Illinois Small Business Owner Highlight
A few years ago, Rachel Bernier-Green was looking for an outlet from the stress of her intense job at a multinational accounting firm and discovered a passion for baking. It didn’t take long before friends and family were encouraging her to sell her baked goods to the masses. Rachel founded ‘Laine’s Bake Shop, LLC in 2013 using a shared kitchen space, working on the side to get her business off the ground. After a few years of baking part-time, Rachel decided to finally quit her job and start a bake shop full-time with her husband Jaryd.
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.
The economy is improving, but Illinois small business owners and their employees are facing another financial hurdle: retirement security. The U.S. currently suffers from a retirement savings gap of more than $6 trillion, and more than 38 million households do not have any retirement savings at all. Illinois small business owners and their workers are no exception.
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