Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need to support the Illinois Chamber?
Illinois has an unfriendly business climate and it is up to the business community to change it. The Illinois Chamber provides your business feet on the street in state capitol, to work with lawmakers to make sound business policy decisions, so employers can grow and add jobs, strengthening our economy. The more members and the support the Illinois Chamber has, the more we can do to make Illinois a business leader.
Is the Illinois Chamber of Commerce a state agency?
No. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is a private nonprofit organization supported by member dues, contributions from a diverse group of primarily Illinois-based businesses, and revenue generated by offering HR compliance educational seminars and materials.
Who are the members of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce?
Membership is comprised of businesses and organizations of all types and sizes across the state of Illinois.
All components of Illinois’ economy are represented: mining, manufacturing, construction, transportation, utilities, finance and banking, insurance, gambling, real estate, professional services, local chambers of commerce, and other trade groups and membership organizations.
Small to mid-sized businesses are the majority of our membership. Larger companies headquartered in Illinois such as Caterpillar, Deere, Boeing, and State Farm are among our members, too.
Does the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Have a Political Action Committee (PAC)?
Yes. Chamber PAC functions as the political fundraising arm of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. Chamber PAC solicits, collects and spends money to support targeted political state- level political races including state representative, state senate, and state-wide elected officials races. The PAC does not contribute to campaigns of local or federal elected officials.
The PAC supports candidates who have a strong record in supporting and advancing legislation that is pro-business. The PAC is overseen by a board of directors separate from the Chamber board of directors. Learn more about Chamber PAC here, or call 217-522-5512.
What is the difference between the Illinois Chamber and my local Chamber?
Local Chamber’s are critical to their business community, as a majority of them focus on working with their local government to ensure a fair business environment in their community. Many local chambers offer member networking events that highlight local businesses and members, and help businesses connect to grow their business.
The Illinois Chamber’s mission focuses on representing the business community at the state level, working with state representatives, senators and the Governor’s office, to advance a pro-business agenda. The Illinois Chamber also works on the national level.
If I am a member of a local chamber of commerce, does that make me a member of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce?
No. All chambers are separate corporate entities. Each functions with its mission that is focused on the needs of its members. Local chambers typically operate within a defined boundary such as a county, city, or market area. The Illinois Chamber operates statewide. For example, if you are a member of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, you are not automatically a member of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. To be a member of each, you would need to join and pay dues to each separately.
The Illinois Chamber strongly encourages businesses and organizations to be members and supporters of their local chamber of commerce and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.
What are the differences between the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and other state-level industry/trade-specific associations?
Each organization is a separate private corporate not-for-profit entity with its own mission. On specific policy issues or in specific activity areas, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce works collaboratively with trade organizations. The collaborative relationships vary from issue to issue. For example on some business tax issues, the Illinois Chamber might work in collaboration with other trade associations while on other business tax issues, the organizations may have opposing views. Common concerns include policy areas such as workers’ compensation fees, business taxes and business regulations.
What is a Policy Council?
The Chamber prides itself on the involvement of members in all aspects of our mission. The Chamber created policy councils to provide members with peer forums to discuss issues and concerns, critique and create and propose new business policies, develop high level networking opportunities, and provide a forum to bring in policymakers to hear the ideas and concerns of our members. The Illinois Chamber’s policy and advocacy councils are:
Economic Development Council
Employment Law Council
Policy Councils have additional membership dues to help underwrite the cost of the council staff and resources.
Council memberships are recommended for businesses interested in participating directly in evaluating and formulating state-level business policies that impact their industry or company.