State Representative Jason Barickman (R-Champaign) is touting a number of Illinois companies that have shown interest in registering as a “benefit corporations”. At the start of the new year, fourteen Illinois companies filed for benefit corporation status, with GreenChoice Bank becoming the first bank in the nation to receive the classification.
According to Barickman "'benefit corporations,' created by Public Act 97-0885 (Senate Bill 2897), enjoy [extra] legal protection to create value for society, not just shareholders, while meeting higher standards of accountability and transparency."
"Benefit corporations are a new kind of corporation legally required to: 1) have a corporate purpose to create a material positive impact on society and the environment; 2) expand fiduciary duty to require consideration of the interests of workers, community and the environment; and 3) publicly report annually on its overall social and environmental performance using a comprehensive, credible, independent, and transparent third party standard. This offers business more freedom in defining success and provides legal protection for those looking to pursue a corporate purpose other than maximizing profits for shareholders."
“By enacting benefit corporation legislation, Illinois has granted businesses and investors more free market options to attract investment, grow our economy and create jobs without relying on taxpayer dollars. The companies registering today have grabbed this opportunity to deploy their time, talent and entrepreneurial spirit to solve our social and environmental problems,” said Representative Jason Barickman.
Barickman was a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 2897 and helped usher passage of the legislation through the Illinois House in 2012.