Illinois lawmakers investigate barriers to Black business development | State & Regional

“Clearly COVID has demonstrated the tremendous need, like right now, what we’re doing right now, connecting through broadband, to have a conversation with our state support mechanisms,” he said.

Even in Chicago, he said, many homes and businesses are not online because broadband technology is not available, which severely limits their ability to participate in an online economy.

“For those that don’t know, going back to what was is no longer an option,” Montgomery said. “There is no good old days. Those days are gone forever.”

Much of the focus of Thursday’s hearing was on state government, and its ability to spur business development through its own contracting and purchasing policies.

“We must look at this economy moving forward and recognize that inside of a $40 billion state of Illinois budget, how is every department … spending that money with their constituents, Black constituents, so that they can be full

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State lawmakers probe barriers to Black business development

SPRINGFIELD — Black-owned businesses in Illinois face significant barriers to growth and opportunities that would enable them to compete with their white-owned counterparts, a problem that many Black leaders say is directly tied to Black unemployment rates and the deterioration of Black neighborhoods.

That was the message state lawmakers heard Thursday when three Senate committees held a virtual joint hearing that focused on entrepreneurship and financial development for Black business owners.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

“If you drive or walk through our communities, especially on the south and west sides and other areas of the state, our areas look like a war zone,” said Sen. Mattie Hunter, a Chicago Democrat and chair of the Senate Executive Committee. “And we keep saying well, how are our communities? Why are they looking so poorer and poorer and poorer every single day? It’s because of the disparity and funding. That’s the problem, you guys.”

Thursday’s hearing was

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Lawmakers probe barriers to Black business development

SPRINGFIELD – Black-owned businesses in Illinois face significant barriers to growth and opportunities that would enable them to compete with their white-owned counterparts, a problem that many Black leaders say is directly tied to Black unemployment rates and the deterioration of Black neighborhoods.

That was the message state lawmakers heard Thursday when three Senate committees held a virtual joint hearing that focused on entrepreneurship and business development in the Black community.

“If you drive or walk through our communities, especially on the south and west sides and other areas of the state, our areas look like a war zone,” said Sen. Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago, chair of the Senate Executive Committee. “And we keep saying well, how are our communities? Why are they looking so poorer and poorer and poorer every single day? It’s because of the disparity and funding. That’s the problem, you guys.”

Thursday’s hearing was part of a

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