December was a good month for small businesses around the country, but Illinois businesses continue to lag.
According to Alignable’s December Road to Recovery Report, 43% of U.S. small business owners reported monthly revenues that matched or exceeded pre-COVID levels. That is a 16% increase over 27% in November which is the largest monthly jump in recovery revenues seen in all of 2021.
The recovery is taking place a bit slower in the Land of Lincoln, as 32% of small businesses in the state reported a full recovery.
“What this does tell us overall is that Illinois is slower to recover than many other states in the country,” said Alignable head of research Chuck Casto.
That means 68% of Illinois small businesses have yet to recover, and most predicted it will take until the middle of 2023 until a full recovery comes.
Some of the sectors with the highest percentages of recovery in December include insurance, finance and automotive.
Casto said the latest spike in coronavirus cases is on the minds of business owners.
“Forty-four percent of those polled said they are worried about omicron and what will happen to their recoveries because many of them are just starting to feel some positive effects from December,” Casto said.
The businesses most worried about the new variant are travel and lodging professionals (70%), restaurants (69%), massage therapists (68%) and event planners (67%).
While inflation is the number one concern across the board, fears over the government forcing shutdowns have doubled in a month from 11% to 23%.
According to Javier David, editor with Yahoo Finance, the omicron wave is exposing the limits of COVID-19 restrictions, which he said are clearly failing.
“Hard-hit travel, leisure and small businesses, especially restaurants, are bearing the brunt of questionable protocols that clearly need rethinking, if not scrapping outright,” David said.