Gov. Bruce Rauner started a multi-city tour of small businesses in Springfield, saying long-term changes in the state’s business and political climate are needed.
Asked at Custom Cup, a coffee shop in the capital city, about what businesses should do in the short term if the nearly two-year state budget impasse is causing them cash-flow problems, Rauner reiterated his themes about needed structural changes.
“I say to them the exact same thing they say to me: stay strong, stay persistent,” Rauner said. “We’re in difficult times, but we’re in difficult times to get to a better day and a better future.”
He said the changes he’s recommended including worker’s compensation reform, regulatory relief, a property tax freeze and government consolidation will “make businesses have more confidence in our state.”
“Term limits and fair maps also restore confidence,” he said.
Rauner read part of a proclamation declaring this small business week in Illinois.
“From storefront shops that anchor Main Street to the high tech startups that keep American on the cutting edge, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstone or our nation’s promise,” he read.
Brent Boesdorfer, who along with his wife, Kendra, owns Custom Cup, 321 E. Monroe St., said there were “a ton of hoops” to go through to create the business, but as a local firm serving local customers, he wouldn’t consider moving out of state – as the governor said many companies are doing.
“In a bigger business that has lots of regulation consistently, I could see that happening,” Boesdorfer said. “My plan is to stay here and dominate the coffee business of Springfield, if we can, and grow from there.”
He said someone called on behalf of the governor last week, asking if the event could take place at the business.
“We are a very nonpolitical shop here,” he said, when asked about hosting the Republican governor. “We have our personal preferences, but businesswise, we’re here to serve our customers.”
As for the budget impasse, he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s directly hurting us, but we’ve seen lots of businesses around us hurt by it … especially if you’re doing state work” and there has been a delay in payment.
However, especially when the legislature is in session, he said, “It’s all we hear all day long – both sides.”
Rauner did not provide specifics when asked about his budget conversation with House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago.
“Conversations are going on with members of the General Assembly at all levels, virtually every day,” Rauner said. “The critical thing is that we stay focused … on getting a balanced budget, not a stopgap. …”
Source: The State Journal-Register