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Chicago Loop Alliance’s January report on downtown activity indicates businesses are reopening

Posted  3 years ago

Press contact: Jessica Cabe | PR and Communications Manager, Chicago Loop Alliance | jessica@chicagoloopalliance.com | 815-713-8909

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CHICAGO—Since July, Chicago Loop Alliance has been collecting monthly survey data from its member businesses and stakeholders to track operations during COVID-19, and today released its January report. View the full January report here. Some highlights include:

  • There was a 12 percent decrease in survey respondents who said their business was temporarily closed. These reopenings are likely due to Chicago moving through Tier 1 mitigations and into Phase 4 of the state’s Restore Illinois framework.
  • Pedestrian activity decreased in January, likely due to two major snow events.
  • 17 percent of respondents are open with all staff working onsite; 41 percent with some staff onsite and some remote; 15 percent with all staff remote; 15 percent temporarily closed; and 2 percent permanently closed. 10 percent indicated “other.”
  • 87 percent of respondents indicated either “unsure” or “other” when asked when their full staff would return to the Loop for work. 10 percent said all staff would return in Q1 2021; 2 percent said Q2; and 5 percent said Q3 or later.
  • Driving personal cars is still the most popular way respondents get to the Loop.
  • Ordering takeout/delivery and shopping are the most popular Loop activities respondents participated in in January.
  • 36 percent of respondents said they’d visit the Loop during a weekend in January. 41 percent said they would not, and 23 percent said they were unsure.

“With Chicago’s move into Tier 1 Mitigations and then Phase 4 at the very end of January, we saw some improvement in business operations in the Loop,” said Chicago Loop Alliance President and CEO Michael Edwards. “But with two major snow events, the Loop still did not have enough people in it to adequately support its storefront economy. We’re hopeful the continued rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines and a reopening plan for Chicago Public Schools will bring more people back to the Loop.”

Chicago Loop Alliance also tracks pedestrian activity using counters by the U.K.-based company Springboard. Eighteen counters are located on the east and west sides of State Street from Wacker to Ida B. Wells drives. Additional counters are at Michigan and Wacker, Michigan and Washington, and in the Pedway.

The most recent weekly pedestrian activity report is for week ending Jan. 24. Activity was down by .5 percent on State Street compared to the week prior and was down by 70 percent compared to the same time period a year prior.

Chicago Loop Alliance invites people to share their experiences downtown on social media using #BackInTheLoop.

About Chicago Loop Alliance

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA)’s mission is to create, manage and promote positive and inclusive programs that attract people to the Loop and accelerate economic recovery. CLA is a membership organization as well as the sole service provider for Special Service Area#1-2015, and the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation produces public art projects and events. For more information, please visit here.


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