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Press Release: Illinois Legislative Leaders Support a Small Business Agenda

JANUARY 18, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Patti Zikmund // 773-459-3301 // patti@sbacil.org

The Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC), and a coalition of 50 state-wide business organizations, is working with Illinois political leadership on multiple pieces of legislation supporting small business for the upcoming General Assembly. The legislation will foster the recovery of small businesses, support local communities, and enhance the workforce. The legislation includes proposals to:

  • Support small businesses that retrain and hire workers who have lost their jobs or businesses because of pandemic
  • Reform occupational licensing
  • Support small businesses that train and hire previously incarcerated individuals
  • Help working families with childcare so they can rejoin the workforce
  • Provide relief to local chambers of commerce who have struggled during the pandemic
  • Support small commercial property owners
  • Prompt local investments in local communities

The SBAC is also working with Illinois political leaders to seek additional funding for the Back to Business grant program so that eligible businesses can receive critical support as they fight to recover from the pandemic.

Senate Leader Bill Cunningham states, “Far too often, when government provides incentives or relief to the business community, the benefits are mostly directed toward large corporations,” Cunningham said. “It’s time we focus on the small businesses in our communities — the shops, restaurants, and neighborhood entrepreneurs that were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The SBAC initiatives do just that.”

Chairwomen Ammons explains, “As the new Small Business, Tech Innovation, and Entrepreneurship committee Chairwoman, I am committed to bringing forward legislation that will promote greater inclusivity, greater investment, and expanded access in the small business industry. We must eliminate the unnecessary barriers that constantly exclude emerging small business owners, minority entrepreneurs, and people with prior felony convictions into the small business space. I am looking forward to expanding opportunities for small business owners across Illinois by working in lockstep with SBAC to expand our workforce and ensure fair and equitable practices. I also support additional funding for the Back to Business grant program to help struggling small businesses which have not already received assistance through the program. “

Elliot Richardson, President of the Small Business Advocacy Council, states, “Many small businesses lost significant revenue during the pandemic. They are now struggling to hire employees and procure the supplies necessary to operate their businesses. This is an important time for policymakers to support small businesses fighting to recover from the pandemic so they can keep their doors open and thrive in a post-pandemic economy. This is a crucial time for legislators to allocate additional funds for the Back to Business Grant Program and ensure these funds get quickly into the hands of eligible small businesses. We thank Illinois’ legislative leaders for standing with the small business community and supporting a small business agenda.

 

Please contact Patti Zikmund at 312-548-8608 with questions or for more information about our efforts.

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