Lucrative Business Ideas for Startups in Chicago


The pandemic crisis has put a lot of pressure on entrepreneurs. With the supply chain disrupted and the restrictions high, they had limited operations. As a result, many businesses have chosen to temporarily or permanently close. This marked a massive downturn in the US economy since the global financial crisis of 2008.

Today, the country sees new hope amid continued vaccination and reopening of borders. Businesses in most cities are returning, boosting production, incomes and market demand. Thanks to the strategy local government recovery roadmap, like in Chicago. It now offers more optimistic growth prospects across all sectors.

Therefore, we will discuss how and how much Chicago suffered and recovered. We will also list the ideal business types in the city.

Chicago’s setbacks and recovery amid the pandemic

The pandemic has caused considerable damage to the business sector. In Illinois alone, GDP fell by 4.11% from the first to the second quarter of 2020. The most affected industries were services, transportation and logistics, and manufacturing. At the end of the first quarter of 2020, 33,702 business closures, resulting in a net decrease of 3,885. Small and medium-sized businesses accounted for 98.3% of temporary and permanent closures. Likewise, employment recorded a net contraction of 5,898, with the vast majority coming from SMEs.

As a key city in the state, Chicago was one of the hardest hit. The above industries have also been its main growth drivers, which has caused a sluggish economic environment. There was 4,400 Chicago area business closures in the first half of the year. Fifty-five percent of business owners said they would never reopen. But he regained his footing as restrictions were eased.

The improvement became more evident in the following months, although the road to recovery was not smooth and smooth. His funding recovery plan proved its effectiveness, from award to execution. Of the $2.547 billion budget, $1.887 billion went to the Local Tax Recovery Plan (LFRP). The remaining amount was allocated to its GO Bond initiatives. This could help small and medium-sized businesses and improve the healthcare system.

It has also contributed to Chicago being the second-largest concentration of Fortune 500 headquarters. In 2021, more companies and LLC had mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and went public, spurring the city’s rebound. It helped to develop the business sector and bring down the unemployment rate to 4.3%. More households increased their purchasing power, leading to a surge in aggregate demand. In turn, businesses saw more opportunities for growth as tax relief continued.

Best Types of Businesses to Establish in Chicago

According to Forbes, Chicago is one of the top three cities for startups. The opening of about 146,000 companies in Q1 2021 demonstrates its rapid and sustained rebound. Despite transmission surges that hampered its movement, the city remained focused on growth. Given its current market landscape, aspiring entrepreneurs should study each industry. These are several types of ideal businesses to start in the city.

Mobile fairs

Amid arguments over vaccination in the United States, going out can still be risky. Trade shows are a must for women, especially those working in the tourism industry. But even stay-at-home moms will seize the opportunity to maintain their beauty in these stressful times. Mobile lounges are a great way to deliver services to every door. Plus, it’s cheaper because you don’t need physical locations. You only have to spend on equipment, cosmetics and labor.

Software Training Services

Chicago ranked sixth on the Innovation Cities Index in the United States. It is also home to Accenture, one of the largest IT companies in the world. Many data science graduates in the United States have flocked to the city. It’s no surprise that software skills are in high demand. In the same way, it makes software training businesses viable. Programming and graphic design are part of the training you can offer.

Tour guide services

Chicago is a bustling but breathtaking city in the United States. It ranked first on the most connected airports in North America and first in the world. Today, the borders are reopening, making travel and leisure a favorite pastime. After a year of tight restrictions, pent-up demand is visible as more tourists visit the city. Therefore, tour guide services are an integral part of its tourism industry.

For safer outdoor activities, tourists need people to accompany them around the city. Tour guides can book hotels and restaurants on their behalf. Once the pandemic is over, the economy will accelerate its rebound and growth. At the same time, more people around the world will come to Chicago. This type of business is therefore inexpensive and profitable.

food truck

The pandemic has led people to avoid going to restaurants and fast food chains. They chose to have their food delivered to their homes. Food trucks are a creative alternative to fast food.

And even though restrictions have eased, going out can still be a waste of time for many people. Note that many companies are implementing remote and hybrid work setups. Committing to a food truck business is affordable without thinking about your brick and mortar.

You can serve easy-to-cook foods like burgers, noodles, and waffles. Pasta and pizza are also good options.

Car rental or taxi services

Public transport, including buses and trains, can be a primary source of infection. Fear drove many Americans to buy new and used cars. This mania has led to soaring prices over the past couple of years. They were already above pre-pandemic prices, so analysts thought prices would decline. Unfortunately, both remain stubbornly high.

What makes car rental and taxi services a lucrative business in the current situation? Possible responses are the preference for private travel and rising gas prices. Soaring gasoline prices remain evident in all regions of the United States. Its high costs coupled with the hassle of boarding buses and trains make car hire and taxis the best alternatives. Of course, you have bigger competitors like Uber and Grab, so you need to have pricing and service strategies.

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