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How the Illinois Chamber of Commerce helps small businesses

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Illinois is a place business can be proud to call home.

The ethos of Illinois is its vibrant business culture. Opulent skyscrapers cover the Chicago skyline as a symbol of innovation and enterprise. Across counties and regions, rich fields of agricultural production promise to feed the world and fuel a multitude of economic sectors.

A thriving transportation network connects our state and every diverse region within in its borders. In Springfield, the esteemed Land of Lincoln, the state’s seat of government remains an arena of ideas. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and every business we serve, is an actor in this arena. We represent and advocate on behalf of all segments of the Illinois economy and we do it with pride.

We are the voice of business in Illinois. We are your voice.

The main objective at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce is to provide a “one-stop shop” where our members rely on our heavy involvement in the Illinois legislative and regulatory process.

Our members utilize different educational tools such as webinars, events, and conferences on issues ranging from new state laws to workplace compliance trainings. We support Illinois Chamber members by proactively tracking anti-business proposals and advocating for business-related subjects brought to our attention by our members. Regardless of the size of a business or organization, the Illinois Chamber keeps members continuously educated and involved in crafting state policy and best practices for operating their business.

In addition to public policy advocacy, the Illinois Chamber helps employers be successful in many ways. We ensure employers comply with new laws, no matter the complexity of the issue. We offer discounts on business services that provide new partnerships for the businesses that utilize our programming.

We offer a unique structure as a statewide association to organize our policy debates. The chamber has seven councils that serve as “chambers within the chamber.” These are member- driven organizations focused on issues of particular interest to individual members from employment law, energy, environment, health care, infrastructure, tax to technology.

To provide services to our members, executive directors compose weekly newsletters, sharing the most up-to-date information on timely and relevant topics for each committee. In addition to providing written content on the most pressing topics, each council hosts quarterly meetings to introduce topics that will improve the business climate of the state and make members aware of issues that may hinder growth and profitably. Members of Illinois Chamber are provided an outlet to council directors and other staff who are available to have conversations with a member of any size on legislative and regulatory subjects that matter to them.

The Illinois Chamber supported and drafted an array of legislation desired by our members. Senate Bill 2531, SALT Cap Workaround was an initiative of the Illinois Chamber Tax Institute that was sponsored by state Sen. Stoller and Rep. Anthony DeLuca and signed into law in August 2021. The chamber has the technical expertise to draft and pass the SALT work around, potentially saving suburban taxpayers thousands of dollars, while also having the political influence to play a major role in defeating the Governor’s graduated income tax during the 2020 election.

Another example of our advocacy on behalf of the Illinois business community can be seen in Senate Bill 2183. This bill extended the sunset of the Transportation Network Providers Act. This bill is the authorizing statute for ride-share companies like Lyft and Uber and continues the incredibly useful ride-share industry in Illinois while saving thousands of jobs. The Chamber supported this bill which passed out of the General Assembly unanimously.

Whatever the size of your business and issues of concern, we welcome you to join the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. We are the largest general business advocacy organization in the state, and we want to be your voice.

• Todd Maisch is president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

Source : Illinois Chamber of Commerce

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