FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vice President, Communications and Marketing
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
Anne Divita Kopacz
Director of Communication, Quinlan School of Business
Loyola University Chicago
Joint Study Shows Small Businesses Are Increasingly Optimistic
about Chicago Economy
Fourth Annual Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey Reveals Plans to Hire More Workers
and Expand Operations; Also Points to Areas of Concern
Chicago, January 25, 2018–An annual survey of small businesses in the Chicago region shows growing optimism, plus plans to expand. This is important as 46 percent of Illinois’ private sector workforce–2.4 million people–are employed by a small business.
Since 2014, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business have annually conducted this small business survey. The groups presented the 2018 Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey results at a reception on Wednesday, January 24, at Loyola’s Schreiber Center.
The full survey report and a video summary can be viewed here.
Key survey results include:
- In 2018, there is a sharp 8 percent upswing in businesses that say the Chicagoland economy is getting stronger. Such confidence has been lacking in recent years. In 2015, 42 percent of small businesses said the Chicagoland economy strengthened. That figure fell to 28 percent in 2016 and was near flat in 2017 at 29 percent.
- Confidence is especially strong locally. While confidence in the Chicagoland economy spiked 8 percent, it rose modestly at the Illinois and U.S. levels at 3 percent each.
- Seventy-one percent of small businesses in the survey expect to see their revenues increase in 2018, a 12 percent spike from last year.
- Sixty-two percent of small businesses plan to expand their operations within Illinois in 2018, which was another 12 percent increase from last year.
- Eighteen percent of small businesses plan to expand internationally this year, a 5 percent rise.
- Forty-two percent of small businesses expect to add full-time employees this year, a 7 percent increase from last year
- The fastest growing concern of small businesses in the survey is talent acquisition, which rose 10 percent. Sixty-six percent of small businesses now worry about accessing skilled workers to hire.
- The cost of health care is the second-fastest growing concern in the survey. It rose 6 percent, and now worries 88 percent of Chicagoland small businesses.
“The results of the survey are very encouraging,” said Chicagoland Chamber President and CEO Jack Lavin. “Small businesses’ strong increase in confidence in the Chicagoland economy points to an environment where they’ll be investing in their operations. This creates opportunity for businesses of all sizes, and for every worker.”
Wintrust is the Exclusive Corporate Sponsor of the 2018 Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey. The survey was completed by 504 small businesses.
About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce represents more than 1,100 member organizations that employ 400,000 people and create more than $24 billion in revenue. It combines the power of its membership with a legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy. The Chicagoland Chamber focuses on delivering value for its members, making Chicagoland a world-class place to live and work.
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 more than 16,600 students. Nearly 11,500 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 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 13 schools, colleges, and institutes, 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, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, and Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Ranked a top 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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