by Kasey Schefflin-Emrich, Will County Gazette
Alyssia Benford, the Bolingbrook Republican running against Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) in the 98th District, wants small businesses to be competitive in Illinois.
“The high cost of doing business in Illinois is driving our small businesses to the neighboring states,” Benford said recently. “My opponent voted for the last tax increase, which is one of the reasons I decided to run for office. As a CPA representing small businesses for years, I felt it was irresponsible of my opponent to vote for any increase that would make it more difficult and more competitive for a small business to be successful in Illinois.”
State contract work requirements also make it hard for small businesses to compete, and insurance or annual revenue requirements can automatically disqualify a small business from competing for state contracts, Benford said.
“There used to be requirements for a portion of state work to be given to small businesses and/or minority-owned businesses,” Benford said. “When this requirement was removed, my firm lost a portion of the state contracts where we worked as the minority vendor. Some of this work was ultimately given to companies that set up a ‘temporary office’ in Illinois in order to qualify as an Illinois firm.”
Benford said the state needs to do more to help small businesses.
“The state government appears to be more interested in protecting big businesses,” Benford said. “Sba.gov reported Illinois small businesses employed 2.4 million people or 46.6 percent of the private workforce in 2013. Given that close to 50 percent of the private workforce employs small businesses in Illinois, it is important that our state government supports them.”
The 98th House District covers all or parts of Bolingbrook, Crest Hill, Joliet, Plainfield and Romeoville.