The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce is joining nearly 50 chambers across the state in urging Illinois lawmakers to provide new economic and regulatory relief for thousands of Illinois businesses.
Among the changes the chambers’ All In for Economic Recovery group is seeking are COVID-19-related reforms and increased funding to help member businesses that employ hundreds of thousands of Illinois workers.
Last spring, the organization launched its inaugural platform. The coalition has released its updated platform for 2022, which includes:
- Using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to help replenish the unemployment trust fund to alleviate the impending financial drain from the state’s businesses.
- Provide legal protections to employers who follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) established safety guidelines from claims that COVID-19 was contracted at the place of business.
- Restructure the Minimum Wage Credit’s incremental phase-out to allow small businesses to capture the original intent of the credit.
- Extend the Encouraging Development and Growth Expansion (EDGE) credit sunset clause for another 10 years and utilize the tax credit as an incentive to attract new businesses to the state and allow for the growth and development of existing companies.
“It was important for us to give the Quad Cities region a voice; the All In coalition gives us this opportunity,” said Rhonda Ludwig, the Quad Cities Chamber’s director of government affairs. “We meet weekly to finetune ongoing work plans which keep us in front of our legislators. The Quad Cities Chamber continues to meet with businesses in our region to understand their latest needs as we all continue to work through this extremely difficult economic time.”
If enacted, the coalition’s platform would create a foundation for economic recovery by helping diminish the financial hardships businesses face amid a labor shortage, the chamber’s news release said. It also would spur economic development and recovery from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Businesses tell us about recovering enough to open their doors again, only to be faced with a shortage of workers,” Ms. Ludwig added. “Those who have found workers are now concerned about meeting upcoming minimum wage requirements. All In respectfully pushes forward these topics, and any more, with real solutions for our legislators to consider.”
In addition, Chambers All In for Economic Recovery calls for collaborative solutions to the state’s ongoing workforce challenges. The coalition recognizes the importance of having a ready, willing and skilled workforce for the future of our state’s economy, the release said.
“All In allows us to collaborate with other chambers as one voice to the lawmakers of Illinois,” Ms. Ludwig said. “It gives the chamber an additional avenue to share our solutions for workforce challenges.”
Through the organization, the chambers call on Illinois “to develop innovative programs, support pilot programs, invest in K-12 career awareness programming and assist in scaling successful workforce programs for other communities and industries. We urge Illinois legislators to create an environment and funding models that allow the private sector to drive the training demand for employers.”