Illinois small businesses continue to struggle with rent payments, survey says

A new survey shows that many small businesses continue to struggle to pay their rent on time, and the numbers are even worse for Illinois. The survey was completed by Alignable and incorporated over 3,500 small businesses across the nation and examined how these businesses are handling higher renters rates during July. According to Alignable’s head researcher Chuck Casto, Illinois is one of the states seeing many businesses struggle.

“Illinois, for this particular survey, is in third place in terms of rent delinquency among small businesses,” Casto told The Center Square. Casto also said July saw an increase over the two previous months.

“In June, 44% of Illinois small businesses were unable to pay their rent,” Casto said. “That is up 17% from May. So even with the slight decrease in July, they are still up by that 40% range.” Illinois is among the highest taxed states in the entire country, Casto said, which is affecting the state’s small businesses.

“In Illinois, where they have the very high taxes, it becomes a cumulative effect on the small businesses,” Casto said. “As these businesses try to do creative things to remain in business and attract more customers, the state’s high taxes have an impact.” According to the survey, only two states have a higher delinquency rate than Illinois.

“Last month Illinois was first, and this month they are third in rent delinquency after Massachusetts and New York,” Casto. Illinois currently has a 40% rent delinquency rate for small businesses. However, at the end of 2021, that number was at 27%, according to Alignable research. Across the country, the survey shows around 48% of the transpiration sector couldn’t afford their rent, followed by restaurants, nonprofits, retail, education and beauty salons. Minority-owned small businesses were nearly 50 percent behind.  Casto said inflation of rent and other expenses hurts small businesses.