Taxes and Unemployment Identified as Important Issues for Small Business at SBAC Policy Conference


Nearly every business owner and professional that participated in the SBAC’s policy conference was concerned with the way small and mid-market businesses are impacted by taxes. Specifically, it was very important to those in attendance that small business owners were taxed fairly and permitted to operate their businesses on a level playing field. The group had a lively discussion about the Illinois tax code and discussed a number of ideas about how to imporve the ecnomic environment for small business, without further straining the state’s budget.

The group began by addressing the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credits, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Affairs. The tax credits are designed to encourage companies to locate or expand operations in Illinois when there is active consideration of a competing location in another State. Many small business owners are disturbed that large corporations are able to individually negotiate for these large tax breaks without ensuring this is done in a transparent manner. The SBAC will be looking to draft legislation that provides additional transparency to the process and ensures that corporations that receive EDGE credits put the promised resources back into the Illinois economy.

Another issue discussed was the unemployment tax, and the disproportionate share paid by small business. The SBAC will be looking to address this issue. The aales tax was also a hot topic. Many voiced concerns about competing with out of state internet companies that are not subject to state sales tax. The group talked about creating a campaign to incentivize customers to buy goods and services from Illinois-based companies. This could be a real game-changer for many Illinois businesses.

To address the numerous tax issues discussed and provide further guidance, a new committee was formed to guide the SBAC’s tax policy. Anyone interested in joining this committee should contact Elliot Richardson at elliot@sbacil.org.

The difficult economic environment continues to cost hard-working folks their jobs and for many mid-level managers, finding comparable employment is nearly impossible. As a result, many individuals are starting their own businesses. At our policy conference, the group decided to re-double our efforts to allow qualified individuals receiving unemployment benefits to start their own business, thereby stimulating the economy and encouraging entrepreneurship. The SBAC is currently working with the Illinois Department of Employment Security to implement this new program. To join the Unemployment Committee, contact Elliot Richardson at elliot@sbacil.org.

Many other topics were discussed at the conference and additional details will be included in subsequent newsletters. The SBAC sponsors a policy conference annually as a way to identify issues of importance and to promote the success of small business through political advocacy. Issues are also discussed at mini-meetings, happy hours, committee meetings and other SBAC venues, and your participation is encouraged on all levels. If you have an issue that is important to you and your business, feel free to contact Elliot Richardson at elliot@sbacil.org.