The Agenda for Illinois’ Entrepreneurs
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. Yet, Illinois small businesses continue to face setbacks from the COVID-19 crisis and struggle to access the financing and support to weather the storm. Small Business Majority’s research has found that even as economic conditions are starting to improve for some small businesses, small businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color disproportionately lag behind white-owned businesses.
To advance an equitable recovery from the pandemic and promote an inclusive economy, it is critical to prioritize the smallest businesses and those from communities that have faced racial, ethnicity and gender-based discrimination, and other underserved business owners who are both socially and economically disadvantaged. Legislators and policymakers should consider the proposals outlined in this document.