All posts by Julia Stone

Tom Walter, Keynote Speaker at Advocacy Dinner


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Tom Walter is a “serial entrepreneur,” author, speaker and a principal in numerous companies. He is best known as the Chief Culture Officer (CCO) of Chicago-area Tasty Catering, a suburban corporate caterer and event planner that was recently named a Forbes Best Small Company in America. Tom has more than 40 years of experience as an owner and operator in the service industry.

He has participated in the startup of 32 companies, is currently active in 9 of those startups, has acquired three and—in a few cases—has terminated businesses in a broad spectrum of markets. Tom remains a principal, investor and advisor for several companies, most of which are part of 80 Nine Holdings and have been co-founded by his staff. Tom is a national speaker and co-author.


 

Join us for the 6th Annual Advocacy Awards Dinner & Awards Ceremony next Thursday on May 4th from 6:00 – 10:00 PM!

Celebrate our achievements in advocacy at our biggest fundraiser event of the year. Support the SBAC, connect with business leaders and hear about our next steps to ensure small businesses have a strong voice in advocacy. With a cocktail hour, three-course dinner and more, it is sure to be an unforgettable night.

Get your tickets here!

Announcing the Advocacy Award Recipients


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Join us for the 6th Annual Advocacy Awards Dinner & Awards Ceremony next Thursday on May 4th from 6:00 – 10:00 PM!

“At this signature event, we will celebrate the hard work of all the SBAC members who have fought to empower the small business community and improve Illinois’ economy.  Two SBAC leaders will also be acknowledged for the tremendous contributions they have made to the organization,” says SBAC CEO Elliot Richardson. “The evening will provide a great opportunity for people to connect and meet SBAC leaders from a variety of different areas.”

Celebrate our achievements in advocacy at our biggest fundraiser event of the year. Support the SBAC, connect with business leaders and hear about our next steps to ensure small businesses have a strong voice in advocacy. With a cocktail hour, three-course dinner and more, it is sure to be an unforgettable night.

Get your tickets here!

 

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Advocate of the Year

Dwayne Hirsch, The Hirsch Network Team of Coldwell Banker

Dwayne is a Real Estate Agent with the Hirsch Network Team of Coldwell Banker in Chicago, Illinois. He specializes in helping sellers, buyers, investors and renters achieve their goals in real estate. An SBAC member since 2011, Dwayne is a Member of the Executive Board, Board of Advisors, Policy and Membership Committees and also the host of the Hyde Park Happy Hour. Widely considered to be among Chicago’s best known networking professionals, Dwayne is committed to advocacy for small business and to the advancement of entrepreneurship in Illinois.

“There is a growing need for advocacy, or in other words, always a new battle to fight,” says Dwayne. “The SBAC has given me opportunities to work toward legislation that benefits the entire small business community.”

 

Phillip Zelkowitz Small Business Champion Award

Stephen Ball, MB Financial Bank

Stephen is Senior Vice President and Head of MB Financial Bank’s Business Banking group. He is responsible for products, goals, marketing, training, promotional initiatives, management, and production for all retail banking that pertains to businesses. Stephen has spent his 21 years of banking experience focused on the small business market. Along with his staff of 32, Stephen helps businesses with lending and cash management solutions while providing sound analysis of their financials. Stephen is an experienced public speaker and published author. He has presented at Kent School of Law and various chambers of commerce and networking group events.

“The SBAC at its heart is built up of people of character who share a mission,” says Stephen. “I stay involved because I want to help make a difference. I don’t want to just ride the coattails of pioneers like Elliot and the SBAC team. I want to help them affect change.”

 

 

Daily Herald Editorial: We must make lawmakers accountable to the public ahead of their party leaders


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The SBAC participated in the Multi-Chamber luncheon to host Governor Bruce Rauner. The GOA Regional Business Association did a fantastic job of putting together an incredibly well-attended event.

Elliot Richardson, SBAC CEO, addressed the crowd about how zealous non-partisan advocacy can push politicians to enact common-sense policies to improve Illinois’ economy.  He discussed how the engagement of the small business community can push lawmakers to be more accountable to their constituents than party leaders.

Read more here in this Daily Herald Editorial.

Multi-Chamber Luncheon with Governor Rauner


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Enjoy lunch and network with area professionals at Belvedere Banquets in Elk Grove Village before hearing from Governor Bruce Rauner at this Multi-Chamber Luncheon, open to the public.

After hearing from the Governor, Elliot Richardson and Matt Gennuso will provide a Springfield update and take a few questions on the budget impasse and legislation impacting the small business community.

Time:

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Location:

Belvedere Banquets
1170 W. Devon Avenue
Elk Grove Village

Event Price:

$30.00 paid in advance
$40.00 walk-ins

Register for the event here

SBAC-rauner-luncheon-flyer-PRINT

SBAC Advocacy Dinner & Awards Ceremony is coming up soon!


By: 1233

Celebrate with 250+ business leaders, members and guests at our 6th Annual Advocacy Dinner and Awards Ceremony on May 4th! This event commemorates the achievements of our advocacy efforts in 2016 and focuses on our next steps to ensure small businesses have their voices heard.

From the cocktail reception at the start of the evening, followed by extraordinary presentations, to the post-dinner drinks, guests are sure to have an unforgettable night!

Get your tickets for the event here!

 

Elliot Richardson on Mighty House Radio Show 4/15


By: 1233

SBAC Co-Founder & CEO Elliot Richardson is going to be a guest on the Mighty House radio show, hosted by Ron Cowgill and the incredible Mighty House Radio crew.

On Saturday, April 15th, at 8:00am, Elliot will join the show to discuss how the Small Business Advocacy Council empowers the small business community and advocates for policies that will improve Illinois’ economy.  Elliot and Ron will discuss the work the organization is doing to end Illinois’ budget impasse.  They will also talk about legislation and initiatives that will help Illinois’ small businesses compete and thrive.  They will discuss workers’ compensation reform, term limits of Illinois’ leadership and a slew of other issues.  Elliot will discuss ways intrastate equity crowdfunding can benefit the small business community and the work the organization is doing in the City of Chicago.

As far as upcoming policy related events, Ron and Elliot will highlight the SBAC’s May 9th Springfield Trip to advocate on behalf of small businesses and also the Multi-Chamber Luncheon with Governor Rauner on April 19th.

Mighty House Radio runs from 7:00 to 10:00 AM every Saturday morning on 1590 AM. Stream the show live here. Visit mightyhouse.net to learn more.


Get Connected with Mighty House:

Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    itunes_12-2_logo

 

Chicago Entrepreneur Expo: Exhibitors & Agenda


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Learn more about the Chicago Entrepreneur Expo here.


Agenda:

Each speaker will speak twice for one hour each. Sessions are timed so that participants can go to all four speakers if they wish.

3:00 – 8:00 PM Connections Room
4:00 & 6:00 PM 1. Elliot Richardson: “How Entrepreneurs Can Navigate Illinois’ Political Landscape”

2. Phil Gafka: “Vision, Culture, People – the Three Foundational Elements of a Successful Company”

3. Scott Herbst: “The Physics of Management – Leveraging Three Laws of Behavior to Drive Performance & Upgrade Culture”

 

5:00 & 7:00 PM 1. Alternative Funding Panel
Moderator: Michael Cavanaugh Panelists: Carlos Pena, Howard Orloff, Kate Drane & Eric Spokas

2. Vanessa Cabrera: “Put the Power of Email & Social Media to Work for Your Business”

 


SBAC Empower has invited a carefully culled group of organizations and companies that serve as resources to small businesses:

Exhibitors:

Accion

Best Networks Inc.

Better Business Planning Inc.

Constant Contact

Des Plaines Office Equipment

Higher Learning Network

Human Elements

IC Signs & Graphics

ITEX

Korey Richardson LLC

Lavelle Law

Level Office

LittBitt

Manning Silverman

O’Leary Creative

SBAC

VestLo

What A Great Website

Wintrust Bank


Sponsors

               

               

 

Member Spotlight: Dwayne Hirsch


By: 1233

 

Dwayne Hirsch is passionate about advocating for small business and the advancement of entrepreneurship in Illinois. The SBAC is excited to award him the Advocate of the Year Award at our 6th Annual Advocacy Dinner & Awards Ceremony on May 4th.

An active and dedicated SBAC member, Dwayne is part of the Executive Committee, Policy and Membership Committees and also the host of the Hyde Park Happy Hour.

Advocacy is what keeps him engaged in the organization. He has joined the SBAC on trips to Springfield to advocate on behalf of the small business community. Dwayne helps engage with political leaders from both sides of the aisle, discussing important issues impacting entrepreneurs.

“There is a growing need for advocacy, or in other words, always a new battle to fight,” says Dwayne. “The SBAC has given me opportunities to work toward legislation that benefits the entire small business community.”

In many cases, businesses on the South and West sides of Chicago face similar issues as businesses throughout the state and can also receive similar benefits from engaging in the advocacy and activation of these legislative acts. As examples, Equity Crowdfunding, LLC filing fee bills along with the SBAC’s workers compensation and pension reform bills have impacts designed for the entire small business community.

Widely considered to be among Chicago’s best-known and most successful networking professionals, Dwayne has hosted over 150 networking events in the last several years and attended hundreds more with other organizations across a broad spectrum of interests. Through former SBAC Executive Director Amy Masters, he was introduced to CEO & Co-Founder Elliot Richardson in 2011 and has been a part of the SBAC ever since.

Dwayne is a Real Estate Broker with Coldwell Banker in Chicago, specializing in helping sellers, buyers, investors and renters achieve their goals in real estate. As a licensed realtor, he works mainly with residential properties and clients in Hyde Park, Kenwood, Bronzeville and the South Loop.

Dwayne is on the Advisory Board of Native Sons of Chicago, which makes direct and indirect investments through intrastate equity crowdfunding in local businesses and real estate projects in historically disadvantaged areas.

Dwayne has also been active with youth mentoring programs and is known to be a great friend and supporter of many of Chicago’s new and emerging business owners.

Breakout Session with Elliot Richardson


By: 1233

 

 

Elliot Richardson, CEO & Co-Founder of the Small Business Advocacy Council, will present “How Entrepreneurs Can Navigate Illinois’ Political Landscape” at SBAC Empower’s Chicago Entrepreneur Expo on April 18th.

Learn more about the Chicago Entrepreneur Expo here.

 

About:

In 2010, Elliot Richardson and Michael Cavanaugh founded the Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC), a non-partisan, member-driven organization laser-focused on improving the economic environment for small businesses in the state of Illinois. The SBAC strives to empower the small business community by bringing business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs together to speak with a unified, and strong voice.

Elliot Richardson is also a partner at the law firm of Korey & Richardson, handling a variety of commercial litigation matters in both federal and state court.

Elliot has been involved in community service since his college days at Bradley University. Presently, Elliot serves on the Board of Directors for Childserv, a large and successful organization focused on helping at-risk children. Elliot is co-chair of the resource development committee of this organization. Elliot is also on the board of Youth Conservation Corp., a dynamic non-profit which provides training in the construction industry to at-risk children.

Elliot formerly served on the Board of Directors for Youth Communications, an organization that empowers children by teaching them crucial writing skills. He also served on the Editorial Board of the Chicago Bar Association and on the executive committee of the Young Lawyers Section of the CBA. Elliot also served on the board of the YMCA Alliance Board.

Elliot received his law degree from the University of Dayton. In law school, he was the member of the Public Interest Law Organization and received the University of Dayton School of Law Pro Bono Publico Service Award. Elliot graduated from Bradley University with a degree in sociology and criminal justice. He obtained a minor in history.

SBAC Testifies on Legislation that Empowers Small Businesses


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The Small Business Advocacy Council went to Springfield on March 30th, 2017 to advocate for the small business community and economic policies that can spark Illinois’ economy.

SBAC Advocacy Director, Ryan Tolley, Representative Carol Sente and SBAC Member Anthony Zeoli participated in two hearings in the House of Representatives Revenue Committee and the Business Growth & Incentives Committee.

During the Revenue Committee Hearing, Advocacy Director Ryan Tolley gave a testimony focused on the importance of the small business community’s voice in discussions on passing a responsible budget. He also presented measures that can be taken to improve our state’s economy.

Below is his testimony:

“My name in Ryan Tolley, Advocacy Director with the Small Business Advocacy Council. We are here to testify about several pieces of legislation that will empower the small business community, improve our state’s economy and begin changing the perception of Illinois’ small business climate.

Our first priority is that our state pass a responsible budget.  As part of that process and discussions around the formation of good economic policy, it is important that the voice of the small business community is heard. Small businesses create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy.  Empowering the small business community will spark the economy and create revenue for the state.

We are here today to advocate for a few things: lowering among the highest LLC fees in the nation and expanding the angel tax credit to allow people who make investments into small businesses through intrastate equity crowdfunding to have access to tax credits previously reserved for larger investors. 

We hear policy-makers talk about how important small businesses are to the Illinois’ economy.  Passing legislation that moves these initiatives will improve our economy, create jobs and support local communities.   

Thank you for taking my statements today. I will be happy to answer any questions that the committee has.”

At our meeting with Business Growth & Incentives committee, we advocated for a bill, HB3792, that would make it easier for small businesses to raise money through intrastate equity crowdfunding and drive economic growth. The bill passed committee with no opposition, collecting an additional 18 co-sponsors. The legislation now moves to the House Floor.

The SBAC continues to be laser-focused on working to pass a responsible budget in Illinois. We look forward to bringing a robust group of members to Springfield on May 9th. If you would are interesting in joining the SBAC for the trip, visit here for more details.

To learn more about our legislative agenda, please click here or contact Ryan Tolley at ryan@sbacil.org.