All posts by Julia Stone

New SBAC Employees!

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The SBAC is excited to welcome two new employees in 2017!

Raquel Burchett
Membership Coordinator

Raquel began working at the SBAC in February 2017. She graduated from DePaul University in 2016 with a Masters in Organizational Communication and received a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from Michigan State University in 2013. In her previous work in the trade and investment department at the British Consulate in Chicago, she helped expand small businesses from the United Kingdom to the Midwest. This role sparked an interest in American small businesses and led to the role of Membership Coordinator at the SBAC.

Daniel Duran
Advocacy Researcher

Dan started working at the SBAC in January 2017. The SBAC was of particular interest to him because of his belief in small business as an integral part of American culture. He attributes his interest in law and politics to his mom, a legal secretary, and dad, a carpenter for the Chicago Transit Authority and owner of two apartment buildings in Pilsen.

Dan will bring meticulousness and precision to the advocacy initiatives of the SBAC to strive for the best possible results for small businesses. A Niles West High School alum, Dan is from Skokie and graduated from Point Park University in 2014 with a degree in Human Resources Management.


 Want to get to know the rest of our staff? Check out their bios here.

Recap: Elliot Richardson on ‘The Sunday Spin’ 2/12

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Elliot Richardson, Founder and CEO of the Small Business Advocacy Council, was a guest on The Sunday Spin: Politics with Rick Pearson on Feb. 12. Richardson and Pearson discuss the unprecedented budget impasse in Illinois.

Richardson emphasizes how the budget impasse, which has lasted almost two years, is devastating for small business owners who cannot afford to not get paid by the state.

“This political standoff is not only costing jobs and forcing some small businesses to consider going out of business, it’s also decimating the feeling that people have that Illinois is a decent place to run a business,” he says.

He believes political leaders must do their jobs, work together to end the budget crisis and help restore confidence in Illinois’ economy.

“The nice thing about doing business with the state was always supposed to be you might not get paid immediately, but it’s the state. You’re going to get paid, right? That was the feeling, the security of doing business with an entity that wasn’t going to go bankrupt,” he says. “Now, people don’t even have that security.”

Richardson and Pearson discuss how the SBAC has been taking action. In partnership with a coalition of 23 business and civic organizations across Chicagoland, the SBAC sent a letter with to Gov. Rauner and the state’s legislative leaders, imploring them to end the Illinois budget impasse now (the letter can be found here).

Richardson says that the next step is launching a grassroots campaign. He urges small business owners and Illinois residents to contact their representatives and encourage them to end the budget impasse. Contact your legislators here.

“It might take a revolt from legislators against party leadership to actually get this done. And they’re going to hear from a lot of people,” he says. “It’s hard. We’re running businesses, we’re running our lives, but we’re going to have to put that kind of pressure on rank-and-file legislators to get this budget impasse ended.”

Listen to the full WGN Radio show here.

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‘The Sunday Spin’ features Elliot Richardson Feb. 12

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THE SUNDAY SPIN – SBAC Co-Founder and CEO Elliot Richardson will be on The Sunday Spin: Politics with Rick Pearson this Sunday, February 12, after the 7:30 a.m. news update. Tune in to learn about how a coalition of business groups is urging Gov. Rauner and General Assembly leaders to end the unprecedented Illinois budget impasse. You can listen to the show live at

On this week’s show, guests also include Wheaton Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam and Michael Golden, author of “Unlock Congress.”

Rick Pearson is a political reporter at the Chicago Tribune and host of The Sunday Spin on WGN Radio-AM 720. Listen every Sunday morning from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. or check out an archive of past shows here.




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Call to Action: Contact Your Legislators & End the Budget Impasse

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Illinois’ unprecedented budget impasse continues to damage our state economy and hurt small businesses, non-profits, local communities, college students and many others. We urge you to contact your legislators and encourage them to work with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to pass a responsible budget. They must make reforms that will revive Illinois’ economy

It is time to take action! Click below to contact your legislators, urging them to put their constituents first and propose a solution to the budget impasse. Please share with your networks so we can make sure our collective voice is heard.

Area chambers, small business groups “exhausted” by impasse

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE – Morning Spin: Area chambers, small business groups “exhausted” by impasse

The Small Business Advocacy Council and a coalition of 23 local chambers of commerce and other business groups have written a letter to Gov. Rauner and legislative leaders urging them to finally end the budget impasse.

“The remarkable dysfunction in Springfield continues to damage the state’s economy. The inexcusable failure of Illinois’ politicians to pass a responsible budget, and the resulting fall-out, continues to hurt small businesses, devastate non-profits, negatively impact college students and cause irreparable harm to our state,” the letter says.

(Rick Pearson)

See full article here.

Business Organizations Call for an End to Illinois Budget Impasse

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CHICAGO, ILFebruary 2, 2017 – A robust group of business organizations from across the Chicagoland area have banded together to call on the Governor and Illinois legislative leaders to end their unprecedented, destructive political standoff.  These organizations have sent the state’s political leaders a letter imploring them to end Illinois’ budget impasse now.  The letter is attached and can be found here.

Small businesses, non-profits and local communities are needlessly being hurt by the budget impasse.  College students, at-risk individuals and countless others are being caught in its cross-hairs.  The budget impasse continues to damage the state’s economy and undermine the confidence of the small business community.

Through their letter, the following organizations are calling on the Governor and leadership in the Senate and House to end the Illinois budget impasse now.  These leaders should then turn their attention to improving the Illinois economy.

Below is the group of businesses that have signed the letter:

  • Small Business Advocacy Council
  • Highland Park Chamber of Commerce
  • Glenview Chamber of Commerce
  • GOA Regional Business Association
  • Schaumburg Business Association
  • Bolingbrook Chamber
  • Homer Township Chamber
  • Lemont Chamber
  • Mom+Baby
  • Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce
  • Jewish B2B
  • Belmont-Central Chamber of Commerce
  • Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • Edgewater Chamber of Commerce
  • Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce
  • Northbrook Chamber of Commerce
  • Barrington Chamber of Commerce
  • Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce
  • Niles Chamber of Commerce
  • Skokie Chamber of Commerce
  • Lake View East Chamber of Commerce
  • Logan Square Chamber of Commerce
  • Chicago Leadership Alliance
  • Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce

Ryan Tolley
20 S Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 548-8608


Tom Cullerton announces Illinois crowdfunding is ready to go

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE – Senator Tom Cullerton encourages local residents and businesses to consider intrastate equity crowdfunding as an option to expand and start new businesses.

“The only way to grow our economy is to promote business friendly policies,” Senator Tom Cullerton said. “This new [crowdfunding] model will not only benefit Illinois, but local communities as well.”

Cullerton is excited to announce that crowdfunding is coming out strong in 2017 in Illinois. Three local businesses are now conducting intrastate crowdfunding through Illinois’s first crowdfunding portal, VestLo, including Cardfrenzy, Native Sons of Chicago and Crosstown Fitness.

“Small businesses are essential to growing our economy and creating new jobs in Illinois,” he said. “This is a new opportunity for Illinois businesses to grow and stimulate our economy.”

Read the full Chicago Tribune article here.

Illinois Crowdfunding Starting Strong in 2017

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CROWDFUND INSIDER – SBAC member Anthony Zeoli of Freeborn & Peters LLP recaps our intrastate equity crowdfunding press conference, which took place on Jan. 17 at 1871 Chicago.  “While it took longer than expected to get here, crowdfunding for Illinois businesses is now officially up and running and it’s full steam ahead,” says Zeoli.

As a little background, the Illinois intrastate crowdfunding law allows Illinois businesses to raise up to $4 million, per year, from Illinois investors, much higher than the federal cap of $1 million.

Read the full Crowdfund Insider feature here.