Chicago Entrepreneurs Optimistic About Hiring, According to Survey

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Things are looking up for entrepreneurs in Chicago, according to a recent survey that examined 131 Chicago-based companies.Among entrepreneurs who responded to The Entrepreneur Organization’s semi-annual Global Entrepreneur Indicator survey, 65% expected to add full-time employees in the next six months, and 32% expected their staffing to remain the same. Only 3% of respondents anticipated reducing their staffing level.

That’s not even the end of the good news. Over 97% of entrepreneurs in Chicago expect their revenue to stay the same or increase in the next six months, while 33% said their access to capital increased. The rest answered that it remained the same. None said that it decreased.

Fully 91% of Chicago entrepreneurs reported a belief that the U.S. economy will remain the same or improve in the next six months, and 97% said they’d start a new business in today’s economic environment.

The numbers didn’t surprise Andrea Herrera, president of the Entrepreneur Organization’s Chicago chapter. “I believe [the survey] says that we are very positive and encouraged about Chicago’s potential for economic growth,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “Two or three years ago it was much more static.”

Herrera is an entrepreneur herself. She founded Chicago-based catering company Amazing Edibles, and currently serves as the company’s president.

The Entrepreneur Organization, which conducts the survey every six months, is a global network based in Virginia that includes 120 chapters and over 8,000 business owners around the world.

Adam Robinson, another member of the group, told the Chicago Tribune that “you’ve got an economy that’s recovering, perhaps slower than some people would like. But it’s recovering. People are seeing more demand out there. Consumer-driven businesses are growing.”

Robinson is the CEO of Hireology, a Chicago-based company founded in 2010. His business started this year with 15 employees and will end with around 80. The company creates and distributes software to assist decentralized companies with hiring practices.

Software solutions like Robinson’s stimulate businesses in several ways. They assist in the growth and functionality of companies of all sizes and even create new business niches like software asset management, which tracks software inventory and licenses to help companies stay in legal compliance and negotiate for new software solutions.

“When we’re growing,” Robinson pointed out, “It’s because our customers are hiring.”

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