Quinlan students conduct groundbreaking small business survey with Chicagoland Chamber
For the second year, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Quinlan School of Business partnered to learn more about Chicago’s small businesses.
The two groups collaborated on the groundbreaking Chicagoland Small Business Outlook Survey, which collects information on small businesses, what they need to succeed, and their outlook for the future.
The 2016 survey revealed similar and growing concerns relative to the previous year’s survey:
- Small businesses are significantly less confident than last year in the economy at the local, state, and national levels
- More than three in four respondents plan to grow their business
- 38 percent expect to hire additional workers
- 52 percent plan to expand within Illinois (up from 45 percent last year)
- Nearly one half of respondents feel negatively impacted by local taxation
- The top three areas small businesses need support are marketing, technology, and business planning
Quinlan graduate marketing students were engaged during all stages of the project, from survey development to data collection and interpretation, says assistant marketing professor Alexander Krasnikov, PhD.
“Through this survey, we were able to get very good insights on what’s going on in Chicago, from the perspective of small businesses,” he said. “But we had also had more tangible objectives, like helping the Chamber better target its resources and identify the areas where they can support small businesses.”
The benefits of partnership
The 2016 survey results were announced on January 19 at a Chamber networking event attended by more than 100 entrepreneurs.
At the event, Theresa E. Mintle, president and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, said the third-party validation by Quinlan helps her organization better serve the needs of small businesses.
“My staff and I had the opportunity to attend one of the classes, where the students’ interpretation of the statistics were presented,” she said. “And it was really eye-opening to see how people who aren’t in this every day interpreted the data. It gave us some ideas on how to move forward.”
The partnership was facilitated by Loyola University Chicago’s Office of Corporate Engagement. Executive Director Janet Deatherage said her office is always looking for educational opportunities for students and faculty.
“The Chamber has been pleased with the way the students have gotten involved, and they appreciate partnering with Quinlan,” Deatherage said. “They know the data gathering is as good as you can get, and they’re happy to provide real-world experience to the students.”
View event photos in the gallery below or on Quinlan’s Flickr page.
Survey in the news
- Crain's Chicago Business
Five things small business owners want you to know →
A challenging climate for entrepreneurs →
Thinking of interns as coffee-fetchers is bad for your bottom line →
- Chicago Tribune: Blue Sky Originals
Chicago-area small businesses say they want to be more tech-savvy →
- WGN Radio: Wintrust Business Lunch
Katie Fitzpatrick, executive director of programs, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, discusses the small business survey results Listen →
- Medill News Service
Small business owners say they need technology support: survey →
- Capitol Fax (Illinois political blog)
Survey: Chicagoland small business owners “have lost confidence in the local, state and national economies over the past year” →
- The Loyola Phoenix
Small business survey shows optimism for growth →