Governor Names Erin Guthrie Director
New (Acting) Director Named for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Director Erin Guthrie
DCEO welcomes Erin Guthrie who began serving her role as acting director on Monday January 21, 2019.
Prior to her position with DCEO, Guthrie most recently served as the regional general manager for Uber Midwest in Chicago where she partnered with cities and regulators to create safe, positive experiences for customers and residents.
From 2013 to 2017, she was a client engagement manager and partnership portfolio manager at McKinsey and Company in Chicago. Previously, Guthrie worked as a product manager (MBA intern) at Amazon's Seattle headquarters, as an account executive at 4INFO and as a business development manager at Nokia in San Francisco.
She received her MBA from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business and Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Stanford University. Erin lives in Wicker Park with her husband and son.  Welcome Director Guthrie!
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 Department of Revenue proposed amendments which could impact businesses making retail sales of tangible personal property; businesses that sell cigarettes at retail; distributors, secondary distributors and manufacturer representatives of cigarette and tobacco products.  To learn more about these potential changes, click here.  This rule is open for public comment until March 4, 2019.  

The Office of the State Fire Marshall proposed amendments which could impact some small businesses such as those located in high-rise buildings, day care facilities, apartment buildings, and historic structures.   To learn more about these potential changes,   click here.  This rule is open for public comment until February 18, 2019.  

The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation proposed amendments that will impact home inspectors and auctioneers.  To learn more about these potential changes, click here.  This rule is open for public comment until February 18, 2019.

The Department of Revenue proposed a rule which will impact small businesses that voluntarily disclose unfiled returns or unpaid tax liabilities.  To learn more about these potential changes, click here.  The comment period for this is open until February 25, 2019. 

The Department of Natural Resources proposed a rule which will impact oil and gas drilling companies and holders of oil and gas permits.  To learn more about these potential changes,  click here.   This rule is open for public comment until February 4, 2019.

The Department of Public Health proposed a rule which will impact food service, healthcare and child care facilities and businesses that install or maintain plumbing fixtures or water systems.  To learn more about these potential changes, click here.  This rule is open for public comment until February 11, 2019.   
NOTE:  The Department of Public Health will hold a public hearing on this rulemaking on Monday, February 4, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the John R. Block Building (Auditorium), 801 E. Sangamon Avenue, Gate 11, State Fairgrounds in Springfield.  

The Secretary of State proposed a rule which will impact businesses that provide license and title services.  To learn more about these potential changes, click here.  This rule is open for public comment until February 18th, 2019. 

The Department of Agriculture proposed a new rule that will impact businesses seeking licenses to cultivate or process industrial hemp.   To learn more about these potential changes,  click here .  This rulemaking is open for public comment until February 11, 2019.  
Note:  The Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing on this rulemaking Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the John R. Block Building (Auditorium), 801 E. Sangamon Avenue, Gate 11, State Fairgrounds in Springfield.  Anyone who would like to submit comments during the hearing must sign up in person beginning at noon.  

For further information on any of the above rules, contact Katy Khayyat at, or call (217) 558-0190. 
Governor Issues Executive Order to Study Economic, Workforce Development
Governor Pritzker signed an Executive Order ensuring workforce development funding is directed to growing industries that will create jobs in the future.

Executive Order 2019-03 requires: 

* Review of Identified Targeted Growth Industries. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall, within 90 days of the effective date of this Executive Order, deliver a report to the Governor containing a comprehensive review of industries the Department has identified for targeted growth to determine the ongoing effectiveness of investment in those industries and to identify emerging opportunities for investment in growing industries.

* Review of Effective and Efficient Investment in Targeted Industries. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall, within 90 days of the effective date of this Executive Order, deliver a report to the Governor containing a comprehensive review of the return on investment for targeted industries with recommendations for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of existing investment, and best practices and lessons learned for future investment in emerging growth industries.

* Report on Improved Alignment of Workforce Resources for Disenfranchised Communities. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall, within 90 days of the effective date of this Executive Order, deliver a report to the Governor containing comprehensive recommendations for improving alignment of workforce resources for communities that have been disenfranchised, including rural and urban communities. 

News from the IRS 
IRS Reminds Employers and Other Businesses of Deadline for Wage Statements, Independent Contractor Forms 
The Internal Revenue Service reminds employers and other businesses of the January 31 filing deadline that applies to filing wage statements and independent contractor forms with the government.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act requires 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. The January 31 deadline also applies to certain  Forms 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, filed with the IRS to report non-employee compensation to independent contractors. Such payments are reported in box 7 of this form.
This deadline makes it easier for the IRS to verify income that individuals report on their tax returns and helps prevent fraud. Failure to file these forms correctly and timely may result in penalties. As always, the IRS urges employers and other businesses to take advantage of the accuracy, speed and convenience of filing these forms electronically.

An extension of time to file Forms W-2 is no longer automatic. The IRS will only grant extensions for specific reasons. Details can be found on the instructions for  Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns.
The IRS noted that some employers who ordered paper information and employer returns may not receive them in time to meet the Jan. 31 deadline and should consider an alternate source for these forms. The IRS is filling these orders as quickly as possible. Click  here for more information.
For more information, read the instructions for  Forms W-2 & W-3 and the  Information Return Penalties page at

Treasury, IRS Issue Final Regulations and Other Guidance on New Qualified Business Income Deduction; Safe Harbor Enables Many Rental Real Estate Owners to Claim Deduction
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations and three related pieces of guidance, implementing the new qualified business income (QBI) deduction (section 199A deduction).
The new QBI deduction, created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) allows many owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations, trusts, or estates to deduct up to 20 percent of their qualified business income.  Eligible taxpayers can also deduct up to 20 percent of their qualified real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends and publicly traded partnership income.  
The QBI deduction is available in tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, meaning eligible taxpayers will be able to claim it for the first time on their 2018 Form 1040.
The guidance includes:
  • A set of regulations, finalizing proposed regulations issued last summer, A new set of proposed regulations providing guidance on several aspects of the QBI deduction, including qualified REIT dividends received by regulated investment companies
  • revenue procedure providing guidance on determining W-2 wages for QBI deduction purposes,
  • notice on a proposed revenue procedure providing a safe harbor for certain real estate enterprises that may be treated as a trade or business for purposes of the QBI deduction
The proposed revenue procedure, included in Notice 2019-07, allows individuals and entities who own rental real estate directly or through a disregarded entity to treat a rental real estate enterprise as a trade or business for purposes of the QBI deduction if certain requirements are met.  Taxpayers can rely on this safe harbor until a final revenue procedure is issued. 
The QBI deduction is generally available to eligible taxpayers with 2018 taxable income at or below $315,000 for joint returns and $157,500 for other filers. Those with incomes above these levels, are still eligible for the deduction but are subject to limitations, such as the type of trade or business, the amount of W-2 wages paid in the trade or business and the unadjusted basis immediately after acquisition of qualified property. These limitations are fully described in the final regulations.
The QBI deduction is not available for wage income or for business income earned by a C corporation.
For details on this deduction, including answers to frequently-asked questions, as well as information on other TCJA provisions, visit
News from the IRS

New SBA Logo  
SBA Extends Deadline to Nominate a Business for a National Small Business Week Award
For more than 50 years, National Small Business Week has served as our nation's salute to small business owners. Nominations are now open for the 2019 Illinois Small Business Person of the Year award. We want to hear your small business success story! Why should you share it?
  • Join an elite alumni network: Past winners include Ben and Jerry's, Callaway Golf, Chobani, Dogfish Head, Stonyfield Farm, Pacifica, and Tom's of Maine, so you'd be in fine company. 
  • The media might come knocking: Local and national news outlets have covered our small business award winners in previous years, and the positive press coverage could be a big boost for your company.
  • Inspire future entrepreneurs: Remember when you were deciding whether to take the plunge into your venture? Your small business journey can educate and inspire others. Think of those who supported you during the years and consider this one way to pay it forward.
The deadline has been extended to Feb. 4, 2019, 2 p.m. CT. All nominations must be mailed or hand delivered (no electronic submissions, unfortunately) to the SBA Illinois District Office, Attn: Jessica Mayle, 500 W. Madison St., Suite 1150, Chicago IL 60661.

Click here for tips on what we're looking for in a winning nomination.

Deadline is February 19th to Apply for SBA Disaster Loan for Central Illinois Tornado Victims  
Residents and businesses affected by the Dec. 1 severe storms and tornadoes are eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Businesses or nonprofit groups are eligible for loans of up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at   Businesses and individuals may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or email .
Loan applications also can be downloaded at Completed applications should mailed be to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas, 76155.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Feb. 19. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Sept. 23.
Procurement Technical Assistance (PTAC) News 
Big Changes to Come in 2019
There are a few significant changes underway affecting many contractors. The biggest change affecting all small businesses is the signing of the Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018. This act effectively changes the way the U.S. Small Business Administration defines a small business based on their average annual revenue.  
Historically, the SBA has used a calculation based on an average of small business' gross receipts over the last three consecutive years. Under the new law, the size of a small business will now be determined based on an average of their gross receipts over the last consecutive five years in business. Due to this change, a number of small businesses will find themselves in a new size classification for 2019 - some will again qualify as a small business while others will be classified as "other than small" and therefore, will no longer be able to pursue small business set-aside contracts.  

In 2019, all small businesses updating their SAM.GOV profile will have to re-calculate their size standard and update their average annual revenue in the "Assertions" section based on the five-year average of gross receipts. The new law does not affect small businesses whose size standard is calculated based on employee count as there is no change in employee-based size standards.

What actions should you take?  If you log into SAM.GOV, the question under the "Assertions" section related to "Size Metrics" is still asking you to report "Total Receipts (3-year average)". For starters, since you are certifying to the accuracy of the information provided in SAM.GOV, we recommend that you report the specific information SAM asks you until an update is made that asks you to report new information.  
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. To find out more about PTAC's, call 1.800.252.2923 or  Submit a Question  . The State of Illinois has special programs for small and diverse business enterprises to help you grow your revenues, enhance your credentials and build your business capacity.  Click here  to learn how to  Sell 2 Illinois .
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
Rural Community Economic Development Conference - March 6 & 7, Springfield
The 30th Annual Rural Community Economic Development Conference will be held March 6 & 7, 2019 in Springfield.  The conference will highlight efforts to increase the full potential of rural Illinois.

Breakout sessions will highlight successful community revitalization strategies and innovative practices applicable to rural areas. Each session will be repeated to provide participants an opportunity to attend four sessions. On Thursday morning the conference continues with Workshops on community and economic development techniques. Register by February 15 to receive the Early Bird Rate and guarantee your spot. We look forward to seeing you in Springfield on March 6 and 7.  To learn more, visit  

Small Business Expo 
Small Business Expo - June 20, 2019 - Chicago
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.

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- Orange and Brew
Eric Schmidt started to forge his appreciation of beer while managing a college bar. It was his first time stepping outside of the traditional "macro brew" world in order to learn more about different styles and how beers were marketed and arrived at the bars where he worked.
He gained experience in brewing; he learned more about the process. When his friend started a craft beer bar, Eric ramped up his interest, knowledge, and excitement in the business of craft beer.

At this time, craft beer was a hobby since Eric was working in the not-for-profit and journalism sectors. However, opening a "bar" was always something that interested Eric and his wife, Carrie. A 2016 move to the southwest suburbs was the spark that the couple needed to look more seriously into the concept that became Orange & Brew, named after Orange and Blue for University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. For a beer geek like Eric, there simply was not a convenient spot to try new draft beers as well as have an amazing selection of fresh beer to take home. All of the great options for this were a more than a twenty-minute drive away.
In the fall of 2017, they contacted the Illinois SBDC at College of DuPage to seek help with the business plan, revenue model and funding. Ute Westphal, Program Manager helped to develop an enticing and fundable business model. Ute helped with research, budget, and cash flow predictions. With a solid business plan in hand, they sought out a spot that would be a draw for not only beer geeks looking for a convenient spot to purchase fresh beer, but also local residents to have a fun place to relax and learn more about craft beers. In the spring of 2018, they found just that spot...on Burlington Avenue in Downers Grove and the built out began!
It is a place to sip a beer in a comfortable and welcoming setting, bring your own food or order in (we'll have a few food options from local restaurants, as well), and take something home with you.
Eric and Carrie hope you'll be just as enthused to come in as we are to be a part of this community...both the Downers Grove one, and the beer one!
"Can't thank Ute and the team at I llinois SBDC at College of DuPage enough for all the help.  Now the work ACTUALLY starts, of course, but wouldn't be in this position without your support and the help of the SBDC."
Small Business Environmental Assistance

Annual Emission Report Forms Emailed to Permitted Companies January 4th
Annual Emissions Reports Are Due May 1st
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-mailĂ‚ 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.
February 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.

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