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Report: A third of Illinois small businesses say they are running out of cash

The Center Square
Jan. 6, 2023

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In a time of year when small businesses usually experience strong sales, many are reporting that they are running out of cash.

According to the small business network Alignable, a higher number of small businesses are saying that their cash reserves are dwindling.

Head Researcher Chuck Casto said 38 percent of small businesses nationwide say they have only one month or less of cash reserves right now. The figure is up 12 percentage points from December 2021.

“Cash flow is very important because a business needs a healthy cash flow to stay in business,” Casto said, adding that Illinois numbers are comparable to the national figures.

“One-third of the small businesses from Illinois that we polled said that they only had one month or less of cash flow, so that was alarming, certainly in Illinois,” Casto said. “That is a significant number.”

The holiday shopping season wasn’t as brisk as predicted by some. Sixty-four percent of those polled said consumer spending was down in December compared to November.

Only 21 percent of small businesses said they have fully recovered financially, making as much or more than they did on a monthly basis prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is down 22 percentage points from December 2021 when it was 43 percent.

According to the report, small businesses continue to face challenges paying their rent. In Illinois, 33 percent reported that they couldn’t pay their December rent on time and in full. That is an increase of 5 percent over December 2021.

Restaurants topped the list, with 52 percent nationwide reporting rent troubles.

Staff Reporter Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for The Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.


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