This past weekend, the Illinois General Assembly adjourned its 2023 regular session. Greater St. Louis, Inc. was proud to advocate for and advance policies that will increase investment in Illinois’ businesses and entrepreneurs and bring fairness to the state’s legal climate.

“Greater St. Louis, Inc. and our Illinois partners secured important wins for the metro this legislative session,” said Tracy Henke, Greater St. Louis, Inc. Chief Policy Officer. “We thank our private sector partners and our metro delegation for prioritizing programs and policies that directly benefit the St. Louis bi-state metro.”

Greater St. Louis, Inc. voiced strong support for the Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund and the need for broader reach in fund distribution. Prior to the legislative session, Greater St. Louis, Inc. found that the $1 billion+ investment fund is primarily distributed in the Chicagoland area. This session, positive dialogue occurred with the manager of the fund — the Illinois Treasurer — that will help foster geographical diversity in the fund’s distribution, specifically to southwest Illinois. We thank two members of our metro delegation for making this advancement possible, House Assistant Majority Leader Jay Hoffman and Senator Christopher Belt.   

GSL also supported legislation that will enhance Illinois’ New Markets Tax Credit program, which increases the annual cap on investments from $20 – $25 million and extends the sunset of the program until 2031. State and federal New Markets programs are an important source of financing for businesses in distressed communities.

“Positive changes to the New Markets Tax Credit program will help more entrepreneurs and businesses scale up and generate positive impacts in their communities,” said Henke. “I am confident that continued outreach and education on the Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund will result in investments made in southwest Illinois.”

While there are victories to celebrate, positive changes to the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act did not pass. Greater St. Louis, Inc. will continue to work to find a path forward to bring more fairness to the state’s legal climate through essential reforms to BIPA.