Small Business Majority has created a comprehensive state policy agenda to ensure entrepreneurship is at the center of a thriving and inclusive economy in Illinois. It’s critical that state lawmakers enact policies that support and empower these entrepreneurs, guaranteeing they have access to capital to start and grow their business, affordable and quality healthcare and benefits programs that will make it easier for them to attract and retain talented employees.
Policymakers at all levels, from town councils to the halls of Capitol Hill, emphasize the challenges of small businesses as a key talking point during political debates. But new opinion polling in four states—Illinois, Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin—reveals small businesses feel their government officials don’t actually understand their challenges, and they support a wide array of policies to address their needs, some of which might come as a surprise to their elected officials.
This Chicago-based research explores issues related to small business workforce development, particularly for business owners of color located in low- and moderate-income communities. Small Business Majority interviewed and convened local small business owners and business service organizations for roundtable discussions during a six-month research project to learn about key challenges in hiring and managing employees. Overall, the research indicates that small business owners have limited capacity and resources to improve workforce management.
When Noelle Curtis was working to clear up her acne and hyperpigmentation, she noticed not many spas addressed the specific skincare needs of women of color. So instead of continuing to look for someone else’s solution, she decided to become an esthetician herself. After a whirlwind corporate career Noelle went on to open Pretty Dapper Day Spa, which offers a variety of services to Chicagoland clients of all skin types and skin colors.
Small Business Majority writes in opposition to the Regulatory Sandbox Act (HB 2825), which would permit a range of financial institutions to test unlicensed financial products on consumers, including entrepreneurs. We believe this legislation would open up small business owners and entrepreneurs to predatory lending practices.
Small Business Majority writes in opposition to HB 2042, which would extend short-term, limited duration health insurance from the current 181 days to 366 days. We believe this legislation would help undermine a robust individual marketplace, which is vitally important for owners and employees of small businesses without group coverage, especially the roughly one million solo-entrepreneurs in Illinois.
Small Business Majority writes in support of the Wholesale Importation of Prescription Drugs Act (HB 1441), which would create a program to provide lower cost prescription drugs from regulated Canadian suppliers to Illinois consumers. We believe this legislation will help millions of healthcare consumers in Illinois, including many small business owners and solo entrepreneurs.
Introduction: Build your wealth and secure your health
As a small business owner, we know you wear many hats—from running the day-to-day operations of your business, to managing employees, building a brand and much more. And for aspiring entrepreneurs, this can mean juggling a traditional job while navigating the ins and outs of starting a new venture. One thing many entrepreneurs feel unequipped to deal while starting or running a business is how to handle business finances and maintain health.
The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program, signed into law January 2015, will help small businesses that struggle to offer retirement benefits to their employees and provide retirement security to the 2.5 million Illinoisans who do not have access to an employment-based retirement plan. Below is an overview of what small businesses need to know about the program.