Naperville Businesses

Survey Shows Pandemic Impact on Naperville Businesses

The results of a survey conducted by the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce (NACC) checked in on the impact the pandemic had on local businesses.

“We don’t know what we don’t know,” said NACC President & CEO Kaylin Risvold of the survey. “We can speculate based on current business trends and research this information on a national level, but we need to hear the voices of our local businesses – in order to fully understand how our community is faring so we, as a Chamber, can best support their recovery.”

Workforce

About half of the survey’s respondents are noticing a worker shortage. Several attributed the issue with filling available positions to the federal unemployment boost.

The poll also shows 77% of respondents would like to tap into non-traditional talent pools to find qualified candidates.

Work Environment

The survey indicates that 70% of participants turned to remote work sometime during the pandemic. It goes on to reveal that 54% of respondents plan to continue remote operations post-pandemic and another 10% are undecided.

Additionally, the poll shows 75% of participants believe childcare and remote learning had little to no impact on how their businesses operate. Several, however, commented on how caring for older adults presented a bigger challenge than childcare.

Supply Chain Interruption

More than half of respondents reported supply chain interruption. Of those, 49% of participants anticipate the issue will continue. One business owner commented on how the supply chain doesn’t solely impact a business directly and that they felt an economic impact prompted by a client’s issues with the supply chain. Interruptions noted included refrigerated transportation and freight on imports as well as driver shortages and vehicle shortages.

Financial Assistance Needed

Almost half of the participants noted they would use financial resources to help shore up position vacancies. Close to 40% indicated that they would allocate funding to marketing and advertising. Just over 25% intend to use financial resources to cover capital expenses. Another 22% suggest that the financial resources are best spent on lease/mortgage payments as well as on retraining and cross training.

On the revenue front, 34% noted increases of 25% to 50% comparing YTD 2021 with YTD 2019. But 24% saw a decrease of that same amount over that time, with 19% noticing no change.

Political Landscape Concerns

The findings indicate that 60% of participants have an unfavorable or very unfavorable view of the Illinois business climate. Taxes and healthcare costs are at the front of mind for many respondents. Around 60% of respondents believe the economy will rebound by mid or end of 2022 with 14% expecting a revival of the economy by the end of 2023.

Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.

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