The Illinois Chamber hosted U.S. Congressman Darin LaHood
(R-IL 18) in Springfield for a discussion on D.C. policy. Congressman LaHood spoke about the upcoming tax reform debate, which the Illinois Chamber sees as a major issue for our members. Congressman LaHood also discussed the regulatory reforms that have been put in place since the Trump administration has been in D.C., which he noted is perhaps the greatest accomplishment of the new administration so far. The Chamber continues to engage with our congressional delegation for responsible reforms for the business community in D.C.
Illinois must pull together a bipartisan consensus on economic development strategy in Illinois. At a minimum, legislators in Springfield should move immediately to pass a new version of EDGE.  It has widespread bipartisan support, but the legislation is currently being held hostage to the education funding debate.  It shouldn't be. A new EDGE program will help create jobs and the economy, helping tax revenues and schools. Read full article here

On Wednesday, July 12, President & CEO Todd Maisch participated in a panel discussion for the Illinois Campaign for Political Report. The ICPR co-hosted a forum with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute titled, "Illinois: A State Divided?" at DePaul University in Chicago. Polling experts joined journalists and grassroots activists for a discussion on the increasing partisan divide in public opinion throughout Illinois.

On July 6, Katie Stonewater (pictured second from left), executive director of the Energy Council, attended a meeting with Congressman Krishnamoorthi (pictured second from right) and other IL-8 area Chambers to discuss issues that are important to their respective Chamber memberships.  There were some great discussions about healthcare, tax reform, and the need to streamline workforce development programs that provide people with training and education that lead to jobs.  With that, the congressman stressed the need to further incorporate and consult the business community in these discussions. 

The Energy Council submitted comments to the Illinois Commerce Commission in response to its resolution announcing the NextGrid Initiative. NextGrid will be an 18-month study to look at options to support a regulatory environment that adapts to an evolving energy landscape. To quote the ICC, "The study, will explore topics such as methods to leverage Illinois' restructured energy market, investment in smart grid technology, and the significant expansion of renewables and energy efficiency resulting from recently passed Future Energy Jobs Act."   

The call for comments asked for recommendations for a third-party facilitator of the study and suggestions for topic discussion. The Chamber's comments focus on keeping energy costs competitive, ensuring market-based solutions, and being adaptable to changing technologies in the energy sector.  This is the first step in the study and the Chamber will remain engaged in the study to advocate for competitive energy markets that promote the lowest costs possible to energy consumers. Read entire letter here

On July 20, 2017, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, hosted the 2017 Cybersecurity Conference in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. This is the second time our organizations have partnered for this event and its influence continues to grow.

From start to finish, attendees and participants from both the private and public sectors engaged on the importance of working together to combat cybercrime and the need to establish policies and potential legislative changes that could impact the ability of businesses to protect themselves from future threats.

The success of this event would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors, which include Smith & Amundson LLC, TSC Advantage, and Northrop Grumman.

(Pictured, Tyler Diers, Director of Legislative Relations) 

The International Business Council executive director, Laura Ortega, traveled to New York City with some members to attend the 3rd annual Agribusiness Summit at the United Nation's Headquarters. The event took place on July 24 and 25 under the auspices of the Malawi Permanent Representation and served as an opportunity to discuss with qualify experts and stakeholders Africa's agriculture potential through transformation and innovation. The conference emphasized the need for investments in the development of modern sustainable agriculture and value chains to end hunger, achieve food security and access to world markets, as well as concrete ways to enhance roles and partnerships approaches between the United States and African countries in the areas of agribusiness and investment.


On July 13, the International Business Council, in partnership with the Whiteside County Economic Development Department and the Sauk Valley Community College, hosted a series of "sound off" meetings to hear from small and midsize enterprises in the region about the obstacles they face every day running their business in rural America.

The challenges and opportunities of running a small business in rural America are unique and often do not benefit from the programs aimed at metro locations. We need to hear from rural businesses, their CEOs and economic development organizations to properly evaluate the state of rural entrepreneurship and find effective solutions to unlock rural economic growth as geography and opportunity favors dense, urban, well-connected and highly globalized locations with direct access to talent, capital and innovation. In photo above, Gary Camarano, Econ. Dev. Dir. & Enterprise Zone Admin. of Whiteside County points out the beautiful scenery that with proper investments in infrastructure, transportation and connectivity could attract tourism and ignite economic development, revenue and jobs for the region.

In the month of July, we spoke to radio, television, and print media outlets, delivering pro-business values to audiences across Illinois.

Illinois Budget and Taxes
Business groups criticize tax, budget bills
Business leaders decry tax hike with no reforms
The Stalemate Has Ended: Illinois Reacts To End Of Budget Crisis
For businesses, end of state budget impasse is 'missed opportunity' without relief
Businesses warn of price hikes, staff cuts as minimum wage increases kick in
Chicago-Area Soda Tax Stayed On Eve Of Scheduled Start

Illinois Business
Investors will go back to flying past Illinois if tax passes, finance pro says
Losing Foxconn should be a wake-up call for Illinois
Businesses to sound off in Whiteside County
Region’s rural businesses can speak up and be heard in Washington State of Illinois

Illinois vs the Digital Age
Illinois Issues: The Battle Over Transparency And Privacy In The Digital Age
Business and tech groups say geolocation is unnecessary and will confuse consumers
Bill Would Require Geolocation Notification
Consumer Protection in Retail: Weekly Roundup 



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