Category Archives: SBAC News

Common Questions About Recordkeeping for Small Businesses

The May Small Business Connection Newsletter sent by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) included a section titled: Common Questions About Recordkeeping for Small Businesses. You can view the text of the article with more detailed links below.

What records should owners keep?
Small business owners should choose a recordkeeping system that clearly shows income and expenses.

How long should records be kept?
The general rule is three years depending on the action, expense and event recorded in the document.

How should transactions be recorded?
A good recordkeeping system includes a summary of all business transactions. 

How long should employment tax records be kept?
Business owners should keep all records of employment taxes for at least four years.

Interested in receiving updates like this in your inbox? Sign up for the DCEO Small Business Connection Newsletter here.

Creating a Successful Internship Program: Tips from TandemHR

Ask An HR Expert: How Do I Create A Successful Internship Program?
Contributed By: The Tandem Family of Companies

An internship program is a big responsibility for both the organization and also the interns themselves. Here are three tips to create a successful internship program for both your company and potential interns.

Tip #1: Have an organizational agreement.

What is the purpose of your internship program? What objectives do you want to meet through the program? Where do you need them and for how long? What tasks are they going to do? You have to make sure that the organization agrees to this before you even consider bringing on an intern or an internship program.

You want to create a plan for your internship program. Without a plan, it will not be successful.

Tip #2: While interns are generally assigned to a specific department and will naturally have tasks within those departments, it’s important they have exposure to your entire organization.

Build into your plan time for them to shadow other departments. Interns eventually leave and talk about your organization to their future employers. You want to make a good impression and expose them to all the areas of jurisdiction in your company. The goal is that by the end of the internship they have a full grasp of your business as a whole, so when they talk about your company they really understand and know what they’re speaking about.

Interns will make great marketers if done right. Sometimes, companies don’t invest the effort to truly engage and teach their interns. A common mistake is people hire interns just to file or answer the phones. They bring them in to fill in an area that is not something that’s going to be valuable to both the organization and the interns.

The key if you’re creating an internship program, is to make sure that the time the intern spends with you is valuable and that they actually learn through this process.

Tip #3: Another important component of a successful internship program is that the interns have a point person.

Someone who is designated for these interns if they have questions or concerns. This point person should have a good understanding of the full internship program and each individual’s objectives. As a result, this person should be a mentor to these interns throughout the program.

Danielle Ozer ( is the Executive Vice President of Brokerage Services at the Tandem Family of Companies. The Tandem Family of Companies consists of Tandem HR (HR outsourcing solutions), Benefits Solutions Group (benefits brokerage), Workplace Solutions (Employee Assistance Program) and Alliance Workplace Solutions (voluntary benefits). TFC has been providing custom HR solutions to businesses of all sizes since 1998.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot Presides Over First City Council Meeting & Lays Out 100-Days Ethics Agenda

Today, Lori Lightfoot presided over her first City Council meeting since being sworn in as Mayor. Among other administrative items and allowing a public comment period, the City Council approved changes to their operational rules and approved new committee leadership, as proposed by Mayor Lightfoot. According to the press release provided by the Mayor’s Office, the specific rule changes are:

  • Broadcast proceedings of all City Council and City Council Committee meetings be livestreamed and that meeting recordings also be available online.
  • Ensure that Aldermen with conflicts of interest not only recuse themselves from voting, but also recuse themselves from participating in or presiding over debate of the item in question.
  • Require that materials provided to a Committee Chair during a Committee meeting be made public on the Office of the City Clerk’s website.

Additionally, Mayor Lightfoot outlined details about her agenda during a speech at the City Club of Chicago on Tuesday – tying her key initiatives back to her goal of ending a culture of corruption. The full text of her speech can be read here.

Additional Coverage:
Chicago Tribune: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lays out 100-day ethics agenda: ‘Change is necessary’
Chicago Sun-Times: Lightfoot proposes new operating rules for City Council
Crain’s Chicago Business: Lightfoot pushes $15 minimum wage, more local control over police (includes full text of speech)

SBAC Golf Outing: Early Bird Pricing Still Available!

Have you signed up your foursome for the SBAC 10th Annual Golf Outing? Early Bird pricing is still available! Join us on July 25th at White Deer Run for an awesome day with high-caliber networking and awesome prize opportunities (including the chance to win a new car)! Tickets include a round of golf, lunch, dinner, drinks and swag bags. Click here to reserve your spot.

Interested in supporting SBAC’s advocacy by sponsoring this event? Click here to learn more. Questions? Contact Lisa at or 312-548-8608.


SBAC Instills Importance of Advocacy in Our Members

Earlier this month, more than twenty SBAC members and leadership made the trip to Springfield to advocate for the small business community. The focus of the trip was concrete advocacy – educating elected officials about our agenda and how moving these policy initiatives forward will spark economic growth in Illinois.

Two of the members in attendance were Barb Morgan-Browning and Marc Hertz – the founders of One Complete Business. The trip inspired them to produce an episode of their weekly podcast focused on advocacy:

Do you get hot mad around certain issues? Is there a new tax, fee, or regulation that is impacting your business? Do you wish you had a voice in developments in your community? It’s easy to feel powerless and frustrated and like nothing you do will make a difference. But it is possible to create change. This week we lay out why it’s important for us to use our voices to advocate for our needs as citizens and business owners. Listen along as we talk about our visit to our state capitol for Lobby Day with the Small Business Advocacy Council.

You can listen to the full podcast here.

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

ADVOCACY ALERT: Contact Your Representative to Help Reduce Barriers For Entrepreneurs

The SBAC strongly supports 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. Please use the form below to contact your legislator today and ask them to support the Sunrise Review Act, SB1756.

Thank you for supporting the small business community and advocating for this important legislation!

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:

Seeking Nominations for Daily Herald Business Ledger C-Suite Awards







The Daily Herald Business Ledger C-Suite Awards honor C-level executives for the leadership, business and civic contributions they have made to their organizations and to the suburban Chicago community. Honorees will be recognized at an awards ceremony on July 24th and featured in a supplement of the August 19th issue of the Daily Herald Business Ledger.

Nominations deadline is May 31st. Submit a name today!

For more information about the awards ceremony on July 24th, click here.

SBAC Premier Advocates Day at the Ballpark

This week SBAC Premier Advocate Members enjoyed an EXCLUSIVE behind-the-scenes tour followed by a game at Guaranteed Rate Field. The tour was lead by Jonathan Reisdorf and included stops at the back office and on the field. Members were then treated to box seats with all the perks to watch the White Sox. While the score was not what we hoped, it was an awesome opportunity to connect with fellow small business leaders outside the office. A special thanks to the Chicago White Sox for hosting us and Andrew O’Connor and Brian Henciak with Team Merchant for making the day possible.

Interested in taking your SBAC membership to the next level?

As a Premier Advocate, you can expect all the great benefits of a regular SBAC membership plus:

  • Exclusive access to an updated Premier Advocate directory
  • Monthly email updates from SBAC staff and leadership
  • Monthly invitation-only events including great speakers, networking and the chance to go behind the scenes at locations throughout Chicagoland
  • The opportunity to produce original content and be highlighted on the SBAC News blog and social media platforms
  • Company name/logo/link inclusion in email newsletters to the full membership
  • Receive personalized SBAC drafted content to share with your customers and clients all the hard work you are doing for the small business community
  • Special name tags and recognition at all SBAC events

To learn more about the Premier Advocate program, contact Kim Brisky at or 312-548-8608.