Results of the second annual Chicagoland Small Business Economic Outlook Survey, conducted by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business, show that many area business owners plan to expand despite lacking confidence in the economy.
“Only 28 percent of business owners surveyed believe Chicagoland’s economy will strengthen over the next year, down from 42 percent last year,” Katie Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of Programs at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, said. “These survey results show us that in order to combat current economic conditions and restrictive public policies, business owners are forced to be realistic and find new ways to expand their business operations.”
Though business owners expressed less confidence in the local, state and national economies than last year, more than half said they planned to expand their businesses within Illinois, according to survey results. Only 38 percent plan to hire more workers and half the respondents felt they were negatively impacted by local taxes.
“Revenue growth remains a top concern for small businesses,” Loyola University Chicago's Quinlan School of Business Assistant Professor Alexander Krasnikov said. “These businesses are increasingly self-reliant, looking to grow through investment in things like marketing and tech platforms, hiring part-time employees and taking on more clients.”
The 2016 Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey was conducted late last year and involved 574 small businesses.