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COVID-19 Impacts on Big City Budgets: The City of Chicago  


Author:  Rebecca  Hendrick.; Thao Pham.; Jill Mason-Terzakis.


Source: Volume 42, Number 02, Summer 2021 , pp.5-28(24)




Municipal Finance Journal

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Abstract: 

The city of Chicago has one of the world’s most robust and diverse economies, with no single industry employing more than 12% of Chicago’s workforce. However, the city faces significant challenges in coping with the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence presented here indicates that Chicago is not well positioned to adapt to this event in a manner that brings the city back to fiscal health after the pandemic is over. This is in large part due to the fiscal challenges Chicago faced prior to the pandemic and to some choices made in the last several years to balance city budgets. Federal funding will help a great deal, as will measures the city is taking to balance its 2021 budget, but it remains to be seen whether Chicago’s diverse economy rebounds from so many closures of small businesses and other sectors that provide the city with a great deal of its operating revenue.

Keywords: Chicago, COVID-19, city budget, business closures, operating revenue

Affiliations:  1: University of Illinois at Chicago; 2: University of Illinois at Chicago; 3: Loyola University Chicago.

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