Illinois Governor visits Jacksonville for Small Business Week

By Blake Schnitker on May 3 at 9:09am

Governor Bruce Rauner’s tour of small businesses across Illinois made a stop in Jacksonville yesterday afternoon.

The governor took a tour of ILMO Specialty Gas as a part of National Small Business week and the governor’s promotion of small business in Illinois.

After the tour, Governor Rauner held a small town hall style meeting with those in attendance at the ILMO warehouse on East gate Drive. At this town hall the governor spoke on the impact of small businesses in Illinois, and how small businesses like ILMO can continue to grow and make Illinois a better place to live.

Once the town hall completed, we had a chance to catch up with Governor Rauner about businesses in Illinois.

Rauner says that we must celebrate small businesses and help them to grow

“Small Business is the backbone of the Illinois economy. Two out of every three jobs gets created by small businesses in Illinois. Their success, their growth is the key to higher family incomes and more good-paying jobs and better quality of life for the families of Illinois. We need to have our system in Illinois support small businesses and help them grow. We haven’t created any net new jobs in Illinois for seventeen years. We need to help our small businesses grow so we’ll have more jobs, we’ll have truly balanced budgets, and a rising tax base if we help small businesses grow,” says Rauner.  .

Rauner also believes Illinois would be more competitive with neighboring states if there was a more level playing field in terms of regulations.

“We have more than twice the number of regulations than the states around us. We have more than twice the regulations in Missouri or Kentucky, and Indiana is the number one state where our jobs are going to because they have a lot less regulations on businesses. If we just become even somewhat of a level playing field, (Illinois) will be the fastest growing state in the Midwest because we’ve got the best location, the hardest working people, best road network, great agriculture. If we’re on a level playing field, Illinois will boom, but right now we’re at a competitive disadvantage trying to compete with one arm tied behind our back, and as a result, a lot of our businesses have been leaving. (If) we get on a level playing field, we will be on a rocket where families will have higher incomes, and we’ll have more jobs,” Rauner explains.

Rauner also made it clear that he intends to promote education as a means of improving Illinois businesses.  To hear more from Governor Rauner,  you can listen to our full interview with him from this morning’s AM Conversation.