Illinois SMBs had a basic digital infrastructure including a web and social media presence prior to COVID-19, but lagged behind in using more digital tools during the crisis than previously (64% vs 72% avg.) Among the hardest hit states, Illinois SMBs ranked in the bottom 10 states for projected revenue (-20% vs. -16% avg.). These businesses are heavily oriented towards recovery (47%) and retaining their customer base (41%). Most (55%) intend to increase their use of digital tools in support of these aims, even as they worry about cost (46%) and overcoming an information deficit (41%).

Illinois Map

Average revenue reduction

-20%   -16% avg.

% comfort with digital tools pre-COVID-19

68%   68% avg.

% plan to use tools more post-COVID-19

55%   53% avg.

Top 3 tools used pre-COVID-19

1) Search engine optimization / SEO (62% vs. 64%)

2) Search engine optimization / SEO (62% vs. 64%)

3) Social media and video platforms (66% vs. 69%)

4) Digital payments (65% vs. 67%)

% increased use of tools during COVID-19

64%   72% avg.

Top post-COVID-19 questions

How will I...

Optimize my business operations? (34% vs. 39%)

Retain my customer base? (41% vs. 42%)

Grow my customer base? (34% vs. 40%)

Recover from the damage done by COVID-19?(47% vs. 44%)

Top 3 tools interested in adopting

1) Business website (10% vs. 9%)

2) Online training platforms (10% vs. 10%)

3) Online hiring platforms (13% vs. 8%)

Top 3 learning formats of interest

1) Webinars or livestreams (44% vs. 47%)

2) Step-by-step video tutorials (53% vs. 56%)

3) Step-by-step written guides (39% vs. 42%)

Top barriers to digital tool adoption

49% avg.


Information deficit

45% avg.



26% avg.


Digital tools are too expensive

The Spice House

Evanston, Illinois

From shifting brick-and-mortar operations online to employing laid off restaurant workers, this digitally connected company overcame several hurdles while helping out colleagues in a struggling industry.

Learn more
The Spice House

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