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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2006

Governor Blagojevich launches e-government expansion to make it easier to do business with the State
Illinois entrepreneurs and licensed professionals have easier access to government at www.business.illinois.gov

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the expansion of the State of Illinois’ online business portal, www.business.illinois.gov, which now offers access to more than 1,400 licenses, permits and applications that are regularly submitted by many businesses and licensed professionals.
 
“Now licensed professionals and business owners have easier access to government, and can submit more of their paperwork with the click of a mouse.  By making it easier for people to work with the state and eliminating more red tape, we can save taxpayers and government time and money,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
 
In the past, businesses might have combed through numerous state agencies’ websites or visited multiple offices to comply with requirements and regulations.  Additionally, they would need to print out the form, complete the form on a typewriter and then mail it in.  But now, businesses can log on to www.business.illinois.gov to find and fill out the paperwork, and even submit more than 400 of the forms online.
 
The updated website features a search engine that will make the site even easier to use and also categorizes information more clearly by topic and by agency.  Some of the most commonly used forms are now available, and additional processes will be automated later this year.
 
“Gov. Blagojevich has been very clear that we need to cut the red tape and make it easier for business people to interact with their government.  Through this past year, we have listened to business owners and we are making great strides to streamline and automate how the State of Illinois serves the business community,” said Nicole Hanrahan, Executive Director of Gov. Blagojevich’s Initiative on Regulatory Reform.
 
The Department of Employment Security now offers the quarterly form for reporting wages and unemployment taxes due, the new employer registration form, and the account termination/change form, and also allows users to make corrections to quarterly reports.
 
The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has enabled one million of the state's licensed professional to renew their licenses online, including nurses, doctors, engineers, manicurists, roofers and almost 200 other types of professionals.
 
In addition to its popular electronic filing application for individual income tax, the Department of Revenue also offers free and easy-to-use electronic filing options for businesses, including tax registration, sales tax and withholding tax.
 
The Department of Central Management Services allows businesses to complete the bidder's application process electronically.  Eligible businesses can also register for the Business Enterprise Program for business owners who are women, minorities or persons with disabilities.
 
The Department of Transportation enhanced procedures for the trucking industry to apply for and obtain oversized and overweight permits online. 
 
The Environmental Protection Agency accepts the monthly wastewater Discharge Monitoring Reports electronically and also provides online applications to construct water and sewer mains.  The Agency's most common form, the vehicle status form, is available online and, additionally, allows Illinoisans to submit updated vehicle information via e-mail.
 
Launched in February of 2005 as part of Gov. Blagojevich’s State of the State address as an initiative to make it easier to do business with the State of Illinois, the website has already attracted more than 250,000 unique visitors and has had 8 million hits. 
 
In addition to streamlined common business transactions, visitors can also find resources and information such as: 
·        Descriptions of various state grant, loan and incentive programs with instructions on how to apply for them;
·        An easy-to-use feedback feature on the website that allows users to ask questions of and receive quick answers from state leaders on any topic that is not yet covered on the website;
·        Resources for hiring and training employees; and,
·        Step-by-step guides for starting a business in Illinois.


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