Laura Ortega, Executive Director with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce explained, “The ‘sound off’ meetings will allow rural SMEs the chance to voice their concerns, suggest solutions, and give their opinions on policies that affect them directly. We’ll collect the information and deliver it to Senator Duckworth for use with the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship. We view this as a great opportunity for businesses to connect with their legislators, and are happy to be working with our colleagues in Northwest Illinois.”
Gary Camarano, Whiteside County Economic Development Director, added, “This is a great opportunity for our local businesses to be heard. Sometimes there is a feeling, especially in rural communities, that small businesses are neglected or an afterthought. This is an excellent opportunity for our business community to identify their challenges, whether its workforce related, regulatory environment, or whatever the challenge, and suggest possible solutions as well. Having a Senator’s ‘ear’ can be very useful.”
The meetings come at a time when more and more people are realizing that small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy, and are the nation’s job creation engine. Ms. Ericka Moritsugu, Senator Duckworth’s general Counsel will be representing the Senator at the ‘sound off’ sessions, and in addition to reporting back to the Senator the our SME’s concerns, will also be able to get feedback on some policies the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee is considering.
Two sessions will be held on July 13th, a morning session at 10:00 am at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, and an afternoon session at 1:30 pm at Manny’s Too in Fulton. Businesses that want to participate should contact Sandy Prescott at (815) 772-5182 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Whiteside County Economic Development Department plans on continuing to work with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and other regional partners, to organize events to advocate for, and advance the regions businesses.