IL

COVID-19: Illinois Resources

As many of you are aware, the State of Illinois and many municipalities have taken emergency actions to slow the spread of the COVID-19. In addition to closing numerous public venues, and encouraging Illinois residents to practice social distancing, the state is also placing additional requirements on businesses to prioritize the health of employees and the public.

The information and resources provided here includes general state and local guidance for navigating the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as specific information and resources for business owners.

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The Agenda for Illinois’ Entrepreneurs

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, with a particular emphasis on policies that will address systemic racism and sexism that are harming businesses owned by people of color, women and immigrants. The state’s 1.2 million small businesses employ 2.4 million people (about half of the private workforce) and created more than 68,000 jobs in 2015.

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New restaurant owner perseveres to keep feeding her Chicago community

Most first-time business owners struggle to be profitable during the early stages of their business venture. But when you add a global pandemic into the mix, the chances of being profitable essentially go out of the window. This was the case for Nichole Jackson, a former educator who decided to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and become a restaurant business owner in 2019.

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Small Business Majority supports expanding the Illinois State Earned Income Credit (EIC) to benefit entrepreneurs

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.

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Small Business Majority supports expanding participation in Illinois Secure Choice

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.

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Chicago business owner knows to tap into local capital resources when traditional funding is unavailable

As the owner of a catering company, Nicole Jordan has seen an extreme decline in contracts and income since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately for this Illinois-based small business owner, as a former banker she is well connected to the financial resources in her community.

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Illinois limo service owner struggles to see a road ahead for her business

Guana Stamps, owner of Keep it Moving & Associates LLC in Chicago, Ill. opened her limousine service with the idea of offering a safe, reliable way of transportation for her clients. Keep it Moving is a pet friendly car service, which is an uncommon feature in the transportation business and sets her apart from the local competition. 

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Chicago small business pivots to support frontline workers

What comes after the pivot? Many small business owners who initially re-tooled their business to better suit the needs of consumers during the pandemic are starting to ask themselves this very question. Among them is Eric Cup who expertly adapted his business early on, but is now finding his pivot, while necessary, is not sustainable. 

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Chicago salon owner uses creative energy to survive crisis and bring self-care back to her community

Sherry Spellers combined her two passions to create a small business success story: a knack for repurposing old trinkets, with the desire to make women look and feel beautiful.

Her journey as a hairdresser was marked from an early age, when a traumatic incident caused Sherry to lose her hair. “I felt so ugly and ashamed. I knew in that moment that I wanted to help women feel good about themselves, and hair was a great way to do that,” says Sherry.

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