Shopping small on Saturday? Good. Small businesses lead Illinois’ job growth.

Shopping small on Saturday? Good. Small businesses lead Illinois’ job growth.

Small Business Saturday offers a reason to be thankful: Illinois businesses with fewer than 20 employees were the ones creating the most new jobs.

Illinoisans have an extra reason to “shop small” on Nov. 25, Small Business Saturday: local businesses are leading the state’s net job growth and deserve a “thank you.”

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees created 45% of new net jobs in Illinois, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. They added more than 51,000 jobs in 2022.

Not only does Illinois rely heavily on small businesses for job creation, but they produced the bulk of jobs recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small businesses were the least likely to lay off employees during the pandemic-induced economic downturn.

Illinois’ business tax environment is among the worst in the region and declining relative to other states. Specifically, Illinois’ second-highest in the nation property taxes are a major hindrance to the state’s business climate.

Chicago voters in March have another chance to thank or thwart small businesses. Mayor Brandon Johnson’s tax hike on real estate transfers will mainly hit commercial properties, meaning mom-and-pop stores will have a tougher time thanks to higher costs.

Small businesses should especially be a priority because of recession fears. If a recession were to hit, Illinois would need its strongest job creators – small businesses – healthy to help the state recover. Just like the state’s shoppers should thank their local retailers this Small Business Saturday, politicians should do the same.

Want more? Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you, we'll keep you informed!