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 www.ildceo.net/regalert.   You can learn about rules and submit comments regarding their impact  by clicking on " submit comments".   
 
The Secretary of State proposed an amendment, which will impact businesses or non-profit entities that offer progressive jackpot video gaming.  Learn more.  

The Department of Revenue proposed amendments, which will impact businesses engaged in manufacturing or graphic arts production. Learn more.  

The Department of Revenue proposed amendments, which will impact businesses that sell cigarettes anywhere in Illinois, or motor fuel in the Lake and Will counties.  Learn more.  

The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation proposed amendments, which will impact wholesale drug distributors and third-party logistics providers. Learn more.  

The Department of Revenue proposed an amendment, which will impact retailers and distributors of cigarette products.  Learn more.  

The Illinois Gaming Board proposed an emergency amendment, which will impact licensed video gaming terminal operators and their owners or investors.  Learn more.  

The Pollution Control Board proposed amendments, which will impact transporters of special waste and empty portable devices or containers. Learn more.  

The Department of Revenue proposed amendments, which will impact retailers who sell electronic cigarettes or smoking devices. Learn more.  

The Illinois Gaming Board proposed an emergency amendment, which will impact licensed video gaming locations. Learn more.  

For more information on any of the above proposed rules, contact Katy Khayyat at (217) 558-0190 or email Katy.Khayyat@Illinois.gov .    
Federal Regulatory Corner
National Labor Relations Board Extends Time for Submitting Comments on Proposed Rule Concerning Definition of "Employee" and Jurisdiction of Graduate and Undergraduate Students Who Perform Services for Compensation

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has again extended the time for submitting comments on its proposed rule concerning the definition of "employee" under Section 2(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The proposed rule would exempt from the NLRB's jurisdiction undergraduate and graduate students who perform services for financial compensation in connection with their studies. The original notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 84 FR 49691 .

The submission window will remain open and interested parties may now file comments on or before Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Comments replying to the comments submitted during the initial comment period must be received by the Board on or before Wednesday, January 29, 2020.  

Public comments are invited on all aspects of the proposed rule and should be submitted either electronically to   www.regulations.gov, or by mail or hand-delivery to Roxanne Rothschild, Executive Secretary, National Labor Relations Board, 1015 Half Street S.E., Washington, D.C. 20570-0001.

Click  here to read the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and request for comments in the Federal Register. Click  here to read the original press release regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Advocacy Releases Helpful Rulemaking Resources for Small Business and Federal Agencies
Two new resources from the Office of Advocacy are available to help small businesses understand federal rulemaking and assist federal agencies in complying with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).

The guide for small businesses titled "A Basic Guide to Federal Rulemaking and Small Business" helps small businesses understand their role in the federal rulemaking process. It outlines steps to a new regulation, how to express concerns or support for a proposed rule, information on how public comments affect the final rule and more.
 
You can find the guide for small businesses at https://advocacy.sba.gov/guide-to-rule-making-and-small-business/.  Advocacy also published a data page with RFA data resources for federal agencies.  The data page provides publicly available data resources that are useful in developing the analysis to complete a certification or an IRFA.
 
The RFA data resources page for federal agencies is available on Advocacy's website at https://advocacy.sba.gov/resources/the-regulatory-flexibility-act/rfa-data-resources-for-federal-agencies/.

"Small business often ask us how they can be heard when a new rule is proposed, and federal agencies ask us where to find data so they can analyze the impact of a proposed rule on small business," said Acting Chief Counsel Major Clark. "These new resources will be incredibly helpful in answering those questions."
 
For more information and additional resources for small businesses and federal agencies, visit the Office of Advocacy website.  

Need Help With Federal Regulatory Issues? There are two main ways you can connect with SBA's Office of Advocacy and share your concerns about regulatory burdens on small businesses: 1) Fill out this form and share it with your small business colleagues.2)  Talk to your regional advocate about regulatory issues your small business is experiencing.
Resources for Persons with Disabilities
WorkNet New
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Observed annually, December 3rd was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  This day is an opportunity to recognize and advocate for the rights and well-being of individuals with disabilities. It is important to be aware of this as there are people with disabilities in all walks of life from politics to the workplace and in our culture.

This year, the theme is The Future is Accessible. In order to foster and encourage a welcoming society for all, it is important to recognize that those with disabilities contribute greatly to all aspects of our society and world. 

Learn more about this event's history, resources, and how you can help today at the International Day of Persons with Disabilities website.
Be sure to check out the following Illinois workNet resources to help you or someone you know who has a disability:
SBA News
2019

Small Business Awards Nominations
National Small Business Week will take place May 3-9, 2020. Nominations are now open for SBA's Small Business Week Awards! In addition to the typical national awards - Small Business Person of the Year, Exporter of the Year, 8(a) Graduate of the Year - the SBA Illinois District has also added some new categories this year, including Young Entrepreneur of the Year, an Encore Entrepreneur of the Year, a Rural Small Business of the Year, and a Family-Owned Business of the Year. Nomination forms and guidelines are available at www.sba.gov/IL and www.sba.gov/NSBW . The deadline to apply is January 7, 2020.

Answers to 5 Questions About Overtime Rules
There's no law-federal or state-that caps the number of hours a person can work (other than for minors). But if you are an employer, be sure to understand that working past 40 hours triggers overtime rules for certain employees. Some of these rules have been around for years, while others are new. Here's what you need to know for 2020 and beyond.  Read more.  
News from the IRS 
IRS Updates Per-Diem Guidance for Business Travelers and Their Employees
The Internal Revenue Service today issued guidance for business travelers, updated to include changes resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). 
Revenue Procedure 2019-48, posted on IRS.gov, updates the rules for using per diem rates to substantiate the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses paid or incurred while traveling away from home.  Taxpayers are not required to use a method described in this revenue procedure and may instead substantiate actual allowable expenses provided they maintain adequate records.

Although TCJA suspended the miscellaneous itemized deduction that employees could take for non-reimbursed business expenses, self-employed individuals and certain employees, such as Armed Forces reservists, fee-basis state or local government officials, eligible educators, and qualified performing artists, that deduct unreimbursed expenses for travel away from home may still use per diem rates for meals and incidental expenses, or incidental expenses only.

The revenue procedure makes clear that TCJA amended prior rules to disallow a deduction for expenses for entertainment, amusement, or recreation paid or incurred after Dec. 31, 2017.  Otherwise allowable meal expenses remain deductible if the food and beverages are purchased separately from the entertainment, or if the cost of the food and beverages is stated separately from the cost of the entertainment.

The IRS annually issues guidance providing updated per diem rates; Notice 2019-55 provides the rates that have been in effect since Oct. 1, 2019.

IRS Launches Taxpayer First Act Webpage
The Taxpayer First Act of 2019 expands and strengthens taxpayer rights. The Act also requires the agency to develop a comprehensive customer service strategy, modernize its technology and enhance its cyber security.
The IRS is requesting commentary from taxpayers, including those in the small business and self-employed industries. Those interested in providing feedback on reorganization or other components of the TFA are encouraged to send it to TFAO@irs.gov.

For more information about the TFA, visit IRS.gov/taxpayer-first-act.

January 31 Filing Deadline Remains for Employer Wage Statements, Independent Contractor Forms
The Internal Revenue Service today reminded employers and other businesses that wage statements and independent contractor forms still have a Jan. 31 filing deadline.
 
Before the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, employers generally had a longer period of time to file these forms. But the 2015 law made a permanent requirement for employers to file their copies of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration by Jan. 31.
 
Certain Forms 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, filed with the IRS to report non-employee compensation to independent contractors are also due at this time. Such payments are reported in box 7 of this form.
 
The early filing date means that the IRS can more easily detect refund fraud by verifying income that individuals report on their tax returns. Employers can avoid penalties by filing the forms on time and without errors. The IRS recommends e-file as the quickest, most accurate and convenient way to file these forms.
 
Get a jump on the due date
Employers should verify employees' information. This includes names, addresses, and Social Security or individual taxpayer identification numbers. They should also ensure their company's account information is current and active with the Social Security Administration before January.  If paper Forms W-2 are needed, they should be ordered early.
 
Automatic extensions of time to file Forms W-2 are not available. The IRS will only grant extensions for very specific reasons. Details can be found on the instructions for Form 8809, Application for Time to File Information Returns.
 
For more information, read the instructions for Forms W-2 & W-3 and the Information Return Penalties page at IRS.gov.
Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center News
Tip of The Month
On November 12th, 2019, FBO.Gov was retired, and beta.SAM.Gov is the new authoritative source for Contract Opportunities. For the most part, the transition appears to have gone smoothly, according to GSA (click here to listen to a recent interview with a GSA senior executive on the Federal News Network about the current status of "Contract Opportunities" at BETA.SAM.GOV). There are additional resources posted at the beta.SAM.Gov website to provide information and training for contractors. For your convenience, we have listed direct links to some of these resources below.  
We will post additional information, tips, and future updates about the new Contract Opportunities website - so, stay tuned!

If you have ideas or suggestions for improvement,  please use the "provide feedback" button on the beta.SAM.gov website.

If you would like to find small business events and vendor collaboration opportunities, look for these specific links toward the top of the page when you visit the Contracting Opportunities page on the beta.SAM.Gov website. If you are logged in, you can save these searches after clicking on the applicable links to quickly access these opportunities in the future.

About Your Illinois PTAC
Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers are a portal for small businesses looking to enter the world of government contracting. The centers provide one-on-one counseling, technical information, marketing assistance and training to existing businesses interested in selling their goods and services to local, state, and/or federal government agencies.

Services include:
  • Help targeting appropriate government agencies
  • Automated bid lead matching services
  • Access to government specifications and standards
  • Guidance with quality assurance issues
  • Assistance with certifications
  • Identification of Sub-contracting opportunities
  • Bar Code and Packaging Information
  • RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)
  • UID (Unique Identification)
  • Contract Administration Information
  • System for Award Management (SAM) Assistance
  • Review of Bid Packages
  Click here to find a PTAC in your area or call 1.800.252.2923.
Spotlight on Success
Spotlight on Success- Windy Hills Farm and Garden
James Altenhein - Windy Hills Farm and Garden Quincy, Illinois This fall you can find James Altenhein, owner of the centennial Windy Hills Farm and Garden, hosting tours and field days educating the community about his newest venture, Catahoula Blue gourmet popcorn. What many may not know about the gourmet grower is that he recently received status as a verified Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB) through the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs. Mr. Altenhein was referred to the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center at Western Illinois University (Illinois PTAC @ WIU) by the VA's Veteran Business Outreach Center.
 
The Illinois PTAC @ WIU has one of the five counselors in Illinois that are trained to assist veteran owned firms with the verification process. The counselor at WIU assisted Mr. Altenhein by providing resources and troubleshooting questions about the process. In addition to working the PTAC, Altenhein has been working with WIU's Small Business Development Center (Illinois SBDC @ WIU). The SBDC has helped many other facets of the business. After Mr. Altenhein attended a business writing workshop presented by the Illinois SBDC at WIU, he continued to work with the center, preparing a marketing plan for his popcorn and his fall field day at the farm. Future demos, farm tours and classes are in the works. The Illinois PTAC and SBDC of WIU celebrate his verification achievement and his commitment to educating the community about this beautiful, centennial family farm. Windy Hills Farm and Garden is located in Quincy, Illinois. The popcorn can be found at Popping on Main and Edgewood Orchard and more to come. Check out their Facebook page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/WindyHillsFarmQuincyIL/
 
James Altenhein, Windy Hills Farm and Garden and the Illinois SBDC and PTAC at WIU have also been recognized by the America's SBDC Network for National Veterans Small Business Week.  
December 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.

Need Assistance?

Call our helpline at 800.252.2923 where we have English and Spanish Speaking assistance, or email  FirstStop@Illinois.gov.  

 

http://www.illinois.gov/dceo

 

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