Strengthening workforce development support for Chicagoland small businesses

Small Business Majority
Monday, July 1, 2019

This Chicago-based research explores issues related to small business workforce development, particularly for business owners of color located in low- and moderate-income communities. Small Business Majority interviewed and convened local small business owners and business service organizations for roundtable discussions during a six-month research project to learn about key challenges in hiring and managing employees. Overall, the research indicates that small business owners have limited capacity and resources to improve workforce management.

The findings from these conversations are represented in this report, which provides an overview of the challenges local small business owners face in managing employees, what resources exist for them and what solutions could improve workforce management for area employers. The report also highlights recommendations to help local small businesses with their workforce management needs, including 1) educating small firms on how to prepare their business for workforce; 2) training owners on employee management skills; and 3) providing resource support specific to employee management topics, including compliance issues, for non-profit business service organizations.