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Crucial Legislation Filed to Get People Back to Work

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES, February 22, 2021 / --

Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz has filed the RISE Act in the General Assembly.  The Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC) urges legislators to pass the RISE Act (Recovery Initiative to Support Employment) to get people back to work and support small businesses.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the small business community.  Many small businesses have closed their doors and others have had no choice but to lay off valued employees. Independent contractors are struggling.

The SBAC has worked alongside State Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz and Senator Ram Villivalam on legislation that will provide resources for small businesses to retrain and hire individuals who are unemployed because of the pandemic. The incentives will only be available for new hires and benefit Illinois’ economy in the long run by replacing unemployment payments with tax revenue.

"Small businesses drive our economy and have been hit so hard by this pandemic," said Gong-Gershowitz. "I'm proud to partner with the Small Business Advocacy Council to support the RISE Act, which provides tax incentives to help small businesses retrain and hire new employees.  As we reopen and jumpstart our economy, small business will play a crucial role.  This legislation promotes greater equity in Illinois by providing additional incentives to businesses and prospective employees located in disproportionately impacted areas.”

"As we work toward an equitable recovery, the RISE Act will help the smaller businesses that make our community unique," Villivalam said. "Expanding tax credit for locally-owned businesses will ensure that they have the resources needed to keep working people on the job."

“Illinois policymakers must get serious about reducing unemployment and supporting small businesses,” said SBAC President Elliot Richardson.  “We have been pushing Illinois politicians to pass legislation to stimulate our state’s economy and get people back to work since last Spring.  They must move with urgency to curb unemployment in Illinois.  We are thankful Senator Villivalam and Representative Gong-Gershowitz have championed these efforts,” Richardson added.

 This proposed legislation will provide:

  • Businesses with under 100 employees, a $5,000.00 tax credit for each net new employee it retrains and hires
  • Businesses with under 500 employees, a $2,500.00 tax credit for each net new employee it retrains and hires
  • An additional tax incentive of $500.00 if the business is located in a disproportionately impacted area (DIA,) or if the person being hired resides in a DIA.

 The SBAC is a nonpartisan, member-driven organization that advocates for the small business community providing networking opportunities and benefits for small and local businesses. To learn more about our mission, please visit


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