Small Businesses in Illinois Are Experiencing Record Profits But There May Still Be Trouble on the Horizon

Wheaton small business lawyersDuring the Great Recession, many small business owners struggled to make ends meet. Many had to close their doors. Today, things look very different. In fact, small businesses have been a major contributor to the nation’s recovery, and most are seeing record profits. Sadly, financial experts believe there could still be trouble on the horizon. Learn how you can safeguard your company against some of the challenges that may arise over the next few years, and discover how a seasoned small business lawyer can help with the process. 

Record Profits for Small Businesses Across the Nation

According to the new Small Business Optimism Index, published by the National Federation of Independent Business, small businesses are experiencing record profits, nationwide. What is more, the reporting of poor sales has fallen to a near record low. Sadly, there are some concerns over whether this trend will continue, especially in Illinois, where business taxes may soon increase, thanks to the state’s massive debt level. For smaller companies, the increase could be especially crippling, as many are pass-through entities, meaning they pay taxes out of their own personal income. 

To make matters worse, there are politicians who want to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years. That is an increase of about 70 to 80 percent in wages; few small businesses could handle such a hike. In fact, those in Cook County, where the minimum wage is $13 an hour, are already struggling, yet it is likely only a matter of time before the increase occurs state-wide. Thankfully, it is possible to start mitigating against the challenges now, long before they are approved. 

Preparing Your Small Business for Potential Tax and Wage Increases

While there is little that a small business can do to avoid the tax and wage hike issues, there are ways to prepare for the challenges that may arise because of them. First, the business can have a financial expert examine their books to look for any potential cut-backs. Second, small business owners can seek the aid of a lawyer. The benefit here is that a lawyer can examine the company for vulnerabilities like confusing verbiage in their employment contracts or company policies. As such, the business can reduce their risk of a wrongful termination or discrimination lawsuit, which could completely bankrupt them if the taxes and wages do increase. 

Contact Our Wheaton Small Business Lawyers

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we understand the challenges that small businesses face because we are a small company ourselves. Backed by more than 40 years of experience, our seasoned Wheaton small business lawyers also have the knowledge and foresight to assist you in preparing for the possible challenges ahead. Start by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call our offices at 630-665-2500 today. 



Survey Says Small Business Owners Are Optimistic About the Future but There Are Still Concerns – How a Business Law Attorney Can Help Resolve Them

Illinois small business attorneysSmall businesses are the backbone of America's economy, but they are also the most susceptible to failure – and not just because they must compete against corporations and large chain stores. The recession hit everyone hard, but small businesses experienced mass closure and bankruptcy. Those that survived had to weather out the recession and hope that people would start spending money again. Now that it is happening, new and old small business owners say they are optimistic about their future, a recent survey said. However, there are still concerns. Learn what they are, how to mitigate them, and what an experienced business law attorney can help.

Small Businesses and the Nuances of Business Law

Laws change all the time – and that includes laws relating to business. Corporations typically have teams of attorneys to inform them of major changes that could impact their company. The same cannot be said for small business owners. Because of this, smaller businesses tend to be more susceptible to things like lawsuits (sometimes from patrons or consumers, but usually from employees), and they may struggle to ensure that they stay in compliance with some of the more complex employment law matters. In some instances, such as those relating to federal or state taxes, can place not just a business at risk, but also its owner.

Preventing and Fighting Against Lawsuits

Since small businesses are inherently more susceptible to lawsuits, it is critical that they take preventative measures whenever possible. Examples of such measures can include:

  • Hiring an experienced attorney to ensure that the business's employment handbook clearly and concisely outlines the employer's expectations;
  • Ensuring there are clear policies regarding in-office harassment and discrimination;
  • Developing a management training program that refreshes all supervisors on applicable harassment and discrimination;
  • Maintaining an open-door policy; and
  • Handling all reports of harassment and discrimination in a professional and diligent manner.

Sadly, even when taking such measures, small businesses remain at a higher risk of a lawsuit than other businesses. In the event that one is filed against your business, it is crucial that you know where to turn for guidance, assistance, and aggressive representation.

Contact Our DuPage County Business Law Attorneys

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we understand the challenges that small businesses face because we, too, are a small business. Dedicated to ensuring your company thrives, now and for years to come, our DuPage County business law attorneys can help you protect your business from lawsuits through preventative measures. When aggressive representation is needed to fight against a suit, we put our knowledge and skills to work for you. Call 630-225-2500 and schedule a consultation to get started.