Why a SaMM Caucus?

Why is the Technology & Manufacturing Association launching its “Small and Midsized Manufacturing” Caucus in Illinois’ General Assembly? 

Manufacturing is a crucial source of state revenue

Illinois is home to 592,000 manufacturing employees with an average annual compensation of over $89,000 in 2018. Over 12,000 manufacturers base their businesses in Illinois – creating annually over $108.45 billion in manufacturing output.

But among those thousands of manufacturers is a broad spectrum of company sizes and their demands and needs. Not one manufacturer size fits all. But large manufacturers need small companies and vice versa.

Large companies depend on small and midsize entities to supply specific parts, services, and information the big ones can’t meet. Small and midsize manufacturers thrive in meeting the more giant corporations’ specific, often custom-determined parts, services, and assemblies.

One needs the other. The worldwide supply chain challenges of recent years have taught that lesson repeatedly.

Small and Midsize Manufacturers have unique needs

More prominent manufacturers are often affiliated with global, multi-national corporations with much more fluidity as to where they are located and how they can handle failing business ventures while benefitting from growing exponentially.

Small and midsize manufacturers have fewer options for handling their revenue options and locations. Their primary investment is the facilities they usually own – rather than lease or rent – and upon which they pay hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars in property taxes every year. They have few if any, offshore accounts to hide resources and assets.

They are hit directly with state tax, labor demands, and property ownership policies. Every state policy affects their businesses in one way or another.

Many of the small manufacturers in Illinois take care of their customers’ orders, quality control, shipping, and payroll, and oversee company adherence to federal, state, county, and local municipality regulations. The more complicated and intricate the laws, the more hours and effort must be spent rather than building and increasing business. They do not have the resources to hire staff – and are at the mercy of the lawmakers and enforcers.

Such an anti-business climate does not lend itself to encouraging new start-ups and entrepreneurial efforts – which has traditionally been a big attraction for Midwestern states like Illinois.

TMA responds by establishing the SaMM (Small and Midsize Manufacturers) Caucus

Rather than complain or contemplate moving out of state, on behalf of their members, the Technology & Manufacturing Association in Schaumburg Illinois launched the Small and Midsize Manufacturing (SaMM) Caucus effort in 2023; it was formed with hopes of gathering state lawmakers interested in supporting small and midsize manufacturers in their districts – for the betterment of the whole state.

The SaMM Caucus as of March 7, 2023, has 43 state lawmakers – from each political party – that have agreed to be a part of the effort. Intending to maintain and grow manufacturing in Illinois, they are seriously interested in encouraging an industry that employed 9.58% of the state’s workforce in 2020.

David Curtin is the Illinois Capitol contact and lobbyist for the SaMM Caucus, and will answer any questions as this effort gets started. Email him at dcurtin@tmaillinois.org. 

TMA works to connect TMA members with their state lawmakers

In addition to establishing and building the SaMM Caucus, TMA is working directly with members to host tours of their buildings and plants to familiarize state lawmakers with the importance of manufacturing in the USA, as well as their districts. 

Manufacturers are crucial to the property tax base, the job market and living and economic status for state lawmakers’ districts. As constituents, manufacturers and the challenges they face should be a part of the decision-making lawmakers participate in every day they’re in the State Capitol. 

A personal visit to local manufacturers and getting acquainted with the teams that make those businesses successful are valuable to not only TMA members and their lawmakers, but the community as a whole. 

To host a tour with your lawmakers, please drop a note to info@tmaillinois.org. 

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