Illinois says, “Show me the money…and positive change!”
This August, Illinois was the first Midwestern state to enact benefit corporation legislature that allows companies to not just exist to fill the pocketbooks of shareholders, but to also benefit society and the environment.
What is a benefit corporation (or B corp)? Andrew Kassoy, part of the think tank behind B corps, says they are companies that are “creating value for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.” In the past, companies could be sued by shareholders if companies were not maximizing profits. B corps, however, are required to create profit and positively impact the world around it.
Watch Benefit Corporations Aim to Make Profit, Positive Impact on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
Specifically, the benefit corporations in Illinois will be just like current companies, but with additional mandates:
Illinois is the tenth state and the first Midwestern state to support this new innovative approach to business, and hopefully its new legislation will encourage other states to take part of this progressive movement. In the apt words of Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, prime sponsor of the bill, “Smart businesses that recognize both social profits as well as shareholder profits will be the companies that thrive and drive long-term economic growth in the 21st Century.”
Is your state as progressive as Illinois? Find out by visiting the Benefit Corp Information Center.