The Small Business Administration and Loyola University Chicago Join the Chamber to Present Survey Findings at Chicago Urban League in Bronzeville

CHICAGO—The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce yesterday announced the findings of its 2022 Chicago Small Business Outlook Report at the Chicago Urban League.

The 2022 survey, sponsored by Amazon, provides a snapshot of the attitudes and sentiments of the city’s small business community around how businesses are adapting to a post-pandemic workforce, what an increase towards e-commerce means for traditional business models, and how small businesses can play a role in equitable and inclusive economic empowerment.

“We see in our report that Chicago’s small business community showed incredible resilience in the face of COVID-19, adapting to the new normal to continue to grow their organizations,” said Jack Lavin, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “All these findings paint a clear picture that Chicago’s small business community has, and continues to demonstrate tremendous strength, adaptability, and sense of purpose.”

The survey was conducted by Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business and was announced as a part of a small business celebration, featuring speakers from the Chamber, Amazon, the Chicago Urban League, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and SBA Small Business of the Year Winner Gindo’s Spice of Life Hot Sauce.

“The digital marketplace is continuing to create opportunities and drive the growth of small businesses ensuring that they not only survive, but thrive,” said Sarah Glavin, Head of Community Engagement, Amazon, Chicago. “Amazon is proud to support more than 49,000 small and medium-sized businesses and independent authors in Illinois with a full suite of services that go well beyond transportation and logistics. We are proud to support and innovate with our region’s small businesses as they expand their reach locally, nationally, and globally.”

Key findings from this year’s survey include:

  • 67% of small businesses said that they have hired new employees in the last 12-months
  • 38% of small businesses say that they plan to further increase their headcount in the coming year
  • More than half of Chicago’s small businesses now rate their organizational performance as better than it was at the start of the pandemic, thanks to an increased focus on digital efficiencies
  • Nearly ¾ of organizations polled said that not only is promoting gender and racial equity practiced in their place of business, but that their company’s recruiting efforts actively support a more diverse environment through their hiring practices.

“Even after the pandemic, there are more small businesses than there were five years ago,” said Robert “Bo” Steiner, District Director at the U.S. Small Business Administration. “The small business community is growing, and there is an incredible ecosystem of partners like the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Chicago Urban League who are committed to supporting this incredible momentum.”

The event included an award presentation to SBA Small Business of the Year winners Chris and Mary Ginder, Founders and Co-Owners of Gindo’s Spice of Life Hot Sauces in St. Charles, Illinois, as well as entrepreneurship students from the Chicago Urban League’s Summer Immersion Program.

“We are thrilled to have such wonderful partners here with us today who are dedicated to not only supporting today’s small business owners but are also committed to supporting the next generation of our city’s entrepreneurs,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “It was important to have our Summer Immersion entrepreneurship students present today as they continue to learn about the innovative spirit it takes to establish their own future thriving business. We are happy to be able to connect tomorrow’s future small business leaders with the lessons they will need to be successful.”

To download the full report, visit:

About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit organization that represents more than 1,000 member companies, which collectively employ 400,000 employees and generate $24 billion in revenue. The Chamber combines the power of membership with its legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy. To learn more, visit

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