Archive for the ‘advocacy’ Category

This Week’s Chamber News

Monday, August 21st, 2017
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August 21, 2017
In This Issue

 

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95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
City Segment
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Do or Dye Designs
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
OnLight Aurora
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
ServPro of Aurora
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

Rationall Food Rescue
Joseph Izzo
(331) 305-3960
Community-Based Organization

Tritan Plumbing
Mickey Owano
10051 Bode Street, Plainfield
(815) 630-1024
Plumbing

Chicago Steel Hockey Team
Kyle Kreger
1996 S. Kirk Road, Geneva
(855) 51-STEEL
Entertainment

Thermamax, Inc.
Dirk Balthasar
1207 Bilter Road, Aurora
(630) 340-5682
Manufacturers

TriCity Family Services
Miranda Barfuss
1120 Randall Court, Geneva
(630) 256-3180
Community-Based Organization

 

Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189
www.aurorachamber.com

 

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Behind the Scenes at the Chamber
Behind the Scenes

Last Friday, Endiro Coffee and the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce welcomed Gov. Bruce Rauner to Aurora to discuss job creation, workforce development, and education funding. Following the meeting, the Governor visited Aurora University to sign the extension of the River Edge Redevelopment Zone tax credit through 2021. SB 1783 was sponsored by Sens. Linda Holmes, Karen McConnaughay, and Dave Syverson as well as State Reps. Linda Chapa LaVia, Stephanie Kifowit, Mike Fortner, Keith Wheeler, and Steve Andersson. Reps. Kifowit, Wheeler, and Andersson joined the Governor at the signing.

If you would like to know more about any of these activities – or more of what we are working on to support our business members, please reach out and let us know: jhenning@aurorachamber.com or (630) 256-3180.

Have a great week.

 

What You Need to Know: Healthcare Reform
Healthcare Reform

Premier Members
Premier Members
Calendar of Events
WYNTK Current AHCA Legislation
Tuesday, August 29, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W Galena Blvd, Aurora
Please pre-register

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, August 31, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr.
Sponsorships Available

Grand Re-Opening: Sharp Business Systems
Wednesday, Sept. 6, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
1815 S. Meyers Road, Ste. 100, Oakbrook Terrace
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Grand Opening: Java Plus
Thursday, Sept. 7, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
1677 Montgomery Rd, Ste. 106, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Grand Opening: 500 Station Blvd.
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 4 – 8 p.m.
675 Station Blvd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:30 p.m.

2017 Wellness Works Conference
Friday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Prisco Community Center, Aurora

Grand Opening: Garage 31
Monday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
102 S. Lincolnway, North Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, Sept. 19, 8:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Painters District Council #30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora

35th Anniversary: Lindstrom Chiropractic
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 3:30 – 7 p.m.
1965 W, Downer Pl., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4 p.m.

Grand Opening: Huntington Bank
Thursday, Sept. 21, 8 – 10 a.m.
2430 W. Indian Trail Rd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 8:30 a.m.

5th Anniversary: McLaughlin & Associates
Thursday, Sept. 28, 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
495 N. Commons Dr. Ste. 103, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:15 p.m.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Sept. 28, 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora Sponsorships Available

Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

Three More Lawmakers Announce Retirement

Revised EDGE Credit Bill Heads to Gov’s Desk

This Week in Springfield

Ill. Local Government Consolidation

Fight to Control $13.5 Billion Medicaid Program

Ill. Budget

Ill. Chamber: This Week in Springfield

Ill. Chamber: This Week in Springfield

General Assembly: Special Session Report

Statement in Response to 2017 State Budget Passage

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to info@aurorachamber.com. Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced: ‘Inclusion Drives Innovation’

Park Renovations Coming to Meadow Lake; New Park at Randall Highlands

Thermamax, Inc. Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Don’t Take the Bait: Watch Out for the W-2 Email Scam

How to Transition to ISO 9001:2015

Cloud 9 Infosystems Named Microsoft Partner of the Year

WYNTK: Common Uses, Scenarios of the Cloud

Engineering Enterprises Announces New Staff Member

City Announces Grants for Local Non-Profits

Aurora Retailers Rank First in Mall, Apparel Sales

Registration Opens: Wellness Works Conference Sept 15

Presence Announces ‘Take Charge of Your Health’ Workshop

Aurora Library to Welcome Author Elizabeth Berg

Registration for Park District Fall Programs Begins Aug. 5

Aurora’s St. Charles Senior Living Center Earns Top Statewide Preservation Award

Countdown to the Launch of National Health Center Week 2017 Begins

Bernabei Gillan Joins Old Second

Lane Closures at Broadway and Galena Begin Monday

Mandatory Pre-Application Block Grant Meeting Set for Sept. 8

Realtors Rank Aurora as Top City in the Nation for Affordable Homes, Best Schools

Aurora, Naperville Receive $1.3 Million to Collaborate on Terrorism Training

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Revised EDGE Credit Bill Heads to Gov’s Desk

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

On Sunday, the Senate also took up action on the Chamber-backed revised EDGE credit program.   HB 162 would reinstate the state’s main job creation incentive program, EDGE, for five years. In addition, it would make several changes to enhance the program including providing credits for training new employees and for investing in underserved areas of the state.

The legislation also makes changes concerning the capital investment and employment requirements for credits under the Act. These changes may provide for a greater level of participation by small and mid-sized businesses – something the previous version of EDGE did not have.

The bill also provides for greater accountability by strengthening the claw-back provision by specifying that if a taxpayer ceases principal operations with the intent to shut down a project permanently during the term of the agreement, then the credit amount is to be returned to the state and be reallocated to the local workforce investment area in which the project was located.

We are glad to see bipartisan support from lawmakers on HB 162, especially in a time at the Capitol where there is widespread debate over many complex issues. The legislation serves as a vital economic tool to propel Illinois’ business climate on a pathway to success.

This Week in Springfield

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

The Illinois House and Senate were both in this week.  The Senate came into town on Sunday and took up a motion to override the governor’s amendatory veto on SB 1, the school funding reform bill.  The motion to override in the Senate passed favorably with Republican Senator Sam McCann joining with every Senate Democrat  in favor of the override.

The House returned to town on Wednesday (Governor’s Day at the State Fair) to take up its action (or lack thereof) on SB 1.  However, there currently remains an insufficient amount of votes required to override the governor in the House. A House vote on SB 1 has been scheduled for Aug. 23.  The House has until August 29 to override the governor’s veto.  House Speaker Michael Madigan held a press conference on Wednesday where he said he “would not abandon SB 1.”  If they do not meet the August 29th deadline of overriding the governor, then SB 1 is officially dead.  In that event, HB 3163, will become the new vehicle for education funding reform.

Fight to Control $13.5 Billion Medicaid Program

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

House Republicans, Gov. Rauner fight to control $13.5 billion Medicaid program; Democrats seek to oppose controls. Under the federal Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), Medicaid covers the healthcare expenses of a swelling number of Illinois residents. One estimate says that Illinois may have as many as 4.5 million Medicaid patients by 2019. Swelling patient numbers are one reason why this program’s annual costs have now entered eleven figure sums.

Exercising his administrative-rule powers, Gov. Rauner and his administration are taking steps to reduce ballooning Medicaid costs. The administration’s primary target at this time is to complete the transition of many Medicaid patients from a fee-for-service model to the managed-care model already used by most private-sector insurance programs. The Rauner administration has already named six managed-care organizations (MCOs) as finalists for the future process of administering Medicaid benefits to recipients. The administration’s goal is to reduce the amounts of money spent by Illinois Medicaid on administrative costs and burdens not directly related to hands-on patient care.

House and Senate Democrats in the General Assembly, who are increasingly oriented towards all-out war with the Rauner Administration, are trying to block this managed-care reorganization. They have used their partisan-majority powers to send legislation to the Governor, which Rauner is expected to veto, that would repeal his ability to use streamlined means to move Medicaid care to a managed-care model. It would threaten the process of trying to bring this $13.5 billion-a-year budget item under taxpayer-friendly control.

Ill. Budget

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

The Week In Review: Ill. House GOP:

Following the Senate’s vote on Sunday to override Governor Rauner’s Amendatory Veto of Senate Bill 1, the Illinois House met in session on Wednesday, ostensibly to act on education funding reform.

Unfortunately, Wednesday’s House session was nothing more than political theatre.

Rather than negotiate a compromise to achieve fair and equitable funding for schools throughout Illinois, Speaker Madigan once again chose to do nothing.

The House did not take action on SB 1. Instead, the Speaker called for a vote on a fake bill, sponsored by his Majority Leader who didn’t even support the language of her own bill.

House Republicans refused to participate in this charade by voting “Present” on SB 1947, because it wasn’t about reform; it was about political retribution.

The State missed its August 10th deadline to distribute the first State aid payment to schools.

The General Assembly should be working to ensure that schools open on time and remain open for the full school year.

House Republicans and Governor Rauner again urged the Democrat leadership to work with us on true education funding reform. The four legislative leaders were scheduled to meet on Friday to continue discussions on education funding.

We need a negotiated solution that treats all Illinois school children equally, regardless of where they live and go to school. A fair and equitable school funding formula is in the best interest of all Illinoisans and we will continue to work towards that goal.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced: ‘Inclusion Drives Innovation’

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy announced today that “Inclusion Drives Innovation” will be the theme of National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October 2017.

“Americans of all abilities must have access to good, safe jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Smart employers know that including different perspectives in problem-solving situations leads to better solutions. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens their business, increases competition, and drives innovation.”

Every October, NDEAM celebrates individuals with disabilities and their contributions and achievements to the American workforce.

ODEP created this year’s theme with input from a wide variety of its partner organizations, including those representing employers, people with disabilities and their families, and federal, state, and local agencies.

In 1945, Congress declared the first week of October as ‘National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.’ In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped to acknowledge individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to NDEAM. In 2001, ODEP was established and formally began selecting the NDEAM theme.

Don’t Take the Bait: Watch Out for the W-2 Email Scam

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

WASHINGTON – The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry today urged tax professionals and businesses to beware of a recent increase in email scams targeting employee Forms W-2.

The W-2 scam – called a business email compromise or BEC – is one of the most dangerous phishing email schemes trending nationwide from a tax administration perspective. The IRS saw a sharp increase in the number of incidents and victims during the 2017 filing season.

Increasing awareness about business email compromises is part of the “Don’t Take the Bait” campaign, a 10-part series aimed at tax professionals. The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry, working together as the Security Summit, urge practitioners to learn to protect themselves and their clients from BEC scams. This is part of the ongoing Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself effort.

A business email compromise occurs when a cybercriminal is able to “spoof” or impersonate a company or organization executive’s email address and target a payroll, financial or human resources employee with a request. For example, fraudsters will try to trick an employee to transfer funds into a specified account or request a list of all employees and their Forms W-2.

“These are incredibly tricky schemes that can be devastating to a tax professional or business,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Cybercriminals target people with access to sensitive information, and they cleverly disguise their effort through an official-looking email request.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported earlier this year that there has been a 1,300 percent increase in identified losses – with more than $3 billion in wire transfers – since January 2015. The FBI found that the culprits behind these scams are national and international organized crime groups who have targeted businesses and organizations in all 50 states and 100 countries worldwide.

During the 2016 filing season, the IRS first warned businesses that the scam had migrated to tax administration and scammers were using business email compromise tactics to obtain employees’ Forms W-2. The criminals were immediately filing fraudulent tax returns that could mirror the actual income received by employees – making the fraud more difficult to detect.

In 2017, the IRS saw the number of businesses, public schools, universities, tribal governments and nonprofits victimized by the W-2 scam increase to 200 from 50 in 2016. Those 200 victims translated into several hundred thousand employees whose sensitive data was stolen. In some cases, the criminals requested both the W-2 information and a wire transfer.

The Form W-2 contains the employee’s name, address, Social Security number, income and withholdings. That information was used to file fraudulent tax returns, and it can be posted for sale on the Dark Net, where criminals also seek to profit from these thefts.

If the business or organization victimized by these attacks notifies the IRS, the IRS can take steps to help prevent employees from being victims of tax-related identity theft. However, because of the nature of these scams, many businesses and organizations did not realize for days, weeks or months that they had been scammed.

The IRS established a special email notification address specifically for businesses and organizations to report W-2 thefts: dataloss@irs.gov. Be sure to include “W-2 scam” in the subject line and information about a point of contact in the body of the email. Businesses and organizations that receive a suspect email but do not fall victim to the scam can forward it to the BEC to phishing@irs.gov, again with “W-2 scam” in the subject line.

Protecting Clients and Businesses from BECs

The IRS urges tax professionals to both beware of business email compromises as a threat to their own systems and to educate their clients about the existence of BEC scams. Employers, including tax practitioners, should review their policies for sending sensitive data such as W-2s or making wire transfers based solely on an email request.

Tax professionals should consider taking these steps:

  • Confirm requests for Forms W-2, wire transfers or any sensitive data exchanges verbally, using previously-known telephone numbers, not telephone numbers listed in the email.
  • Verify requests for location changes in vendor payments and require a secondary sign-off by company personnel.
  • Educate employees about this scam, particularly those with access to sensitive data such as W-2s or with authorization to make wire transfers.
  • Consult with an IT professional and follow these FBI recommended safeguards:
    • Create intrusion detection system rules that flag e-mails with extensions that are similar to company email. For example, legitimate e-mail of abc_company.com would flag fraudulent email of abc-company.com.
    • Create an email rule to flag email communications where the “reply” email address is different from the “from” email address shown.
    • Color code virtual correspondence so emails from employee/internal accounts are one color and emails from non-employee/external accounts are another.
  • If a BEC incident occurs, notify the IRS. File a complaint with the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3.)

Mayor Irvin to Offer 100-Day Progress Report

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Ill. Chamber: This Week in Springfield

Friday, August 4th, 2017

The Illinois General Assembly was only in Monday this week.  The Senate lifted its parliamentarian hold on the the education funding reform bill (SB 1), which allowed the bill to leave the Senate and arrive on the governor’s desk.

As expected, Gov. Rauner issued an amendatory veto removing several provisions of the original bill including the Chicago Public School pension parity languge.

SB 1 will now return to the Senate where lawmakers can either concur with the governor’s amendatory veto with three-fifths majority vote in both chambers, file a motion to override the governor’s veto with three-fifths majority in both chambers, or let the bill die by not acting on the governor’s veto.

At this moment, it is unclear what actions will be taken by the Senate.  However, under the Illinois Constitution, the originating chamber has only 15 calendar days to either reject or accept the governor’s recommendations (Art. IV, Sec. 9).  In other words, the drop dead date for SB 1 is Aug. 15.

It would take 36 aye votes in the Senate to override the governor’s veto.  The same chamber originally passed SB 1 with 35 votes, one short needed for the override.  In he House, the climb is even steeper.  71 votes would be needed for an override.  SB 1, when originally passed only recorded 60 aye votes, 11 shy of the 71 needed for an override.

It is also important to note that the General Assembly remains in continuous session.  Therefore, issues outside of education could still be acted on.

REP. BELLCOK TO RETIRE; ADDS TO GROWING LIST 
This week marked the fourteenth state legislator this year to either resign, give up their seat to run for another office or decide not to run for re-election
State Representative Patti Bellock (R – Hinsdale) announced this week that she would not be seeking re-election in 2018 adding to the growing number of lawmakers leaving the General Assembly.  Patti has been a fierce defender of the business community during her time in the legislature.  Bellock was also a recipient of the Chamber’s Champion of Free Enterprise multiple years in a row.
Adding to the list of House Republicans not seeking re-election include Bob Pritchard (not seeking re-election), Bill Mitchell (not seeking re-election), Chad Hays (not seeking re-election), and Barb Wheeler (not seeking re-election).  Senate Republicans include Christine Radogno (resigned), Tim Bivins (not seeking re-election) and Kyle McCarter (self imposed term limits).  House Democrats include Emily McAsey (resigned), Scott Drury (running for Governor), Cynthia Soto (running for another office), Laura Fine (running for state Senate), and Elaine Nektriz (not seeking re-election).  And lastly, Daniel Biss will be leaving the Senate Democrats to run for governor.

 

Mandatory Pre-Application Block Grant Meeting Set for Sept. 8

Friday, August 4th, 2017
In preparation for the City of Aurora’s 2018 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding cycle, interested organizations are invited to a pre-application workshop. This workshop will be held on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., at Aurora City Hall – 44 E. Downer Place, Council Chambers, 2nd floor.
 
In order for an agency’s 2018 CDBG funding application to be considered, this workshop is mandatory and an agency representative MUST attend.
 
If you have any questions, please call the Neighborhood Redevelopment Division, (630) 256-3320, email nrd@aurora-il.org.