Potential End to U.S. Export-Import Bank May Impact Illinois Exports

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Illinois is one of the top five states in the nation when it comes to exporting services and goods abroad. In fact, the state exports over $66 billion in services and goods each year, allowing international trade to account for 10 percent of the state’s total economy. Part of the reason that states such as […]

Governor Quinn Signs New Law Targeting Patent Trolls

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Patent trolling is the process of sending misleading demand letters to a business and claiming that the business committed some act that violated the patent owned by another business or person. The letters typically demand that the business either cease the allegedly illegal patent violation or that the business pay royalty fees for continued use […]

Ban the Box and Pregnancy Protections: Employer Action Restrictions

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The new Illinois law titled Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act (Act), also known as the Ban the Box Initiative, is a new law that will allow job seekers with past criminal histories to apply for jobs without allowing their past to get in the way of finding gainful employment. The Act, which will take effect […]

The Effects of the Hobby Lobby Decision on Small Businesses

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The United States Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby has had a polarizing effect throughout the United States. While some celebrate the decision as providing expanded legal protections for a business owner’s religious freedom and liberty, opponents attack the ruling as being antiquated and devastating to women’s reproductive rights. Others cannot wrap […]

Guerrilla Marketing 101 for Small Businesses

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Guerilla marketing a is business strategy that uses non-traditional low-cost means in order to draw attention to a product, idea or service. In the past, guerilla marketing tools included flyer postings, graffiti, and sticker/ad bombings. However, in today’s digital age, guerilla marketing techniques have expanded to the use of social media networks, such as Instagram […]

Report Finds Female Entrepreneurs Happier than Male Entrepreneurs

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In mid-June, Babson College and Baruch College issued their 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) U.S. Report. While the report was focused on entrepreneurs of all ages and sexes, the researchers made an interesting finding about the well-being and disparities facing entrepreneurs. Researchers discovered that established female entrepreneurs/business owners personally ranked their well-being as being twice […]

A Guide to Online Business Laws

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In the past 20 years, online businesses have become a powerful force in the global economy. By setting up an online website to attract and distribute goods to customers, entrepreneurs and business owners are discovering the financial benefits to operating an online business in lieu of/in conjunction with a traditional storefront. However, like all things […]

Highly Litigious Climate Presents Challenges to Small Business Owners

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A recent business climate report surveyed thousands of small business owners and asked them to apply a letter grade to the business regulations for operation in their state. Illinois was one of the six states that received a failing grade in the report. This report, along with others, has indicated that Illinois is at the […]

Information Regarding the Illinois Medical Marijuana Pilot Program

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Since the Illinois state government’s approval of medical marijuana in 2013, both patients and entrepreneurs have been wondering when marijuana dispensaries can begin operating. A year later, dispensaries and marijuana cultivation centers have not yet been opened, but in the next year such businesses should be able to operate in Illinois. Earlier in July, Illinois lawmakers […]

Small Business Owners: New Option for Dealing with Slow Paying Clients

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Landing a big corporate or state client is the dream of most small business owners. However, once invoices are submitted they often have to wait months for payment. While bigger corporations can absorb the costs associated with waiting for payments, small businesses often find themselves struggling financially while waiting for money they are owed in […]