Category Archives: SBAC News

Illinois Voters Should Choose Who Represents Them, Not The Other Way Around

The SBAC is a proud member of the Illinois Redistricting Collaborative, a non-partisan coalition committed to ending gerrymandering in Illinois. To learn more about our efforts, register today to attend a breakfast panel discussion with redistricting experts on March 22nd at Max & Benny’s in Northbrook.

Recently, our coalition cheered a major milestone in our campaign — we now have identical measures in both the House and Senate with bipartisan support! Read more in the press release below.


SBAC Celebrates International Women’s Day

The SBAC is proud to recognize the contributions of our female members and Women in Business Group! We have a vibrant and growing community of female entrepreneurs that spans experience, geography and industry – but we share the common vision of providing a forum for women business owners to network with each other and to work collectively to address the unique challenges that women face in the workplace.

Please visit our Women in Business Group page and attend an upcoming meeting to learn more!

Advocacy Begins at the Voting Booth

The SBAC is a non-partisan organization committed to empowering small businesses through issue advocacy. The small business community has made great strides in increasing their critical mass and effectiveness of their voice, it bears repeating that advocacy starts at the voting booth. The Illinois Primary Election is March 20th, but did you know that in the 2016 General Election, almost 30% of Illinois voters cast their ballots early? Click on your county below to find out how to register, request a mail-in ballot, where to vote early and your polling place if you wait until Election Day. You can also view your sample ballot ahead of time to research the candidates and referendums up for consideration. Be sure to have your voice be heard!

March 5, 2018 – First Day of Early Voting
March 15, 2018 – Last Day to Request Mail-In Ballot
March 19, 2018 – Last Day of Early Voting
March 19, 2018 – Last Day of Grace Period Registration
March 20, 2018 – Last Day Mail -In Ballots Can Be Post-Marked
March 20, 2018 – Election Day







SBAC-Backed Bill Passes Illinois Senate with Unanimous Bipartisan Support!

Current Illinois law prohibits establishments, such as a restaurant, from serving alcohol within 100 feet of a religious institution, school, hospital or military station. The law paints all communities with a single brush instead of allowing local leaders to determine the restrictions that will best serve their businesses and residents. While the law provides a mechanism for establishments to seek an exemption from this state prohibition, it requires an entrepreneur have legislation drafted, passed by the legislature, and signed by the Governor. Most small business owners simply cannot tackle this burdensome process.

Governor Rauner has already taken a firm stance on this issue. On January 26th of this year, he vetoed legislation requesting an exemption of the Liquor Control Act to authorize a liquor license of a specific establishment in Chicago. In the accompanying veto message, the Governor made it clear that he would not sign another exemption and that the General Assembly should send legislation to permanently address this issue to his desk.

The SBAC is focused on a common-sense solution that will remove this obstacle to economic development and give local oversight on such licensing issues. State Senator Chris Nybo (R-Lombard) introduced SB 2436, which would return licensing requests in these cases, back to local control, rather than requiring legislators from all corners of the state deciding the fate of a business hundreds of miles away. On February 27th, this measure passed the Senate with unanimous bipartisan support and now awaits further action in the House.

SBAC Teams Up with MommyCon to Support Female Entrepreneurs

The SBAC and the Women in Business Group are committed to growing a community of female entrepreneurs within our ranks. This year, we have teamed up with MommyCon to connect our network with the amazing vendors and small business owners showing at the conference.

MommyCon is a family-run business, founded by entrepreneur Xza Higgins. When she was pregnant with her first child, Xza started a blog collective called the Mommy Dialogues. She organized living room meet-ups and cabin retreats for like-minded moms and moms-to-be. The informal gatherings grew so rapidly that MommyCon was created to fulfill the need of an under served community. Within four years, MommyCon has reached an audience of over 50,000 parents from nearly every state in the union. With roughly ten events per year, MommyCon travels to new locations nearly every month.

The multi-day event features amazing shopping (100+ other exhibitors), interactive workshops, inspirational speakers and more. Use the promo code “SBACIL” for 10% off of tickets. Click here to learn more and register!

Design to Print: Tips to Developing your Brand

Design to Print: Tips to Developing your Branding/Business Package

By: Rob Halverson

Whether you are starting a new business or revamping your existing business, it is important to have a consistent branding package. From business cards and letterhead, to envelopes, labels, and more, it is important to consider how these items will be presented to clients and what message they will send. Here are three tips to developing your branding/business package:

1) Start by thinking about which materials are important for your business. Whether you utilize business cards, letterhead and envelopes, flyers, postcards, or posters, you want to plan ahead about your marketing needs to make sure that you have everything to best visually represent your brand identity.

2) Once you know what brand promotional items you need, it is time to work with your vendor to select the right materials. Promotional materials speak for your business in your absence, so it is important to find the right balance between price and quality.

3) When it comes to your brand package, consistency is key. Once you know what materials you need and what they will be printed on, it is time to consider how your designs, specifically your logo, will be presented. You will want to create a cohesive package that can be easily maintained and will keep your branding consistent.

One of the best ways to do this is to create layouts that are multi-functional. For example, if you are printing different sizes of envelopes, consider having your logo in the same place on all three items.

Another great way to keep things cohesive is to limit your design to one or two fonts that can be used for all branding/business package materials. This will make your items easy to identify, particularly for your current clients. It will also let your prospective clients in the Chicago area get a feel for your brand.

Colors are also important – you should always stick with colors that are within your branding guidelines or are complimentary.

The Chicagoland area is home to many businesses and you want to make sure your brand stands out from the rest!

Rob Halverson is the owner of Alphagraphics Chicago North, a printing powerhouse on Chicago’s North Side, that provides high-quality printing, marketing services, and effective materials that communicate a client’s brand to increase their reach to a targeted audience.

Elliot Richardson Interview on WGN about SBAC State Agenda

Sunday morning, SBAC Founder & President, Elliot Richardson, appeared on The Sunday Spin with Rick Pearson to discuss the state of play in Springfield and our legislative agenda.

The interview covered the Governor’s recent budget proposal, the importance of a functional state government to an entrepreneur, redistricting, term limits for leaders in the General Assembly and signs of momentum on our common-sense initiative regarding local control over licensing issues.

You can hear the full interview here or you can learn more about the SBAC’s legislative agenda by clicking here.



Mr. Tolley Goes to Springfield

SBAC Advocacy Director, Ryan Tolley, went to Springfield for the opening days of the 2018 session and the Governor’s State of the State address.

Our legislative team has completed the drafting of legislation for our 2018 agenda, and all  seven bills proposals will be introduced ahead of the February 16th deadline. While in Springfield, Ryan met with the representatives from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission and Lt. Governor’s Office, as well as with Rep. Martwick, Rep. Mah, Rep. Evans, Sen. Morrison and Sen. Castro, in order to work with and educate them on these SBAC priorities and begin building a robust and bipartisan list of cosponsors. You can see our full 2018 State Agenda, with summaries, by clicking here.

The SBAC is committed to advancing common-sense initiatives that empower the small business community. This requires building strong relationships with legislators, as well as continuing to grow the organization to build up critical mass.

Please be sure to hold April 17th on your calendar for the SBAC Lobby Day, where SBAC leadership, members and staff will go to Springfield to advocate for our legislative priorities. Click here to register now to hold your spot!

Illinois 25th House District Candidate Forum

The SBAC is proud to team up with the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce to host a forum featuring all of the candidates for the 25th House District. The communities of Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore, Kenwood  and South Chicago and have been represented by Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie for almost 40 years. She is retiring at the end of this year, creating a competitive election to succeed her.

For more information about the upcoming forum, check out the announcement in the Hyde Park Herald.