Survey shows small businesses continue to struggle nationwide, but Illinois rebounds



(The Center Square) – Despite recent government reports of a stronger economy, most small business owners are struggling, but there is improvement in Illinois.

The small business network Allignable reports that 63% of small business owners said they made less money in the 4th quarter of 2023 than the year before, leading to recent troubles in January.

“It is a rough start to the year because 37% said they can’t pay their rent in full or on time,” said researcher Chuck Casto.

Last October, Illinois led the nation in the number of businesses experiencing rent troubles. The survey shows that conditions appear to have improved in January.

“Just 29% saying they couldn’t pay the rent in full or on time,” said Casto. “That is down from 35% in December, and down 18 percentage points from 47% in November.”

The top three states with the highest percentage of small businesses facing rent troubles in January were Pennsylvania, Texas and Arizona.

The top three sectors that couldn’t pay their rent on time or in full in January included the tech sector, travel and lodging, and retail.

Several massive layoffs from large and mid-sized tech companies have occurred already this year, and marred the employment landscape for much of 2023.

Interest rates continue to be an issue. Fifty-three percent of small business owners said current interest rates are harming them, eroding margins, reducing consumer spending and hindering their ability to land new loans.

The report is based on responses from over 6,000 randomly selected small business owners surveyed from Jan. 1, 2024 to Jan. 30, 2024, as well as input from more than 100,000 other respondents over the past two years.

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