Optimism Overshadows Common Concerns among Local Small Businesses

At Burling Bank, many of our clients own small, closely-held or family-run businesses. So the mindset and outlook of local business owners is of great interest to us.

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, together with Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business, recently completed a Chicagoland Small Business Economic Outlook Survey of over 500 local business owners.

Our discussions with clients and this industry report both reflect that small business owners are generally optimistic about the economy in 2018.

Here are some highlights from that report:

Most small business owners feel the outlook for business is bright in 2018: 

  • 71% Expect sales to increase in 2018
  • 88% Expect to grow their business in 2018
  • 37% Believe the Chicago economy will strengthen this year
  • 61% Plan to expand in Illinois

But there are also some common concerns among local owners:

  • Talent acquisition is the fastest growing concern of small businesses. This concern rose 10% in 2017 so that 66% of small businesses now worry about accessing the skilled workers they need to hire.
  • The cost of healthcare is the second-fastest growing concern in the survey, but also the most prevalent. It rose 6% in 2017 and the survey shows it is a worry of 88% of Chicagoland small business owners.
  • Concerns regarding taxes and regulatory requirements are also rising, both up 3% from 2017. 82% of small businesses are concerned about taxes. 69% are concerned about regulatory requirements.

At Burling Bank, we are here to help small business owners achieve their goals with helpful financing solutions and cash management tools that are essential to growing companies. If you are a small business owner looking to fuel your optimistic outlook and expand your business, contact us about financing solutions and services at 312-408-8400.

Source: The survey of 504 business owners, was conducted by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business.