Category Archives: SBAC News

Premier Advocate Spotlight: Rachelle Jervis, MBA


Rachelle Jervis, MBA

Welcome to our newest Premier Advocate! 

Rachelle Jervis is president and CEO of the Executive Service Corps (ESC), a 41-year-old consultancy with a mission to help make nonprofits successful. Before leading the ESC, Rachelle served as regional director, Illinois chapter director, and Chicago area director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  

Rachelle was a founding member of the board of the Chicago Friends School. She has also served on the board of directors of Aspiritech and the Camelot Host Committee (benefiting Cherry Preschool’s Inclusion Program). Rachelle is a frequent speaker on a wide range of topics, including civic engagement, networking, and leadership.

Rachelle earned an MBA from Loyola University Chicago and a certificate in nonprofit leadership from the United Nation’s Mandated University of Peace. She is a member of several professional associations, including Soroptimist International, the Public Relations Society of America, the Society for Human Resource Management, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

She uses her substantial social media following to promote inclusion, mental health awareness, and community engagement. Her proudest accomplishment is helping her late daughter overcome epilepsy and autism in order to learn how to speak. Her blog on the grief surrounding the sudden loss of her daughter, Want My Baby Back, has been read by thousands. 

Rachelle has extensive public speaking experience, including speaking at the dedication in her daughter’s memory at her alma mater, Cherry Preschool. In her free time, Rachelle enjoys reading and traveling.

To get to know more about Rachelle, please visit her at https://www.LinkedIn.com/IN/RachelleJervis

 

ACTION CALL: Senator McConnell & Senator Schumer Sponsor Student Debt-Small Business Bill


The $1.5 trillion student debt crisis continues to crush millions of Americans and stifle our economy.  If you are reading this, you likely know family, friends or colleagues saddled with student debt.

 

Small businesses struggle to hire and retain talented employees.  While larger enterprises may be able to make payments towards their employees’ student debt, small businesses are often unable to provide this employee benefit.

 

The SBAC strongly supports the Employer Participation in Repayment Act!  This legislation will enable small businesses to make an annual tax-free payment up to $5250.00 to reduce an employee’s student debt.  The small business can also deduct these payments.

 

The small business community came together and sent a message to our leaders in Washington about this student reducing, small business empowering legislation!  We asked that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer support this legislation.  We also asked that Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Senator Grassley and Ranking Member, Senator Wyden, call this legislation for a vote in Committee.

 

We are extremely excited to report that after our action call, Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer cosponsored this legislation.  There are now 60 bi-partisan cosponsors on this important, common-sense legislation that is now filibuster proof.  We are building some serious momentum!

 

We have a new action call for Senate leadership.  Please reach out and strongly urge these Senators to call the Employer Participation in Repayment Act for a vote now.  You can reach out here and it will only take a minute. We must demand that Washington politicians take a timeout from their partisan bickering and move this legislation forward.  It will make a real impact on individuals and families across the United States while empowering the small business community at the same time!

 

Click here to take action

11th Annual FORE ADVOCACY Golf Outing- Tickets NOW on SALE!


The Small Business Advocacy Council presents it’s 11th Annual Golf Outing- FORE ADVOCACY!

Early Bird tickets and Sponsorship Opportunities are now available!

June 25, 2020

 

 

Registration starts at 1030AM, Shotgun Start at 12PM

White Deer Run Golf Course

250 W Greggs Pkwy, Vernon Hills, IL

Please contact lisa@sbacil.org for sponsorship opportunities

Register to play at https://one.bidpal.net/sbacforeadvocacy

SBAC Venture Pitch Session- “Shark Tank” Without the BITE!!


Network. Learn. Pitch.

  • Pitch session contestants receive constructive feedback from our panel of judges
  • An expert panel discussion geared towards small business owners
  • Networking Reception- Before & After the competition

March 10, 2020

530pm-730pm

Located at mHUB 965 W. Chicago Ave

Apply to participate in our pitch session competition at https://tinyurl.com/Spring2020Pitch

Want to just watch the fun? Register at https://one.bidpal.net/spring2020pitchsbac

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.