CategoriesCEO Letter

Dear IHCC Community,

I am pleased to share an overview of my recent meeting with our government leaders. This visit to Springfield for the first Hispanic Business Advocacy Day of 2023 was a significant opportunity for the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) to establish our presence with the legislators and advocate for our priorities, including but not limited to procurement, new expanding opportunities for migrant workers, and advocating for $1.5 million in appropriations for Hispanic Chambers to continue to do the work needed to aid our small businesses in the state of Illinois.

During our meetings, we focused our lobbying efforts on three key pieces of legislation. These bills addressed procedural improvements in procurement, the establishment of annual reports, and expanding driver’s license access to all residents of Illinois, regardless of citizenship status.

Supporting all three bills is top of mind for the IHCC because:

  • Procurement procedural improvements can help streamline processes and create more opportunities for our businesses, addressing the challenges they often face in accessing procurement opportunities.
  • Annual reports can guarantee transparency and accountability.
  • Expanding driver’s license access to all residents, regardless of citizenship status, promotes inclusivity, safety, and mobility for everyone in Illinois.

These efforts align with IHCC’s commitment to supporting small businesses and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We also emphasized the IHCC’s priorities, including securing $1.5 million in appropriations for Hispanic Chambers, advocating for supportive bills, and expanding outreach efforts to rural communities. We highlighted the impact of our work and the need for resources to scale small businesses. Legislators expressed their support for our initiatives, and we will continue to foster these relationships to achieve our goals of benefiting small businesses and the Latino community in Illinois.

Our recent trip to Springfield highlights our influence in the Hispanic business community and the State of Illinois. With our skilled lobbyist, Olivia Pantoja, of OMP Strategies, we have established a strong presence in the Illinois General Assembly, becoming instantly recognizable for legislators. Our partnerships with companies and committed stakeholders further validate our mission to advocate for small businesses, Latinos, and prospective entrepreneurs throughout Illinois.

With the support of legislators and other public figures, we will continue to push for meaningful lawmaking that addresses the needs of our community and encourage positive change in Illinois. Together, we are making a tangible impact and driving positive change for our community.


Jaime di Paulo, IHCC President and CEO

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