The Joliet Chamber has joined the Chambers All In For Economic Recovery initiative. This calls on our legislators to prioritize economic relief for the business community in the wake of a devastating year.
What is this initiative?
• A collaborative effort of nearly 50 chambers of commerce from across the state of Illinois
• An effort representing thousands of Illinois businesses and hundreds of thousands of employees in the State of Illinois
• A unified, grassroots call for our legislators to provide economic relief to our business community
What spurred this initiative (why)?
• Businesses have shouldered large burdens created by the ongoing pandemic
• It is the mission of the chamber to support our business community and serve as the voice for business
What is the goal?
• Legislative action that brings tangible economic relief for the business community
• Long term collaboration with the business community and public sector on matters related to COVID-19 mitigations and recovery
Platform Talking Points
• Utilize American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to help replenish the unemployment trust fund and alleviate the impending financial drain from the state’s businesses.
o ARPA Funds are a one-time funding source
Funds are eligible to be used for this purpose pursuant to guidance.
o Estimates currently indicate an approximate $4.5B deficit to the unemployment insurance trust fund.
Could lead to near $100M in interest if not addressed
o Risks to Illinois business and taxpayers of potentially additional taxes, tax increases or employer contributions rates to rise exorbitantly if not addressed.
• Legal protections to employers who follow the CDC established safety guidelines from claims that COVID-19 was contracted at the place of business
o COVID-19-related lawsuits could deter entities from reopening fully and could ultimately cripple businesses across every industry due to large costs involved.
o Without liability protections, there is a risk that those on the frontlines of the pandemic could be punished for their efforts in the form of lawsuits resulting from operating their business or conducting job duties to the best of their abilities.
• Restructure the Minimum Wage Credit’s incremental phase-out to allow small businesses to capture the original intent of the credit.
o Legislative proposal that would restore the credit to it’s original 25 percent for the next three calendar years.
Allow businesses to fully capture the intent of the credit.
o Credit offsets withholding taxes. Eligible businesses are those with 50 or less full-time equivalent employees AND the average employee making less than $55,000 annually.
o More information can be found here.
o Ultimately, help reduce some of the burden caused by the minimum wage increase in conjunction with highly competitive labor market.
• Extend the EDGE credit sunset clause out for another ten years and utilize the tax credit as an incentive to attract businesses to the state and allow for the growth and development of existing companies.
o The EDGE program is currently set to sunset in June.
Calling for a ten-year extension to provide certainty and predictability
o While imperfect, it is vital that Illinois has an economic development tool in place such as EDGE to remain competitive with other states.
“To advance the interests of businesses, organizations, and institutions within the Joliet Region on the local, state, and federal level. ”
“To advance the interests of business, professional and service organizations in the Joliet Region, acting as their voice in governmental and social affairs, communicating and servicing their needs, and thereby enhancing the business environment and the local quality of life.”