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About the Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons (SBO)
The Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons provides the only comprehensive, regularly collected source of information on selected economic and demographic characteristics for businesses and business owners by gender, ethnicity, and race. Title 13 of the United States Code authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses.
The SBO collects data on a company or firm basis and includes all nonfarm businesses filing 2007 Internal Revenue tax forms as individual proprietorships, partnerships, or any type of corporation, with receipts of $1,000 or more.
The survey collects data on the gender, ethnicity, and race for up to four persons owning the majority of rights, equity, or interest in the business. Additional demographic and economic characteristics of the business owners and their businesses will be collected such as: owner's age, education level, veteran status, and primary function in the business; family- and home-based businesses; types of customers and workers; and sources of financing for expansion, capital improvements, or start-up.
The SBO, which is part of the Economic Census, has been conducted every 5 years since 1972, for years ending in "2" and "7." Data collection begins in June following the census year and continues through September of the next year. Reported data are for the census calendar year.
The 2007 SBO-1 questionnaire will be sent to a random sample of businesses selected from a list of all firms operating during 2007 with receipts of $1,000 or more.
The 2007 SBO results will be released on a flow basis beginning in mid-2010 and will be available on the Census Bureau's Web site at www.census.gov/csd/sbo and through American FactFinder (AFF), the Census Bureau's online, self-service data access tool.
The SBO data products provide statistics for businesses owned by American Indians and Alaska Natives; Asians; Blacks or African Americans; Hispanics; Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders; and Women.
The SBO data products also include the following summaries: Company Summary; Characteristics of Businesses; Characteristics of Business Owners; Characteristics of Veteran-Owned Businesses; and Characteristics of Veteran Business Owners.
How Data Are Used
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:
Last revised: April 08 2008 15:23:55
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to assess business assistance needs and allocate available program resources.
- Local government commissions on small and disadvantaged businesses to establish and evaluate contract procurement practices.
- Federal, state, and local government agencies as a framework for planning, directing, and assessing programs that promote the activities of disadvantaged groups.
- A national women-owned business trade association to assess women-owned businesses by industry and area and to educate other industry associations, corporations, and government entities.
- Consultants and researchers to analyze long-term economic and demographic shifts and differences in ownership and performance among geographic areas.
- Individual business owners to analyze their operations in comparison to similar firms, compute their market share, and assess their growth and future prospects.