Proposed Rules Open for Public Comment 
Proposed 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 Department of Human Services proposed amendments which will impact businesses that impact child care services.  To learn more about these potential changes or to submit comments, click hereThis rule is open for public comment until 8/26/19.  


The Department of Human Services proposed amendments which will impact child care providers participating in the Child Care Assistance Program.  To learn more about these changes or to submit comments, click hereThis rule is open for public comment until 8/19/19.


The Department of Agriculture proposed amendments which will impact small businesses that custom slaughter or process meat.  To learn more about these changes or to submit comments, click here.  This rule is open for public comment until 8/19/19.


The Department of Revenue proposed amendments which will impact law firms or small businesses involved in DOR administrative hearings.  To learn more about these changes or to submit comments, click here This rule is open for public comment until 8/19/19.


For more information on any of the above proposed rules, contact Katy Khayyat at (217) 558-0190 or email    
US Department of Labor Proposes Rule to Create Private-Sector Apprenticeship Programs
DOL Rule to Create Private-Sector Apprenticeship Programs
On June 25, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a proposed rule to create an apprenticeship program run by private-sector partners recognized by the agency. The agency would designate "standards recognition entities" or SREs from the private sector. These bodies would approve individual "industry-recognized apprenticeship programs" or IRAPs.  SREs would focus on specific industries or occupational areas, and they would be recognized by DOL to ensure that its requirements are met. The agency would not, at least initially, accept applications from SREs seeking to recognize apprenticeship programs in the U.S. military or in the construction industry.  Industry apprentice programs (or IRAPs) may be developed by trade and industry groups, large and small businesses, nonprofit organizations, unions and joint labor-management organizations. Small businesses seeking to create an industry apprenticeship program would apply with the SRE and pay a $3,000 fee.  DOL is seeking feedback on this new program, and the economic impact of this rule on the small business community.

Comments on this rule are due on August 26, 2019.   
Securities and Exchange Commission Requests Comments from Small Businesses on Changes to Registration Exemptions 
Businesses are Encouraged to Comment On How to Improve Upon the Securities Regulatory Framework
SEC Requests Comments on Changes to Registration Exemptions
On June 26, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requested comments on several registration exemptions under the Securities Act of 1933 that facilitate capital raising. The SEC is specifically requesting comments on the following:
  • the exempt offering framework
  • the capital-raising exemptions within the framework
  • potential gaps in the framework
  • investor limitations
  • integration
  • pooled investment income
  • secondary trading
The SEC is interested in hearing from small businesses and their investors about how to improve upon the securities regulatory framework.
The comment period closes September 24, 2019.
  • Review the request for comments and submit a comment here.
  • Review the SEC's press release on its request for comments here.
  • Advocacy Contact: Charles Jeane at (202) 205-7168.
Employers Must Provide Important Health and Safety Information 
Reminder to Employers about Providing Information
Workers have specific rights aimed at protecting them while on the job and providing for a safe and healthy work environment. To help ensure they know those rights, all public sector employers are required to prominently post the Illinois Department of Labor's Job Safety and Health poster.
Illinois OSHA, a division of the state Department of Labor, covers public-sector employers in the state. In Illinois, most private employers fall under federal OSHA's jurisdiction, which also requires the display of a similar poster.
The poster provides a summary of employees' rights, for example:
* You have the right to notify your employer or IDOL about workplace hazard. You can remain confidential upon request.
* You have the right to see IDOL citations issued to your employer.
* You have the right to request an IDOL inspection if you believe that there are unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.
And it also addresses employers' responsibilities:
* You must furnish your employees a place of employment free from recognized hazards.
* You must comply with the occupational safety and health standards issued under this Act.
* You must post any citations issued by IDOL at or near the place of the violation(s).
The poster also notifies employers that they are required to orally report all work-related fatalities to Illinois OSHA within eight hours and report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours at the Illinois OSHA hotline - 217-782-7860.
Here is a link to the federal OSHA safety poster:
Calling All Illinois Employers - Get Featured On Our Site! 
Become a Partner Today!
WorkNet New Did you know that Illinois workNet offers a section that focuses on employers in Illinois? We call it Featured Employers. Any company in Illinois that is hiring or may be hiring can submit their information to be highlighted. This page is where job seekers can go to look for local employers that are hiring and learn more about the company. Because Illinois workNet is used daily by so many people, becoming a Featured Employer can increase the knowledge of your company and boost the number of qualified applicants you receive. Another benefit is the posting helps you market your company and provide additional search engine benefits, all at no cost to you!

Submitting your information is easy: 
  1. Go to the Job Openings and Recruiting tab and click Featured Employers or click here.
  2. Click Submit an Employer.
  3. Choose to submit with or without a workNet account (if you select without, you will not be able to edit your entry later).
  4. Fill out the information for your company.
  5. Click Submit.
After you submit your business, the Illinois workNet team will review your submission and post it to the Featured Employers page on Illinois workNet. We look forward to seeing you on our site!
News from the Small Business Administration

SBA Adjusts Size Standards to Expand Lending & Contracting Opportunities  
The U.S. Small Business Administration recently issued an interim final rule that will adjust monetary-based small business size standards for inflation to allow more small businesses to become eligible for the SBA's loan and contracting programs. The rule was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2019.
The SBA is adjusting its industry-specific monetary-based size standards by nearly 8.4% to reflect the inflation that has occurred since the last adjustment for inflation in 2014. This time, the SBA is also adjusting the revenues-based size standards for agricultural industries, which were previously set by statute. These adjusted size standards will become effective on Aug. 19, 2019 and will be reviewed again as part of the second five-year review of size standards mandated by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
Additionally, the SBA is adjusting program-specific monetary-based size standards by the same amount for sales or leases of government property and stockpile purchases. The SBA is not adjusting the tangible net worth and net income based interim alternative size standards that apply to the SBA-guaranteed 7(a) and 504 Certified Development Company loan programs, which were established under the Small Business Jobs Act.
The interim alternative size standards for the 7(a) and 504 loan programs will remain in effect until the SBA establishes a permanent alternative size standard for these programs. The SBA is also not adjusting the tangible net worth and net income based alternative size standard for the Small Business Investment Company program.
The SBA estimates that nearly 90,000 additional businesses will gain small business status under the adjusted size standards, becoming eligible for SBA loan and contracting programs. This could possibly lead to as much as $750 million in additional federal contracts awarded to small businesses and up to 120 additional small business loans totaling nearly $65 million.
Comments can be submitted on this interim final rule by Sept. 16, 2019, at, identified with the following RIN number: RIN 3245-AH17. Interested parties may also mail comments to Khem R. Sharma, Chief, Office of Size Standards, 409 Third St. SW, Mail Code 6530, Washington, DC 20416.
For detailed information on how SBA establishes, reviews, or modifies its size standards, please view the SBA-issued white paper entitled "Size Standards Methodology." For the latest information about the SBA's revisions to its small business size standards, please follow its announcements about updating size standards.
SBA Day is Coming Soon to a Town Near You 
Traditional rural sectors continue to anchor the economies of more than half of the nation's counties, and the SBA and its resource partners stand ready to be your partner and help you start, grow, or expand your small business. Attend this free, half-day workshop to learn about loan programs, including those with reduced fees, federal contracting opportunities, and other initiatives especially designed to empower America's rural entrepreneurs.
Wednesday, Aug. 14 | Sauk Valley Community College, Dixon | Register Here
Tuesday, Aug. 20 | Illinois Valley Community College, Oglesby | Register Here
Office of Advocacy Announces New Funding Opportunities for Small Business Research
The Office of Advocacy is pleased to announce new funding opportunities for small business research.  The Office of Advocacy periodically funds economic research on small business issues and is seeking research proposals in six areas: bank formation, cybersecurity, population dynamics, entrepreneur demographics, veteran entrepreneurship, and miscellaneous small business topics.  Links to each solicitation are below and are also accessible by searching FedBizOpps for Small Business Administration listings or the solicitation numbers below.  Proposal submissions are open until Friday, August 16.  
The Office of Advocacy's mission includes researching the status and contributions of U.S. small businesses in the economy.  To fulfill this task, Office of Advocacy periodically funds small business research from researchers through the government contracting process.  The Office of Advocacy selected the research topics below through outreach based on research feasibility and the potential to document the status of small businesses, be a catalyst for further research, or provide policymaking insight.
The following research solicitations are currently open. The deadline for submitting proposals is Friday, August 16th at 5:00 PM EST.
Solicitation Number: 73351019Q0063
Solicitation Number: 73351019Q0064
Solicitation Number: 73351019Q0065
Solicitation Number: 73351019Q0066
Solicitation Number: 73351019Q0067
Solicitation Number: 73351019Q0068
Additional Information:
  • The proposal solicitations and synopses are listed on FedBizOpps. To access, click on the links above or go to FedBizOpps and search for recent Small Business Administration listings or by the solicitation number.
  • All solicitations are small business set-asides.  If you are a qualified small business or independent researcher, register for eligibility or maintain your registration at the System for Award Management.
  • The solicitation on "Research on Miscellaneous Small Business Topics Using Datasets" lists several suggested topics and provides prospective researchers flexibility to propose a novel and relevant research project on a topic not listed in other solicitations. 
News from the IRS 
How to Tell the Difference Between a Business and a Hobby For Tax Purposes  
Are you running a business or engaging in a hobby? Generally, if someone has a business, they operate the business to make a profit, while hobbyists participate primarily for sport or recreation. Here are three key factors to consider: 
  • Whether you maintain books and records for your activity.
  • Whether the time and effort you put into the activity indicates you intend to make it profitable.
  • Whether you depend on income from the activity for your livelihood.
For more information, go to the Income & Expenses page on

Next Estimated Tax Due Date is September 16
Self-employed workers are responsible for paying taxes directly to the IRS. One way is to make estimated tax payments during the year. The next due date for 2019 is Sept. 16.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the way tax is calculated for those with substantial income not subject to withholding. As a result, many self-employed workers may need to raise or lower the amount of tax they pay each quarter.

The revised estimated tax package, Form 1040-ES, on is designed to help taxpayers calculate their estimated payments correctly. The package includes a quick rundown of key tax changes, income tax rate schedules for 2019, and a worksheet for figuring the right amount to pay.
Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program 

Illinois EPA Announces Free Brownfield Redevelopment Workshop Being Offered in St. Clair County 
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the Madison County Community Development and St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department, is encouraging interested individuals and groups to attend an upcoming workshop to gain information and resources for redeveloping brownfields. The free brownfields redevelopment workshop is being presented by the Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) Program at Kansas State University, in partnership with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and local agencies. The workshop is designed to assist communities in identifying the resources and opportunities available to resolve environmental and redevelopment issues often associated with brownfields properties.

The free workshop will be held on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 from 9:15 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (CST) at the Shrine Restaurant & Banquet Center, 442 South DeMazenod Drive, Belleville, IL 62223. The workshop is recommended for any local/regional government officials, economic and community development organizations, not-for-profits, community groups, real estate developers, commercial real estate brokers, lenders and others working to promote economic development in the East Metro area. Attendance includes a complementary lunch, but advanced registration is required by August 2. Online registration and workshop materials can be found at: For assistance with registration, please contact Sheree Walsh with Kansas State University at or 785-532-6519.

Brownfields are abandoned or under-used industrial and commercial properties with actual or perceived contamination and an active potential for redevelopment. The Illinois EPA Remedial Project Management Section manages the brownfields loan programs and offers technical support to communities through the services of its Brownfields Representatives. Illinois EPA representatives regularly assist communities in taking on these properties for redevelopment. More information is available at

The Economic Revitalization Through Brownfields Workshop is being hosted by the Madison County Community Development and St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department in partnership with Illinois EPA. The event is made possible by funding provided by the U.S. EPA.

Mobile Equipment and the ROSS Program
The Registration of Smaller Sources program requires sources who meet certain air emission and other criteria to register with the Illinois EPA's Bureau of Air. Unlike portable equipment covered by an air pollution control permit, there is no portable provision to move the equipment from one location to another under one ROSS registration.
Sources with portable pieces of equipment (crushers for example) would need to file a new ROSS registration for each location the unit is operated at during the year and pay the $235 site fee per location.
To avoid annual billing for inactive sites (that the business does not intend to return to within the next year), the owner or operator should send a letter to IEPA to withdraw the registration for those locations. The letter should include the Site ID number and physical location for the registration you wish to withdraw.

For more information visit the Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program website at:
Upcoming Events
Upcoming EventsChallengeHER
ChallengeHER provides women-owned small businesses the information and tools they need to succeed in the world of federal contracting.  This event will be held Tuesday, August 6, 2019.  Registration will be from 7am - 8am, sessions and matchmaking from 8am to 12:30 pm.   This event will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Student Union East, 3rd Floor, 750 South Halsted, Chicago, IL 60607.   
  • Basic Training for Emerging Federal Contractors
  • High Level Training for Experienced Federal Contractors
  • Networking with Primes, Agencies and other WOSBs
  • Matchmaking with Agencies and Primes. 
To register, click here.  

BUSINESSFirst - August 6, 2019 Rockford  
BUSINESSFirst is an introductory, one-stop shop for opening a business within the City of Rockford. This partnership brings together multiple City of Rockford departments together with the Winnebago County Health Department, the Rock River Water Reclamation District, and the Small Business Development Center to meet with individuals who are looking to develop or redevelopment commercial or industrial property in the City of Rockford.   BUSINESSFirst is ideal for individuals who have identified a potential location for a new or expanded business. We encourage you to attend a BUSINESSFirst meeting prior to leasing or purchasing the property.

Not sure if BUSINESSFirst is right for you? Contact the City of Rockford's Business Liaison, Matt Simpson, at 779-348-7419 for more information.

Innovation Challenge - October 17, 2019 Waubonsee Community College
The Rochelle Retail Advisory Board, Kishwaukee College and the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee Community College will host the 2019 Innovation Challenge on Oct. 17 at the Kishwaukee College Conference Center, 21193 Malta Road.
Entrepreneurs and business owners are invited to present their business ideas to a panel of judges and compete for prizes. Competitors may pitch newly formed ideas, fully developed business plans and/or ideas for business expansion. There is no restriction on business type or target market.
Competitors will present a three-minute oral presentation to a panel of judges who will provide feedback on the business idea. The top three competitors will receive prizes that include cash, in-kind packages and possible incubator space.   Applicants must be Illinois residents. To apply by Oct. 1, 2019. Click here for more details. 

2019 Metro East Start-Up Challenge Offers $20,000 in Prizes
Entrepreneurs and new business startups are invited to compete in the 2019 Metro East Start-Up Challenge (MESC),  Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's sixth annual regional business plan competition.

The MESC is organized by the Illinois Small Business Development Center ( SBDC) for the Metro East at SIUE. The purpose of the Challenge is to identify, encourage and support entrepreneurs and business startups across the SBDC's service area, including Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph Counties.
The first-place winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize. Second and third place winners will receive $6,000 and $4,000, respectively. Prize winners will also receive an array of in-kind professional services to include legal assistance from Attorney at Law Carol Sparks and accounting services from Scheffel Boyle. The SBDC also is looking to secure other in-kind services to offer the three winners.

"The Metro East Start-Up Challenge elevates the discussion of and support for entrepreneurship across our region," said Jo Ann Di Maggio May, SBDC director. "Interest in the annual Challenge continues to grow with each passing year." 

 The Challenge is made possible through tremendous regional support. Among the sponsors are the   SIUE School of Business, University Park at SIUE, the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, Anders CPA & Advisors, the City of Collinsville, the City of Edwardsville, Town and Country Bank (Edwardsville and Fairview Heights locations), Monroe County Economic Development Corp., Carrollton Bank, St. Clair County Economic Development, Growth Corp., Madison County Economic Development, Bank of Springfield, the City of Alton, Riverbend Growth Association, FCB Banks, Barber Murphy Group, and SIUE's School of Business, the SBDC's host organization, will assist with facilitating the competition.
Entrepreneurs and startup businesses come from four target industries (but not limited to): information technology, manufacturing, healthcare and sustainable food. For a startup business enterprise to be eligible, it must have been established after April 30, 2016, and be headquartered in the SBDC's nine-county service area. For pre-venture entrepreneurs, proposed new business operations will need to be located within the same nine counties.   Past winners are grateful to have competed, since the MESC positively and productively extended their business efforts, and strengthened their entrepreneurial journey.  

For more information, visit The initial entry deadline is Monday, Aug. 5. Semi-finalists will be announced Friday, Aug. 23. Finalists will be notified on Friday, Oct. 11.
Spotlight on Success
Spotlight on Success- Southern Illinois Inflatables 
It could be said that Lara and Aaron Shaw jumped into the inflatable business for the fun of it. It has been one year since the Shaw family purchased Southern Illinois Inflatables, LLC and the business they never dreamed of owning has flourished under their hard work and dedication.
"It was a venture we had never thought about doing before so it was completely new to us," said Lara Shaw, owner. "We took over ownership in May 2018 and we had no training. We jumped in during the busiest time of the year."
Lara and Aaron managed to develop new systems for unloading and loading equipment, hired and trained employees, and reformed the business while Aaron continues to work a full-time job and Lara manages their home rental business and works as a substitute teacher. With twin, 6-year-old boys, as well as teenagers, the couple had a strong grasp of their target market and knew from experience how to entertain all age groups.
"We are competitive with our prices and strive to be the lowest priced around, we want to make this something that is available to everyone," said Lara. "This is one reason we have also created payment plans so families have an affordable option to create memories for their children's special events."
Southern Illinois Inflatables is an eye-catcher for children young and young at heart. Now with over 30 inflatables in their inventory, there is a variety of bounce houses, obstacle courses, slides, dunk tanks and even inflatable movie screens available for both children and adults to enjoy.
This business, while it is profitable and brings a significant amount of joy to the Shaw family, is founded on deep-rooted beliefs of giving back.
"We work with not-for-profits, community organizations, churches, schools and businesses," Lara said. "We also love to give back, so each month we choose an organizations or group, and give them a percentage of our profits."
Lara said they structure their pricing by the day and not by the hour so those who are renting their inflatables are getting the most value for their dollars spent. Their inflatable rentals are also no work to their clients. The inflatable rental also includes set up and take down by Southern Illinois Inflatables employees.
While Aaron handles the training and is usually found working with their crews on the weekends, Lara is the backbone of the business. Their children and other family members are often found working and playing right along with them.
"We are a great option for your next get-together, birthday party or any type of celebration." Lara said. "We are here and we are invested in the community."
Lara took advantage of the tools available at no cost from the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Illinois College. The WISBDC assisted Lara with research and a business plan.
"I think if you don't know about business, the Small Business Development Center is a great starting point," Lara said. "This office answers your questions and makes sure you are doing everything right. I have 20 plus years in business ownership and I still had questions."
Lara and Aaron plan to take this business to new heights with the addition of more equipment, growing into their new office space on Veteran's Drive in Harrisburg, and they are planning to build on a party room next to their current location to be available year-round for winter birthdays and events. Lara said they are also in process of adding tent rentals to their inventory.
Southern Illinois Inflatables can be followed through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For further information, contact them at , or by email at

The Illinois Small Business Development Center is designed to assist owners and managers of small businesses as well as anyone wanting to start a business in the area. Most of their services are available at no charge. For more information about the WISBDC and their services call 618-252-5400 ext. 2312.
August  2019
Helpful Links
Start a Business - Illinois Small Business Development Center (Illinois SBDC)
Illinois First Stop Business Information Center
Illinois Angel Investment Tax Credit Program
Illinois Secretary of State Business Services
Comment on Any State of Illinois Proposed Rule
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.

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