Small Business Majority’s Illinois policy agenda ensures that small business is at the center of a thriving and inclusive economy and advance policies that promote equitable pathways for entrepreneurship, with a particular emphasis on addressing systemic racism and sexism that impede economic inclusion and harm businesses owned by people of color, women and other underserved owners. The state’s 1.2 million small businesses employ 2.5 million people (about 45% of the private workforce), with firms less than 20 employees creating the largest net job gains.
On October 18, 2021, Midwest Region Director Geri Aglipay testified before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in support of the Illinois Community Reinvestment Act (IL CRA). This legislation will combat ageism in lending and uplift entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs.
Small Business Majority wrote to Illinois Governor Pritzker in support of HB117, a measure that would expand Illinois Secure Choice so that employers with at least five or more employees may participate and auto-enroll their employees. This is an important step to supporting very small businesses and their employees who are unable to access traditional retirement programs, particularly those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A year into the pandemic, many small businesses in Illinois continue to struggle to keep their doors open. While government funding programs have provided a crucial lifeline for many businesses, one-off funding opportunities are not going to be enough to support the long-term recovery of our small business economy. The proposed Illinois Earned Income Credit (EIC) expansion would help address this by closing the gaps in federal funding relief programs and putting more money into the pockets of low-income and working-class Illinoisans.
Small Business Majority wrote to the Illinois House Personnel & Pensions Committee in support of HB0117, which would expand Illinois Secure Choice so that employers with at least one employee may participate and auto-enroll their employees. This is an important step to supporting very small businesses and their employees who are unable to access traditional retirement programs, particularly those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small Business Majority submitted a letter of support to Chairman Gerg Harris (IL-D) on HB 4094, which would extend short-term, limited duration health insurance from the current 181 days to 365 days with the chance to renew coverage for up to three years.
On October 3, Small Business Majority's Midwest Outreach Manager and Women's Entrepreneurship Manager Geri Aglipay testified in Chicago at Senator Duckworth's field hearing for the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship titled, "Barriers to Entry in the Tech Industry for Diverse Entrepreneurs." She advocated for an expansion of SBA lending programs for underserved entrepreneurs and extending Truth in Lending Act disclosures to protect small business borrowers.
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 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.
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.