Here’s how small businesses can survive coronavirus by
turning employees into their biggest assets



Sam Tanios considers small business owners “heroes.”
“It’s one of the bravest things you can do … is start your own business,” Tanios said. “These people should be treated as heroes.”

Tanios, an Egyptian immigrant who grew up in Arlington Heights and now lives in Chicago’s Old Irving Park neighborhood, runs Human Elements – a Human Capital Management firm that was founded on the principal that employees are any company’s greatest asset.

The St. Viator High School graduate, who has a bachelor’s degree from University of Iowa and a master’s from Illinois Institute of Technology, has been a small business owner most of his working life. He said, for most of that time, he has gotten his “teeth kicked in,” and wants to be as supportive as possible for small businesses now.

“I love small businesses, period,” Tanios said. “I’ve always been an underdog; nobody gave me a chance to do anything, and I had to figure things out all my own. I took a beating, but I learned. Now I have all this knowledge and experience, and I look at all these small business owners and how little they are appreciated by so many people, and I want them to know that I’m there for them.”

Human Elements, which is a team of HR, technology and business professionals dedicated to providing High Touch High Tech solutions and world class advisory services to small and mid-market companies, helps clients with three major areas that impact their employees the most, including:

1. Developing administrative consistency in the HR practice. Human Elements creates the processes, procedures, guidelines, etc. for all of the
administrative functions that cutting-edge HR departments need to do
based on the current and future needs of the organization.

2. Designing operational efficiency in the HR practice. Human Elements
automates the day-to-day administrative and tactical functions of the HR
department using state-of-the-art technology.

3. Providing strategies that create opportunities for the client to drive greater organizational growth. Human Elements uses data analytics and best in class talent management consultants to maximize the ROI on their greatest asset … their employees.

“What we do is take a company’s biggest expense – employees – and turn it into their biggest investment,” Tanios said. “Finding the right talent – and making the most of that talent – could be the difference between many of these businesses getting out of this situation.”

Human Elements works with numerous businesses in the $1 million-$50 million revenue space, with employees ranging from 1-500.
Those clients include Verano Brands (cannabis space); Gould Ratner (legal); One-Off Hospitality (restaurant group that includes Publican, Blackbird, Violet Hour and Big Star); and Lawless Restaurant Group (includes The Dearborn and Accanto).

Tanios, who founded Human Elements in 2009 and has been a business owner since 1998, believes in as little as three months, there will be some “serious opportunities for small- and mid-sized businesses to take advantage of opportunities in the market.”

“There is a ton of capital that is just sitting there right now,” Tanios said. “I think there will be a massive boom in niche manufacturing, and chances to turn this new workforce – with everyone working from home – into one where there will be a massive elimination of the need for real estate and offices. And a lot of these companies, who can’t afford a full-time HR person, will need this type of expertise to be compliant.”

Tanios’ father ran a small business running apartment buildings, which Tanios’ sister eventually took over. He said it was always a struggle … “every single day,” Tanios said.

He said the love he has for small businesses is what keeps him motivated and strong, even during these tough times.

“That’s what gets me out of bed every day, and this is what I believe in,” Tanios said. “There’s a lot of small businesses owners right now sitting in their chairs alone with no one to talk to, but I want them to know that I’m there for them, and I’m here to help.”

For more information on Human Elements, visit

What makes us different?

We say that we are “HR People that Do Payroll, Not the Other Way Around”.
To us it means we are “People” People.
To us it means we’re about relationships and asking the tough questions.
To us it means we’re going to hold ourselves responsible and accountable.
To us it means we’re a part of your team.
To us it means we’re an ASSET to your business and need to maximize our ROI for you.