FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Anne Divita Kopacz
Loyola University Chicago
Mac Strategies Group
Joint Study Shows 77 Percent of Chicagoland
Small Businesses Plan to Grow their Businesses in 2017
Despite Decreased Confidence in the Economy
Third Annual Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey Results Reveal Tax, Health Care Costs, and Revenue Growth Concerns
Chicago, January 27, 2017 – Chicagoland small business owners are determined to grow their businesses and be successful even as only 29 percent believe the region’s economy will strengthen in the next year. This is according to a new survey conducted by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business. The results of the Chicago Small Business Outlook Survey were presented at the Chicago Small Business Reception on Thursday, January 26, at Loyola’s Schreiber Center.
The survey, which sampled small business owners across several industries throughout the Chicagoland area, revealed that 79 percent of business owners are most concerned with rising taxes. Eighty-two percent are concerned with rising health care costs and how these factors will continue to impact revenue growth and plans for expansion. Even as 77 percent of respondents voiced their intent to grow their businesses in Illinois during the next year, they also indicated that taxes and health care costs top their concerns in implementing these plans.
“This annual study is an important tool for the Chamber as it plans programming, advocacy, and outreach to the region’s small business owners,” said Theresa E. Mintle, CEO and president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “While business owners’ confidence in the state and local economies are low, there is optimism in the ability to grow and be a viable business concern.”
Other key takeaways from the 2017 Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey include:
- Business confidence in the economy—local and national—decreased by an average of 13 percentage points over last year.
- Business owners’ additional concerns include state and local economic conditions (85 percent), regulatory requirements (64 percent), and access to capital (64 percent).
- Only 29 percent of those surveyed believe Chicago’s economy will improve in 2017, and 17 percent think that Illinois’ economy will improve.
- Of those surveyed, 44 percent of business owners feel that they have already been negatively impacted by local taxation, and 26 percent feel they have been negatively impacted by health policy.
- While business owners are not confident in the state and local economic climate, they are still eager to expand both in and outside of Illinois.
- Business owners indicated their needs for expansion included marketing assistance (59 percent), business planning (48 percent), and technology advancements (45 percent).
“While business owners are worried about the financial states of Chicago and Illinois, they are optimistic about the chance to expand and in their ability to run successful businesses,” said Alexander Krasnikov, PhD, assistant professor at Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business. “The results of this survey are important because they give us a better understanding as to what is top of mind in the business community, as well as a chance to find new ways to support it.”
Given the vital role small businesses play in creating jobs and anchoring communities, this study will be used to better understand the needs and expectations of local small businesses and entrepreneurs. It will also help shape future Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce programs and policies that best suit the needs of small businesses.
“Small business owners are worried, and it’s our job as a business community to equip them with the resources they need to protect their interests and to expand their businesses,” Mintle said. “This study shows that our small business community needs our advocacy and support now more than ever.”
The 2017 Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey was a third-party-validated survey that sampled approximately 770 small businesses throughout the Chicagoland area in September and October 2016. Several partners contributed to the survey, including 1871, Better Business Bureau, Constant Contact, and the Office of the City Treasurer.
Loyola’s Office of Corporate Engagement facilitated the partnership between the Chamber and the Quinlan School of Business.
Visit ChicagolandChamber.org for the full survey results.
About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce combines the power of people with our legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy. We focus on delivering value for our members, making Chicagoland a world-class place to live and work. Visit ChicagolandChamber.org.
About Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business
The Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago educates responsible leaders who strengthen the local and global business system. We draw on the resources of our world-class location in the heart of Chicago and of our industry-leading faculty to offer a nationally ranked business education. Visit LUC.edu/Quinlan.
About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 16,500 students. More than 11,000 undergraduates call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Beijing, China; Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 11 schools and colleges, including the Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, Graduate School, and Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Ranked a top 100 national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu, “like” us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago or @LoyolaNewsroom.
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