State government isn't doing enough for small businesses in Illinois, where their voices too often are muted by big corporations, the Republican candidate for the 44th District state House seat said during a recent interview.
"Currently, I do not think state government is working to help small businesses to the extent I think it should," Katy Dolan Baumer, Hanover Township clerk and Illinois House candidate, told North Cook News in an email interview. "I believe that there is too much government intrusion on businesses and that is getting worse."
Baumer cited the state's minimum wage as an example.
Illinois State House 44th District Candidate Katy Dolan Baumer
"Whatever happened to allowing an applicant and an employer to set a wage based on an agreement, on the skills of the applicant, and on experience desired by the employer?" she asked."Artificially forcing a higher minimum wage, or any wage for that matter, ties the hands of a small-business owner. I see this action as one that depresses the hiring of employees."
She also questioned the role of lobbyists who "generally have deep pockets that have helped in many cases the future aspirations of our legislators."
"Is this really protecting anyone or helping the guy on the street, or small business?" Baumer asked. "Can I and my small chamber of commerce really compete against big business or the crushing heel (of) a powerhouse of lobbyists?"
Baumer, who ran unopposed in the GOP primary in March, is making her second run against incumbent Rep. Fred Crespo (D-Hoffman Estates), who defeated her in 2016.
Crespo has represented the 44th District -- located entirely within Cook County and includes Streamwood, about half of Hoffman Estates and Hanover Park, and parts of Schaumburg, Elgin and Bartlett -- since 2007.
Earlier this year, Baumer told North Cook News she's sensing a different climate against Crespo.
Her more recent comments about small businesses in Illinois came during this year's National Small Business Week, which runs through Saturday. National Small Business Week has been an annual and nationwide event since 1963 as a way to "highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from across the nation," according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Small businesses in Illinois too often are dismissed by lawmakers in Springfield, Baumer said.
"I think small businesses are considered 'easy pickings' because their voice is not as large or strong or loud as big business with cadres of attorneys and lobbyists who can fight big government and deal in a way that small businesses cannot," she said.
Baumer added that she sees plenty of potential that she'd like to get to work on if she's elected in November.
"Another area that I see potential abuse is in workers' compensation," she said. "If I were elected, I would concentrate on making sure that the laws around compensation for injured workers, who were injured on the job, are fair and equitable to both the employee and the employer."
In honor of the week, Baumer also gave a shoutout to her friends, acquaintances and business partners who are members of the Streamwood Chamber of Commerce, Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce, Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce, Schaumburg Business Association and Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce.
"The majority of these chambers represent and offer services to home-based, small and mid-sized businesses in my area," Baumer said.
"Many of these companies are facing issues of whether to build or not to build, to hire or not to hire, or to hire only part-time so that the expense is not as great, to even move from Illinois to a state where businesses are considered a remarkable and valuable entity of their state by not only their customers, but by the government, as well," she said. "Kudos to my local insurance agent for standing strong in this uncertain time; to the bakery down the street; to my dry cleaner, nail salon, the little Thai restaurant, the Mexican restaurant, the computer repair guy, the banquet hall, my plumber, and hairdresser! If I named them all, I would have to buy advertising space. ... These businesses are the training and proving ground of many local residents and their children, and form the great underpinning of our state’s base for taxes, education, experience, quality, and strength in a state that is facing great economic issues."