By JOANA SALIEVSKA
The Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC) celebrated its successful legislative efforts in lobbing to reduce state LLC filing fees and discussed how it would benefit small business owners in Illinois at its chapter meeting this Wednesday, Aug. 16 at the Hyatt Place, 5225 S. Harper Ave.
Dwayne Hirsch, SBAC’s Executive Board of Directors and Policy Committee member, was voted as SBAC’s 2017 Advocate of the Year and played a key role in the passing of legislation for the reduction of LLC filing fees and intrastate equity crowdfunding.
The legislation lowers filing feels from $500 to $175 and annual fees from $250 to $75, thereby “making it more affordable to own and manage a business,” said Hirsch.
It took four years for the legislation to pass. The idea to advocate for lower filing fees came from a member of the SBAC council.
“This is why we need to hear from…the local business owners, to know what to advocate for,” said Hirsch. “It doesn’t matter what [type of] business. The advocacy work we do, will help … across the board, whether you’re in insurance, cosmetics or real estate.”
Recently, the SBAC has been working to pass the Employer Participation in Student Loan Act which will allow small business owners to contribute up to $5,250 of non-taxable income to an employee’s student loans. This will allow smaller businesses “to compete with larger businesses which can provide employees with benefits besides a salary,” said Hirsch.
“And this will help me,” said Hirsch. “As the owner of a real estate company, I want people to pay off their loans, so they can afford to buy my houses.”
Hirsh said he thinks this bill “will excite a lot of people,” and hopes people will take advantage of the “politically charged environment and election year,” to advocate for themselves and other entrepreneurs.
The SBAC is a non-partisan organization and committee members speak with legislators from both political parties about their needs.
“I don’t care who gives us that victory, when it comes to legislation, I’ll take it no matter who signed it,” said Hirsch.
Hirsch hopes the success of Downtown Hyde Park can be replicated in neighborhoods such as Englewood and Auburn Gresham.
“We need more people visiting those areas and helping small businesses grow,” said Hirsch.
The SBAC has meetings every third Wednesday of the month at the Hyatt Place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.