|ICNC summer luncheon and boat cruise combined
This year ICNC is moving its annual summer luncheon -- usually held at Galleria Marchetti -- to Lake Michigan. And now it's a dinner; we're changing the time to 4:30 so you can enjoy both food and cocktails while watching the beautiful Chicago skyline go by.
Thursday, July 22nd
330 N. Wabash on the river
(near Trump Tower)
Thanks to sponsorship by MB Financial, tickets are only $60 (non-members $70) and include the two-hour cruise, open bar, and a hot buffet. A $5 discount for the parking garage will be made available.
Special thanks to event sponsor.
This is one of our members' favorite events and tickets go quickly. Special rates are available for group ticket purchases if space allows; call ICNC for details.
|Selling to the CTA: seminar for women- and minority-owned businesses |
Tuesday, July 13thThe Chicago Transit Authority must make a certain percentage of its purchases from women- and minority-owned firms that are certified as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. This is a good way to start with government contracting. What's more, the same certification is good for selling to the Illinois Department of Transportation, Metra, PACE, and the City of Chicago. The CTA will be at ICNC to help firms learn about and begin the process; don't miss it! Free, 9:30-11 am. Register here.
|Where's mine? -- FREE stuff for your business
|Wednesday, July 14th
Did you know that within two miles of your company,
in the last year, your neighbor businesses have received:
- more than $1 MILLION in matching grants to improve their buildings.
- 100 plus FREE employees (the state pays them until October).
- FREE classes in WORD, EXCEL, POWERPOINT, PHOTOSHOP, QUICKBOOKS & WEB DESIGN (more than 200 employees trained).
- expert help in working with (and sometimes challenging) City Hall.
- marketing help including building lead lists for your sales team (yep it's free too!).
- no charge assistance in obtaining loans, including SBA, conventional and micro.
- below market rental space at an award winning business incubator.
- improved sidewalks, signage, roads, transportation and safety.
- thousands of $$$ in FREE radio publicity.
Find out what you've been missing at this unique FREE breakfast event (free bagels, free coffee, free fruit) plus a chance to win two FREE tickets to the ICNC boat cruise!
|Website Functionality and Hiring a Developer|
Wednesday, August 11th
Ten years ago, a "web firm" took care of your business's web design and maintenance needs. But websites are expected to do more today than they were then, and there are many different kinds of companies that design, build, and maintain business sites. This seminar is for businesses who expect a lot from their sites. Whether you want to let customers browse inventory and customize products, or you've got lots of data to organize and share, you should know what's possible and what to expect from the company you hire to help you. Plus: Fixed pricing or hourly? Who keeps the code? Presented by ICNC member Table XI. Bring your questions to this free event. 9am-11am at ICNC. RSVP here.
ICNC seminars are supported in part by the City of Chicago's Department of Community Development and by the State of Illinois' Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
|EPA Delays New Lead Rule Enforcement|
A new US EPA lead rule means several ICNC contractors have had to look for training for employees working with renovation and painting projects that may be in buildings with lead. The original deadline for compliance has passed, but the EPA recently anncounced that as long as employees are in training or enrolled by September 30 and trained by December 31, the EPA does not plan to take enforcement action.
|Get help selling to the City|
The City of Chicago has created two new tools to provide businesses with information on how to successfully contract with the City. The Guide to Procurement Fundamentals explains what the City buys and from whom, and how you can participate. The 2010-2011 Buying Plan & Resource Guide gives you a preview of what the City plans to buy over the next year so you can be ready. Both documents can be downloaded from the City's procurement department website. Call ICNC to get help with selling to the government.
Need help finding a commercial loan between $100k - $5MM? Then you need to check out SBDC client Brandon Hinkle's new venture, ios Financial . IOS Financial is a Chicago-based online marketplace that matches banks with small businesses seeking commercial loans. Great idea, right? And the best part? It's currently free to the Borrowers!
|New $2,500 Tax Credit for New Hires|
Illinois has instituted a new tax credit of $2,500 for new full-time employees hired during the 12-month period beginning July 1, 2010. The credit is available for companies employing 50 or fewer total employees and can be carried forward.
The next CAPS meetings for the beats within the Kinzie Corridor are:
7/13 Beat 1333
8/5 Beat 1313
8/12 Beat 132
Tax breaks and incentives
City accepting facade rebate grant applications
Deadline July 30
Companies not in the Kinzie TIF district may be eligible for grants of up to $20,000 to pay for 50% of facade improvements such as tuckpointing, windows, and signage. ICNC is happy to help you with your application; check out the City's website for program details.
Make sure your company is getting what it deserves for the investments it makes. Here are two incentives you should remember:
The Chicagoland Natural Gas Savings Program can refund People's Gas customers some of the money they spend for improvements such as furnaces, boilers, and insulation. This program can subsidize improvements at your business or in your home. Details here.
This is a social security tax exemption, so you don't pay the 6.2% for qualifying new hires for the rest of the year. IRS info here.
Get local discounts for being an ICNC member Save money and shop locally!
One of the best parts of ICNC membership is finding local sources for goods and services and selling your products or services to your neighbors. Check out the member to member discount page
of ICNC's website to take advantage of deals on food, office supplies, and even fitness. Email Steve
with your company logo and a description of your discount if you'd like to participate in the program. This program is only open to current ICNC members.
City offers amnesty program for sign permits
Until October 15, businesses that have signs but no permits can get all the first year's permits free and pay no fines. If you don't want to worry about violations you can get your paperwork straightened out and be ready for next year. Call 312-744-6249 for details.
ICNC offers small business loan
ICNC has re-invigorated its Small Business Revolving Loan Fund. Businesses located in the Kinzie Corridor can apply for amounts up to $12,500. The range of interest rates is Prime -1.00% to Prime + 5% with a maximum term of 36 months. For more information please contact Denise or any other ICNC staff person.
ICNC can find qualified employees for your job openings
ICNC's business employment services can make your hiring easier. Tell us about your job openings and we can advertise and screen resumes. Then, we'll even interview candidates and do reference and background checks on the ones you're interested in. You just make the final decision. Best of all, it's at no cost to you. Call Priscilla today to get started.
Free computer classes at ICNC
Thanks to ICNC's Digital Divide program,the following classes are available at no charge! But space is very limited, so sign up today!
July 16: Excel level 3
For more advanced users who want to learn pivot tables, analytical options, and macros.
July 23: Beginning Web design
From registering a domain to creating and editing your first web pages, this class covers all the basics you need to get your site up and running.
July 30: Introduction to Quickbooks
For the new Quickbooks user who wants to learn to set up an account, create customers and vendors, write checks, and create financial reports.
Wanted: ICNC members for 2010
Thank you to the hundreds of 2009 ICNC members, old and new. Your support helps us improve the business environment of the Kinzie Corridor and to bring more of your tax dollars back to the neighborhood. Join or renew now
for 2010 or call Steve at 312-421-3941 to discuss membership. Current members please make sure your company's information is listed correctly on our online membership directory
. E-mail Steve
with any corrections.
Get money back for training expenses
Two programs can help ICNC area companies get from 50-100% reimbursement for employee training costs. The City of Chicago's TIFWorks program is available for companies in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor Tax Increment Financing District, and the State of Illinois' Employee Training Investment Program is for companies throughout the state. Call ICNC for assistance with these and other programs. We'll help make sure more of your tax dollars come back to the neighborhood.
Other events and classifieds
|City of Chicago Business Assistance Seminars|
Each month the City puts on a series of seminars on topics important to new or growing businesses. All are free and located in City Hall room 805. This month's workshops include:
Marketing your business7/21
Job order contracting7/23
Starting a not-for-profit7/28
How to get certified/Doing business with the City of Chicago7/30
Learn the steps of global trading
Check out the City's workshop page
for times, descriptions, and other information.
Assertive Communication Workshop: Tuesday, July 27
Effective communication is essential to business success, regardless of company size or industry. Learn to communicate in ways that increase your credibility and influence with coworkers, clients, and management. This full-day workshop by ICNC member Carroll-Keller Group is usually $225, but company owner Dean Carroll offers fellow ICNC members deep discounts as well as a limited number of complimentary places. 9 am to 4:45 pm at DePaul University O'Hare Campus. Go to the Carroll-Keller website
for details and to sign up.
|Kinzie Corridor Art Walk: August 14th and 15th
The Art walk gives local artists a chance to open their doors to the public and all artists the opportunity to show their work to the public in booths on Carroll Avenue from 11 am to 7 pm. ICNC will be sponsoring a "Bounce House" for children. Go to www.kinziecorridorarts.com
for information or to register.
|Chicago Neighbors United "Stay in School Picnic" Saturday, August 28th
The 16th annual picnic is for local children returning to the classrooms this fall. CNU raises funds to buy school supplies, which the children receive at the picnic, and to fund college scholarships for some students. Businesses interested in supporting the effort can contact Darlena Williams-Burnett at 312-446-3645. The picnic is from 10 am to 4 pm at Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph.
Space available at ICNC's Fulton Carroll Center
Check ICNC's website
for low-cost incubator space with free business assistance and resources, located at the Fulton Carroll Center.
Current spaces available include a 2,351 square-foot unit
with 12' ceilings on the second floor. Monthly rent is $1,439 and includes heat. The unit has lots of sunlight from windows that look out on Damen Avenue, and there are wood floors throughout. Call ICNC for an appointment to see this or other spaces.
Other local space available
3,950 sf zoned PMD-4 at 413 N. Carpenter: $4,900/month. 14-foot ceilings, exposed brick, parking. Call Marga Amberg at 312-666-4072 x 102 for details.
- 4,000 square feet at 3028 W Carroll. 1st floor, 16-ft ceilings, $2,500/month. Call Terry at 312-428-1192. Live/work space (700 sf apartment w/1,900 sf of warehouse/garage space) also available at 3026 W Carroll.
Call ICNC at 312-421-3941
ICNC is located on the second floor of the Fulton Carrol Center, 2010 W. Fulton St., Ste. 280, Chicago, IL 60612.