you were invited to participate.

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The U.S. Census Bureau launched the Small Business Pulse Survey (Business Pulse) in April 2020, to measure the changes in business conditions on our nation's small businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Some questions on the Small Business Pulse Survey ask about the last week in order to measure the changes in business conditions on our nation's small businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The survey is designed to provide insights with regard to how business experiences changed during the pandemic.

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Paid employees consist of full- and part-time employees, paid hourly or receiving salaries, who are on the business’s payroll.  Include employees who are currently not working for any reason, if the business continues to pay them.

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

This survey contains the OMB number 0607-1014 authorizing the collection of the data and is sent from the Director. If survey assistance is required, please respond to the econ.pulse@census.gov email address.

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If you received an email from the U.S. Census Bureau with a Login ID for response, go to www.census.gov/businesspulse

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Please make sure that you have entered all 12 characters exactly as they appear in your email invitation, as the expected response is case-sensitive. If issues persist, please email us at econ.pulse@census.gov.

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The U.S. Census Bureau created a sampling frame based on responses to the 2017 Economic Census. We sampled single location businesses with between 1-499 employees and at least $1,000 in annual revenue.

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No. While we appreciate your willingness to respond, only businesses that received the invitation to respond, which includes the Login ID, can access the survey at this time.

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Direct any questions on Business Pulse to econ.pulse@census.gov.

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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.

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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.

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

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The 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 Paycheck Protection Program.  

The results from this survey will be particularly useful to policymakers as they seek to address some of the challenges faced by small businesses. In addition, the information will be useful to businesses making decisions and researchers studying the impact and responses to COVID-19.

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

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The questions on Business Pulse were developed in order to help federal, state, and local government officials understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses like yours. To inform decision-making, officials need timely data on small businesses, their supply chains, their needs for assistance, and other challenges. 

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Data tabulations and visualizations from the Business Pulse will be made available at www.census.gov/businesspulsedata starting on May 14 and will be updated weekly through June. 

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For information on other resources, visit www.coronavirus.gov/smallbusiness.

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