Survey: 58% of Illinois small businesses fear revenues will be lower than last year

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(The Center Square) – With the holiday shopping season underway, Illinois small business owners have a gloomy outlook on end-of-the-year revenues.

Alignable’s fourth quarter revenue report shows 58% of Illinois small businesses don’t think they will make as much money as they did this time last year. That is the third-highest percentage in the country behind only Florida (68%) and Maryland (59%).

Head Researcher Chuck Casto said high interest rates continue to take a toll, with 55% of small businesses saying 19 months of climbing interest rates have cut into their margins and revenues.

“All of the other issues they’ve been having in terms of hiring, in terms of labor shortage, in terms of other economic issues, including inflation,” said Casto.

The top three industries expecting lower earnings to finish the year include travel & lodging, transportation, and real estate.

Casto said 45% of main street retailers said they have seen a drop in consumer spending over the past couple months, and some believe big box stores and national online retailers are partly to blame. Only 12% of small business owners said they’ve experienced a major surge in income over the past couple months, contributing to the less than optimal forecast.

Casto said the consumer has the power to make a difference.

“Shoppers just really need to hit their retail establishments, the local ones and the locally-owned stores and try to turn this around,” said Casto.

With 55% of small businesses saying 19 months of climbing interest rates have cut into their margins and revenues.

The findings are based on responses from 6,156 randomly selected small business owners surveyed from 9/2/23 to 11/5/23, as well as historical data from another 44,000+ respondents.

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