For businesses to thrive, a pro-business environment and supportive public policies are critical. Whether it’s excessive taxation, burdensome regulations, frivolous lawsuits, rising healthcare costs or how to find and retain employees, your concerns are our concerns.
The Illinois Chamber represents these and other issues critical to future growth in Illinois.We are Illinois’ leading business membership organization, and our focus is supporting businesses of all types of business, small and large. Be a part of the solution, join the State Chamber and help us make Illinois a business leader!
Here’s some specific examples of how we help our members:
- Advocacy: Making sure employers are heard. Legislative, executive, agencies, Congress, municipalities and counties. Member input guides the chamber’s professional lobbyists to write laws, amend bills, halt bad legislation, effect regulations and appointments. The objective is to defend the interests of employers and to promote a better business climate.
- Public Policy Expertise: Environmental law & regulations, state & local taxation, workers’ compensation and employment law, public infrastructure, energy policy, health care, international business, and military affairs
- Information: Meetings, webinars, seminars, electronic messages, conference calls, employer focused publications, workplace employee information posters, and employer hotlines
- Access: Opportunity to be face to face with elected officials, agency heads, decision makers, industry leaders, peers, colleagues and customers
- Marketing: Branding, exposure, presence, opportunities to speak or present, meeting people, recommendations, referrals, sponsorships, traditional advertising, web presence and product placement
- Media Relations: The Chamber is a creditable and influential news source that can effectively present the employers’ perspective; the chamber has access to opinion writers, columnists, radio and television personalities, web sites, bloggers, twitter, and Facebook. The Chamber also has access to editorial boards, publishers, business journals.
- PAC Coverage: PAC participation offers confidence that pro-business candidates are getting financial support. This is especially important when the election outcomes of concern are not in your own local jurisdiction. From a company perspective, the Chamber PAC provides the maximum amount of flexibility for leveraging dollars, enhancing contributions, assistance in meeting candidates in favorable venues, and is a valuable resource to assess political opportunity and the ability to use the Chamber PAC as an excuse or protection.
- Coalition Builder: The Illinois Chamber is the best coalition builder in the state of Illinois. The Chamber brand offers a big tent for parties to come together and work on common objectives. Much of this has to do with the statewide reach and capabilities, but it is also because of a reputation that warrants confidence and trust in the Chamber as a successful and reliable partner for individual companies, trade associations, local chambers and many other organizations.
- The Illinois Chamber founded and has co-chaired the Transportation for Illinois Coalition that has been the leading advocate for maximizing federal and state investments in all modes of transportation infrastructure; roads, bridges, tollways, transit, freight rail, passenger rail, waterways, and air travel
- The Illinois Chamber organized and led the campaign that defeated former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s dreaded “Gross Receipts Tax”
- The Illinois Chamber organized and led the coalition to streamline the EPA permitting process
- The Illinois Chamber organized and led the coalition to revise government procurement laws that affects thousands of vendors
- The Illinois Chamber organized the statewide coalition to modernize telecommunication laws.
- The Illinois Chamber organized and led the coalition champion market based principles in the establishment of a health insurance exchange in Illinois.
- Valuable Third-Party Advocate: Many individual companies and industries prefer not to be too-far out-front or too visible where public policy issues are concerned. Some fear political retribution. Others know that from time to time their industry finds itself in the proverbial political cross-hairs. Sometimes it is not in the company’s self-interest to say what needs to be said on behalf of their situation because to do so appears obviously self-serving. Often times it is the Illinois Chamber that is in the position of “taking the arrows” or being the ally of a company or industry that may be out of popular favor or has become a target for political criticism or attack.
- Statewide Reach: The Illinois Chamber maintains communications, relationships and collaboration with over 400 chambers of commerce throughout the state. Nearly 100 statewide and regional organizations such as industry and trade groups as well as economic development professionals are participating members of the Illinois Chamber. We tend to know what is going on throughout the state and, if not, we have the ability to find out.
- Influential Opinion Leader: The Chamber has the ability to reach out and communicate with thousands of influential civic, community and business leaders and the public. The Chamber has access to the “bully pulpit” and can help bring an issue to the mainstream and gain positive resolution.
- Original Research: The Illinois Chamber writes, publishes and commissions original research devoted to improving the knowledge and understanding associated with public policy issues aimed to improve the state’s economic condition. Publications have covered such diverse topics as: the economic impact of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the importance of transit funding, proposing a jobs agenda, determining the economic impact of Chicago waterways, publishing an economic scorecard to illustrate trends and factors that influence growth, and an analysis of judicial activism in workers’ compensation decisions.
- Litigation: The Illinois Chamber sued the State of Illinois to challenge the constitutionality of excessive workers’ compensation fees and forced the rollback of the fees to save employers millions of dollars in insurance costs. The Chamber has also filed Amicus Curiae briefs in cases pending before the United States and Illinois Supreme Courts as well as Illinois Appellate courts.
- Consultation: Business leaders, association executives, local chambers, candidates for office, business consultants, public policy makers and others often seek the chamber’s opinions, perspective, guidance, experience and help with matters of concern to their companies, their industry, their communities and their personal situations.
- Personal Attention: Chamber staff is knowledgeable and responsive to interests that are important to me, my company, my industry, my community. My voice is heard. The chamber can do things for me.
Join the Illinois Chamber of Commerce
A membership in the state’s largest advocacy organization is an incredible way to unify the voice of Illinois business leaders, so we can have a powerful impact in moving our state in a positive direction. By joining the Chamber, you lend your support to advocacy efforts that benefit our overall economy, while staying informed on pertinent issues that can affect your bottom line.
We offer several membership levels to fit the needs and budget of any business. Joining, at any level, is easy and provides an incredible return on investment.