By Sarah Mansur, Capitol News Illinois
Hospitality jobs in Illinois have declined nearly 52% since the pandemic began, according to new data, as lawsuits continue against the governor’s orders to close nonessential businesses.
While leisure and hospitality jobs were hit the hardest, the number of small businesses open in Illinois overall has fallen by about 36.5%, as of March 20, compared to last January, based on data compiled by Opportunity Insights, a nonprofit group at Harvard University.
Opportunity Insights’ data shows a significant number of closures following the governor’s stay-at-home order which took effect in March and continued to the end of May. The percentage of small business closures in Illinois was about 5% in early March 2020, and reached more than 42% on March 29, according to the data.
The decline in Illinois’ small businesses is similar to the national trend for the same time period. Nationally, the number of small businesses decreased by about 34%, with about a 51% decline in leisure and hospitality jobs, according to the data.
The data is based on small business transactions and revenues from Womply, “a company that aggregates data from several credit card processors to provide analytical insights to small businesses and other clients,” according to the study.
The data also shows that small business revenue overall in Illinois fell by nearly 28% from January 2020 to March 20, 2021. The amount of total revenue from hospitality and leisure businesses specifically saw a 57.9% decrease in that time period.
Nationwide, small businesses overall experienced a 24% decrease in revenues, with revenues for leisure and hospitality businesses falling roughly 53.4 % from January 2020 to March 20, 2021.
Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.