Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey Reveals Optimism, Concerns of Local Small Businesses

Published on Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Katie Hamilton, Director of Small Business for the Chicagoland Chamber, discusses the survey results during an event at the Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business this morning.

Chicago, IL – Despite Chicagoland’s sluggish economic growth, small businesses reported optimism and plans to expand in 2015, according to a new Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey released today by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. The survey, conducted in conjunction with the Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business, shows 71 percent of small businesses reporting that they plan to grow their business over the next 12 months. Nearly one-quarter of respondents plan to add new full-time employees; nearly one-third plan to add part-time employees; and nearly one-third sought lending in the past year.

“These results demonstrate the importance of understanding the profile of small businesses in our region,” said Katie Hamilton, Director of Small Business at the Chicagoland Chamber. “There are more than 240,000 small businesses across Chicagoland, and many of these are truly small – fewer than five employees and less than $500,000 in revenue. These are the mom-n-pops that support the local economy and flavor our neighborhoods. These findings enable the Chicagoland Chamber and our community partners to respond and provide a stronger support system for our business owners and entrepreneurs.”

According to the Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey:

Small businesses are most concerned about revenues, the economy and taxes:

• 87 percent are concerned with revenue/sales growth
• 84 percent are concerned about uncertainty of economic conditions
• 81 percent are concerned with taxes

Small businesses most need additional assistance in marketing and technology:

• 53 percent would benefit from additional help/training in market research and marketing plans
• 45 percent would benefit from additional help/training in using technology

The Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey was conducted electronically in October and November of 2014. The survey was sent by the Better Business Bureau, Constant Contact, and the City of Chicago Treasurer’s Office and completed by 743 respondents. For full results, contact Andree Dolan at adolan@chicagolandchamber.org.

Click here to view an infographic detailing the findings of the survey.

Click here to listen to a WBEZ story on the survey.

About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to making Chicagoland the most business-friendly region in America by enhancing members’ success through robust programs in advocacy, member benefits and services. Serving as “The Voice of Business” since 1904, the Chamber leads public policy and business growth initiatives and hosts educational and networking events to inform, engage, and connect members to each other and the community. Visit ChicagolandChamber.org.

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