Category Archives: Press Release

Governor Rauner Signs SBAC Sponsored Bill for Smarter Small Business Regulations

The Small Business Advocacy Council is proud to announce Governor Rauner signed HB5253, a bill requiring state agencies to conduct further analysis on the impact new rules have on small businesses prior to them going into effect.

The SBAC worked closely with lead sponsors State Representative Carol Sente (D-59) and Senator Pamela Althoff (R-32) in drafting the language and in building support from outside groups, including the National Federation of Small Businesses and Illinois Manufacturers Association, for this bipartisan legislation.

This is the second bill on the SBAC Advocacy Agenda signed into law by Governor Rauner this month. See the full SBAC press release below for additional information.


Illinois Voters Should Choose Who Represents Them, Not The Other Way Around

The SBAC is a proud member of the Illinois Redistricting Collaborative, a non-partisan coalition committed to ending gerrymandering in Illinois. To learn more about our efforts, register today to attend a breakfast panel discussion with redistricting experts on March 22nd at Max & Benny’s in Northbrook.

Recently, our coalition cheered a major milestone in our campaign — we now have identical measures in both the House and Senate with bipartisan support! Read more in the press release below.


Small Business Takes a Stand Against Gerrymandering

The SBAC is proud to join forces with Change Illinois and the rest of the Illinois Redistricting Collaborative to advocate for fair maps in Illinois. The Collaborative is a non-partisan coalition of groups across the state that support the creation of an independent commission to draw representative boundaries and end the practice of gerrymandering. To learn more about the efforts of the Collaborative, click here.

SBAC Founder & President, Elliot Richardson, published an op-ed posted in the Daily Herald and Daily Herald Business Ledger, focused on why this issue impacts the small business community. Click here to read the full article.

SBAC Kicks Off Redistricting Reform Effort in 2018

The SBAC joined with Change Illinois and nine other organizations to form the Illinois Redistricting Collaborative – a coalition committed to raising the profile of the redistricting issue in 2018. On January 9th, the Collaborative sent an 18-question gerrymandering survey to all the candidates running to be governor of Illinois. 

The survey asks candidates whether they support ending the practice of gerrymandering, an established political practice in Illinois designed to protect incumbents from competitive elections. Each gubernatorial candidate’s response to the survey will be shared with the press and the public and posted online here. To learn more about the SBAC’s efforts on redistricting reform, please see a copy of the press release below.


2018_Change Redistricting Press Release

Small Business Backed Ordinance Introduced to Simplify Chicago Sign Code

Today, Alderman Joe Moreno introduced an ordinance that would allow business owners to place non-structural signs and certain stickers on their windows for more than sixty-days without paying for a permit.  It would clarify current sign permit requirements and provide the opportunity for small businesses to address violations prior to being fined.

This marked a great step forward in the SBAC-lead advocacy effort to simplifying the sign code in Chicago and bring much-needed relief to entrepreneurs. Small business owners in Chicago want to comply with the law, but navigating the rules requires valuable time and resources that should be spent on serving customers and growing their businesses.


SBAC Joins Coalition of Small Businesses in Open Letter to FCC – Urging Them to Preserve Net Neutrality

“The SBAC is committed to preserving equal access to the internet for both consumers and small businesses,” said SBAC CEO Elliot Richardson. “The internet is a vital tool for businesses to reach customers, and without the current net neutrality rules in place, ISP’s could have the autonomy to choose which websites and companies have access to adequate internet speeds and search result placement.”

Small and medium sized businesses are still encouraged to sign on, as names are being added on rolling basis.

Net neutrality press release

Business Organizations Call for an End to Illinois Budget Impasse


CHICAGO, ILFebruary 2, 2017 – A robust group of business organizations from across the Chicagoland area have banded together to call on the Governor and Illinois legislative leaders to end their unprecedented, destructive political standoff.  These organizations have sent the state’s political leaders a letter imploring them to end Illinois’ budget impasse now.  The letter is attached and can be found here.

Small businesses, non-profits and local communities are needlessly being hurt by the budget impasse.  College students, at-risk individuals and countless others are being caught in its cross-hairs.  The budget impasse continues to damage the state’s economy and undermine the confidence of the small business community.

Through their letter, the following organizations are calling on the Governor and leadership in the Senate and House to end the Illinois budget impasse now.  These leaders should then turn their attention to improving the Illinois economy.

Below is the group of businesses that have signed the letter:

  • Small Business Advocacy Council
  • Highland Park Chamber of Commerce
  • Glenview Chamber of Commerce
  • GOA Regional Business Association
  • Schaumburg Business Association
  • Bolingbrook Chamber
  • Homer Township Chamber
  • Lemont Chamber
  • Mom+Baby
  • Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce
  • Jewish B2B
  • Belmont-Central Chamber of Commerce
  • Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • Edgewater Chamber of Commerce
  • Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce
  • Northbrook Chamber of Commerce
  • Barrington Chamber of Commerce
  • Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce
  • Niles Chamber of Commerce
  • Skokie Chamber of Commerce
  • Lake View East Chamber of Commerce
  • Logan Square Chamber of Commerce
  • Chicago Leadership Alliance
  • Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce

Ryan Tolley
20 S Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 548-8608


Crowdfunding for Illinois Businesses Now Up and Running

Innovative program helps entrepreneurs, local communities

CHICAGO – January 17, 2017 – Three Chicago-area business owners were profiled today as the
first entrepreneurs to be raising money under the new Illinois intrastate equity crowdfunding law.
The businesses are using this capital to create jobs, re-invest in the local community and generate
potential revenue for investors. Three businesses: Native Sons of Chicago ( CrossTown Fitness ( ) and CardFrenzy ( are raising capital through the new crowdfunding portal These entrepreneurs, along with the Small Business Advocacy Council, 1871, a state representative who supported the bill and the Chicago attorney from Freeborn & Peters LLP who authored it, gathered at the 1871 offices at The Merchandise Mart to spotlight innovation in Illinois.

“The team at VestLo couldn’t be more excited to have first mover advantage leveraging the Illinois
Investment crowdfunding law,” said Howard Orloff, co-founder of VestLo. “We aim to enable businesses, people and communities who have historically been under-served by traditional financing to raise the capital they need to continue to grow and hire in Illinois.”

The new Illinois intrastate crowdfunding law (HB3429) allows Illinois businesses to raise up to $4 million in capital from Illinois investors, one of the highest intrastate crowdfunding allowances in the country and higher than the federal cap of $1 million. This new way of accessing capital is having a positive impact on the economy and local communities. In addition, Illinois residents now have the ability to diversify their investment portfolios in local trust. These small business investments have exponential power to drive our local economy, while generating potential investment returns for investors.

“Intrastate equity crowdfunding provides small business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to raise money through a large number of people in their communities,” said Elliot Richardson, founder and CEO of the Small Business Advocacy Council. “Intrastate crowdfunding will help spark the Illinois economy and create jobs throughout the state.”

Also speaking at the event were Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871, and Rep. Carol Sente (D-59th) who sponsored the legislation.

“As the author of the Illinois intrastate crowdfunding law I cannot express how thrilled I am to see it finally being used. It took longer than expected to get here, but Illinois intrastate crowdfunding is already looking like it will be a game changer for Illinois companies like NativeSons, CrossTown Fitness and CardFrenzy, who are looking to find the funding necessary to grow and get to that next level,” said Anthony J. Zeoli, a partner in the Corporate Practice Group at Freeborn & Peters LLP. “While this is truly a monumental step, this is only the first offering and there are several others expected to be released in 2017.” Mr. Zeoli is also the author of the Crowdfunding Legal Hub Blog.

For more information on the Corporate Practice Group at Freeborn & Peters LLP, visit

For more information on Illinois intrastate crowdfunding, visit and

Work: 312.548.8608 ext. 701 or cell: 336-503-2301

Jennifer McGuffin, Culloton Strategies
Cell: 630-842-8143

The Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC) is a non-partisan, member driven organization that promotes the success of small business through political advocacy, support services and educational programs. The SBAC was established in 2010 and represents nearly 1,000 businesses in the Chicagoland area.

VestLo is a FinTech company based in Chicago that is committed to the concept of investing locally. We believe individual customers, neighbors and communities can come together to support local businesses through crowdfunding the investment needed to operate or expand their business. Investing locally will benefit local communities and boost our local economy. Investors see the return on their investment through improvements in their community and potential investment gains. VestLo has two offices in Chicago including a satellite office in 1871, the startup hub of the Midwest.

Freeborn & Peters LLP is a full-service law firm, headquartered in Chicago, with international capabilities. Freeborn is always looking ahead and seeking to find better ways to serve its clients. It takes a proactive approach to ensure its clients are more informed, prepared and able to achieve greater success – not just now, but also in the future. While the firm serves clients across a very broad range of sectors, it has also pioneered an interdisciplinary approach that serves the specific needs of targeted industries, including credit unions, food, healthcare, transportation, private equity and venture capital, and insurance and reinsurance.

Freeborn is a firm that genuinely lives up to its core values of integrity, caring, effectiveness, teamwork and commitment, and embodies them through high standards of client service and responsive action. Its lawyers build close and lasting relationships with clients and are driven to help them achieve their legal and business objectives. For more information, please visit

ABOUT 1871
1871 is the home of almost 500 early-stage, high-growth digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, this 130,000 square foot facility is also the headquarters of nationally recognized accelerators Techstars Chicago and the Good Food Business Accelerator; impact investing fund Impact Engine; half a dozen industry-specific incubators in key areas such as real estate, education technology, food and financial technology; several emerging tech talent schools (Fullstack Academy, Actualize, Future Founders, Designation and Evolve Security Academy), and the state’s leading technology advocate, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. It is the second home to Chicago-based VCs, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, MATH Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels, OCA Ventures, OurCrowd and Chicago Ventures, as well as satellite offices for DePaul University, Northwestern University, University of Illinois, University of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology and DeVry. 1871 has fast become recognized as the hub for the city’s entrepreneurial/technology ecosystem and has been featured in Inc. Magazine, TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business among other top media. 1871 is the flagship project of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.


The Small Business Advocacy Council Announces The 5th Annual Healthcare Summit & The Business Event

CHICAGO, Sept. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The Small Business Advocacy Council, Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council and Jewish B2B Networking will be co-hosting the 5th Annual Healthcare Summit & The Business Event. The annual event will be held on November 10th at the Drury Lane Theater and Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace, IL. This year’s event will feature keynote speaker, David DiLoreto, M.D., CEO of Presence Health Partners. Dr. DiLoreto will discuss developments in providing healthcare services that are important to businesses. Admission is free for the public and information on how to register for this event is available at

“Over the past several years, there have been major changes in the healthcare industry and how it affects small business. This event allows the healthcare providers and payers to connect with the small business community and share with them success stories and educate them on what is working,” said Michael Cavanaugh, Co-CEO of the SBAC.

This year’s event will host The Business Event Educational Forum presented by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, in addition to other forums such as the Access to Capital by the City of Chicago Mayor Panel. The event will conclude with the SBACNOW Pitch Session, which will feature, Jason Montrie, President of Land of Lincoln Health, during which aspiring entrepreneurs and mid-sized businesses in growth mode will showcase their businesses.

“On behalf of the region’s hospitals and healthcare organizations, I’m delighted to participate in this groundbreaking inaugural event,” said Dan Yunker, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council. “By leveraging collaboration with our small business stakeholders at events like this and throughout the year, the healthcare industry has a real opportunity to effectively advance value-driven, coordinated care delivery and positively impact our rapidly changing industry.”

The Small Business Advocacy Council is a non-partisan, member driven organization. The SBAC promotes the success of small business through political advocacy, support services and educational programs. SBAC was established in 2010 and represents over 1,200 businesses in Illinois. For more information, please visit

Herrison Chun