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 read more about the rules or to submit comments regarding their impact on your business or industry, visit www.ildceo.net/regalert  and click on "submit comments" .   

The Chief Procurement Officer for Institutions of Higher Education proposed a rule which will impact businesses seeking contracts with institutions of higher education.  To learn more about these potential changes, click here.

The Department of Public Health proposed amendments that will impact health care employers and employees.  To learn more about these changes, click here.

The Department of Public Health proposed an amendment which will impact mobile home parks and manufactured home communities.  To learn more about these changes, click here

The Office of the State Treasurer proposed a rule that will impact businesses seeking contracts with the Treasurer's Office.  To learn more about these changes, click here

The Department of Agriculture proposed a rule which will impact pet boarding facilities.  To learn more about these changes, click here
 
The Department of Agriculture proposed an amendment which will impact poultry producers and sellers.   To learn more about these changes, click here.  

NLRB Proposes Rule to Change its Joint Employer Standard
The National Labor Relations Board is extending the time for submitting comments regarding its proposed rulemaking concerning the standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act for an additional 30 days. The submission window is currently open and interested parties may now file comments on or before Thursday, December 13, 2018. Comments replying to the comments submitted during the initial comment period must be received by the Board on or before December 20, 2018.

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, Acting 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 announcement regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

For further information on any of the above rules, contact Katy Khayyat at Katy.Khayyat@Illinois.gov, or call (217) 558-0190. 
Angel Investment Tax Credit Program
 
Illinois Angel Program Participants Honored at Chicago Innovation Awards
The 17th annual Chicago Innovation Awards were announced on Monday, October 29.   More than two dozen local companies and organizations across Chicagoland were recognized for their innovative spirit. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity congratulates all the winners and would like to recognize the five companies who were participants in the Illinois Angel Investment Tax Credit Program. 

Illinois Angel winners in the "Up-and-Comer" category:
  • Parker Dewey (2018 Angel program)
  • Jiobit (2018 Angel program)
  • Truss (2018 Angel program)
  • Catalytic (2016 Angel program)
Illinois Angel Winner in the "Social Innovator" category:
  • BallotReady (2016 & 2018 Angel program)
For more information on the Illinois Angel Investment Tax Credit Program, visit    www.ildceo.net/angel.  
Illinois News
Illinois Department of Revenue Launches New Website  
The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is inviting taxpayers to explore the new look of its redesigned website; tax.illinois.gov.  The new mobile-friendly website features simplified site navigation and enhanced functionality to provide businesses, tax professionals, and the public easier access to the information needed most.  

"As times have changed, so have the ways taxpayers access and consume information," said Connie Beard, IDOR Director. "With this website redesign, we make it easier for the public to navigate our information, no matter what device is utilized."
Key features of IDOR's new website include encrypted security, better accessibility, a drop-down menu system at the top of every page, and real-time traffic-driven listings showing users what questions, forms, and tax types are currently garnering wide interest.

Visitors accustomed to the former IDOR website at http://tax.illinois.gov will be automatically redirected to the new website located at https://www2.illinois.gov/rev.    IDOR advises anyone with previously saved bookmarks to visit the new website to update their favorites.  

Stay current on the latest from Revenue by following IDOR on Facebook , Twitter and YouTube .

Illinois Business Income Tax Deadlines Extended 
The Department of Revenue is aware that taxpayers may be struggling with the complexity of changes resulting from recent federal tax reform and the availability of guidance at the federal level.

With the extended due date of the Illinois income tax return coinciding with the extended due date for the federal return, we recognize that taxpayers may have trouble meeting this deadline.

As a result, the Department will approve requests for abatement of penalties for late filing of any Forms IL-1120, IL-1120-ST, IL-1065 and IL-1041 due to reasonable cause on a case-by-case basis, provided those returns are filed on or before November 15, 2018. Please note: Requests for abatement should be made after a notice has been sent and received by the taxpayer. 

The taxpayer's request for abatement of late filing penalties due to reasonable cause shall be submitted by email to:  REV.PRD@Illinois.gov or in writing:

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
PROBLEMS RESOLUTION DIVISION
PO BOX 19014
SPRINGFIELD IL 62794-9014
News from the IRS 
Side-By-Side Comparison of Old and New Tax Laws for Businesses
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:  A Comparison for Businesses
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ("TCJA") changed deductions, depreciation, expensing, tax credits and other tax items that affect businesses. This side-by-side comparison can help businesses understand the changes and plan accordingly.

Some provisions of the TCJA that affect individual taxpayers can also affect business taxes. Businesses and self-employed individuals should review tax reform changes for individuals and determine how these provisions work with their business situation.

IRS:  Several Tax Law Changes May Affect Bottom Line of Many Business Owners
The Internal Revenue Service reminded business owners that tax reform legislation passed last December affects nearly every business.
With just a few months left in the year, the IRS is highlighting important information for small businesses and self-employed individuals to help them understand and meet their tax obligations.

Here are several changes that could affect the bottom line of many small businesses:

Qualified Business Income Deduction 
Many owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, trusts and S corporations may deduct 20 percent of their qualified business income. The new deduction -- referred to as the Section 199A deduction or the qualified business income deduction -- is available for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017. Eligible taxpayers can claim it for the first time on the 2018 federal income tax return they file next year.

A set of FAQs provides  more information on the deduction, income and other limitations.

IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Changes on Business Expense Deductions for Meals, Entertainment 
The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance on the business expense deduction for meals and entertainment following law changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

The 2017 TCJA eliminated the deduction for any expenses related to activities generally considered entertainment, amusement or recreation.
Taxpayers may continue to deduct 50 percent of the cost of business meals if the taxpayer (or an employee of the taxpayer) is present and the food or beverages are not considered lavish or extravagant. The meals may be provided to a current or potential business customer, client, consultant or similar business contact.

Food and beverages that are provided during entertainment events will not be considered entertainment if purchased separately from the event.
Prior to 2018, a business could deduct up to 50 percent of entertainment expenses directly related to the active conduct of a trade or business or, if incurred immediately before or after a bona fide business discussion, associated with the active conduct of a trade or business.

The Department of the Treasury and the IRS expect to publish proposed regulations clarifying when business meal expenses are deductible and what constitutes entertainment. Until the proposed regulations are effective, taxpayers can rely on guidance in Notice 2018-76.

Updates on the implementation of the TCJA can be found on the   Tax Reform page of IRS.gov.

For Many Business Taxpayers Time is Running Out to Elect Out of new 100% Depreciation Deduction for 2017  
The Internal Revenue Service today reminds business taxpayers who placed qualifying property in service during 2017 but choose not to claim the new 100-percent depreciation deduction, that they have a limited time to file the required election with the IRS.
 
In general, individuals and calendar-year corporations must file the election with the IRS by Oct. 15, 2018. The new 100-percent deduction allows businesses to write off most depreciable business assets in the year they are placed in service. This deduction was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the tax reform legislation enacted in December 2017. Because the deduction is retroactive and applies to qualifying property acquired and placed in service after Sept. 27, 2017, it may affect many 2017 tax returns. See IRS Fact Sheet 2018-09 for more details.
 
The 100-percent depreciation deduction generally applies to depreciable business assets with a recovery period of 20 years or less and certain other property. Machinery, equipment, computers, appliances, furniture, certain plants and qualified film, television and live theatrical productions generally qualify. Further details can be found in proposed regulations, issued last month, as well as in Publication 946, How to Depreciate Property, and in Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization, and its instructions.
 
Taxpayers who elect out of the 100-percent depreciation deduction, as well as the 50-percent deduction available under prior law, must do so by attaching a statement to a timely-filed return. For details, see the instructions for Part II of Form 4562.
 
Those who have already timely filed their 2017 return and did not elect out but still wish to do so need to file an amended return. The deadline for filing the election is six months after the original deadline. For individuals or calendar-year corporations, this means Oct. 15, 2018.
 
For more information about this and other TCJA provisions, visit IRS.gov/taxreform.

New Credit Benefits Employers Who Provide Paid Family and Medical Leave
Eligible employers who provide paid family and medical leave to their employees during tax years 2018 and 2019 might qualify for a new business tax credit. This new employer credit for family and medical leave is part of tax reform legislation passed in December 2017. To be eligible, an employer must:
  • Have a written policy that meets several requirements, as detailed in Notice 2018-71.
  • Provide:
    • At least two weeks of paid family and medical leave to full-time employees.
    • A prorated amount of paid leave for part-time employees.
    • Pay for leave that is at least 50 percent of the wages normally paid to that employee.
For more information:

News from the IRS

 
Nominate a Business for a National Small Business Week Award
National Small Business Week is May 5-11, 2019. Nominations are now being accepted for the Illinois Small Business Week Awards. We'll tell you how to nominate yourself or a local small business and discuss judging criteria and best practices from previous winners. Click here to nominate a business.

The HIRE Vets Medallion Award 
Are you hiring veterans? You may be eligible to receive the U.S. Department of Labor's new HIRE Vets Medallion Award. The HIRE Vets Medallion Award recognizes job creators for their efforts to recruit, employ and retain America's veterans.   Learn more.  

Free Financing Options Course 
This free self-paced training course provides an introduction to financing options for your business.Topics include determining your financial needs, loans, grants, venture capital, angel investors and crowd funding.  Learn more.  
Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Program - Tip of the Month
PTAC Tip of the Month
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.

This month's "Tip of the Month" is Know How to "Accurately" Report and Update Your Small Business Size Status.  Size standards as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration can be a bit confusing. Especially for new contractors entering the federal marketplace. But regardless if you are a newcomer to the federal market or a contractor who has been around for a while, it is essential that you understand how to "accurately" determine your size status from year to year. Why?
  1. When you register or update your SAM.GOV vendor profile, "You are certifying the information is accurate and complete. Knowingly providing false or misleading information may result in criminal prosecution under Section 1001, Title 18 of the United States Code." - SAM.GOV excerpt.
  2. If you are close to the SBA's designated size standard, you may be considered "other than small" in some NAICS codes and "small" in others, and as your revenue varies from year to year, so may your size based upon your ever-changing 3-year average.
  3. Properly self-certifying your small business size status in your SAM.GOV profile is pivotal to your eligibility for other certifications like SDVOSB/VOSB, WOSB, SDB, 8(a), and HUBZone.
So, how do you "accurately" determine your size status?
  1. A meeting with your PTAC counselor is always a great option to assist you in this area or any other area related to your SAM.GOV profile.
Click here and check out Govology's new Youtube video titled "Are You A Small Business?" This 10-minute video provides an excellent overview of how to accurately calculate and report your employee count and total revenue, and answer the question, Are you a small business this year?

Click here to find PTAC's in your area.  
To find out more about PTAC's, call 1.800.252.2923 or click here to submit a question.  
Small Business Environmental Assistance Program
Environmental

USEPA's Renewed Emphasis on Self-Disclosed Violation Policies   
As part of USEPA's priority to address noncompliance in an efficient and timely manner, applying a broad range of enforcement and compliance tools (see e.g., Goal 3 in USEPA's FY 2018-2022 Strategic Plan), the Agency announced a renewed emphasis on encouraging regulated entities to voluntarily discover, promptly disclose, expeditiously correct, and take steps to prevent recurrence of environmental violations. Specifically, USEPA is taking steps to enhance and promote: (a) its already successful online "eDisclosure" program; (b) the additional flexibility that is available to new owners who self-disclose violations; and (c) opportunities to increase compliance through use of existing self-disclosure policies or tailored programs.
 
The federal eDisclosure  system provides a centralized web-based portal to receive and automatically process self-disclosed civil environmental violations. Large and small businesses can quickly and efficiently disclose and correct many violations using eDisclosure. In the two years since launching eDisclosure, USEPA has seen more than a 75% increase in the number of annual self-disclosures (from 310 to ~545) and a continuing comparable mix of disclosure types (with just over half involving EPCRA violations and almost half involving other environmental laws).
 
To encourage the continued and expanded use of these self-disclosure tools, USEPA plans to supplement its 2015 eDisclosure FAQs , its 2007 Audit Policy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) , and the 1997 Audit Policy Interpretive Guidance to clarify a number of issues that the regulated community has raised to USEPA.
 
Additionally, USEPA is reminding the regulated community that USEPA's self-disclosure policies:
 
(1) eliminate 100% of the gravity-based civil penalty that otherwise might apply if all policy conditions are met;
 
(2) allow USEPA to waive the economic benefit penalty component where USEPA deems it insignificant (since the launch of the policies (USEPA's Audit Policy, Small Business Compliance Policy, and New Owner Audit Policy), EPA has received over 10,500 disclosures and has sought to recover only the economic benefit component in less than 1% of them);
 
(3) do not require advance notice to USEPA of an audit;
 
(4) do not impose time limits on audit completion;
 
(5) do not require an affirmative admission that a violation has occurred (stating that violations "may have" occurred is sufficient);
 
(6) provide entities with clarity by defining an objective time period for disclosing violations; and
 
(7) provide entities with clarity by defining allowable violation correction time periods.
 
USEPA believes that the above clarifications should help to dispel some common misconceptions that may unnecessarily discourage even greater use of EPA's self-disclosure policies.

For more information about state and federal self-disclosure laws visit:  
https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/EnvironmentalAssistanceProgram/Pages/SmallBusinessVoluntarySelfDisclosure.aspx

If your business needs environmental assistance, contact the Small Business Environmental Assistance Office at (800) 252-3998 or visit www.ildceo.net/enviro.  
Upcoming Events
ChallengeHer
SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATE THE FEDERAL CONTRACTING INDUSTRY AND WIN FEDERAL CONTRACTS BY KNOWING THE RULES AND UNDERSTANDING THE STRATEGIES 
ChallengeHER  works specifically with Women-Owned Small Business to assist in leveraging federal awards, learn the federal procurement process, and to connect with the right people.
With this knowledge, you are much better positioned to grow your business and increase your revenue.

8(a) Orientation in Chicago
8(a) Business Development Program The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. This session will cover the tenets of the 8(a) program, steps to apply, and SAM registration.  

DATE:              Wed, November 21, 2018
TIME:               9:30 AM - 11:30 AM CST
LOCATION:     SBA, 500 West Madison Street, Suite 1150, Chicago 60661

Click here for more information on 8(a) Business Development Program.

To register for this November 21 event, click here

This event repeats on various days: Oct 3Nov 7Dec 5
 
Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (ADME) Workshop 
Are you a new business owner? Are you looking for financing opportunities to meet your present needs and prepare you for future growth? If so, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, along with the SBDC, invite you to join us at the ADME Business Workshop. During the workshop, subject-matter experts will address the needs of individuals who are just starting their own businesses and those who are looking to pursue entrepreneurship.

Information will also be provided on the Advantage Illinois Loan Participation Program and FAME (Fund for the Advancement of Minority Enterprises). The State participates 50% on loans with lenders, enrolled in the program, offering a 2% fixed rate and up to $400,000 on the State's portion. Register today to take advantage of this free event.

DATE:  Thu, November 15, 2018
TIME:  6:00 PM - 8:00 PM CST
LOCATION:  Dining on the Green, 349 Main Street, Park Forest, IL 60466

Below are the topics that will be covered:
  • Business Entity & Business Planning
  • Business Enterprise Program Certification for the State of Illinois
  • Importance of Credit
  • Grant Accountability & Transparency Act (GATA)
  • Advantage Illinois Loan Participation Program
  • Access to Capital Panel Discussion
  • This is a free event but registration is required.
HUBZONE Orientation for Illinois Small Businesses 
The Historically Underutilized Business Zone Program (HUBZone) stimulates economic development and creates jobs in urban and rural communities by providing Federal contracting assistance to small businesses.  T he SBA Illinois District Office will conduct a presentation covering registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) and the HUBZone Program.

If you have questions about the HUBZone program, call Ronald Miller at (312) 353-7076 or visit http://www.sba.gov/hubzone. Apply online to become certified.


Date and Time:   Wed, November 14, 2018,  9:30 AM - 11:30 AM CST
Location:  US Small Business Administration, 500 West Madison Street, Suite 1150, Chicago, IL 60661 
Click here to register.  

Government Contracting for Veteran-owned Businesses
Celebrate National Veterans Small Business Week with the SBA! We're hosting a training to help veterans who own small businesses learn more about accessing the world of government contracting. The program will include:
  • Dreux Johnson of the Veterans Administration speaking on their contracting program;
  • Ryan Cleary, SBA Procurement Center Representative speaking about the acquisition process;
  • Small business owner David Rambhajan (Industria Inc.) speaking on veteran support groups and organizations
  • A representative from the State of Illinois discussing about their veterans program.
Business ownership is not a solo mission - veteran entrepreneurship is a joint effort, just like in the military. Attend this event to learn how SBA can be your partner!

Date and Time:   Wed, November 7, 2018,  9:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST
Spotlight on Success
Spotlight on Success - Hairy Beast Dog Pawlour
Tucked back off West Galena Boulevard, a dog-grooming boutique that opened July 1 is the culmination of the talents of husband and wife owners Josue Paiz and Veronica Trujillo. Even the name is collaboration. During his ten years of dog grooming, Josue requested people to "bring your hairy beast to me." Veronica likes the play on words using paw in 'pawlour;' thus, they named their business Hairy Beast Dog Pawlour. 

As they discussed opening a business of their own, the couple realized they didn't really know how to do so. After asking other entrepreneurial friends, they learned about the SBDC. Their first step was to take the "Starting Your Business" class, after which they met with Harriet Parker. Veronica says this was just what they needed. 

"The Illinois SBDC at Waubonsee Community College helped us with a roadmap of what we needed to do," she explained. "Every step of the way was clearly given and they guided us through the various ways to structure our business." 

When it comes to the unique branding of this dog grooming shop, it is entirely this couple's vision. Josue's talents are visible throughout the boutique. Not only is he an experienced groomer, he is an artist and worked at various high-end retail shops. After research, he found that his initial idea to design the brand around an old-fashioned barbershop might work. The bowler-hatted, bow-tie wearing pug design was born! 

Not only is Hairy Beast Dog Pawlour a place to get your dog groomed with a variety of Royal Services, you can outfit your pup, too. An aunt makes all the bow ties and bandanas with fabric chosen by the owners. Josue's artwork not only decorates the interior, but is for sale, too. Other carefully chosen products are available for purchase. An added bonus when you visit is to sit at the "bar" and watch your dog being groomed. The before and after pictures of your furry friend sitting on the shop's barber chair become a fun, mini photo shoot you can view on social media.

Not to be left out of the equation, Veronica has 20 years of experience managing a dental office. Again, the couple's talents mesh as she runs the front he manages the back. When (not if!) you stop by Hairy Beast Dog Pawlour, ask about some of the furnishings. Like everything else, there is a story behind most of them. The couple's ideas for the future are overflowing with creativity. Watch for a grand opening in October and other events to follow. They can be reached out via Facebook @hairybeastdogpawlour.

November 2018
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
Cutting Red Tape


Illinois is home to many regulations imposed on businesses.  In some cases these regulations are hindering our economic growth. We need your help in cutting the red tape in Illinois!

Governor Rauner issued Executive Order 16-13 which instructs all State agencies to undertake a comprehensive review of existing regulations and policies to determine which regulations are outdated, repetitive, confusing or hindering a growing economy. The Executive Order also establishes a committee to oversee this process and ensure State agencies keep on track with this important review.

Public participation is vital to this process. We depend on citizens' input to help State agencies determine which regulations or policies are preventing Illinois from keeping and creating jobs.  Governor Rauner invites all members of the public to use the online portal to share their ideas for simplifying or reducing regulations.

The Illinois Competitiveness Council is seeking input from the public on which rules and regulations are the biggest hindrance to people and businesses. Anyone can submit feedback to cut the red tape at www.illinois.gov/cut 


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  FirstStop@Illinois.gov

 

http://www.illinois.gov/dceo

 

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Small Business Development Center Network.