Small Business Checkpoint

April 2023

Despite concerns of tighter lending, small businesses saw little disruption to their operations in March.

Small Business Checkpoint is a regular publication from Bank of America Institute. It aims to provide a real-time assessment of small business spending activities and financial well-being, leveraging the depth and breadth of Bank of America’s proprietary data. Such data is not intended to be reflective or indicative of, and should not be relied upon as, the results of operations, financial condition or performance of Bank of America.

Key takeaways

  • Regional bank failures have sparked concerns of a significant tightening of credit conditions for small businesses. How worrying is this?
  • The good news is that latest Bank of America internal data suggests that small businesses, including those in California, saw little interruption to their operations in March, with spending growth in line with recent trends. Notably, payroll spending growth ticked up even as wage inflation decelerated in March, pointing to resilient small business hiring despite the uncertainties.
  • In our view, banks had already started to tighten lending conditions in 2022 and recent developments point to a continuation rather than acceleration of this trend. Tighter credit could eventually weigh on business activity but we note that small businesses still rely more on larger banks for credit, and C&I loan growth at these banks has remained intact so far.


Read our full analysis for a more in-depth look at these trends.