SOUTH HOLLAND, IL–State Senator Napoleon Harris, Representative for the 15th District addressed a legislative business meeting held recently, hosted by the South Holland Business Association (SHBA). The luncheon/business meeting attracted more than 75 business owners in the Thornton Business District. The event was held at the South Holland Community Center, 501 E. 170th Street. 

Though it has been more than ten years since the Illinois House passed and approved a huge state budget. The 2020 budget was passed on July 1st of this year, and funding has been allocated to include repair of roads, highways, bridge infrastructure, funding for childhood education and higher education, Department of Human Service, among others. 

During the program, Senator Harris discussed the idea of a pay increase for Illinois workers, solutions to the pension crisis, and information regarding the $40.6 billion revenue fund which was recently approved by the Illinois House. 

 “We had an all-around friendly business meeting as well as a Q&A,” Senator Harris said. “During the meeting, we discussed increasing the minimum wage to $15.00, which we hope will happen between now and 2025, as well as ways to make Illinois a better way to do business. We spent time discussing the pension crisis. We are also finding creative ways to keep businesses in Illinois, so that businesses don’t have to move to +surrounding states such as Indiana. These are some of the things I will take back to Springfield.”

Randy Simmons, President of the South Holland Business Association were present during the legislative meeting. He said, “Today, we wanted to host a legislative business forum to get information out to our business owners regarding what’s going on with capital funding in Illinois. The state just passed a big budget and we wanted to get our business owners familiar with what has been funded.”

Towards the end of the meeting, the senator accepted several questions from the audience which was centered on the $40 billion dollar capital planning revenue fund.

Afterward, John Watson, Director of Economic Development for the Village of South Holland announced the grand opening of several new businesses including Flavor Addict Popcorn Shop and Seafood Junction, which is a new seafood restaurant located in South Holland.

Business owners present during the meeting represented cleaning companies, manufacturing, school districts, municipalities, mentorship, data automation, engineer companies, among others. 

“We work with a lot of communities and it is our job to keep our business leaders up-to-date, especially at the state level,” Simmons said.

(To learn more about the South Holland Business Association or to become a member, contact Blevian Moore at 708 596-0065.)