(The Center Square) – A new survey shows small businesses in Illinois and around the country continue to struggle to pay their rent.
The small business network Alignable reports that 40% of small businesses nationwide couldn’t pay their rent in September, the highest amount this year. Researcher Chuck Casto said the number of Illinois small businesses with rent troubles decreased slightly, but is still among the worst in the country.
“They went down six percentage points, so that is a little bit of a silver lining, however, 46% of Illinois small businesses were unable to pay their rent in full and on time is still very problematic,” Casto said.
The top three industries struggling to pay their rent in September were retail, lodging and travel, and restaurants.
Casto said small business owners cite challenges like revenue losses and higher rent prices, but many also point to higher interest rates.
“Many people tell us that things will continue to erode their margins and continue to prevent them from being able to get the loans they need,” Casto said.
In a separate Alignable survey, 38% of small business owners said that interest rates would need to drop at least three points before they would start to feel an economic rebound.
Nationwide, 53% of small business owners said they are making half or less of what they earned before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small businesses on the East Coast appear to be struggling with rent payments the most. New York and New Jersey had the highest percentages of delinquent rent payments in the country, with Maryland just behind Illinois with the fourth highest percentage.
Over 4,500 randomly selected small business owners responded to the Alignable survey from Sept. 2 to Sept. 28, 2023.