Businesses in some major U.S. markets operate with little financing from either banks or outside investors.
The U.S. Census Bureau now tracks how much outside financing businesses get in any given year, on a market-by-market basis. The top outside-funding category is for businesses that have attracted at least $250,000 in funding in the past year from either banks or investors.
The bureau gives outside funding figures for each of the 50 biggest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs)
In the most recent year in the published data, 2015:
- The median market had about 120 businesses with the highest level of outside funding per 100,000 residents.
- The lowest ratio was just 72 per 100,000 residents, in the area around Riverside, California.
- The highest ratio was about 167 per 100,000 residents, in the area around Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington.
The Census Bureau collects the data through the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE) program, which began sending out questionnaires in 2014. ASA managers ask business owners about everything from how old the businesses are, to how much financing the owners borrowed from friends and relatives, to problems that are holding profits down.
Like most other federal census reports, the ASE reports are published free from copyright protection. That means life insurance agents, financial planners and other financial professionals can use the data in their own planning documents, client newsletters and social media posts without fear of getting threatening letters from intellectual property lawyers.
Financial professionals have to use their own knowledge of local markets to apply the numbers.
Businesses in some markets may use little outside financing because the businesses are wildly profitable, or the markets are really residential satellite of larger, more commercial MSAs. In other markets, changes in tax laws or banking systems might affect the flow of funding transactions.
But, in some cases, financial professionals may be able to use the data to come up with marketing ideas. If typical businesses in a market really are hungry for outside capital, for example, organizing events featuring business financing networking opportunities could be an easy way to get the attention of business owners and top-level business executives.
— Read Census Table Shows 37-Year-Olds Are Great Prospects on ThinkAdvisor.