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.
Tasha directs Small Business Majority's outreach, education and policy efforts in the Midwest region from our Chicago office where she focuses on enhancing financial security for small business owners, their employees and their families.
Erica King is the President of Greenwood Archer Capital, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) organization founded in 2012 to supply micro and small business loans catalyzing small business development throughout the metropolitan Chicago area and its adjacent suburbs, as well as greater Cook County Illinois.
For Lisa Marsh, owner and founder of Ms. P’s Gluten Free, going gluten free changed her health. Her acid reflux and digestive issues went away, and she felt better than she had in years. Yet, this change in diet meant having to explore alternative recipes for treats normally full of gluten, like cakes and cookies.
Lisa recalled finding triple chocolate chip, gluten-free cookies that can be baked at home. She was so eager to try one, Lisa couldn’t wait long enough for them to cool down.
Owning a small business can be challenging if you don’t have access to resources and tools to help you understand and manage the operational side of your business. For Javier Haro, this came at a high cost when his short debut as a restaurant owner came to a screeching halt after shutting down his business when the 2009 economic downturn hit the market.
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.
As a third generation business owner, Alan Moy has gained significant wisdom and experience from watching his parents and grandparents choose an entrepreneurial journey as a means to provide a brighter future for their children. Today, he’s the proud owner of Viet Nom Nom, a Vietnamese-inspired restaurant, catering and pop-up business in Evanston, Ill. that serves healthy salads, rice bowls, soups and sandwiches.
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.
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.