Chicago, IL – The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has released the results of its second annual Member Survey, revealing that 66 percent of the member respondents reported optimism about the region’s economy.

Additional findings point to a positive trend, as 75 percent of respondents reported that they plan to add employees this year, up from 60 percent a year ago. Of the 48 percent that reported they are currently conducting international business, 57 percent said they export goods and/or services.

“Despite the challenges presented by the lingering effects of the recession, the results of the survey are not only encouraging, they will help us tremendously with developing programs and initiatives that truly address the needs of our members,” said Theresa E. Mintle, President & CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “This data gives us a much better idea about how our members feel about the region’s economy, what they need to be successful, and areas they want the Chamber to be more involved.”

Survey respondents cited long term economic prospects for Illinois (70 percent), traffic congestion (69 percent), and taxes (62 percent) as the top three challenges to their businesses right now. Access to talent (90 percent), proximity of Chicago’s airports (74 percent), and public transportation (73 percent) were reported as the top three aspects of Chicagoland that contribute to their companies’ success.

The results will also serve as a guide as the Chamber continues to develop networking events, educational programs, and positions on public policy issues.

Click here to view the full survey results infographic.