The U.S. Census Bureau has recently released the stats and results from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners which, among other key points of data about small business owners and their businesses, has also uncovered where small business owners go to access funding for financing expansion or capital improvements.

Results from the Survey of Business Owners include:

  • By a large majority, small business owners tend to seek additional funding for their business from personal savings or family assets. From those surveyed, 51.2% reported accessing additional funding through these personal means.
  • In 2007, 30.1% of small business owners reported receiving a business loan from a bank in order to land the funds they needed for expanding their business.
  • Slightly less than 30% of business owners surveyed reported using profits or assets from their business to invest in future expansion plans.
  • Personal credit cards were used for added financial resources for 24.0% of small business owners included in the report.
  • A little over 10% of small business owners (11.4%) reported accessing funds from their personal home equity resources.
  • Direct loans and government guaranteed loans were only used by 2.6% of the small business owners questioned for additional expansion financing resources.
  • Accessing additional funds through venture capital resources was only used by 0.5% of small business owners surveyed.
  • Less than 1% of small business owners reported accessing additional funds through personal loans from family members.

It should be noted however that from the total number of small business owners surveyed, less than half of those reported that they did not expand or make capital improvements during 2007. Additionally, less than 2% reported that they did not have access to capital to finance expansion.

From the results of the Survey of Business Owners, it is clear that during the 2007 business year personal capital, assets and credit cards were an important financial resource for small business owners who wanted to expand their business. Loans from financial institutions and small business profits were also a popular resource for accessing additional funds. Surprisingly, government guaranteed loans were rarely used by small business owners for additional expansion funds.


United States Census Bureau. 2007 Survey of Business Owners Results

Scott Shane. “Where Small Business Owners Get The Money They Need.” Small Business Trends. (08/06/2012).

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