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. 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.
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.
Small Business Majority submitted a letter of support to Chairman Gerg Harris (IL-D) on HB 4094, which would extend short-term, limited duration health insurance from the current 181 days to 365 days with the chance to renew coverage for up to three years.
As a kid, Bobby Price never enjoyed his visits to his neighborhood barbershop, so it makes sense that it never occurred to him to open his own barbershop until much later in life. Even though Bobby has been cutting hair since he was 13, he didn’t become a full-time barber until he became a husband and a father.
On October 3, Small Business Majority's Midwest Outreach Manager and Women's Entrepreneurship Manager Geri Aglipay testified in Chicago at Senator Duckworth's field hearing for the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship titled, "Barriers to Entry in the Tech Industry for Diverse Entrepreneurs." She advocated for an expansion of SBA lending programs for underserved entrepreneurs and extending Truth in Lending Act disclosures to protect small business borrowers.
While many 13-year-olds dream of becoming firefighters or football players, 13-year-old Johnathon Bush not only dreamed of being an entrepreneur but was already becoming one. While growing up in Toledo, Ohio, he realized the only way he could make money at a young age was through entrepreneurship, so he started baking cookies and selling them to friends and family. But, his bake sales evolved into something bigger than his middle school self could have expected.
When her brother was first deployed to Iraq, Candy Alford embroidered every piece of clothing he owned, from his socks to his washcloths, with his name so his things wouldn’t get misplaced in the group laundry. Not only were the name tags practical, but they garnered quite a few compliments from her brother’s fellow pilots, and he suggested she turn her hobby into a business.
Policymakers at all levels, from town councils to the halls of Capitol Hill, emphasize the challenges of small businesses as a key talking point during political debates. But new opinion polling in four states—Illinois, Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin—reveals small businesses feel their government officials don’t actually understand their challenges, and they support a wide array of policies to address their needs, some of which might come as a surprise to their elected officials.
This Chicago-based research explores issues related to small business workforce development, particularly for business owners of color located in low- and moderate-income communities. Small Business Majority interviewed and convened local small business owners and business service organizations for roundtable discussions during a six-month research project to learn about key challenges in hiring and managing employees. Overall, the research indicates that small business owners have limited capacity and resources to improve workforce management.
When Noelle Curtis was working to clear up her acne and hyperpigmentation, she noticed not many spas addressed the specific skincare needs of women of color. So instead of continuing to look for someone else’s solution, she decided to become an esthetician herself. After a whirlwind corporate career Noelle went on to open Pretty Dapper Day Spa, which offers a variety of services to Chicagoland clients of all skin types and skin colors.