Small Business Majority’s Illinois policy agenda outlines policies that advance and promote equitable pathways for entrepreneurship while ensuring small businesses are key to a thriving and inclusive economy. The state’s 1.2 million small businesses employ 2.5 million people (about 45% of the private workforce), with firms of fewer than 20 employees creating the largest net job gains. Yet, Illinois small businesses continue to face setbacks stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nancy Maxwell has been a member of the Southern Illinois Community for over twenty years. Nancy has proven herself to be a fierce advocate for our community. She has over 15 years of leadership and supervisory experience. Currently, she serves as the Executive Director of Carbondale United, a Social Service Nonprofit Organization building programs for parents and children that provide much needed systemic change for Carbondale residents. She is the Vice President of The Black Chamber of Commerce, Owner and Operator of Print’s R Us.
Chastity Mays is a Certified Birth Doula and owner of Hathor Doula Services. She has served clients in Southern Illinois, the Missouri Bootheel area, and Paducah, Kentucky. She stands with and advocates for families who are underrepresented and, in many cases, simply not heard at all.
This pocket guide is for use by policy advocates, lawmakers, and program administrators to review whether a proposed policy or program advances equity, specifically racial equity, to help reduce the racial wealth gap. Prioritizing racial equity creates inclusive economic prosperity, especially for economically and socially disadvantaged individuals, families, and small businesses in underserved areas affected by systemic oppression.
Additionally, as part of the Chicago Inclusive Growth Coalition, Small Business Majority convened stakeholders and small business owners in different industries to address solutions for growth, job creation and economic development. Small Business Majority led workgroups in the development of a report to provide recommendations in the industries of construction, transportation and delivery, food and beverage service, manufacturing, and the creative industries in the City of Chicago.
Small Business Majority facilitates ecosystem building work by co-directing the Chicago Inclusive Growth Coalition (CIGC) alongside Allies for Community Business (formerly known as Accion in Illinois and Northwest Indiana). As part of this work, Small Business Majority facilitates impact measurement for local business assistance providers and reviews policy efforts and program investments to improve small business services in underserved neighborhoods.
Leslie Allison-Seei is the president of Robust Promotions LLC, an award-winning turnkey service provider offering prize consulting, legal documents and support, microsite infrastructure, graphic design and much more, in Villa Park, Ill. Together with her husband Greg, they’ve worked with restaurant chains and global brands such as Popeyes and Häagen Dazs, among others.
On March 28, Johnathon Bush, owner of Not Just Cookies provided testimony before the Illinois House Financial Institutions and Licensing Committee on HB 2234, legislation that would extend consumer protections for small business borrowers.
On March 28, Small Business Majority's Illinois Director Tasha Brown testified before the Illinois House Financial Institutions and Licensing Committee on behalf of HB 2234, legislation that would enact critical protections for small business borrowers in Illinois.
Midwest Director Tasha Brown testifies to express our support for Senate Bill 1912, legislation that will provide the Department of Insurance the authority to reject unreasonable rate increases for health insurance in both the individual and small group markets.