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How Loop businesses operated amid the pandemic in December

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Posted  7 months ago  in  Trending

2 MIN READ -- 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 December report. View the full December report here.


Some highlights include:

  • Pedestrian activity increased in December, likely due to holiday shopping and attractions.
  • 19 percent of respondents are open with all staff working onsite (down from 29 percent in November); 40 percent with some staff onsite and some remote (up from 35 percent in November); 4 percent with all staff remote (down from 15 percent in November); and 27 percent temporarily closed (up from 13 percent in November). 10 percent indicated “other.”
  • 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 December.
  • 51 percent of respondents said they’d visit the Loop during a weekend in December (up from 38 percent in November). This is likely due to holiday shopping and attractions.
  • 64 percent of respondents indicated either “unsure” or “other” when asked when their full staff would return to the Loop for work. 6 percent said all staff would return by the end of 2020; 12 percent said all staff would return in Q1 2021; 9 percent said Q2; and 9 percent said Q3 or later.

Winter in the Loop 01 credit Adam Alexander

“Our survey shows there is still a lot of uncertainty for businesses when it comes to deciding how and when to bring employees back to the Loop,” said Chicago Loop Alliance President and CEO Michael Edwards. “We’re eager to see how the reopening of Chicago Public Schools and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout will begin impacting businesses’ plans and decisions about on-site work.”

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.

Winter in the Loop 03 credit Adam Alexander

The most recent weekly pedestrian activity report is for week ending Jan. 3. Activity was down by 13 percent on State Street compared to the week prior (this post-holidays decline is not surprising), and was down by 60 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.

December Infographic Sheet  Page 1

December Infographic Sheet  Page 2

December Infographic Sheet  Page 3