U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston, after a tour of small businesses in her district today, said business owners are “dealing with a lot of pain right now” and that the federal government needs to keep working to help them.

Schakowsky with her staff member Dave Davis and David Paul, the president of Precision Biomarker Resources at the Technology Innovation Center in Evanston.

Schakowsky didn’t have to go far to find some of the businesses she visited — the Technology Innovation Center is in the same building at 820 Davis St. as her Evanston office. There she toured five start-up businesses and held a roundtable discussion with representatives of four more.

She also visited firms in Chicago, Park Ridge, Morton Grove, Norridge and Skokie.

“Trying to launch a new business or develop a new technology is tricky enough,” she said, “but doing it in this economic environment is especially tough.”

Schakowsky said she told the business owners about new small business tax credits for health care coverage and ways to secure a loan from the Small Business Administration.

Related story

Tax credits for health premiums target small firms (Chicago Tribune)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Schakowsky supports new taxes on small businesses

    Is anyone aware that the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) joined a lawsuit  with 21 states against Obamacare, which Schakowsky wholeheartedly supported.

    Yes, NFIB joined the lawsuit on behalf of small businesses because Obamacare will only increase the healthcare costs of small businesses.

    Shakowsky, who is on record saying she wants to end private healthcare insurance for single-payer government healthinsurance, won’t tell you that because of Obamacare, small business owners will be faced with an onslaught of new taxes and paperwork.

    The tax credit is complex, temporary and "puts small business owners through a series of complicated "tests" to determine if they qualify and how much they will receive. Fewer than one-third of small businesses even pass the first three (of four) tests to qualify: have 25 employees or less, provide health insurance, and pay 50% of the cost of that insurance."

    read the rest here


  2. Isn’t she just doing her job?

    Nice photo op for Schakowsky but I’d sure love it if you’d tell us about the companies she visited. Who are they? What are they doing? How will they create jobs in Evanston? There’s a story here but it’s hard to believe it’s about Schakowsky visiting businesses; that to me would seem to be part of her job.

    1. TIC companies

      Hi Gerald,

      You can find out somewhat more about the companies in the Technology Innovation Center from the center’s website.

      But an in depth evaluation of what they’ve accomplished, or how many jobs they’re bringing to Evanston, or how having a congressperson walk through the building benefits society … was beyond the scope of the story. Sometimes a photo op is just a photo op.

      I am considering whether Evanston residents would be interested in contributing to a fund to produce more in-depth journalism about the community. If that’s an idea that interests you, drop me a note.

      — Bill

      1. Google could have been in Evanston ?

        I often wonder what would have happened if the city had paid more attention to the Research Park and not spent all their time arguing about whether it should be "a nuclear free-zone."

        Maybe Larry Page [Google co-founder] would have stayed in his Evanston Tech. job and created something great for Evanston and the world.

        Between taxes and lack of support, it is pretty hard to keep tech. business in Evanston after their period of low  rents at the Park end—Evanston is just too  expensive.  A hedge fund manager said Evanston rents are higher than space in the ‘Loop.’

        How many more brilliant people and great businesses have been pushed out of Evanston because of high costs, taxes, neglect and getting through all  the government rules ?

  3. Just Get Out of Our Way


    Stop getting in our way. We can handle jobs ourselves, if only you in Washington would stop interfering. Nothing you do, nothing you have the power to do will help us create jobs.

    Get the government out of our way. The demand is back, we just can’t afford to get back to work as long as you in government keep sticking your noses in finance, healthcare, industry takeovers, etc.

  4. Where has she been?

          As someone who once owned a small business in Evanston and was forced out by the actions of the local government, I see Congresswomen Schakowsky’s efforts as being too little, too late. Where was Congresswoman Schakowsky when the city of Evanston was violating the Open Meetings Act of Illinois that eventually forced out most of the independent retail businesses in downtown? Where was Congresswoman Schakowsky on Tort Reform when businesses such as mine were getting frivolously sued? Where was Congresswoman Schakowsky when Evanston was ‘sticking it’ to Northwestern (our largest business in town) which led to such actions as having football games being played at Wrigley Field? Like most of our elected officials form Ridge Ave to Springfield, she was nowhere to be found.
    For Congresswoman Schakowsky and other elected officials, the business community was a source of revenue to fund entitlements which created a guaranteed voting block. The tax revenues we generated and the jobs we created were taken for granted for too many years and now the entire country is financially under water. The bailouts and stimulus packages have had little impact, certainly nothing was done for small businesses, and all we have to show for it is unsustainable debts to China that will be a burden to our children.
                If Congresswoman Schakowsky really wants to help small businesses, she can start by getting the government out of business (automakers, banking, healthcare) and focus on governing, not controlling our daily lives. You want solutions? Go to http://www.pollakforcongress.com and no I have nothing to do with his campaign, I just like his message.
  5. What a Joke

    She has been part of an administration that has effectively legislated against the will of the people.  Pick your issue – Health Care Reform, Stimulus, Financial Reform….

    This is a slick photo op for her.  There is no sincerity or credibility to this visit. 

    She is part of a ruling class that is totally out of touch with us, the people.  She is part of a ruling administration that is anti business and anti capitalism.

    Vote Pollak, vote for real change, not slick ad campaigns and rhetoric.   Oh, and I too have no affiliation with the Pollak campaign, just a sick and disgusted citizen thanks to Dems.

  6. Sam Zell said it best

    Sam Zell was interviewed on CNBC today and when asked what’s confronting the US economy he reponded it’s an issue of "confidence and unpredictability of the administration."  No one has all the answers and just because Sam Zell is a very successful business person doesn’t make him omniscent. However, he addresses a couple of critical issues that Representative Schakowsky and politicians in Washington, D.C. and Springfield don’t understand. First – businesses invest (and hence CREATE JOBS) because they see an opportunity to make an attractive risk adjusted rate of return on their capital. Our model of capitalism has served our country and people well – it’s not perfect, but with "appropriate" oversight and regulation it’s the best one available. Second, confidence in our political leadership is very low. There are several reasons for this which could take pages to discuss. Just look at the trial of former Governor Blagojevich – says it all about Illinois politics – and then we have Charlie Rangel in NY (don’t forget Elliot Spitzer)  John Edwards, and the list goes on and on. So what’s the solution to this issue ? Term limits? Third, the uncertainty over health care reform, financial reform, and taxes has caused a lot of organizations to take a "wait and see" approach. In my opinion, many of these reforms are necessary and long overdue – keeping the regulatory structure current is necessary to avoid future problems. Our government responds to a crisis, as opposed to thinking and planning ahead (to be fair, this is not in every and all cases) People are waiting for clarity before they are willing to create jobs. In Illinois you have another major impediment to job creation – the lack of a plan to address our state’s massive fiscal situation. Why is this important ? People and businesses are reluctant to invest (CREATE JOBS) in Illinois because they are concerned that politicians in Illinois are going to impose a significant tax on them – big businesses, small businesses etc. We need a viable plan to restore confidence and provide certainty in Illinois.

    Hopefully, our politicians will start to understand the importance of confidence and uncertainty so that the creativity and "Yankee Ingenuity" of the American people can be unleashed once again.

  7. Sponsoring a Bill that Will KILL Thousands of Small Businesses

     If Congresswoman Schakowsky cared the least bit about the success of small businesses, she would make reasonable provisions for them in HR 5786– the amusingly titled "Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010"– which she is currently sponsoring. 

    The bill makes NO provisions for small business in the personal care industry– something that is allowed in almost every other sector of the economy. Small business are usually exempt from unfair financial burdens that would put them out of business, but Congresswoman Schakowsky wants to fine and attack hardworking, honest people who simply sell handmade soap at the farmer’s market or run a local spa.

    It suggests a very radical, very expensive and very time-consuming overhaul of the entire personal care industry– measures that will make operations difficult even for large corporations and impossible for small businesses. A local company with five employees making all-natural lotion would be driven out of business almost instantly by the passage of this law. These people buy their supplies from companies already required to perform extensive testing on the materials, yet this law would demand that the seller themselves test everything in an impractical and cost-prohibitive manner for even the most molecular trace of impurities– traces that have never been shown to have any adverse affects in humans unless ingested in massive quantities at once.

    I’m all for safety in my cosmetics and personal care products, but there is no reason whatsoever why this bill can’t make SANE provisions for small business who are already willingly making safe, reasonably tested products. It will literally destroy every entrepreneur in the beauty industry for no reason. 

    FLAMING HYPOCRITE. That’s all I have to say about this vicious, heartless excuse for a lawmaker. 

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