Last week, House Speaker Michael Madigan adjourned the Illinois House with “sine die.” In effect, and barring any recall to special session by Governor Pat Quinn, the House will remain adjourned until January when the new members are sworn in.
With the end of the 98th General Assembly, a number of legislative issues expired. SB 16, the school funding reform proposal, was one of the items remaining behind. Other issues included a minimum wage increase as well as an extension of the income tax increase.
In addition, the end of the session realized the retirement of key House leaders from our region. Our thanks and appreciation are extended to Tom Cross (Oswego-97th), Tim Schmitz (Batavia-65th), Kay Hatcher (Yorkville-50th), and Darlene Senger (Naperville-41st) for their service and dedication to the residents and businesses of our area. We wish them well as they begin new opportunities.
Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner will be sworn in on Jan. 12. When the House reconvenes on Jan. 14, new members will be representing those districts. While the House and Senate will remain in Democrat control, the Governor’s office will have switched to the Republican party.
Many of those items that were left unresolved last week will likely return. In addition, topics including pension reform and workers’ compensation reform will need to be addressed.
We will continue to monitor the activities. We will continue to work with our business members to advocate for legislation that supports their growth and success. We will continue to ask for your support in communicating the impact proposed legislation will have on you, your business, and your employees. We hope you will accept that challenge and work with us.
The City of Aurora’s Veterans Advisory Council and the Veteran community of Aurora invite community businesses and members to support the fundraising campaign to a new Veterans monument. Valued sponsors of the “Salute to Aurora’s Fallen Heroes” can participate by completing the information below and mailing it to the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley. The monument will be placed at the entrance of the Sunken Gardens at Phillips Park. The new monument will honor all Aurorans who made the ultimate sacrifice in the nation’s conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Contact the VAC with questions.
This week begins the holiday season for many of us. It also starts the chaotic rush of list making, shopping and shipping. By all reports, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be bigger than ever. But on Saturday, we all have an opportunity to support our local businesses and our community.
For the third consecutive year, the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce has partnered with American Express and others to encourage the community to support our local businesses.
Celebrate the local character of our retailers. In a world that is increasingly mass produced and packaged, there are a number of options for consumers to find something unique and personal within our community. By supporting these businesses, you are helping to preserve their distinctive character.
For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 of additional economic activity is generated through additional spending cycles. According to a Civic Economics’ study of Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, this activity is in addition to wages and local taxes. Businesses tend to use local services such as marketing, accounting, and consulting firms. They get their supplies — such as paper, signage, and products — from fellow local businesses.
These businesses build strong communities that link us with our neighbors. They contribute to the causes and societal needs of our community.
In addition, when supporting our local retailers, restaurants, and service providers, you realize lower taxes. According to the American Independent Business Alliance, a local focus on shopping and dining locally means a more efficient use of land which results in less demand on our roads, sewers, and safety services.
More importantly, the Alliance reports that specialty retail — primarily small neighborhood-located businesses — generate a net annual return to municipalities of $326 per 1,000 square feet of store space. Most other businesses in the survey actually cost the taxpayers more than the return on the investment.
Furthermore, according to the City of Aurora and Village of North Aurora, they each receive one percent in gross sales back from the State of Illinois. This money is applied to essential public services such as police, fire and public works. In addition, North Aurora receives $0.50 per $100 general merchandise purchases while Aurora (a home-rule community) receives $1.25 per $100 for road improvements and capital projects.
While supporting our local businesses, we are also reducing our reliance on other taxes. We realize more effective and efficient services.
I encourage you to support the many retailers, restaurants and service providers in our area this shopping season. Keep our tax dollars in the community where they can truly make a difference.
Check out the business directory at AuroraChamber.com and select a couple of local businesses to visit. Choose to do some of your holiday shopping at a local business. Join us on Facebook and let us know what you find.
The holiday season is just around the corner, and once again we know that folks in our community will not have the means to celebrate the season. The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is partnering again this year with the Fox Valley United Way to make a difference.
While countless parents are telling their children that there will not be many gifts under the tree this year, a large number of children in our community will not be receiving any presents. It’s a luxury many parents cannot afford as they are simply trying to make ends meet. All donations will support the more than 130 local families who have reached out for help so far this year.
Want to make a difference for a family in need?
For more information, click here.
In addition to Dolan & Murphy, the drive is sponsored by a number of local businesses and organizations, including Prisco’s Family Market, The River 95.9 FM, The Beacon News, Cano Container Corporation, Douglas Carpet One, and Aurora Fastprint.
Additionally, this is the second year for the Matching Pallet Program. The pallet program is a challenge grant where five organizations have committed to match donations dollar for dollar up to $10,000 each for a total of $50,000. Those five organizations are the Dunham Fund, Mooney & Thomas PC, Konen Insurance Agency, Old Second National Bank, and the Daniel D. Dolan Family Foundation.
Dan Dolan writes, “We hope to make this our most successful year ever and we need everyone’s help to raise enough food so no child or adult has to go hungry in our community!”
To donate, visit here.
To volunteer, visit here.
To purchase a pallet, visit here.
In collaboration with a number of local community leaders and organizations – including the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Business Development Center plans to launch a ScaleUp Aurora satellite to support and strengthen local small businesses.
Interested individuals can view the description here.
The WBDC-Aurora Coordinator is responsible for developing and implementing capacity building programs and resources to local established business owners in Aurora, Illinois and the surrounding area, in the range of $150,000 to $500,000 annual revenues. The Coordinator will provide WBDC-Aurora clients expert resources and counseling services in the areas of finance, management, operations, sales and marketing to assist business owners with meeting their short term and long term business objectives to sustain growth. The Coordinator will develop and implement programming in the areas of procurement and Access to Capital to initiate growth and relationships that leverage the ScaleUp America contract and deliver on WBDC strategic goals.
The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is a nationally and internationally recognized non-profit organization established in 1986 to work with women to launch new businesses and strengthen existing businesses in the Chicago area. Over the past 28 years, the WBDC has become a leader in providing direct services to women business owners and in effecting public policy changes which reflect the needs of women entrepreneurs and their families.