Category Archives: Media Coverage

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:

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

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.

Mayoral Candidates Respond on Top Small Business Issue

The Small Business Advocacy Council and our coalition partners are dedicated to making Chicago a better place to own and operate a small business. As Election Day fast approaches, our members are engaged and motivated to elect a candidate that values the small business community. One of the top issues for small businesses and entrepreneurs are the challenges in the public way use permit process, especially those related to signs.

The SBAC sent out a survey to all the Mayoral candidates. We only asked one question – will you introduce and support an ordinance that eliminates the requirement that public way use permits be submitted to and approved by the full City Council? The candidate statements in full can be viewed below. Thank you to those candidates that considered this important issue.

“There’s no legitimate reason business owners should have to have their public way use permits approved by the Chicago City Council,” said Elliot Richardson, Founder and President of the SBAC. “By making the process of obtaining a permit less burdensome and processing permits more quickly, the city can ensure Chicago businesses have every opportunity to grow and create jobs.”


SBAC Hosts Chciago Mayoral Candidate Forum

The SBAC, along with a robust coalition of Chambers of Commerce and business associations, were proud to host the Chicago Small Business Mayoral Candidate Forum today. With more than 200 attendees on hand, it was the only opportunity to hear the candidates respond directly to questions about the issues impacting the small business community.

“The Mayoral candidates have participated in many events across the city, but this was a unique forum where they were asked specific questions about their plans to support small and local businesses throughout Chicago.” said Elliot Richardson, Founder and President of the SBAC. “The packed house and high energy in the room is a testament how the small business community has the ability to create critical mass and advocate with a strong voice.”

While all candidates on the ballot were invited, in attendance were Amara Enyia, Bob Fioretti, John Kozlar, Lori Lightfoot, Paul Vallas and Willie Wilson.  A full video of the discussion can be viewed below.


Albany Park Chamber of Commerce, Anderson Chamber of Commerce, Edgebrook Sauganash Chamber of Commerce, Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, Garfield Park Chamber of Commerce, Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship, Illinois Sign Association, International Sign Association, Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Square-Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce, Little Village Chamber of Commerce, Logan Square Chamber of Commerce, Northcenter Chamber of Commerce, Old Town Merchants & Residents Association, Rogers Park Business Alliance, Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Advocacy Council, South East Chicago Commission, South Shore Chamber of Commerce, Uptown United/Uptown Business Partners and West Ridge Chamber of Commerce.