All posts by Steve Banke

SBAC Virtual Town Hall: Access to Capital, Property and Retraining For The New Economy

By: 1243

As small business advocates, the SBAC understands the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the small business community.  We understand how critical access to capital is for small businesses trying to pay employees and stay in business.  We understand the difficulties being faced by both commercial property owners and their small business tenants.  We understand that this pandemic will displace workers and job retraining will be crucial during our recovery.

The SBAC will be hosting a Town Hall with Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Senator Villivalam and Commissioner Gainer on May 14th, 2020 from 2:00-3:15 to address these issues. 

The Treasurer will discuss The Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program, which has been established to provide lower rate loans to businesses struggling because of the pandemic.

Senator Villivalam will discuss legislation focused on retraining business owners and workers whose jobs will be displaced because of the pandemic. Senator Villivalam will take questions on state issues that relate to small businesses.

Commissioner Gainer will discuss Cook County’s efforts to help the small business community and discuss the County’s loan program. Commissioner Gainer will also provide insight on efforts to address the issues impacting residential and community developers.

You can register for this important Town Hall below.  Please feel free to forward any questions to Jamie in advance at

Please Click Here to Register for the Town Hall.

SBAC Action Alert: Ask Illinois Policymakers To Defer Sales Tax Payments

By: 1243

Illinois Policymakers Should Defer Sales Tax Payments For All Small Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities.  We are thankful to everyone on the front lines who is fighting against this terrible virus.  The coronavirus is also causing tremendous financial stress for the small business community.  Unless immediate action is taken, small businesses may be forced to close their doors and even more jobs will be lost.

Governor Pritzker has issued an executive order permitting certain restaurants and bars to defer their sales tax payments.  Allowing eligible restaurants and bars to delay these payments should greatly help with the cash flow problems they are experiencing. We applaud the Governor for this action. However, all Illinois small businesses need similar relief.

The SBAC is asking that all businesses with annual sales of $3 million or less, and whose revenue has declined by 25% or more since March 1st,  be allowed to defer their sales taxes in a similar manner.  Small businesses are struggling to cover their expenses.  Expanding the sales tax deferral to all small businesses will provide a needed tool to help save our local businesses.  This will help small businesses survive while they take steps to procure additional capital.

Please click on this link to contact Governor Pritzker, Lt Governor Stratton and your state legislators.  Please ask them to defer sales tax payments for all small businesses.

SBAC Access to Capital Virtual Town Hall

By: 1243

The SBAC hosted our first Virtual Town Hall on Access to Capital. Given the continued effects of the COVID-19 virus, and the impact that it is having on the small business community, we feel that this information is critical to any business owners who are trying to figure out what to do.

We had the pleasure to be joined by our panelists:

  • Brad McConnell, CEO of Accion Chicago
    • ​Emergency Capital available now:
      • Federal
      • Accion Loan programs
    • ​Emergency Capital available very soon:
      • ​Federal
      • State
      • City
      • Accion
  • Manny Flores, CEO of SomerCor
    • ​SBA Loan programs with an emphasis on COVID-19 Disaster Loans.
  • Stephen Ball, SVP of Business Banking at Fifth Third Bank / Chicago Market Executive
    • Fifth Third Bank Fast Capital

With over 200 attendees, we are excited to see that the SBAC can provide value to many businesses trying to navigate the seas in the coming days.

A recorded copy of the Virtual Town Hall can be found here.


Changes to Income Tax Filing Laws

By: 1243

On March 17th, the Federal government announced the following:

  1. A 90-day extension for all tax payments due to the IRS for individuals owing $1 million or less and corporations owing $10 million or less.
  2. Interest and penalties will be waived as well.
  3. Taxpayers will be able to request a six-month deferral for payments due. The IRS has not yet issued rules and regulations on who would be eligible and how this would work.

The SBAC is joining the American Institute for CPA’s (AICPA) in urging the following additional changes:

  1. Automatic 90-day filing extension for individuals and businesses. We want to eliminate the need to file an extension request.
  2. Payroll and excise tax relief.
  3. The Illinois Dept of Revenue has not yet announced any changes. We urge Illinois to adopt and follow all the Federal changes and to extend the filing deadline by 90-days.

As of March 20, the Federal Government announced the tax filing deadline will be extended from April 15 to July 15. Although the deadline has been extended. The Treasury Secretary is encouraging taxpayers who may have tax refunds to file so they can get their funds.

Illinois Unemployment Insurance Update

By: 1243

Illinois Unemployment Insurance Update


The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) put into place emergency rules to help workers impacted by the coronavirus shutdowns.  Here are the significant emergency rules that may apply to your employees:


  1. An employee who is temporarily laid off because their place of work closed due to the coronavirus is eligible for benefits as long as he or she is willing and able to return to work as soon as the workplace is reopened. The seven day waiting period and the requirement that the applicant register with the state employment service have been waived.
  2. An employee who quits their job because of concern about the coronavirus or wants to stay home to take care of a child whose school is closed is not eligible for unemployment coverage unless there is another legally valid reason for the departure.
  3. An employee who is confined to their home because the employee or family member has COVID-19 or because of a government required quarantine is eligible for unemployment insurance but must register with the state employment service and actively seek work that could be preformed from the home.


The SBAC is advocating for the following additional emergency changes:


  1. A rule changes that would allow a parent who remains at home with a child whose school has closed because of the coronavirus to qualify for unemployment insurance as long as the parent seeks work that could be preformed from home.
  2. A 90-day grace period for paying unemployment taxes for a business that certifies it impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
  3. No increase in an employer’s contribution rate that is attributed to coronavirus layoffs.

COVID-19 Announcement

By: 1243

Dear SBAC Members and Supporters,

Over the past week, SBAC leadership has been meeting to discuss the Coronavirus (COVOID-19) and how our organization can help the small business community and society during this uncertain time.  The situation is evolving quickly.  Health and safety must come before anything else.  We also know that COVOID-19 will have a dramatic impact on the small business community.  Please know that we at the SBAC are working hard to adapt to the evolving set of facts and circumstances associated with COVID-19.

The SBAC has already mobilized a team to review what can be done to provide relief to small businesses.  We are also analyzing legislation and policy proposals that can help small businesses make it through this difficult time.  We will continue to keep you informed of SBAC initiatives and resources so please be on the lookout for additional electronic communications.  Please contact us in the event you would like to assist our team with researching and analyzing different policies and initiatives that can help the small business community at this time.

With respect to SBAC events, we will be canceling all official SBAC events until March 27, 2020.  We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates about events scheduled after that date.

Finally, there is a great deal of educational materials regarding COVID-19 circulating at the moment.  Please let us know whether you are looking for this information and we can direct you accordingly.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has substantial information on COVID-19, including information specifically directed at businesses.

Please reach out to me at in the event you would like to assist with our advocacy efforts at this time.

Thank you,


New and Improved: SBAC’s UPS Program

By: 1243

Do you have shipping costs that you’d like to see reduced? The SBAC and longtime supporter UPS have completely reinvented our affinity program to offer even steeper discounts to members who ship. Check out the new rates and contact for more information about getting enrolled today!