Regulatory News
State Agency Rules Open For Comment
The following rules have been proposed by State of Illinois agencies and are open for public comment.   To see a comprehensive list of rules which could impact small businesses, visit   You can learn about rules and submit comments regarding their impact  by clicking on " submit comments" .   

The Secretary of State proposed amendments which could impact small businesses seeking contracts with the Secretary of State.  To learn more about these potential changes or to submit comments, click hereThis rule is open for public comment until 5/13/19.  

The Office of the State Treasurer proposed a new part which will impact technology businesses seeking to locate, expand or remain in Illinois.  To learn more about these potential changes, click hereThis rule is open for public comment until 4/22/19.  

The Department of Public Health proposed amendments which could impact home health care, home nursing and home services agencies.  To learn more about these potential changes, click here.   This rule is open for  public comment until 4/29/19.

US Department of Labor Announces Proposed Rule on Overtime Pay
On March 28, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (Department) announced a proposed rule to amend 29 CFR part 778 to clarify and update regular rate requirements under section 7(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The FLSA generally requires overtime pay of at least one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek. Regular rate requirements define what forms of payment employers include and exclude in the "time and one-half" calculation when determining workers' overtime rates.

Under current rules, employers are discouraged from offering more perks to their employees as it may be unclear whether those perks must be included in the calculation of an employees' regular rate of pay. The proposed rule focuses primarily on clarifying whether certain kinds of perks, benefits, or other miscellaneous items must be included in the regular rate. Because these regulations have not been updated in decades, the proposal would better define the regular rate for today's workplace practices.

The Department proposes clarifications to the regulations to confirm that employers may exclude the following from an employee's regular rate of pay:
  • the cost of providing wellness programs, onsite specialist treatment, gym access and fitness classes, and employee discounts on retail goods and services;
  • payments for unused paid leave, including paid sick leave;
  • reimbursed expenses, even if not incurred "solely" for the employer's benefit;
  • reimbursed travel expenses that do not exceed the maximum travel reimbursement permitted under the Federal Travel Regulation System regulations and that satisfy other regulatory requirements;
  • discretionary bonuses;
  • Benefit plans, including accident, unemployment, and legal services; and
  • Tuition programs, such as reimbursement programs or repayment of educational debt.
The proposed rule also includes additional clarification about other forms of compensation, including payment for meal periods, "call back" pay, and others.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the March 29, Federal Register, at which time interested parties may submit comments on the proposal at in the rulemaking docket RIN 1235-AA24 by May 28, 2019. Only comments received during the comment period will be considered part of the rulemaking record.

Additional Information:
News from the Small Business Administration
Why These 3 Franchise Disclosure Document Items Really Matter
If you decide to go down the franchise business opportunity path, one of the business artifacts you'll become familiar with is the Franchise Disclosure Document. Known in franchise circles as the FDD, franchisors generally send this lengthy, but important 300-page legal document to you within the first couple weeks of your introduction to the franchise concept.  Read more.  

How to Build Business Credit on a Shoestring Budget
Many businesses start on a shoestring budget so it can be challenging to build the business credit you need to expand your business. But every business has to start somewhere and building your business credit can be done with the right action plan to guide you.  Read more.  

5 Myths About Payroll Taxes
If you want to grow your business, you probably need to hire employees to help you. Becoming an employer and expanding your staff entails many responsibilities, one of which is overseeing payroll taxes. Unfortunately, there are many myths about these taxes.  Read more.  
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) News
Incomplete Vendor Profiles Continue To Be An Issue For Small Business And Buyers
For small businesses, having a complete SBA Profile helps their chances of being found and invited into opportunities by federal buyers as well as prime contractors seeking to meet small business goals. Unfortunately, approximately 90% of SAM-registered small businesses have something wrong with their SBA Profile. A recent survey of small business profiles conducted on the SBA's Small Dynamic Search Database showed that 60% of firms didn't even complete their capabilities narrative. The capabilities narrative is one of the first things that federal buyers and prime contractors see when they are searching for a small business. If your profile is missing information, you may be getting passed over on opportunities.

In addition to not having a capabilities narrative, other issues include missing keywords, an improperly formatted URL leading to the business website, left out performance history (references), and failure to indicate business type percentages, to name a few.

If you are a small business and need help with reviewing and optimizing your SBA Profile, visit or contact your nearest PTAC representative.  To locate a PTAC near you, click here.  

News from the IRS 
Two IRS Publications Every Business Owner and Self-Employed Individual Should Read
The 2019 revision of Form 656-Booklet, Offer in Compromise (OIC) will be available for download on, Monday, March 25. The booklet contains current forms and instructions for submitting an OIC. Using previous versions of the booklet may result in delayed processing of OIC applications.

Publication 5318, Tax Reform: What's New for Your Business , provides an overview of many of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes that affect business taxes. Topics include:
  • Qualified business income deduction
  • Depreciation
  • Business related losses, exclusions and deductions
  • Other miscellaneous provisions
Additional help for filing business taxes is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, and the tax reform information page.

Filing Season Tips for Employers and Employees 
Read and be aware of the IRS-identified Dirty Dozen tax schemes
Identity theft remains at the top of the IRS's Dirty Dozen tax scheme list for 2019. Despite a steep drop in tax-related ID theft in recent years, the IRS last week warned taxpayers that the scam remains serious enough to earn a spot on the agency's annual list of scams.

The IRS cautions individuals to protect their personal data by not routinely carrying a Social Security card and make sure tax records are secure.
When calling the IRS, be ready to verify identity
IRS phone assisters take great care to only discuss personal information with the taxpayer or someone the taxpayer authorizes to speak on their behalf. To avoid having to call back, the IRS reminds taxpayers to have ready:
  • Social Security numbers and birth dates for those who were named on the tax return.
  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number  letter if the taxpayer has one instead of an SSN.
  • Their filing status: single, head of household, married filing joint or married filing separately.
  • The prior-year tax return. Telephone assistors may need to verify taxpayer identity with information from the return before answering certain questions.
  • A copy of the tax return in question.
  • Any IRS letters or notices received by the taxpayer.
Report health care coverage on 2018 tax return
Individuals completing their 2018 tax returns this year must complete the lines related to health care. For tax year 2018, taxpayers need to:
  • report full-year health coverage.
  • claim a coverage exemption, or
  • report and make a shared responsibility payment for everyone on the tax return.
Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the shared responsibility payment is reduced to zero for tax year 2019 and all subsequent years.
Visit for more information about the Affordable Care Act and filing a 2018 tax return.
Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program 
Annual Emissions Reports are Due May 1
On January 4, 2019, permitted sources should have received an email with PDF attachment from Buzz Asselmeier containing their 2018 Annual Emissions Report forms that are due to the Illinois EPA by May 1st. If you have not received your facility's 2018 report form, it is possible it was sent to your junk or spam folders. To help ensure you receive future communications regarding your AER, we recommend you add  to your address book. If you have not received your report, please  e-mail Buzz Asselmeier.
If your contact information changes for your facility's Annual Emissions Report, changes can be submitted here. If you have questions about your report or need assistance, contact the Illinois EPA Bureau of Air at 217-524-0934 or the Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program at 800-252-3998 or  
Visit for links to helpful tools for calculating your facility's emissions as well as the Illinois EPA's Annual Emission Report Instructions.
SBEAP TIP:  Consider creating a dedicated e-mail address like or for official government correspondence. This would help ensure your company continues to receive regulatory reports, billings and other notifications when staffing changes occur. Topical or dedicated e-mail addresses eliminate the need for updating multiple agencies of staff/contact changes, reduce the chances of the communications being lost or overlooked, and could allow multiple users to have access to important email communications.

Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) Offering Energy Code Webinars
The anticipated adoption date for the new Illinois Energy Efficiency Code (based on the 2018 IECC, with Illinois amendments) has been moved from March 1, 2019 to May 1, 2019.
With more time to prepare for upcoming changes, consider signing up for one of SEDAC's Energy Code webinars. 
  • 2018 IECC Commercial Mechanical Systems Provisions with Corresponding IMC Sections. April 24, 2019 at 12 pm. 
  • 2018 IECC for Existing Buildings. Learn about energy code requirements for renovations or additions to existing buildings. May 22, 2019 at 12 pm.
Find out more and register here.  F unding for this program has been provided in whole or in part by the Illinois EPA Office of Energy.

The Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) is a federally mandated program to assist small businesses with their environmental requirements. SBEAP is a free, confidential, and non-regulatory resource for small business owners to help them understand and comply with state and federal air pollution regulations.
We offer a range of services to assist small businesses, including training seminars and workshops, current permit forms and instructions, links to various Illinois state agency environmental regulations, a quarterly newsletter with regular updates and information on pending and recently amended rulemakings, fact sheets, brochures and guides related to a wide range of small businesses, and links to a directory of environmental consultants. 
The SBEAP program is located within the Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology at the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. For more information please click here.
Need Assistance? Visit, or call our helpline at (800) 252-3998, or email
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
DCEO's Office of Minority Economic Empowerment Upcoming Events 
OMEE will be an exhibitor at the South Holland Business Association Business Expo & Resource Fair:
Thursday, March 28, 2019
10:30 am - 2:30 pm
South Holland Community Center
501 E. 170th Street
South Holland, IL 60473
ADME (Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship) Business Workshop
Tuesday, April 2, 2019,  5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Project HOOD Leadership and Economic Opportunity Center
6330 S. King Drive,  Chicago, IL 60637
Registration link:
Financial Fair
Saturday, April 6, 2019,  10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Apostolic Faith Church
3823 S. Indiana,  Chicago, IL 60653
ADME (Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship) Business Workshop
Wednesday, April 10, 2019,  6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Victory Apostolic Church
20801 Matteson Avenue,  Matteson, IL 60443
Registration link:  
Small Business Expo 
Small Business Expo - June 20, 2019 - Chicago
Meet and network with thousands of like-minded business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals in your area!  

Why attend Small Business Expo?
*  Network with thousands of businesses
*  Get leads and new customers
*  Build your business
*  Attend FREE business-critical workshops and seminars
*  Shop for new products and services to help your business
*  Learn from cutting-edge presentations
*  Participate in FREE speed networking  sessions

Since 2008, Small Business Expo has dedicated itself to putting on fun and educational events that help Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs thrive. The free one-day event allows business owners to connect, network with vendors in various industries and learn from the best in business about how to solve their most pressing business issues. Small business owners are encouraged to attend to learn from industry experts and shop from exhibitors that have products & services that help a Small Business grow.   Click here to learn more about the Small Business Expo to be held in Chicago June 20th, 2019.

Illinois PTAC HUBZone Outreach Event
Federal Contracting Opportunities for IL HUBZone Eligible Businesses

When:  4/16/2019, 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM 
To attend this event in-person where the speakers will be present,
register here.

Where: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 601 James R. Thompson Blvd., Building B, STEM Lab, East St. Louis, IL 62201.

We will also be streaming the event to satellite offices across the state. Click on the location where you would like to attend.
Attend Online Only, Via Your ComputerClick here for more information.  

Export While Protecting Your Company's Intellectual Property
DATE:  Tuesday April 16, 2019
TIME:  11:30-1:30
PLACE:  ICNC (Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago), 320 N. Damen Avenue, 1st Floor, Chicago, IL 60612

You've put time and resources into building your company's identity, product/services branding, and even proprietary technologies and methods.  But how do you protect those valuable assets from theft? Or from a competitor trading off of your hard-earned goodwill?  What additional protections does your company need to sell products and services internationally?
This workshop will help you learn:
  1. What you need to know about international law and how it pertains to trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets.
  2. How and when to start protecting your company's brands and technologies using trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets.
  3. The costs and benefits of a well-planned and well-executed Intellectual Property strategy, and how those investments often increase the value of your company.
  4. How to (and how not to) respond to a cease-and-desist letter from another Intellectual Property rights holder.
Breakfast and printed materials shall be provided. There is free parking on the street.  T here is no cost, but  registration is encouraged. Register here  .

SBA's Illinois District Office Events Calendar
Visit the small business events calendar on SBA's Illinois District Office  homepage to locate an event or training that suits your small business needs.  
Spotlight on Success
Spotlight on Success- Heartland Fabrication LLC 
Troy Young and Rod Wiegand, co-owners of Heartland Fabrication LLC, began their journey in the field of custom fabrication within the realm of another company. Describing it as "walk-in and repair" work, they garnered and retained the attention of customers when it came to their custom work. Having both served as the head of the custom fabrication division at this company at separate times, there was no doubt that they could start up their own business. The idea was conceived after their time had allotted at the other company when previous customers began to inquire about how and where to get that type of work done and even received committed support if they were to begin their own entrepreneurial endeavors. A short time later, in partnership with their wives, Heartland Fabrication, LLC in Congerville, Illinois was born.   

Today, Young and Wiegand have accumulated over 45 years of combined experience in areas such as custom fabrication, CNC machining, welding, sales, and purchasing have grown the company into two entities; the repairing of trailers, farm equipment, and other parts along with custom manufacturing as well as the KORY FARM equipment product line. One of their most visible and notable custom feats to date is the silo of support for the Barn III Dinner Theatre. The silo is composed of ΒΌ" wire mesh sheets as well as rectangular and square tubing. Both the mesh and tubing were fabricated into sections; joined together creating a final product that now stands 42 feet high. Currently, the company is working on a project with Zeller Electric now based in Goodfield, Illinois that is dealing with man-work, interior showpieces, steel staircases and more to create a beautiful office scape.    

Running day-to-day operations is no easy task but the healthy challenges of managing growth and projects have risen for both co-owners. Noting that many of the daily tasks that goes into operations could not be possible without their beloved wives, they state that it is ultimately about "controlling the business and not letting it control you." They give a humble thanks to Kevin Evans, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University for being their guide to getting Heartland Fabrications LLC up and running. As a man with "an answer for everything", Kevin assisted with tasks that ultimately helped create the company's   [ Read more...]
April 2019
Helpful Links
Start a Business - Illinois Small Business Development Center (Illinois SBDC)
Illinois First Stop Business Information Center
Business Registration - Illinois Department of Revenue
Illinois Secretary of State Business Services
How Can We Help You?

Illinois Small Business Development Centers are located throughout the state and provide information, confidential business guidance, training and other resources and services for start-up and existing small businesses.

Whether your company employs two people or 102, you need a strong network behind you to succeed. And that's where the Illinois Small Business Development Center comes in. SBDC partners with well-respected business development organizations and educational institutions to assist you in maximizing your potential to grow and attract investors. SBDC connects you to the experts, tools and opportunities that translate into endless possibilities!
The Illinois SBDC program is located within the Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology at the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. For more information please click here.

Need Assistance?

Call our helpline at 800.252.2923 or email




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