(The Center Square) – Illinois small businesses are improving, according to recent numbers that show the state rent delinquency rate of 22% in July was half of what it was in May.
The survey was conducted by Alignable and showed that 55% of small businesses in the nation had difficulty paying their rent in July.
Chris Davis of the National Federation of Independent Businesses gave insight into how the small business landscape in Illinois has been doing.
“Small business optimism is improving, and that’s to say that small business owners are getting a little less pessimistic. However, they are still extremely pessimistic,” Davis said. “Fewer than 50 percent of small business owners still expect conditions to improve over the next six months.”
Davis said many small businesses are still struggling to find qualified workers despite raising pay and offering other benefits.
“In July, 61% of business owners either hired or are trying to hire, which is up from previous months,” Davis said. “Of those trying to hire, 92% of business owners report fewer or no qualified applicants.”
According to state numbers, Chicago has seen its commercial property tax increase by 93% over the last ten years, affecting residents and businesses. In addition, Chicago has the second-highest commercial property taxes in the nation at 3.78%, more than double the U.S. average for the largest cities in each state.
Davis told The Center Square these increases in taxes need to be stopped if small businesses hope to get back to an acceptable level.
“The number one thing the state can do is push the stop button on new regulations and new employer mandates that make it more and more expensive and difficult for employers to hire workers,” Davis said.
The only city with a higher commercial property tax than Chicago is Detroit, which filed for bankruptcy in 2013.