Liautaud keeps corporate office in Champaign, will take licensing firm to Florida

Liautaud keeps corporate office in Champaign, will take licensing firm to Florida

CHAMPAIGN — Jimmy John Liautaud, founder and CEO of the Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches LLC, said he someday wants to return his home and his business to Illinois. But for now he's headed to Florida.

"I'm physically moving to Florida, right now as we speak. So yeah, I'm going to leave," Liauataud said Wednesday following a panel discussion on land conservation at the University of Illinois College of Law. "The (corporate) office right now is going to stay on Fox Drive (in Champaign), but I'll take my licensing company down to Florida."

He's already said he is leaving the state because of the 67 percent income tax increase approved by the Legislature in January 2011, and because of what he has characterized as reckless spending.

"The company is moving, the people will stay. We're a licensing and franchise company. We do training and operations here, but the income from 43 states around the country, instead of being brought to Illinois is going to be brought to Florida because we're in the licensing business. Why should we wire it to Illinois when we can wire it to Florida?" he said.

The financial loss to Illinois? "It's giant," he said, well into the millions of dollars a year.

Liautaud, who grew up in the Chicago area, opened his first sandwich shop in Charleston and had lived in Champaign until recently, said he still hopeful for Illinois' future.

"I'm an eternal optimist and I believe that most people want to do a good job, all they need to know is why and I think that once the people who are making financial decisions for the state understand the ramifications of what they're doing, then they'll figure out how to change," he said. "You only change when you feel pain. You know when you get older and your heart hurts you go on a diet, right? I believe that.

"I believe that they are wonderful people who haven't felt the pain. Once they feel the pain they're going to have to make a change because none of this (state spending) is sustainable. That's why I'm leaving."

Liautaud has "total hope of coming back," he said. "This is my home. I'm farming here. I'm going to buy 10,000 acres here. I want to live and farm my own farms when I'm done with Jimmy Johns. I love it here. But water flows where it flows easiest."

He said he was disappointed with Tuesday's election results — he and his wife gave at least $5,000 to Mitt Romney's campaign fund this election cycle — but has faith in President Obama.

"Would I have preferred that Mitt Romney get elected? Absolutely. But at the same time I also think that Barack Obama is a very bright guy and he's no longer worried about being re-elected and I think he'll now do what's best for America, because he's got a legacy he's got to worry about.

"I believe that he will do that because he's a good guy. He's a good guy, yeah. I'm a good friend of (former Obama chief of staff and now Chicago Mayor) Rahm Emanuel's. I like Rahm a lot. And I've got to see Rahm before I leave. He said, 'Jimmy, I want to meet with you one more time.' Rahm's done more for me than Gov. (Pat) Quinn. He's never even called me."

Liautaud believes the nation's politics eventually will shift.

"I know that things swing left and they swing right and that's the reality of it and the beauty of it is that nothing can go extreme. You know what? It's called yin and yang and that the reality of it all. It is what it is."

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mankind wrote on November 08, 2012 at 8:11 am

Have fun in the sun, Jimmy John. I hear the Florida  governor calls everyone at night to stroke their egos and sing them a lullaby.

nick wrote on November 08, 2012 at 8:11 am

 When he begins his farming operation on the10,000 acres of the rich and productive Illinois farmland he will begin accepting generous government subsidies. The 10,000 acre operation should allow him to receive millions of dollars of government assistance from many programs  funded by tax paying citizens . He will have massive state support from the experts that the state of Illinois and the state universities provide to the agricultural sector in our state.He will be accepting his part of the billions of dollars that are directed to agriculture every year through farm subsidies,low cost loans,and special project assistance.These are generous and valuable programs. Jimmy John is a lucky man.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 08, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Wow.... 10,000 acres of sprouts!!!  Jimmy John Liautaud has reached the level of great American businessman.  He has made a fortune, and now speaks for the little guy in American politics.  His heart is in the right place; just ask his employees.  Before long, he will have lunch with the Koch brothers. 

MSJ66 wrote on November 08, 2012 at 9:11 am

Why does the News Gazette even waste time on mentioning this egotistical crybaby blowhard? NO ONE cares about you Jimmy. What a hypocrite. Go on a diet? Yea right seen a mirror Jimmy? As previous poster mentioned he cries about taxes but is more than willing to take or request subsidies, especially if he does ever farm here or special breaks to keep his "giant" financial loss to the state from leaving. Is it any wonder he voted for Mitt Romney. Both wealthy men who have no principles and talk out of both sides of their mouths when their only real motivation is greed and money. Well there is a lot more to life and happiness than money and I believe Jimmy will be the same whiny crybaby in Florida as he is here and I hope he never comes back to the state of Illinois. I do support his view of the market though in that I choose to spend my money at any other dining establisment than his. He does not and never will get any of my hard earned money.

rsp wrote on November 08, 2012 at 9:11 am

"Why should we wire it to Illinois when we can wire it to Florida?" he said.

Why not the Cayman Islands? Or someplace else? Companies do this all the time. The difference is grownups don't throw fits in public because the governor didn't call them. 

read the DI wrote on November 08, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Good riddance. The air in here smells better already.


And JJ's sandwiches are gross!

Leslie wrote on November 08, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I am deeply saddened by the comments following Jimmy’s interview.  First, it is an interview…it is not whining. He was asked if he is moving and he replied. He was asked why and he replied. Had he taken out an ad in the paper, had he written into the editor making some grand statement, it would be another matter. He was asked and he answered honestly. That does not constitute whining, that constitutes an interview. The interesting thing is that Jimmy gave this interview after volunteering his time to a large group of U of I students, speaking on how to manage farm land, how to restore prairie grass borders to farm land, how he and his team have planted thousands of trees on their lands an how it is helping conservation efforts. A reporter came up to him after this talk and asked the questions you read in the interview.


Our family loves Champaign. That’s why we moved our headquarters here and have lived here by choice for almost 13 years. We love that our children were raised here. We love that this is their community and that they are proud of it. We support many local charities  (for the most part anonymously)…we have helped start up a new dental clinic and have helped fund the YMCA. Champaign constitutes 3% of our business and the fact of the matter is that we give every cent of what we earn in Champaign back to Champaign…whether it’s to local non profits, local organizations or to local schools. This year we brought in 30,000 local hotel room occupants, 90,000 meals at local restaurants… and then factor in gas for cars, shopping at malls, trips to the grocery store. This is not moving to Florida, this will stay in Champaign. It puzzles me why this generates such a hateful response. We are repeatedly verbally beaten for being part of a community that we love and that we contribute greatly towards.


As far as the comment about a grown up not throwing a fit…as a grown up, if gas was $3 at one station and down the street it was $6…which would you go to? No one is throwing a fit, it just makes fiscal sense. If Illinois could budget and use all of our tax dollars responsibly, fiscally and with efficiency, there would be no question…we would stay.


I understand America, as a whole will never see eye-to-eye 100% on government. Thank goodness we are all lucky enough to live in a country where we can voice our opinions about how our country is run! I think it is a wonderful  right we have to be able to debate openly, to brainstorm new possibilities for the future of our country, to disagree on how government and taxes are set up. It is a privilege and one I am thankful for. However, the comments and personal attacks towards Jimmy are sickening to me. They are not opinions on government, they are not opinions on how tax dollars should be spent, they are not opinions on how to better our state of Illinois or better our country. The comments above are nothing more than schoolyard bullying. Comments on weight, name-calling and worse are shameful. Jimmy has struggled his entire life with his weight. He was bullied as a child because of it, as many children are….and here it continues. Is bullying now acceptable adult behavior? I tolerate it very little in small children and find it pathetic in adults.

 Normally, I would turn the other cheek when hateful venom pours out towards Jimmy but I finally have heard enough abuse and feel the need to speak out on behalf of our family.

I’m truly sorry that there is such hatred in these commenters’ hearts. I do wish them peace.

In the meantime, Jimmy and I will continue to raise our family, gladly give to our community and do our part as Americans to grow this country.

rsp wrote on November 09, 2012 at 7:11 am

I've been a lobbyest working for change in state and local government, and even at the federal level. What I find offensive is the repeated remarks from those in a position of having easy access to those in power complaining about some politician hasn't called them. The article clearly states that Jimmy is pointing out the Governor hasn't called him. This isn't the first time he has done this.

Picture it from someone else's perspective. Try advocating for people who are starving and your representative refuses to see you at his office. I don't have any respect for someone who refuses to try to chance the system for the better, and just cuts and runs. Too many are just thinking about themselves.

read the DI wrote on November 10, 2012 at 8:11 am

Oh for heaven's sake, stop putting lipstick on a pig and calling it a woman. This is a money grab, and if everyone felt the way you did -- i.e., greedy -- then everyone would move to tax-free Florida.

Except -- guess what? -- tax-free Florida wouldn't be tax-free Florida anymore, because as it stands, it takes more from the federal government than it gives, and where does that money come from? Us poor saps in Illinois. So congratulations, Leslie: You are now a member of the welfare state!


Ann Abbott wrote on November 10, 2012 at 9:11 am

I work with several local nonprofits, and I can assure you that donations--small and large--keep their doors open. The state has been chronically late with payments, grants are fewer and harder to secure, and income-generating activities are difficult for small, grassroots organizations to start and sustain. Personally, I wish that our government provided more/better support services so that precarious nonprofits did not have to hold up so much of the social safety net. However, that is not the case. So, charitable contributions like those the Liautaud family have given to many important local organizations are very appreciated by the nonprofits that receive them and their service recipients. 

My political opinions differ from Jimmy John's publicly stated views (I have never spoken to him). But in my personal path toward improved social justice for all, I recognize the very important role of charitable contributions and thank the Liautauds--and others--for their generous support of our community organizations. 


crayneri wrote on November 11, 2012 at 9:11 am


Why make excuses or apologize success?  Mr. Liataud has created an enterprise that has ALSO created many other business owners by franchising his ideas and methods, and they have become successful as well.  Everybody has the right to manage their business within the confines of the law, and he is doing that honestly.  

The more his business expands, the further he re-invests in his business.  His paying more in taxes isn't going to create a single job.  

Keep up the good work.

philip wrote on November 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm

It has to be hard to have people making such horrible, immature comments about your family in a public forum.  Champaign does appreciate what you have done for us.  The same thing happened to Mr. Kahn a few weeks ago.  For some reason, some people have lost all respect for people who have achieved something.  Instead of admiring and attempting to emulate success, apparently their goal is to discourage it. 

Our business has worked for Jimmy John's Franchise Co. since I was kid.  Lots of us in town get our living, or part of our living, indirectly from his success.  It put me through college.  It taught me about management.  They should start requiring people to post their real name with your comment.  It's a pretty small town, we all know one another anyway. 

IllinoisBlows wrote on November 14, 2012 at 10:11 am

Well said Leslie! 

moot wrote on November 08, 2012 at 9:11 pm

as an unrepentant liberal, i might wish jimmy would keep the licensing firm here, but that is NOT my choice to make.  he did not whine or act like a crybaby, despite how would-be detractors choose to characterize it.  he merely got the information, looked at his options, and made the option that most people would make.  people do that all of the time without being demonized for it.  are people upset with jimmy that he appears to be acting in his own best interest as opposed to in our best interest?  

if we really want to retain all departments of his corporate headquarters, we need a better argument, not name calling or belittling people.  resorting to such low tactics only reveals that the speaker has no better counterargument as to why jimmy should keep that department here.  

and everyone seemed to overlook the part about keeping the rest of the corporate offices here.  that should count for something.  that means hundreds of families will get to stay here, continue to earn and spend money here and pay taxes here.  that is a large contribution to our community, and i recognize that losing the entire company would hurt us greatly.  it is reactionary and nonsense to say "good riddance".  

in full disclosure, i know jimmy personally.  he is one of the greatest, kindest, most generous people i have ever had the good fortune to know.  he truly does not deserve the vitriol that i see expressed here.  he and his family contribute greatly to the community and its members.    we don't see eye to eye on most things politically, but he never judges me for it, attacks me for it or belittles me in any way for it.  and that is more than i can say for the readers comments.  

i realize i may never change the opinions of people who have already closed their minds, but at least recognize that we are speaking about a person; and that all people deserve a modicum of respect and consideration, whether you agree with that person or not.  jimmy deserves that as well.  i write this not only because i care about him, but also because i believe that we ought to have respect for others and their feelings.    







inspect02 wrote on November 09, 2012 at 12:11 am

Thank you Leslie for a polite and fact based response. In that position, I hope I would be able to do the same. For all the posters attacking Jimmy and his stores, learn something from her post. She was polite and answered with facts, not vitriol, contempt or personal attacks. Jimmy started a business, employs hundreds of people, pays more in personal and corporate taxes than most people posting here and donates more time and money than most. Why the continued insults and personal attacks? Is it because he is making a business decision you do not agree with? If so, start your own business so you can be in charge of those decisions. As far as the continuing insults about the bean sprouts, you do realize he was supporting a local supplier, you know, supporting the local community. In full disclosure, I do eat at Jimmy Johns stores and enjoy the food. To Jimmy and his family, thank you for the business that you have brought to the city. I wish you well in your endeavors.

ashrprice wrote on November 09, 2012 at 9:11 am

Maybe if your husband hasn't spent the past 2 years whining about how the Illinois government isn't catering to his wishes and talking about how great it was to be "courted" by other state governments, people wouldn't think he was an egotistical whiner. To quote him in the News-Gazette:

"Liautaud said he has been contacted by "multiple pro-business states" that made him feel "wanted and important."

"I enjoy being courted and the process," he said."

Jimmy John (and ostensibly you) feel you're more important than the average person and whine about it publicly. Get over yourselves. If you all just moved out of state like any other family or business does, there wouldn't be this vitriol. But no, you have to publicly deride on your city and state repeatedly for years, and then wonder why we aren't all boo hooing at your departure. 

You wanna leave Illinois? Fine, LEAVE. You should have left 2 years ago like you publicly promised. And don't let the door hit you on the way out. 

hambone3408 wrote on November 09, 2012 at 9:11 am

I own a Jimmy John's franchise and I can tell you Jimmy John's is one of the smartest most ethical companies I have ever associated with. They are consistently ranked as one of the top three fastest growing quick service resturants  and on everyone's list as one of the ten best franchises (out ot 2500). The people of Illinois need to wake up to the consequences of living in one of the most fiscally mismanaged states in the country.


rsp wrote on November 09, 2012 at 10:11 am

The difference being some try to make it more fair and better for everyone and some complain and spend two years threatening to pack up and leave the state because they don't get their way. For four years there was gridlock at the federal level because certain people didn't like the outcome of the election. People would rather point fingers at each other than do their jobs.

People would rather threaten to pack up and move than require the people we hired in Springfield to do their jobs. We act like they are above us, if they could please help us with the littlest things and then feel so honored that they took the time to see us. If someone came into your house and stole from you would you thank them? That's what they are doing in Springfield. 

Some of us try to make it better and some of us take our ball and go home. 


MadGasser wrote on November 09, 2012 at 10:11 am
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I'm sorry, ethical companies? I didn't know big game hunting endangered species was a sign of an "ethical company." Then again you big shot corporate Joes don't live by the same ethics as the rest of the country, so maybe that is a sign of an "ethical company." Me being a peasent may be the reason I don't understand those ethics, are they the same ethics as bragging about creating thousands of minimum wage jobs?

nick wrote on November 09, 2012 at 10:11 am

 Many wealthy people complain about government services.Many of these same people receive fantastic concessions from government programs that are paid for with tax dollars. I'm not making an argument against corporate welfare,tax breaks or goverment subsidies.What I find amazing is that many people who have astonishing wealth and resources accept all manner of corporate welfare at the same time that they complain about social services,higher taxes or government assistance to those without wealth or power.Those people are willing to speak loudly and posture aggressively in the public forum. It would seem logical to expect criticism,and perhaps anger,to be directed back at those who express such derision and contempt at their neighbors.As for Jimmy John's public image, perhaps he might review his presentation to the public. It might provide some enlightenment about the reasons that so many people dislike him.

read the DI wrote on November 10, 2012 at 8:11 am

Exactly right. +1. It's not welfare if I'm getting it.

EL YATIRI wrote on November 09, 2012 at 11:11 am
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It is common knowledge that raw alfalfa and clover sprouts are risky for food poisoning.  Yet Jimmy John's continued to use raw sprouts in their sandwiches even after an outbreak of Salmonella.  Only after another outbreak of E. coli and multiple lawsuits did the chain stop serving raw sprouts in their sandwiches.

Is this your idea of an ethical company?

Mark Taylor wrote on November 09, 2012 at 10:11 am

Why won't you leave JohnnyJimJohnJohn alooooooooooooone?????2?

Just because, to your feeble plebe brains, it seems like he's an entitled rich guy who has benefited and will continue to benefit from taxes you pay but who likes to seem to whine incessantly about having to pay taxes himself.

Just because of that, you people aren't willing to appreciate, and constantly and publicly affirm, how wonderliscious JohnJames.

You should be ashamed.

Oh, and some of you apparently object to the fact that he shot some caged animals. Your jealousy and class warfare gives me a sad.

What an artist Illinois loses in Jimmy John's leaving us.

LuvMoon wrote on November 09, 2012 at 11:11 am

I don't know, maybe it has something to do with the fact that EVERYONE didn't get the joke behind this article below... Maybe some people didn't find it funny...  I'm sure that it was a joke and that it was suppose to be funny... but a lot of people missed the punch line.. and a lot of people didn't find it funny...

But while Romney makes the case for not attacking success, his poster boy's pictured on his yacht in his recent Facebook page post, making light of the Illinois LINK card that supplies foodstamp benefits to Chambana residents.

Comments on this Facebook post ask,

  • Can I pay my cable bill with that?
  • Get some energy drinks & candy with that bad boy

The comment below, written by one of his croanies in Mahomet, is what turned something ignorant, into something Racist!

  • Pork rinds & mountain dew anyone?!??

You can't be RICH, look down on others, belittle the less fortunate and not expect retaliation. When you keep repeating the same threat over n over n over n over... it gets kind of old... LEAVE ALL READY....

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 09, 2012 at 2:11 pm

A picture says a thousand words.  I am sure that Jimmy is a brillant businessman.  I am sure that he donates to good causes locally.  I am sure that he loves his family.  However; using Facebook with foolish personal views, and using his economic advantage to lever political influence on critical life issues of others makes him fair game for the criticism of others.

I regret the pain his family feels when reading the comments against him.  He could have avoided the comments by not making his statements that effect others, and leading a less egotistic lifestyle. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 10, 2012 at 8:11 am

Isn't this what the recent election was about?  Isn't this what the current, and past, fighting over solutions to the Fiscal Cliff is about?  Jimmy started a business on his own.  He worked his way up to wealth.  Somewhere along the line, he changed.  Whether he held feelings of bigotry, and racism before; he has a carte blanc to exhibt them now under the guise of being a successful businessman.  His interview with Fox News is indicative of his present view of himself.  He donated money to Romney which is perfectly alright.  He has defined himself as a charitable person while using his success to exert influence on political policies that effect millions of others much less wealthy.  He admitted in his interview with Fox News that he is playing states against each other to court him in moving his business.  He talked about Illinois, and Indiana in the Fox interview.  His action is the same as the Sears' threat to move business headquarters from one state to another along with all of the other corporations.  It is a business tactic to get a lower tax rate.  When taxes are lowered on one group, the lost revenue has to be found elsewhere.  States cannot keep courting businesses with lower corporate taxes without making cuts to programs for the citizens, or raising taxes on the citizens.  Jimmy is now in the 1% Club.  I do not begrudge him his wealth.  He earned it.  However, he has been using his image as a successful businessman to exert influence politically for his benefit.

If Jimmy feels maligned by criticism from other citizens; he should reconsider his actions.  Stay away from political statements that influence the lives of millions.  Don't show foolish actions, or make foolish statements on Facebook.  Continue to donate to charities.  Don't let ego get in the way of business.  Lower the personal profile.

EL YATIRI wrote on November 10, 2012 at 8:11 am
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In my opinion donating to charities (tithing to the Mormon church), and then taking a tax deduction  isn't as generous as it seems.

Truly generous and compassionate people don't need tax incentives to give to the less fortunate.


rsp wrote on November 10, 2012 at 11:11 am

empty tomb has studied charity giving for years and most giving is done by low income workers who don't use any deductions. They give in larger amounts and a greater percentage of their incomes. All without needing their names on buildings and statues of themselves. 

crayneri wrote on November 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Why make excuses or apologize success?  Mr. Liataud has created an enterprise that has ALSO created many other business owners by franchising his ideas and methods, and they have become successful as well.  Everybody has the right to manage their business within the confines of the law, and he is doing that honestly.  

The more his business expands, the further he re-invests in his business.  His paying more in taxes isn't going to create a single job.  

Keep up the good work.

Who-Whom wrote on November 10, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Seems to me that JJL is showing his love of dollars over his family in uprooting them to move to FLA.  I'm sure our local squirrels and other critters unlucky enough to wander off Champaign Country Club property are relieved they will no longer slowly die in the steel traps set on the Big White Hunter's yard.  


Commonsenseman wrote on November 11, 2012 at 8:11 am

Lots of class warfare and jealousy on this thread, JJ is only doing whats smart, you have to be smart to make money, unless you get the Link card, lots of lazy able bodied people are on  Link..lots.  You small  jealous people, your out  of control leaders tax and take from people who do good things..and then you expect them to  be happy about it?  Governor Quinn and his cronies essentially pushed this business out of Illinois.  Those of you who want this man to leave are foolish, his business his money his opportunites are all going too.  A rising tide lifts all ships, you people are so small, jealous and petty.  More power to those who escape this Land of Taxation.  Why are people complaining about sprouts? If you think they are dangerous don't order them on your sandwich!  You are proably the same hippies who buy "organic"...hippocrites

read the DI wrote on November 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

Jimmy, nice of you to chime in.

Mark Taylor wrote on November 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

THATS"S RIGHT!! You tell 'em. People who criticize this wonderful man are just link card using, sprout eating, dirty hippies who are also hypocrites because: ORGANIC FOOD!!!!1! SHUT UP YOU DANG LIBERALS!!!!!1!

EL YATIRI wrote on November 12, 2012 at 6:11 am
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Like I said, I don't eat at Jimmy John's because I don't want to get sick (NG deleted my post stating so).  Why am I complaining about sprouts?  Because Jimmy John's food has sickened people with Salmonella and E. coli, that's why:  It isn't just me who knows raw sprouts are dangerous, the Centers for Disease Control knows it as well:

Only an ignoramous would risk eating raw sprouts.  Only an ignoramous or someone who didn't give a shoot would serve them up in sandwiches.

C in Champaign wrote on November 11, 2012 at 9:11 am

I am stunned by the hate and anger of the small minded, uninformed haters that are posting here. I guess I shouldn't be, but I am stunned by the pure willingness of people to use the anonymity of a venue like this to spew such hateful vitriol about people who have been successful in their lives. Jimmy is not alone in this bubble of hatred, Shahid Khan got caught up in it to. Most of the negative posters clearly have no idea how enterprises function when they grow past the mom and pop stage, and they allow their clear lack of understanding and bigotry to take control of them.

If I were trying to sum up all of the negativity, it might go something like this... "Jimmy John is a rich whiner who wants attention but refuses to try to get things changed so he up and runs to another state who only gives money to worthy causes because he gets a tax break from it."

Actually, Jimmy is one of hundreds (perhaps thousands) of business owners of all sizes who are making plans to, or are already moving their businesses to other states. This, of course, does not include the businesses that would not even consider locating in Illinois. It's not really just about the personal income tax, it's about the stifling work comp and unemployment laws, and the horrible state of Illinois' public education, among other things, that make this state a horrible place to do business. It's the quet ones who are just leaving without warning that are the most dangerous. Jimmy is simply the guy who is willing to stand up and say what the others are quietly thinking.

Jimmy does work behind the scenes to try to get things changed, he is vocal (for several years now) because he is trying to get people to see and understand the problem. He isn't upset that the governor refuses to call him. He's upset because the governor refuses to discuss the issues and look for ways to make the state more hospitable for business. Jimmy doesn't want subsidies, he wants the playing field between Illinois and other states to be more level.

And finally, Jimmy and Leslie give tremendous amounts of money to local charities. In fact they are consitently among, if not the biggest donors to local charities in our community year in and year out. I have hosted events that he has attended, and can tell you that he genuinely enjoys the opportunity to give back to the community, the enjoyment he gets from giving infectous, and he inspires others at events he attends to give more generously in the process.

The argument that Jimmy or other wealthy people only give to save on taxes is a false argument. In order to save several hundred thousand in federal taxes, a person would have to donate millions to charity. In simple terms, someone who simply wants to keep as much of their money as possible for themselves would be better off not giving to charity, and simply paying their taxes. 

So, before you grab your pitchforks, and sign up for the parade that escorts Jimmy out of town, spend a little time learning about and understanding what the issues and motivations are really all about. You might even come to realize what a tremendous loss it will be that Jimmy and Leslie are not a part of our community.


read the DI wrote on November 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

Stop patronizing us already. This age-old argument that "we peons can't possibly understand just how complex it is to run a big business" is not only elitist, but patently false.

For all your complaints about how Illinois is mismanaged, consider that this state gives far more to the Feds than it receives back:

In fact, Illinois is fourth in the nation over the past 20 years. If Illinois were a net flat donor, that would mean $700 billion would be returned to the state, easily enough to wipe out any budget problems. (And that doesn't include interest.)

Florida, on the other hand, gets more revenue from the feds than it gives back. Florida also has no state income tax. Florida benefits from states like Illinois. It's a welfare state!

The only explanation, then, is that JJ has decided that he wants more of the pie, and at someone else's expense. And remember this: if Jimmy John's didn't exist, people would eat somewhere else. He didn't invent the appetite.

Spare us the nastygrams. We can do the math.





Mark Taylor wrote on November 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Yep!!!!! All the negativity can be explained away as meanness, jealously, and class envy. THAT'S ALL THAT'S GOING ON HERE!!!!1!

Nothing else. Nothing about his behavior or statements that could make people angry. It's not the fact that he jumps to the front of the line to receive corporate welfare then makes fun of families who use a link card to avoid, you know, starvation. It's not that he's a right wing hypocrite who whines about having to pay taxes and the demands tax concessions and breaks for himself while threatening to leave the state (again and again) if he doesn't get all sorts of further corporate welfare.

But hey, me makes voluntary contributions to certain charities that he deems worthy of his largesse. So no one gets to say anything bad about him. PERIOD!!!!!!1!

He's a self made man who took Mitt Romney's advice and borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars from his parents (multiple times) to start a business. We should understand that this means he's better than the rest of us and we should just shut up and not criticize our better.

And who else but a swell guy would shoot fenced in big game in Africa????2?

rsp wrote on November 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm

JJ would have more credibility if he didn't publicly state that "it feels good to be courted" and "the governor hasn't called me" and making fun of people who use link cards. I've used link cards. Because of the vitriol of people like JJ I've had people walk up to me in the store to see what was in my cart to see if I was spending "their" $20 properly. $20 for the whole month. My son is autistic. There are food issues. What is in my cart is nobodys business but mine. Especially not JJ. Bucause of the budget issues with the state, they have taken the link, my son's medication, and the same for a lot of other people. Does JJ expect my son to go get a job? Does C in Champaign think my son is lazy? Stupid? He is one of the most giving people I know. Certainly more so than JJ.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

The varying corporate tax rates among the states have caused the economic competition between the states.  Revenue must come from some source.  If the corporate tax rate is low; the tax rate for the individual citizens must increase, or services to the citizens must be cut.  The federal fiscal cliff is a similar situation.  Tax cuts means that entitlement programs must be cut, and spending must be cut.  No state can have lower corporate tax rates without finding, or saving revenue from other sources.  Illinois has tried to give corporate tax breaks while cutting services to the children, disabled, and elderly.  Illinois does have a spending problem also.  Eventually, the states will find that they cannot maintain the competition of courting corporations to move to their state.

I do not begrudge Jimmy John his wealth.  I do not begrudge him moving his licensing business to Florida.  I do begrudge his using his on, and off again move to another state for his personal profit.  He is making the right decision.  Maintaining his residence here while locating his licensing company to where he has a second home; and at the same time getting a lower corporate tax rate is logical.  He has finally made his decision.  The rest of us hopefully will no longer hear his political comments locally, and on Fox News.  I did find it funny that in his interview with Fox News, he explained that he would either have to raise the cost of his sandwiches by 50 cents in order to comply with the Affordable Health Care Act for insuring his employees, or reduce the working hours of his employees to less than 28 hours per week.  Did his employees have health insurance before the Affordable Health Care Act?  Did his employees work 40 hours per week, or less than 32 hours per week?  I used to buy his sandwiches; but I stopped buying them after his first political statement regarding lower corporate tax rates.  I would imagine many others have also across the country following his statements on Fox News.    

Commonsenseman wrote on November 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

most of the liberals here dont seem to understand risk and work creates wealth, without wealth there is no money for taxes, use your free Obama phone, eat with your Link card ignore reality, this country is heading for Greece, ask yourself, if you essentially got paid to stay at home and stuff your face all day would you go to work?  Lazy people have too many kids and expect the working people to pay for them, feed them candy and give them a phone, shame on all you dependent people

Mark Taylor wrote on November 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

THAT"S RIGHT. The dang Obamao voters are moochers. Each and every one got what you correctly call an 'Obama phone.' And they all, each one, get hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in free stuff from the govermint. The 'takers' have finally outbred the 'makers.' THE REPUBLIC IS OVER!!!

RIP America: 1776-2012. You just had to elect the Kenyan socialist, didn't you????2? Can you blame superior men like JamesJohnJohn for going Galt and leaving you moochers behind?????2?

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Nocommonsense;  Your rant about liberals, and lazy people has nothing to do with the reality of Jimmy John moving his licensing part of his business to Florida.  Jimmy is entitled to his earned wealth.  He is moving his operation in order to pay less taxes.  He would not go broke by staying in Illinois; but he can keep more of his profits by moving to Florida.  That is why he is doing it.  All of the drama over the on and off decision to move is over.  He is doing it for more money.  He will now not be in the news urging the State of Illinois to lower corporate taxes which would have benefited him soley, not the rest of the citizens in the state.  I do not have an "Obama phone", LINK card, eat candy, or get paid to stay at home.   I do pay taxes; and I do not want to have to pay more taxes, or see needy people lose services just so Jimmy John can buy a new jet, home, or boat.

EL YATIRI wrote on November 12, 2012 at 5:11 am
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Baloney.  Liberals make money and get rich also.  Plenty of liberals own businesses, work hard and are wealthy.  George Soros is just one example.

B-Evs wrote on November 12, 2012 at 9:11 am

Can you not afford a period?  Or do you get paid by the comma?

Also, did you know that giving tax cuts to the wealthy actually _doesn't_ increase employment?  But amazingly enough, living wages do!  Most people on welfare have maybe 1 or 2 kids.  And most people would rather work than stay at home.  Are you projecting yourself onto these people?  That if you could get away with it, you'd cheat the system?

rsp wrote on November 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm

JJ doesn't want his people to be healthy. He doesn't let them work full time either.

nick wrote on November 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Jimmy John has given his fellow citizens his version of the truth. He has warned us all..because he has a better plan for our state..and apparently the nation. He should stay in Illinois and run for elected office. Over thirty years ago a major in the US Army used to address our complaints with a simple reply, '' No assignment too difficult, no sacrifice too great...duty first.'' No one in our community has given us more warnings than Jimmy John. He must see this as his duty.Step up.Bring the issues to the public forum in a factual and authentic debate. He has unlimited resources.He has a set of supporters who adore him. He has an army of happy workers. He has wealth,power,influence and resources. Be a citizen.Don't posture for reporters and walk away.He is in the perfect position to convince his fellow citizens that he knows a bettter way to make government work for everyone. Accept the challenge. Jimmy John has all that he needs to finance a campaign,organize a campaign and challenge for elected office. He has reminded the rest of us of our duty. He should now lead instead of walking away.Let's move the discussion from comments about beer and facebook to a serious debate on the issues where actual facts and proof are required. If you are one of the Jimmy John supporters who defend him in all situations this idea must surely appeal to you. Those who disagree will certainly be happy to discuss facts instead of reading testimonials to his greatness.Evryone can agree to leave the personal attacks and hateful comments,from both sides,completely out of the discussion.

EL YATIRI wrote on November 12, 2012 at 7:11 am
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Fact: Jimmy John's recieved over 3 million dollars in federal loans in 2008

Fact:  Jimmy John's franchises regularly take out federally guaranteed loans (59.012: 7(a) Loan Guarantees) from the Small Business Administration

These loans are meant for businesses that cannot get loans in the private sector.

So while Liataud lambastes poor, single mothers for their LINK cards, his business has been dependent on the federal government through it's small business administration for federally guaranteed other words a government subsidy.

Typical Republican hypocrite.

Mark Taylor wrote on November 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Yes, but as a rich, white, Republican, he's entitled to all the govermint money he wants!!!!1! Welfare is a good thing when people like me and JimothyJohn get it -- after all, we deserve it for Pete's sake!!!111!!

ericbussell wrote on November 15, 2012 at 5:11 am

Yes, it is likely that many franchisees of many companies across America participate in the SBA program.  Did Jimmy take out a government-backed loan or did his franchisees?  There is a difference.

Jimmy has consistently expressed his concern about the lack of fiscal discipline in Illinois and it is difficult to argue otherwise. 

It is quite amazing that people will attack others, even calling them childish names, when someone advocates that we should be fiscally prudent with our tax dollars.  Instead of calling people names and turning the N-G comment section into a grade school playground, why don't you simply tell Jimmy what he'll miss? 

I get that people will attack you and call you names if you leave, but what are the benefits if you stay?  What can Illinois offer that another state can't?   What are the opportunity costs of moving to another state or community? 

In my opinion, the best to get way to get back at the job providers who are leaving our state and the investors who are reluctant is to make it so they want to come back and/or invest more. 


CULater wrote on November 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm

And Only one kind of cheese? What a jerk!

rsp wrote on November 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm

It isn't government cheese is it?

Sandy wrote on November 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm

The free phone thing is not an Obama program, it dates from 1996 and is funded by the Universal Service Fee charged by telecommunications providers. Cell phones were added to land lines in 2008, but not by Obama.

You may believe that poor people should suffer as much as possible, but I have no problem with the tiny USF fee I pay each month if it means that people will be able to summon emergency medical help or police assistance, and will be able to provide a phone number when looking for a job. In case you haven't noticed, pay phones have followed the dinorsaur into oblivion, increasing the need for phone service. Far from being a luxury, sometimes cell service is the cheapest option.


nick wrote on November 12, 2012 at 8:11 am

 I wonder why a person with such an anti-government philosopy would choose to accept loans from a government agency instead of loans from a private sector source?

sameeker wrote on November 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Good luck in Florida leatard. While you are leaving, why don't you take your stores with you? I will never eat one of your overpriced samdwiches again. You have made a fortune off of your part-time, minimum wage workers, government loans, and subsidies. The only trickle down that works is when we start cutting corporate welfare and then work down from there. You are the example of everything that is wrong with this country. Don't forget to stop by Chicago and kiss up a little more before you go.

pangloss wrote on November 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm

The only whining cry-babies I see here are many of these commenters.

Wow, what a bunch of resentful, jealous, small-minded people. 

The guy had a good business idea, and brought hundreds of jobs and lots of tax revenue to the state of IL.  If you all want to help the community so much, try spending your time working on the same instead of posting comments here, attacking the success of others. 

Really pathetic.

sameeker wrote on November 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

I notice that you are not at work. The only jobs that the guy provided were part-time, minimum wage jobs. The people to be admired are the successful ones who provide good jobs and living wages to their employees. Not the ones who try to extort more and more out of the people.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Like the old saying goes: "Opinions are like noses.  Everyone has one."  Jimmy John is moving on.  The controversial cultural, and political statements will end now unless he does a James Brown routine of on stage, off stage, on stage.......  His critics have made their points; and his supporters, management employees, and cronies have made their points. 

Goodbye Jimmy.  Good luck.  Please do not make any more public comments regarding Illinois.  Your now a citizen of Florida.  There is plenty to talk about there.