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(The Center Square) – With a new survey showing Illinois ranked No. 2 in the nation for the number of small businesses planning to lay off employees in the coming months, an analyst said state government needs to reverse its anti-business climate to grow jobs.

lllinois has some of the strictest regulations on businesses in the country, Bryce Hill of the Illinois Policy Institute said. The state must address that if it wants to improve its jobs outlook.

"How can we make it easier for entrepreneurs, especially small businesses, to flourish," Hill said. "It appears that these regulations are acting as a handcuff."

Hill said Illinois needs to look into these problems if it wishes to improve.

"I think we just need, at a base level, an evaluation of why Illinois has so many regulations on these businesses compared to other states," Hill said. "So when we see hundreds of thousands of regulations Illinois has, we should consider what kind of effect they have."

The top three sectors that have halted hiring in the are real estate, automotive, and health care, according to the survey from Alignable, as The Center Square previously reported. A majority of small businesses already are putting a freeze on new hires.

"The report shows that a majority of small businesses in Illinois are on a hiring freeze," Hill told The Center Square. "It also shows that more Illinois businesses are considering layoffs more than anywhere else in the country, other than Florida."

Hill also said how the state has handled its recovery post-pandemic has impacted these businesses.

"Illinois was less recovered from the pandemic than any other state in the Midwest other than Wisconsin," Hill said. "That is extremely concerning, especially since census bureau data shows that one-third of job creation in Illinois comes from small businesses."

Staff Reporter

Andrew Hensel has years of experience as a reporter and pre-game host for the Joliet Slammers, and as a producer for the Windy City Bulls. A graduate of Iowa Wesleyan University and Illinois Media School, Andrew lives in the south suburbs of Chicago.