Articles Tagged with Chicago Small Business

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Family Owned Business
Succession or Dissolution?

They make great stories when they’re successful, but maintaining continuity of family-owned businesses from generation to generation presents many challenges.  A family-owned business can be an excellent means of transferring and preserving generational wealth when run smoothly. Learning to work together as a family can benefit everyone and the business.

But many families just don’t get along, and those internal familial problems have a way of working themselves into the operation of the business.  When that happens, family members inevitably look to their attorneys for guidance, and at that point litigation may be the only option.

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Illinois Amends One Day in Seven Rest Act

The new year will bring with it activation dates for new or amended state legislation that passed earlier this year, some of which will have an impact on small business owners and their employees.

One significant change that employers should know about centers on the One Day Rest in Seven Act, or ODRISA. Heretofore, that law has mandated a minimum of 24 hours of rest per calendar week, but as of January 1, this will change to 24 hours of rest per seven-consecutive-day period. So if an employee works for six consecutive days, the law now covers with them on day seven, even if those six days don’t align with a Sunday through Saturday work week.

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What Would It Mean for Your Business?

Illinois voters will have the opportunity on Election Day, November 8, to vote “yea” or “nay” on an amendment to the state constitution that would protect workers’ rights to collectively bargain, while prohibiting state legislators from making Illinois a “right to work” state, in which workers in unionized workplaces can decide individually whether to join the union.  The Amendment should have no practical effect on small businesses since small businesses are generally not unionized.

Known popularly as the “Workers’ Rights Amendment”—although its official name is the more prosaic Illinois Amendment 1—the measure would amend the Bill of Rights Article of the Illinois Constitution to give employee the ability to bargain collectively, through representatives they select to negotiate wages, hours, working conditions, and worker safety.  The amendment, which received partisan support in both houses of the state legislature when it was approved for the ballot in May, also negates any local laws that prohibit this.

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Bellas & Wachowski – Chicago Business Lawyers

Small businesses with 16 to 24 employees that have been operational for at least two years and don’t already offer qualifying retirement plans will, as of November 1, 2023 be subject to the requirements of the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act. 

Under an amendment passed last year, those with 5 to 15 employees must participate in the act—which has created a state-sponsored retirement savings program to boost access for private-sector employees—as of November 1, 2023.

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Subchapter V for Small Business Owners

For the past two years, small businesses whose bottom lines were impacted by the onset of COVID-19 enjoyed greater protections while going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizations in the form of higher debt limits under the Small Business Reorganization Act.

That act, passed in August 2019 and enacted as of February 2020, established what came to be called “Subchapter V” of the SBRA, aimed at providing a simpler, less costly and ultimately more beneficial Chapter 11 process for small business debtors who would struggle to afford administrative and other costs.

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Repayment of Student Debt by Employers

Retaining employees, and attracting new ones, has always been at the forefront of employer’s minds, but never more so than right now.  An extension of the student loan repayment plan for employers is one attractive way to stabilize your workforce.

The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) extended tax-free employer sponsored student loan repayment through 2025.  This means that employers can give each employee up to $5,250 of non-taxable money to pay off student loans per year.  The amount the employer contributes is deductible by the employer and it is not income to the employee.    It is the best situation for both employer and employee!

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The Metaverse

The metaverse isn’t just for gamers anymore.

With the rise of block-chain technology, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs)—along with the increasingly realistic-looking realms created in virtual and augmented reality—these three-dimensional realms, best known for games like Fortnite and Roblox, are increasingly becoming a place to do business.

Bellas & Wachowski, Chicago Business Lawyers

NFTs as a Business Asset

Simply put, NFT’s (or “tokens”) are digital assets. Various examples include movies, drawings, music, and digital artwork.

By their very definition, NFT’s are non-fungible, meaning that they cannot be traded for something else.  For example, Da Vinci’s original Mona Lisa is non-fungible; only one original version exists, and there will only ever be one.  Contrarily, U.S. dollars are fungible—trade one dollar for another dollar and you end up with the same thing.

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Data Management Key to Business Success

Small businesses should have thorough, regular—and secure—processes for gathering, storing and interpreting data, which in the “Information Age” has become critical to staying a step ahead of competitors and the marketplace as a whole.

Without deliberately planning and engineering the most effective ways to integrate various types of data flows in every part of your business operations, you can’t fully understand how data can help you make key decisions and otherwise leverage its benefits for key purposes.


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Independent Contractors

A recent Illinois Court of Appeals decision in an Illinois Wage Claim Act case puts a magnifying glass on the sticky wicket employers can find themselves when they are unable to pay an outside contractor, at least under certain circumstances.

The decision in O’Malley v. Udo, 2022 IL App (1st) 200007 (Jan. 14, 2022) revolved around an independent contractor who was paid $1,000 per work day plus expenses, was sent 1099 forms at the end of the tax year, was mostly free to work from his Evanston home, and otherwise clearly identified in the written agreement between the parties – and at his insistence – as a consultant.