The Agenda for Illinois’ Entrepreneurs

Friday, March 1, 2024

Small Business Majority’s Illinois policy agenda outlines policies that advance and promote equitable pathways for entrepreneurship while centering small businesses as the key to a thriving and inclusive economy. The state’s 1.3 million small businesses employ 2.4 million people (about 44.1% of the private workforce), with firms without employees making up 80% of all owned businesses.  Illinois small business owners are navigating workforce shortages, a childcare crisis and the end of a number of pandemic era programs that support entrepreneurship. Small Business Majority’s research has found that while economic conditions have improved for some small businesses, small businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color have been disproportionately affected by the blow back from the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing economic crisis.

It is critical that we prioritize the smallest businesses and those located in communities that have faced racial, ethnicity and gender-based discrimination. We must enact short- and long-term policies to support and empower entrepreneurs by guaranteeing their access to capital, an infrastructure that can support their ability to offer quality jobs, and their ability to compete fairly now and in the future. To achieve these goals, policymakers should consider the following policy proposals. Increase equitable access to capital and opportunities for entrepreneurs.