Kinzie Corridor News 

Find us on Facebook312-421-3941   Follow us on Twitter   July 2011
Meet the Neighbors

Please join us at this fun, free event focused on

building your company's awareness. 


In This Issue
Meet the Neighbors
Grants Available
No-Cost Hiring Service
ICNC's Award Winners
Sign-up for FREE computer classes
Thanks to an Illinois grant from the state, ICNC is offering on-site computer classesComputer Class at no charge. But space is limited, so sign up today.  See ICNC's website for a description of classes.  Upcoming July classes include:  
All Classes are from 1pm-4pm

Wednesday, July 13: Access 1

Friday, July 15: Access 2

Wednesday, July 20: Excel 1

Friday, July 22: Excel 2

Wednesday, July 27: Digital Media

Friday, July 29: QuickBooks




  Click here to register for class

"Meet the Neighbors" Lead Breakfast

Focus on Sales at ICNC's Lead Breakfast! Lead Breakfast

Have you heard about our lead breakfast series here at ICNC? Last year it was a great success! Every few months more than 50 business owners gather at ICNC to share referrals and tell each other about their goods and services. This is marketing at it's most direct and effective level. 

RSVP now, as this event fills up fast! No-cost, but reserve your place now by registering here or contact ICNC. Doors open at 7:30 am.  

Wednesday, August 24th 

8:00am-9:30 am 

Thanks to our Sponsor:




Grants available for technical/consulting assistance  

ICNC wants to give you money! ICNC is accepting applications for technical assistance/consulting from area companies up to $5,000.  The Small Business Acceleration Grant will match 80% of the cost for services provided by a third party (with the applicant paying for the remaining 20%). Examples of projects include tradeshow participation, website development, legal or accounting services, etc. For more information and to pick up an application visit our website

On the air with ICNC!

Starting in early August, ICNC is kicking off a year longRadio-on-air marketing effort to highlight the benefits of locating a business in the Kinzie Corridor. As part of that campaign, we'll be highlighting local companies in over one hundred, 60 second radio spots on local radio stations WCPT and WLFM. If you have a syrupy sweet voice and would like your company to be featured as part of this campaign contact Andrew at ICNC.

Progress being made on Viaduct Clearance

The push to keep the viaducts cleaned continues! The Community Caps police with the help of Sgt. Clas and Streets and Sanitation have been even more aggressive now then they have been in the past to clean up the viaduct areas.  The 27th Ward has a viaduct at every north south street from Western to Halsted and there were homeless in almost every one.  Alderman Burnett's office has had the permanent signage they needed to clean the areas without 24 hour notice installed in every viaduct which has helped tremendously in scheduling the clean-ups at short notice. No one feels good about these clean ups, but every once in a while we have a success story. Information from Linda Delgado, 27th Ward Superintendent of Streets and Sanitation: "A woman who was living under the viaduct agreed to be placed and now has a single room apartment in the Rogers Park neighborhood.  The same woman was offered services countless times and her response was a flat no every time. What made this time different, I wish we knew.  But, we're happy for her and want her to succeed."

Update on Lake Street Reconstruction  

lakestreetLocal companies using Lake Street know it's in the middle of a multi-year reconstruction project. CDOT project manager Joe Voldrich recently updated us on the status. The Ogden/Lake intersection should be back to two-way traffic later this summer, and work completed on the intersection by the end of this year. The result will be a larger turning radius for trucks and higher clearance under the el. The next portion of the project, scheduled for fall 2012 and lasting about a year and a half, is the stretch between Damen and Ashland, which includes street reconstruction, new sidewalks, and CTA column relocation at Damen to increase the turning radius for trucks. The final portions of the project begin after that and include the area from Ashland to the expressway. 

Giant Sinkhole on Fulton Fixed!

SinkholeMany of you have complained to us about the giant sinkhole
on Fulton St. just west of Damen. Well, we're happy to report that, thanks to the Alderman Burnett's office, the sinkhole has been covered.
While from a distance it looked like an ordinary pothole, a peek inside revealed a cavern more than 4 ft. deep and extending off in all directions. We're hoping a more permanent repair will be coming soon. 

Learn "How to Start a Business" Without Leaving Your Chair 

start a bizClick here to access ICNC's recent webinar on starting a business - topics include writing a business plan,  choosing a structure, creating a business entity, financing options and much more! For further assistance, contact Denise Ching,  Small Business Development Center Director at ICNC,  who will provide one-on-one assistance at no cost.

Offer your Employees Pre-tax Transit benefits

Food companies can get money back for export/marketing costs

If your processed food company (snacks, beverages, ready-to-eat, etc.) wants to export or is already selling outside the U.S., you may be able to get 50% of the money back that you spend on ads, promotions, trade shows, and other items that help develop your market. See this site for details and an application, and let ICNC's Illinois International Trade Center help you increase your exports.

Save $$ - Save Energy

with No-Cost Energy Audits


Thanks to a $2.5 million federal grant, The Delta Institute is offering energy audits at no cost to commercial buildings and industrial facilities.  Eligible businesses may also apply for affordable loans to implement identified energy efficiency projects. Click here for complete details and the application.

 ICNC Incubator Space of the Month

Newly available, check out this huge,Space-F21-A

5000 sf, 3rd floor space.  Perfect for light manufacturing. or to build out as an office loft, at $6.50 per sf this is one space that won't stay vacant for long! For more information, or to schedule a showing, contact Marybeth at ICNC.

Cut employee hiring costs with ICNC 

 With ICNC's business employment services you can make hiring the best employees much easier.  ICNC will assist you from start to finish by:

  • Creating job descriptions
  • Placing employment ads 
  • Screening resumes
  • Pre-interviewing top candidates
  • Conducting background and reference checks
  • Providing additional human resources related services when requested

And these services are all at NO COST to you! As the employer, you may interview as many or as few candidates as you need in order to make the best hiring choice.  Save time and money with ICNC's hiring services. Call or email Priscilla at [email protected] to get started.

Reduce Energy-Save Money

Small Business Energy Savings provides both guidance and assistance to small business owners looking to make their business more energy efficient. This service includes:
  • A free energy-use assessment of most small business
  • Free installation of energy saving products 
  • A list of recommendations for additional changes and upgrades that can further improve the energy efficiency of a small business and that qualify for rebates of up to 50 percent through programs offered by ComEd, Nicor Gas, North Shore Gas and Peoples Gas.
 Click here to apply now.

Grant-funded Food Safety Certification


Food companies in the Kinzie TIF (and 7 nearby TIF's) can now receive NO-COST training for their staff, thanks to a program put together by the Creative Hospitality Associates (CHA) and trainer, OAI Inc.  The entire program is funded by TIF dollars through TIFWorks.  The training being offered includes:

  • Food Safety/Sanitation Training for food serving establishments - This two full day course leads to certification (expires 5 years from issue date)
  • BASSET/Alcohol Safety Training (approved by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission) for businesses holding a liquor license.  This 2-4 hour course can be done on-site or at CHA. 

For more info contact Lauren LaViola at (312) 850-9797. 

Congratulations to ICNC's Award Winners 

The following companies were honored at ICNC's recent luncheon at Galleria Marchetti in front of a crowd of over 250 Kinzie business owners and stakeholders:



Crop to Cup-Tenant of the Year 

Crop to Cup is an importer, broker and wholesaler of what they call "relationship coffees" from farms in Uganda & Burundi.In fact, the company was born out of the nonprofit work its founders were doing in Uganda. C2C provides a supply chain tool which connects customers to their coffee and its origin. Sustainable economic development has not only benefited the coffee growers but the company itself - sales are expected to be over $1.2 million this year - more than double that of 2010. 


Christy Webber Landscapes-Sustainability Award


Christy Webber Landscapes

just keeps growing! With over 250 employees and almost that many awards - the company's name keeps popping up for pushing the envelope when it comes to innovation and sustainability. Rancho Verde, its platinum rated LEED headquarters, features Geothermal heating, solar, a stormwater system with a green roof and bioswales, and is located on the first public street in Chicago with porous paving and induction street lighting. 





Portion Pac-Employer of the Year

While Portion Pac is known for creating a safer and greener cleaning product company, it also is an employer which goes above and beyond in terms of caring for its employees. Inc magazine described Portion Pac as the "World's Coolest Chemical Company". This may be what explains their 2% employee turnover and average employee tenure of 13 years. The work place is said to feel less like a manufacturing plant and than a combination of greenhouse and family garage. 





Ecolit-Company of the Year

Ecolit was created by Steve Parks following his 20 successful years in the home furnishings business.   In record time, Steve exceeded both his goals for his new venture: 1) building a successful LED light box company (note that LED's  use at least 75% less energy and last up to 25 times as long) and 2) manufacturing those light boxes here in Chicago with American made components.   Ecolit sales have been growing at a rapid and what's more,  Steve is bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US from China! Congratulations to Ecolit for its success and Company of the Year award.  



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Galleria Marchetti Luncheon-June 2011   

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      Member Spotlight:                        Grand and Noble Productions 

Grand and Noble Productions is one of the Midwest's largestfilmcrew independent television production companies. Their long history of success includes national television series, specials and more. Grand and Noble has recently began producing video content for the web and at very reasonable pricing too! To learn more, visit Grand and Noble Productions online at http://grandandnoble.com

Get Fit at POW 

POW Fitness is offering ICNC members ONE FREE CLASS and aPOW 20% discount on any additional services through the month of July. POW has both early morning and evening classes to accomodate your schedule so c'mon, no more excuses! Get fit at POW today! For more information or to schedule your FREE class contact POW at (312) 733-7699 or visit them online.


Attend ICNC Tenant Warehouse Sale

ICNC tenant Carline Leathers will be holding their first ever warehouse sale!  Find top of the line shoes, purses, clothing, cologne, and more.  Everything must go.

2010 W. Fulton, Suite F-104A
Thursday, July 21 10am-7pm
Friday, July 22 10am-7pm
Saturday, July 23 1pm-5pm 
Affordable Space

Prime Rental Space Available at ICNC

 FCC building

Check ICNC's website for low-cost incubator space with free business assistance and resources, located at the Fulton Carroll Center.The site displays info on available spaces including prices, descriptions, and photos.

Current spaces available include a 4,525 square-foot unit with

Vaulted ceilings- 28' high and tons of natural light, perfect for woodworkers/manufacturing/logistics/printing. Common area restrooms, wood floors throughout, and access to freight elevators. Monthly rent is $2,074. . Call ICNC for an appointment to see this or other spaces. 



Other space available:

  • Great usable floor plan. 4,272 sf industrial space. North facing windows. Built out offices with lots of lofty, open space. Common area restrooms, wood floors throughout, immediate access to freight elevators. Monthly rent $2,136 
  • 1,368 sf light industrial space. Easily ventilated, high ceilings, immediate access to freight. Common area restrooms. Monthly rent is $798


For more info call 312-421-3941 or email [email protected]


320 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL. 60612




City seal                                                  sbdc2011