Croke’s Legislation to Incentivize Diversity in Angel Investments Passes IL House

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  • Croke’s Legislation to Incentivize Diversity in Angel Investments Passes IL House

Springfield, IL. – Today, State Representative Margaret Croke’s legislation to encourage investments in new business ventures owned by minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and downstate residents passed the Illinois House as part of the omnibus revenue package. The legislation increases the Angel Tax Credit by $5 million to a total of $15 million for the program. The additional $5 million will be allocated with $2.5 million going to minority-owned ventures, $1.25 million for ventures owned by people with disabilities, women, or veterans, and $1.25 million for people living in counties with populations of less than 250,000 people. The current program only allocated $500,000 for minority or women-owned businesses and $500,000 for businesses owned by those living in counties of less than 250,000 people.

“Thousands of Illinoisans across our state have ideas for new businesses that have the potential to address
important issues and improve our communities, but they need funding to help get their ventures off the ground. However, too often, angel investors overlook businesses that are minority-owned, women-owned, or are located in smaller areas of the state far outside of Chicago,” said State Representative Margaret Croke. “By incentivizing investors to put their money toward entrepreneurs who are typically disregarded or dismissed, we can help remove barriers and increase equity in our entrepreneurial economy. This legislation is an important step toward getting great ventures of the future off the ground and spurring economic growth, and I’m proud to see it pass today.”

In a 2021 study of 200 venture capital funds, only 1.87% of investors’ money was allocated to businesses with owners from diverse backgrounds, highlighting the need to spur investment in marginalized communities. Additionally, nationwide, less than 1% of venture capital goes to businesses in rural areas. HB1251 increases Illinois’ Angel Investment Tax Credit by $5 million and allocates the additional awards to the ventures most commonly overlooked. The current program has been extremely beneficial, with almost 2,500 investments secured under the program from 2011 to 2021 for a total investment amount of about $366 million.

“The Chicagoland Chamber’s 2022 Tech Effect Study showed the importance of the tech ecosystem to the
Chicagoland region’s economy. The study also showed that access to capital remains a key barrier for many innovative start-ups and small businesses,” said Jack Lavin, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “By expanding the Angel Tax Credit, a significantly effective program already, and incentivizing investment in historically overlooked and underfunded communities, we are making an investment in Illinois’ diverse talent, increasing equity within the business community, and opening the door for opportunities for economic growth throughout the state. Thank you to Representative Croke for championing this important initiative and supporting small businesses and start-ups throughout Illinois.”

To learn more about HB1251, read here.

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