Category Archives: Media Coverage

September 17th Orland Park Town Hall proved successful

On September 17th, The SBAC held its first in a series of town halls on the proposed graduated income tax. Hosted with the Orland Park Chamber of Commerce, members of the SBAC, and the Chamber, had the opportunity to engage with elected officials and directors about how the graduated income tax would affect their lives, communities, and businesses.

President of the SBAC, Elliot Richardson, moderated the panel of participants include Illinois Department of Revenue Director, David Harris, Senator Bill Cunningham (S-18th), Representative Justin Slaughter (H-27th), and President of the Village of Orland Park, Keith Pekau.

The discussion included several topics including how the graduated income tax would address deficit issues in Illinois, if the new proposal would provide relief property taxes, and how local governments would benefit from the initiative’s revenues. For more details about the event, check out this article in the Chicago Tribune.

Our next town hall will be held on October 3rd at the Skokie Public Library, with the Skokie Chamber of commerce. Our panelists include Senator Ram Villivalam (S-8th), Senator Laura Fine (S-9th), and Representative Mark Kalish (H-16th).

Click here for more details about our upcoming town hall.


SBAC Featured in Crain’s Chicago on the Lightfoot Administration

Crain’s Chicago Business is doing a feature series on the first 100 days of the Lightfoot Administration. The coverage includes a variety of topics and advocacy priorities for organizations across the city. SBAC President and Co-Founder, Elliot Richardson, submitted a piece for the series that focuses on cutting red tape by amending the code as it relates to signs.

There is no logical reason public way use permits for signs must be approved by the City Council. This process should be eliminated so that businesses can obtain permits more quickly and seamlessly. Aldermen should focus on the big issues impacting Chicago and not on approving individual sign permits. Eliminating City Council approval for public way use sign permits will also curtail the risk that permits will be withheld for political reasons…

There are many more ways to eliminate the unnecessary red tape that often makes it difficult to own and operate a small business in Chicago.  Mayor Lightfoot has already shown she is willing to challenge the status quo. This time of change in Chicago provides the perfect opportunity to make reforms that will empower the small business community.

To read Elliot’s full article in Crain’s business, click here.

SBAC on Hand for Signing of Lightfoot Executive Order to end Aldermanic Prerogative

SBAC President and Co-Founder, Elliot Richardson, was on hand for the signing of newly sworn-in Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s first executive order. The goal of Executive Order 2019-2, is not to remove aldermanic input, but an alderman’s ability to unilaterally approve, affirm, block, or veto a departmental decision on administrative items.

As soon as is feasible, all City departments shall stop deferring to aldermanic prerogative in their decision-making process, unless expressly required by the Municipal Code of Chicago. Over the next 60 days, each department shall update procedures, practices, and materials to reflect this change.

This is an important first step in making it easier to own and operate a small business in Chicago.

You can view a copy of the full Executive Order here. The official press release from the Mayor’s Office can be found here.

Additional Media Coverage:
WGN: Lightfoot limits aldermanic prerogative in 1st executive order as mayor
Chicago Tribune: In her first official act as Chicago mayor, Lori Lightfoot signs order aimed at limiting aldermen’s powers

SBAC President Interviewed on Mighty House Radio 1590AM WCGO

Over the weekend, SBAC President and Co-Founder, Elliot Richardson, was on the Mighty House Radio Show on 1590AM WCGO. The program is hosted by longtime SBAC Member, Ron Cowgilll with D/R Services Unlimited, Inc.

In addition to a review of the 2019 policy agenda and an update on the SBAC’s engagement with the new Chicago Mayor, the discussion focused on the SBAC Advocacy Alert to pass SB1756, the Sunrise Review Act, as an important first step to reforming the state occupational and professional licensing process.

While this bill passed the Senate without opposition, it has not moved in the House. It is difficult to understand why the bill seems stalled. One thing is certain:  we need your help to move this bill past the finish line. Contact your legislator today and ask them to support the Sunrise Review Act, SB1756.

You can listen to the full interview below:

DHBL Op-Ed: The small business community can create a new narrative for Illinois

After a successful joint economic forum with the Daily Herald Business Ledger, SBAC President and Co-Founder, Elliot Richardson, expands in this piece about how the small business community can create a new POSITIVE narrative for Illinois.

It is no secret that Illinois faces economic challenges. The dysfunction of our state’s government in recent years has been highlighted by politicians and the media as well. However, pushing only a negative outlook does nothing to change the situation. The Illinois small business community can counter this unhelpful narrative by focusing on how collectively we can facilitate economic growth, create more revenue, and improve the fiscal condition of our state…

Illinois is our home and where many of us have planted roots. There is understandable frustration with the fiscal condition of our state and the way politicians have handled the situation. However, we must come together, earn a seat at the table through engagement and move legislation that will empower entrepreneurs. The time has come to change the narrative for our state. Illinois’ small business community is ready to grow and improve the economy.

You can read the full article here.

Photo Credit: Joe Lewnard (Daily Herald Business Ledger)

WBEZ Story on SBAC’s Role in Lightfoot Transition Committee

As you may have seen, SBAC President, Elliot Richardson, was appointed to Mayor-Elect Lightfoot’s Good Governance Transition Committee.

Elliot is actively participating on that Committee and we recently submitted a memo to the transition team. This memo advocates for eliminating the requirement that public way use permits for simple signs be approved by the Chicago City Council (less than 12 inches/non-electronic signs).  There is no logical reason a public way use permit for a simple sigh must be approved by the City Council.  Our memo also argues these public way use permits should be automatically renewed every five years for signs that are not changed.

In a broader sense, we are arguing there is no reason for City Council to spend time dealing with administrative functions. Moreover, we are advocating that politics be removed from such things as approving public way use permits for simple signs.  To read the full proposal, please click here.

WBEZ highlighted some of the initiatives submitted to the Lightfoot transition team, including our proposal about public way use permits! Click here to get to the WBEZ story and the PLAY button at the top. Elliot’s interview is the first featured!

WGN Radio Interview with SBAC President

Following the SBAC Springfield Lobby Day, SBAC President and Co-Founder, Elliot Richardson, was featured on WGN Radio’s Sunday Spin with Rick Pearson. The interview provided a great overview on the status of the SBAC’s advocacy agenda, as well as items on the horizon. The final month of session in Springfield promises to be hectic and jam-packed with items like the proposed graduated income tax. In addition, Lori Lightfoot is set to be sworn in as Mayor of Chicago on May 20th. The SBAC is proud to have been selected to serve on both Governor Priztker and Lightfoot’s transition teams to represent the voice of small business.

Click here to hear the full interview!

Daily Herald Business Ledger: Business experts tout collaboration at economic forum

SBAC President and Co-Founder, Elliot Richardson, was proud to provide a legislative update and moderate an engaging panel discussion at the Daily Herald’s Small Business Economic Forum. Other participants were Mark Peterson (CEO, Intersect Illinois), Mick O’Rourke (Signature Bank), Matt Frank (Director of Economic Development for Schaumburg) and Mark Koplin (Director of Economic Development for Hoffman Estates).

Richard Klicki with the Daily Herald Business Ledger summarized the event theme — “despite perceived negativity, the suburbs and Illinois have a strong foundation for business and leaders need to band together to spread that message to attract new business to the area.”

You can read full coverage of the event here.

Photo Credit: Joe Lewnard, DHBL Staff Photographer

ICYMI: SBAC Founder Interview on WVON about 2019 Advocacy Agenda

Last week, SBAC Founder & President, Elliot Richardson, was interviewed for the Perri Small show on WVON. He provided a comprehensive update on our Chicago advocacy agenda and our goals for working with the Pritzker Administration. You can hear the full interview here.