Category Archives: SBAC News

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).

Please Join us 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

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

Premier Advocate Spotlight: Brian Kastle


Brian Kastle

SBAC Premier Advocate since 2016

SBAC is pleased to introduce Brian Kastle, Vice President of Business Banking Relationships for Fifth Third Bank, as this month’s PA spotlight.

Brian graduated with a BS in Finance from Western Illinois University, and later earned his MBA from DePaul University. Upon graduating, Brian joined MB Financial’s Leadership Development Program where he was able to rotate through several different departments within the bank to understand how the bank functions, thus developing a holistic understanding of the bank. Brian quickly found his home to be within Business Banking, as his passion and commitment lies with working with small businesses to help them grow and succeed. “Ultimately, I went on to pioneer the Business Banking Leadership Development Program role as its first designated hire, where I primarily worked as a credit analyst and assisted loan officers with the maintenance and development of client relationships,” Brian proudly reflects.

Brian wanted a career with a business that had strong ties to the Chicagoland community, as he is a proud Chicago native. He states, “One of my favorite parts of my position as a Business Banker for Fifth Third is visiting my clients at their location to learn their story and how their business operates behind the scene, which helps to better understand my client’s financing and banking needs.”

Brian is a proud Premier Advocate, as well as SBAC’s banker! When asked about his relationship with the SBAC, Brian says, “What I like most about the organization is its mission of political advocacy by working directly with our elected officials to help pass legislation that makes the playing field more friendly for small businesses in the State of Illinois. I also enjoy the networking opportunities and how the organization promotes business for its members by hosting Premier Advocate events on site of members locations, giving member business owners the chance to talk about their business while bringing more light to the way Premier Advocates can support them.”

Find out more about Firth Third Business Banking at www.53.com or contact Brian at Brian.Kastle@53.com for any of your business banking needs.

 

 

SBAC ACTION CALL: Reduce Student Debt and support the Small Business Community


SBAC Action Call:  Reduce Student Debt and support the Small Business Community

 

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 ActThis bipartisan legislation 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 program 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 struggling with student debt.

 

There are presently 42 bipartisan cosponsors of this important legislation.  We are actively working to bring Senators Durbin and Duckworth on to cosponsor and champion this bill.  Please click here (https://oneclickpolitics.global.ssl.fastly.net/messages/edit?promo_id=6848) and take a few moments to contact our Senators and urge them to cosponsor this legislation.  Feel free to modify the message but if you do, please do so in a productive manner.

 

The hyper-partisan nature of Washington makes it difficult to move important legislation.  The only way to counter that is through strong grassroots advocacy.  Once again, you can click here (https://oneclickpolitics.global.ssl.fastly.net/messages/edit?promo_id=6848) to contact Senators Durbin and Duckworth and ask them to cosponsor this important legislation.

Premier Advocate Spotlight: Drake Smith


Drake Smith

SBAC Premier Advocate since 2018

Meet Drake Smith: a young professional who enjoys the everyday challenge of business banking. Drake joined the SBAC in 2018 as credit analyst for Signature Bank. Soon after, in 2019 Signature Bank became a proud sponsor of the SBAC. When discussing the SBAC, Drakes states, “The SBAC is a phenomenal organization with hard working individuals and inspiring leadership. We look forward to expanding our partnership in the future.” Drake’s admiration for the SBAC runs in the family, as his father Kevin Smith is the Co-Chair for the Northern Suburb Chapter.

Drake graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in finance and initiated his career with Signature Bank through their Management Associate Commercial Banking Development Program, a yearlong training program that allows trainees to rotate through various departments of the bank—Retail, Loan Operations, Treasury Management, Marketing, etc. When discussing his career goals, Drake says, “ Signature Bank appealed to me because they support the local, privately held business in Chicago and Illinois. Lending decisions that are critical to your business are made by real people who know you and your business strategy and are not just plugged into an algorithm. I was immediately drawn to Signature Bank’s sense of family and integration into the Chicago community. I have always sought a career that involves building relationships and supporting the community.”

As a Credit Analyst for Signature Bank, Drake underwrites commercial loans for locally based businesses. Underwriting loans can be challenging because every business tells a different story. Analyzing credit and financial reports to determine risk is not one size fits all. Drake mentions that he loves this part of his position with Signature Bank, learning about each business personally, understanding their needs and what will help them succeed is his goal.

Find out more about Signature Bank at www.signaturebank.bank or contact Drake at dsmith@signaturebank.bank for any of your banking needs.