Businesses of all sizes have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has been especially difficult for smaller businesses.
Using data from the Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker, a project of Harvard University, an analysis from the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute found that 35% of small businesses in Illinois are closed now compared to before the pandemic.
Bryce Hill, a senior research analyst with the think tank, said there are two main reasons for the closures.
“No. 1, population-dense areas have been more drastically affected by COVID-19, and there are also going to be economic realities of mitigation measures that were put into place in Illinois that may have been tighter than in some other areas,” Hill said.
The analysis also showed 50% of small businesses in the food services and accommodations industry and 51% in the leisure and hospitality industry have closed. These were the most affected sectors in Illinois.
Over 38% of small businesses in the educational and health services industry are still closed, the sixth most in the nation.