Kinzie Corridor News 

Find us on Facebook  312-421-3941   Follow us on Twitter   December 2011
ICNC opposes SSA on Grand Avenue
An SSA was recently proposed for Grand Avenue stretching from California Avenue on the west side to Halsted on the east.  An SSA or Special Service Area is a local tax district that funds expanded services through a localized property tax levy within contiguous areas. SSA-funded projects typically include sidewalk maintenance and beautification, landscaping, advertising/marketing, business retention/recruitment, parking, and safety.  After speaking with a number of company owners on Grand, it became clear that many of the company owners did not support an SSA primarily because it would increase their property taxes (based on a percentage of EAV formula).  Tax increases for some larger buildings would amount to over $4,000 a year.  Most troublesome was the process which requires those opposed to the SSA to organize and submit a petition signed by 51% of owners of record and 51% of registered voters in the boundary - a very difficult thing to do.  Given that the SSA requires Aldermanic support, however, it appears unlikely at this time that the Grand Avenue SSA will be passed.  Stay tuned for further updates.  

Proposed SSA on Grand Ave.

Dec. 15th- ICNC's Holiday Party at Garfield Park Conservatory

Join us for ICNC's Holiday Party on Thursday, December 15th.  ICNC's holiday party is one of our companies' favorite events. Meet your neighbors and fellow business owners over drinks and appetizers in the Garfield Park Conservatory. The lush surroundings of the conservatory are always impressive, but when decorated with lights for the holidays they are magical.  Once again, this year's raffle prizes include hot tickets to an upcoming BULLS game.   Please contact ICNC if you'd like to donate specialty food or raffle items.   This is a free event, but please RSVP now


Thursday, December 15th                      

5:15 pm-7:30pm

at Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave - Free Parking in lot and on street









                                            Photos by REP3



No Cost!  Thanks to our Sponsor   

400 New Jobs Available at Chase Bank Job Fair TODAY

JP Morgan Chase has announced four hundred new job positions to be filled at its downtown headquarters, starting with a job fair THIS MORNING to fill the initial ninety. New hires will work in the company's mortgage banking operations in loan processing, underwriting, closing, and related positions. The remaining 310 positions will be filled by early 2012. Interested candidates should stop by the job fair today at Chase Tower Auditorium or apply online.


TODAY: Tuesday, December 6th


at Chase Tower Auditorium, 10 S. Dearborn St. 



Apply Now for 2012 EMT No-Cost Classes
ICNC participates in Economic Development Plan for Chicago
ICNC's Executive Director, Joyce Shanahan, was recently selected to participate in the development of an economic growth plan as part of a fourteen-member steering committee convened by World Business Chicago.  The plan, which will ultimately be delivered to Mayor Emmanuel, will leverage assets and help drive growth for the Chicagoland metropolitan area.   Joyce hopes to use her experience as a small business owner and E.D. of the Industrial Council and its 416,000 SF incubator to assist in streamlining government efficiency and efficacy and create a fast-track business environment.  Feel free to email or call Joyce at ICNC if you have specific ideas or suggestions for the committee.  Check our upcoming newsletters to hear more about the plan, which is scheduled to be completed in May of 2012.     
Help Fulfill a Senior's Holiday Gift Wish LBFE

Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) is making their list and checking it twice.  LBFE is looking for support for their annual Holiday Gift Program for lonely and isolated seniors.  This year, LBFE will provide more than 1,000 elders with personalized gifts, requested by seniors and supplied by hundreds of generous volunteers and donors like you.  Your gifts will represent tokens of love and caring, gifts that will make our elders feel special, cheerful, and included in the holiday festivities.  To sign up to give a gift to a senior, or to volunteer for gift wrapping, please contact Christine Bertrand at  [email protected] 

 or call Christine at 312-455-1000.  LBFE is located at 355 N. Ashland Avenue.

Travel Grants for Export Marketing
Illinois's State Trade and Export Promotion Program (STEP) seeks to grow Illinois exports by sending small and medium-sized businesses on Group Trade Missions or Individual Foreign Market Sales Missions to foreign trade shows. STEP one-time assistance will be provided on a first come, first served basis for all qualifying companies, for either an Individual or Group Trade Mission. The state has set a defined total for 2011 STEP grant awards, so interested companies should take the first step now and  apply to be an ICNC Small Business Development Center client. For grant program details and to browse a list of trade shows in which STEP companies will participate, visit the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment



Looking for Capital?-New State Programs

Advantage Illinois consists of four programs totaling $78 million to spur lending and venture capital in
small companies. 
By working with the banking community and venture capitalists, the programs will assist small business in expanding and in making capital investment. Illinois will get entrepreneurs and small businesses starting up or expanding at a faster rate. For more information visit Advantage Illinois or call ICNC.



13th Police District to Close - Merging with 12th  !3th District

With the City of Chicago's 2012 budget passed by City Council, the closure of the Kinzie Corridor's 13th Police District is one step closer.  Unfortunately, this comes after recent increases in robberies and burglaries in parts of the district. 

If implemented, the plan will call for the 13th and 12th Districts to be merged, with current 13th Commander Frank Gross expected to lead the new joint district. While Alderman Maldonado has voiced his intention to keep the 13th District building open, the City insists that restructuring will result in more officers on the street. In the meantime, concerned business owners can protect their assets as well as their employees with a bit of common sense crime prevention. Click here to learn more.


Police say not having a building will not affect response time, because officers should be out on beat patrol, not in the station. However, residents, especially in the 13th district, say the size of the new district makes it almost impossible for response times not to be affected.   
MANDATORY Online Business License Renewals in 2012
As of January 1st, all business license renewals in the City of Chicago must be processed online. City Hall is planning to host a workshop covering the new standard: the "Online Business License Renewal Tutorial" will address the workings of the online system as well as things to keep in mind when renewing a business license.  More tutorials are in the works for early 2012. 

Friday, December 23rd  


at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Room 805 


Take Advantage of ICNC's No-Cost Services for Your Business
ICNC can provide your business with access to the resources it needs
See how Chicago Flyhouse put SBIF money to work.
See how Chicago Flyhouse put SBIF money to work.
to succeed.  From business plans to export readiness, financing options to job placement, ICNC offers a wealth of services to to the companies in the Kinzie Corridor.  Visit  ICNC's website to learn how your business can take advantage of ICNC's no-cost services.

ICNC staff assist with the implementation of a popular TIF-funded program known as "SBIF" or the Small Business Improvement Fund.  SBIF is one of several grants ICNC facilitates to bring tax dollars back to the neighborhood and keep Chicago business thriving.  Click the video link to see how ICNC's access to SBIF benefited Chicago FlyhouseContact ICNC to begin discussing your idea for a SBIF grant proposal.
Last Chance- Get Half Your Employee Training $ Back
newsletter click button.
See how Berthold Electric Co. secured training funds through ICNC... and how your business can, too.
ICNC can reimburse up to 50% of the money companies spend on employee training.  If your training qualifies (except for sales and soft skills training, most training is eligible), we can reimburse you for training done any time after July 2010 through the State of Illinois' ETIP grantCall ICNC for assistance with this and other programs. We'll help make sure more of your tax dollars come back to the neighborhood.
Recycle Your Used Electronics!
Recycle Tech Solutions in Pullman presents Dream Green, a comprehensive electronics recycling program.  Spent printer cartridges, cell phones, computer parts, and more can be redeemed for working recycled products, gift cards, and a Dream Green certification for your organization.  See a complete list of acceptable items.

Incentive Money Available for Energy-Saving Upgrades

ComEd is offering free onsite energy assessments through its Small Business Energy Savings (SBES) program, with some energy-saving products installed at no cost. ComEd will then submit a detailed efficiency report to the business owner, and assign a dedicated Energy Advisor to assist with applying for facility improvement incentives of up to 50% for ComEd and 70% for Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, and Northshore Gas. This money can be combined with SBIF and other improvement funds, meaning a minimal initial investment can yield consistent returns in your energy bills. ICNC is available to answer your questions about the program: call to learn more, or call ComEd at 888-806-2273 to schedule your free assessment.



ICNC Media Frenzy WCIU

A big thank you to WCIU for featuring ICNC tenants and services on the air this past month. Click on the following links to see segments with Joshua Millman from Passion House Coffee,

Jen Tabor from Souldier and our own SBDC Director Denise Ching. As always, ICNC will continue to look for ways to promote our members and services through the local media.

Get Help with Your Employee Retirement Benefits

Need help managing or planning your employee benefits plan? The Department of Labor has free resources to answer your questions. Visit their website for answers to frequently asked questions on  health and retirement benefits, or to get information on an upcoming seminar or workshop.  

A Very Short Survey About Area Mail and Crime

We here at ICNC have been hearing some complaints lately about area mail delivery and also rising    concern about a perceived uptick in area crime. Please let us know your thoughts by answering this short, three question survey. Thank you!

Tenant Spotlight: Anthony's Own

If you're a fan of mixed drinks or fine liqueurs, we recommend you try ICNC tenant Anthony's Own Apple Pie liqueur.  "Anthony's Own" Fine Liqueur is a family business started by Anthony Rodriguez to support his special needs son, and to create a funding vehicle for special adult programs that foster skill enhancement and access to job opportunities. You can taste a sample of "Anthony's Own" Fine Liqueur at ICNC's Holiday Party (see top of newletter), or, if you can't wait, samples will also be available  this Saturday, December 10th from 3:00 to 6:00pm at Armentetti's, 345 Vertine Blvd. in Shorewood, Illinois.  

To find out more, or for a great Apple Pie Martini recipe, visit them online at anthonysown.com.
 Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink & Buy Local
If all Chicago households shifted $100 of planned holiday spending from a chain store to a locally owned store this holiday season, it would keep $25 million from leaking out of our local economy.  The citywide "Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink & Buy Local" campaign is encouraging everyone to shop at locally owned businesses this holiday season.  Join your fellow Chicagoans and take the pledge to do your part to keep money in our community this holiday season.  Learn more at www.unwrapchicago.org.

 Small Business Highlight: ICU MultiMedia

Did you know that adding a high quality video to your website can dramatically improve traffic? Video can turn a static website into a dynamic, interactive destination for viewers. Innovative Concepts Unlimited MultiMedia has produced high quality media for large organizations and dignitaries such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and President Barack Obama.  Check out ICU's promotion site for ideas on how video can change your website. 


ICNC-Won't You Join Us?

 What did ICNC do for its members last year?:

  • Facilitated more than $1M in grants and loans.
  • Provided direct access to political leaders from Alderman Burnett to Congressman Danny Davis & Senator Dick Durbin.
  • Advocated for business friendly issues on behalf of members by serving on both city and state advisory bodies.
  • Assisted companies with city regulatory issues. 
  • Upgraded job skills with FREE training in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, QuickBooks, etc.
  • Provided business development assistance to new and expanding companies.
  • Increased sales through international trade assistance, marketing seminars and a business reference database.
  • Assisted more than 100 small business tenants in the world's largest incubator.
  • Performed FREE HR services for more than 80 companies, including ad placement, background checks, interviews and more.
  • Presented a host of free seminars from SEO to HR Law.
  • Hosted a number of networking events.
  • Promoted member companies on NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, WCPT & WLFM.
  • Shared conference room and computer room space at no-cost to members.
  • Gave out A LOT of FREE FOOD AND BEER!

Not a member yet? Well what are you waiting for? You can join online here or for more information contact Andrew at ICNC.

ICNC Upcoming Events
Sign-up for FREE Computer Classes 
Thanks to a grant from the State of Illinois, ICNC is offering on-site computer classes at no charge. Space is limited, so sign up today.  See ICNC's website for a complete description of classes.  Upcoming December classes include:
All classes are from 1pm-4pm-Except Access (10am-4pm)
computer class 1


  • Tuesday,   December 6: Excel Level 1   
  • Thursday,  December 8: Excel Level 2   
  • Tuesday,   December 13: Digital Media
  • Friday,       December 16: Access Level 1 & 2
  • Tuesday,   December 20 : PowerPoint
Click here to register for class                         
Other Events


Designer Roundtable: Shop, Sell, Share
Continuing its tradition of supporting designers and entrepreneurs, Saper Law Offices will hold its fourth annual Designer Roundtable event on Monday, December 19thDaliah Saper, Principal Attorney at Saper Law and Chicago Fashion Foundation Board Member,  will serve as the moderator and discussion leader for a number of key subjects, answering questions about business incorporation, the hiring of independent contractors vs. employees, registering for copyrights and trademarks, and negotiating key contract provisions.  This event is geared towards entrepreneurs in creative disciplines, namely fashion design, jewelry design, interior design, film, music, and art. The two hour event includes time to network, eat lunch, and peruse the make shift boutique.

Monday, December 19th
11:30am - 1:00pm
at Saper Law Offices LLC, 505 N. LaSalle, Suite 350



Affordable Space


 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 and descriptions.

Current spaces available include a 2,947 s.f. unit with a great usable floor plan, 28' high ceilings, plenty of light, and access to freight elevators and common bathrooms. Monthly rent is approximately $1,596.  Call ICNC for an appointment to see this or other spaces




Other space available:

  • 3,320 sf. Great usable floor plan. South facing windows. Built out offices with lots of lofty, open space. Common area restrooms, plumbing, wood floors throughout, immediate access to freight elevators. Monthly rent is $1,798
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For more info call 312-421-3941 or email [email protected]


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




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