Illinois licensing delays are crippling my small business

If you want to dramatically improve Illinois’ unemployment rate, address the ongoing issue of obtaining professional licenses in this state.

For more than a decade, my fellow Massage Envy franchisees and I have been pushing for a change within the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Despite our best efforts, every one of the more than 40 Chicago-area Massage Envy clinics is experiencing a shortage in the number of massage therapy applicants. One of the biggest reasons is graduates who are waiting up to six months for licenses and could instead be working during that time.

As is the case with many state departments, our understanding is that the state of Illinois has drastically downsized its licensing staff, which not only impacts the massage therapy industry, but estheticians, real estate agents, appraisers and so many more. If qualified licensed applicants were available, Massage Envy Illinois could hire 250 massage therapists tomorrow. That means our Chicago-area locations alone could get countless people back to work, earning a steady paycheck to feed their families.

Read more of this Crain’s Chicago Business op-ed by Matt Klemp by clicking here.