Category Archives: SBAC News

Premier Advocate Spotlight: Michael Reddy


Michael Reddy

Welcome our new Premier Advocate!

Michael Reddy serves as president of Digital Authority Partners (DAP), a full-service digital agency that brings next-gen digital transformation solutions to clients.

Prior to his role at DAP, Michael worked with Fortune 100 companies in a variety of leadership positions across product management and website analytics. His expertise spans media mix modeling, statistical modeling, testing & learning, process improvement, loyalty program management, and website analytics.

Michael received his bachelor’s degree in management, marketing, and finance from Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. Outside of the office, he is an avid aviation aficionado and can be found in the air or spending time with his dog, Louie.

To learn more about Digital Authority please contact Michael at  michael.reddy@digitalauthority.me

 

 

ACTION CALL: NAWBO Supports Legislation That Tackles Student Debt Crisis and Empowers Small Businesses


Millions of Americans continue to be saddled with crushing student debt.  Indeed, total student debt now exceeds $1.5 trillion, affecting over 44 million Americans.  Small businesses often have difficulty recruiting and retaining talent in today’s economy.  Providing small business owners with a way to help employees reduce their student debt will allow them to attract talent and make them more competitive.

The SBAC strongly supports S. 460, the Employer Participation in Repayment Act. This legislation can be a game-changer for those drowning in student debt and small businesses.  This bipartisan bill will allow employers to annually repay $5,250 of their employees’ student debt tax free, and this payment is also deductible for the employer.  This benefit is already available to employers presently contributing to their employees’ education. If passed, this legislation will extend this benefit to cover those who have graduated but are confronting debilitating student debt.

We are proud to announce the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has come on in support of this important legislation.  NAWBO represents more than 10 million women business owners in this country.  That is the type of critical mass necessary to move good policy.  Here is NAWBO’s letter in support of S. 460. 

In this age of hyper-partisanship, we are very close to securing a majority of Senate cosponsors on this bill.  Indeed, the legislation presently has 47 cosponsors.  We need Senator Durbin to also cosponsor and champion this bill. 

Let Senator Durbin know how important this is to you, and to the Small Business community at large by signing the Action Call here. 

Premier Advocate Spotlight: Mark Nakayama


Mark Nakayama

Premier Advocate since 2019

Mark Nakayama is Co-founder of 11 Million Acres and has experience developing national and regional strategic partnerships that has led to the acquisition and management of over 10,000 commercial & industrial energy accounts in 20-plus markets. That experience was key to establishing the continuously-growing network of strategic technology and vendor relationships for 11 Million Acres throughout the United States, resulting in higher performing projects.

11 Million Acres works with the nation’s leading energy specialists, cutting edge technologies and innovative investment strategies to deliver the most efficient turnkey customized energy solutions. Together, we marshal our combined 40 years in energy management, procurement, engineering, and capital markets experience to support our clients as they reduce their energy budgets and develop critical paths toward more sustainable futures for their companies.

Find out more about 11 Million Acres at www.11millionacres.com or contact Mark at mnakayama@11millionacres.com

 

Skokie Town Hall Highlights


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).

Premier Advocate Spotlight: Patti Zikmund


Patti Zikmund

Premier Advocate since 2018

Meet Patti Zikmund, Project Consultant for the SBAC’s sister 501(c)(3) organization, SBAC Empower. Working for Empower, Patti wears about as many hats as possible in her quest to ensure Empower’s mission is on target. SBAC Empower was founded to provide resources to aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs in economically challenged neighborhoods across Chicagoland. The foundation of a neighborhood is its small business community: small businesses employ neighborhood residents, provide neighborhood services and are the center of neighborhood activities. Helping businesses start, grow and flourish can be a game changer in a struggling community.

Patti explains, “I love the fast-pace and diversity of start-ups,” when discussing her former position with Netscape. She loves to organize chaos in the growth of new businesses! Patti has a bachelor’s degree in International Business and dabbles in about 8 foreign languages (speaking fluently in 3)! Patti is extremely talented in the world of fitness and has too many credentials to fit in this article!

Some “fun facts” about Patti:

• She grew up predominately overseas
• She loves running
• She is a member of the “circus” for aerial arts
• She was in band, which was featured on German radio and even produced an EP
• She eats A LOT of M&Ms, but only the plain kind

To learn more about Empower or for any fitness needs, please reach out to Patti@sbacempower.org

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.

 

What is SBAC Empower?


If you’ve been with the SBAC for long enough, you’ve likely seen SBAC Empower’s logo or articles in passing. But what is this mysterious SBAC Empower that is so prominent around our pages?

SBAC Empower, our 501(c)(3) sister organization, was founded to provide resources to aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs in economically challenged neighborhoods across Chicagoland. The foundation of a neighborhood is its small business community. Small businesses employ neighborhood residents, provide neighborhood services and are the center of neighborhood activities. Helping businesses start, grow and flourish can be a game changer in a struggling community.

SBAC members know that starting a new business is a challenging and oftentimes lonely pursuit. To assist new entrepreneurs, Empower provides trained mentors to support and guide entrepreneurs through their journey. These mentors are SBAC members who understand the challenges of getting a business up and going because they have seen it first-hand and can offer invaluable advice and support. Having a mentor who is only concerned about your success is an invaluable resource.  Empower recently partnered with the North Lawndale New Covenant Community Development Corporation and is providing mentors to startup businesses and entrepreneurs in North Lawndale. In addition to mentoring, Empower provides speed coaching to business owners and has a portal on it’s website that is a one-stop shop for resources for small business owners. If you need subject matter expertise, are looking for a product or service for your business or need to understand a city or state ordinance or law, check out Empower’s resource portal.

Want to help? Empower is looking for mentors. Contact info@sbacempower.org if you are or know someone who would like to serve as a qualified mentor.

Empower is just getting started and would love to have you on their journey to make Chicago a great place for small businesses in all our neighborhoods.

SBAC Advocacy Update: Graduated Income Tax Town Hall in Skokie


SBAC Advocacy Update: Graduated Income Tax Town Hall to be held in Skokie

The second in a series of Town Halls regarding the proposed graduated income tax will take place Thursday, October 3rd, between 9:00-11:00 A.M, in conjunction with the Skokie Chamber of Commerce. Our members will discuss the proposed amendment with state legislators and officials before this important vote arrives at the ballot.

The town hall will be at the Skokie Public Library – 5215 Oakton St, Skokie, IL 60077. This town hall is free to attend and will be conducted in a nonpartisan manner.

Some of the questions we have heard from our members include:
• How will the revenue associated with the proposed graduated income tax be spent?
• Will there be property tax relief provided in conjunction with a proposed graduated income tax?
• How will the graduated income tax help stabilize Illinois’ economy?

Our panel will include:

  • Director of Revenue David Harris
  • Senator Ram Villivalam
  • Representative Mark Kalish
  • Senator Laura Fine

For more details and registration, please access this link:

https://sbac.z2systems.com/np/clients/sbac/event.jsp?event=45991

Please Join SBAC for the Advocacy Awards Celebration!!


Please join us for the 2019 Advocacy Awards Celebration!

Equal parts passion, creativity, and entrepreneurship, the Advocacy Awards is our esteemed distinction in honoring advocacy and empowering transformation.

Our event will recognize the people and small business that have demonstrated unique vision, innovation, and achievement in support of Illinois’ economy and the Small Business community.

October 17th, 2019, 6-9pm at The Metropolitan Club, Willis Tower, 66th floor

For sponsorship opportunities and to purchase tickets, please visit https://one.bidpal.net/sbacadvocacyawards2019

For sponsorship or event related inquires please contact lisa@sbacil.org