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Sept 21 -- The U.S. Census Bureau invites public comments to OMB by October 21, 2021 regarding its proposal to conduct Phase 7 of the Small Business Pulse Survey.   
 
Phase 1 of the Small Business Pulse Survey was launched on April 26, 2020 as an effort to produce and disseminate high-frequency, geographic- and industry-detailed experimental data about the economic conditions of small businesses as they experience the coronavirus pandemic. It is a rapid response endeavor that leverages the resources of the federal statistical system to address emergent data needs. Given the rapidly changing dynamics of this situation for American small businesses, the Small Business Pulse Survey has been successful in meeting an acute need for information on changes in revenues, business closings, employment and hours worked, disruptions to supply chains, and expectations for future operations. In addition, the Small Business Pulse Survey provided important estimates of federal program uptake to key survey stakeholders.

Due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic, the Census Bureau subsequently conducted Phases 2 through 6 of the Small Business Pulse Survey. The Office of Management and Budget authorized clearance of Phase 6 of the Small Business Pulse Survey on August 6, 2021. The Census Bureau now seeks approval to conduct Phase 7 of the Small Business Pulse Survey which will occur over 9 weeks starting November 15, 2021.
 
SBPS Phase 7 content includes the core concepts seen throughout the SBPS previous phases, such as overall impact, business closures/openings, revenue and employment changes, workplace vaccine and testing requirements, and business outlook. New business norms questions 14-16 were introduced for phase 6 and will continue to Phase 7. Based on feedback from the Department of Commerce's chief economist, another new business norm question was developed. Question 17 was developed to capture business changes not included in question 14-16. The responses to the new question are captured through a select all that apply. This question was cognitively tested with six businesses. Additionally, in anticipation of potential pandemic reoccurrence with economic impact on small businesses, we have included the previous cash on hand question. To balance out the questionnaire with these new additions, we removed the question inquiring about revenues from exports and the open-ended question with 1000 characters. The remarks field at the end of the survey will still be present.
 
Small Business Pulse Survey webpage: https://portal.census.gov/pulse/data/
SBPS Phase 7 proposal to OMB:  https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202109-0607-005 Click IC List for data collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this page.
FRN inviting public comments to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/09/21/2021-20421/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-omb-for
 
Point of contact: Nick Orsini, Associate Director for Economic Programs (301-763-6959) nick.orsini@census.gov
 
For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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