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Our Story 23

Mission Statement

The SBAC is a non-partisan, member driven organization that promotes the success of small business through political advocacy, support services and educational programs.

What We Believe

  • The success of small business is a critical component of the nation’s economic well-being. 
  • In order to ensure a fair and level playing field, small business must have a powerful and united advocacy voice at the local, state and federal level.
  • Through cooperative networking, idea sharing and education, small business can flourish.


2023 SBAC Timeline for website

In 2010, Elliot Richardson, the owner of a small Chicago-based law firm, was frustrated with the uphill battle facing many small business owners in the state of Illinois. He felt this community had no voice and no representation in Springfield. Richardson wanted to be part of the solution and launched The Small Business Advocacy Council to provide small businesses in Illinois with every opportunity to succeed.

What has become clear over the years is that the "secret sauce" of the SBAC is the importance of being a non-partisan organization. Taking the preconceived and fluid beliefs that are associated with political parties out of the equation allows for the most impactful policy solutions.

Over the past several years, the SBAC has achieved notable victories, marking a series of milestones in its advocacy journey.

In 2017, SBAC demonstrated the power of advocacy in action by successfully championing the cause to reduce the registration fees for limited liability corporations (LLCs). Under the banner of Senate Bill 867 (S.B 867), SBAC gathered support from legislators spanning the political spectrum and garnered backing from more than 50 trade and business organizations. This united effort resulted in a substantial reduction in LLC registration fees, lowering the barrier for aspiring entrepreneurs from a hefty $500 to a far more accessible $150, and annual report fees dropped to $75 from $250. This reform not only eased the financial burden on small business owners but also fostered an environment conducive to new business ventures, catalyzing economic growth in the state.

The global landscape shifted dramatically with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting SBAC to adapt and evolve. The pandemic underscored the indispensable role of small businesses in our economy, redefining the context within which SBAC operated. In response, the SBAC's advocacy agenda underwent significant expansion, focusing on facilitating entrepreneurship for everyday individuals and enhancing the overall climate for small businesses.

In 2021, SBAC initiated the Neighborhood Revitalization Coalition (NRC), a collaborative platform uniting various stakeholders. The NRC's mission is to advocate for policies that reinvigorate, empower, and connect commercial corridors in Chicago and Cook County. This initiative represents yet another testament to SBAC's commitment to creating a thriving ecosystem for small businesses.

One of the standout accomplishments during this transformative period was the passage of key legislation. Notably, in 2023, SBAC secured a significant triumph with the enactment of crucial health insurance legislation. This legislation focuses on reducing premiums for small businesses and increasing transparency so policymakers and the public can better understand what drives the costs of health insurance, marking another pivotal victory in SBAC's ongoing advocacy efforts.

The SBAC is a full-service advocacy organization and empowers our members in four distinct ways. First, we offer members a non-partisan and effective voice on their behalf in Washington, DC, Springfield, and Chicago. Second, the SBAC connects entrepreneurs with other members in order to foster relationships within the community and generate mutually beneficial strategic partnerships. Third, the organization offers educational programming to promote best business practices and encourage growth. Lastly, the SBAC provides exclusive benefits to its members, including an array of discounts and rebates to help lower the costs of operating a business.

Join The SBAC Today

Joining the SBAC will give you the opportunity to immediately get engaged in our organization through the following offerings:

  • Advocacy efforts
  • Policy committees and subcommittees
  • Informational webinars and town halls
  • Networking events
  • And many more!

Do not miss out on your opportunity to work towards improving the small business environment in your community! We look forward to working with you!

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