Kinzie Corridor News 

Find us on Facebook  312-421-3941   Follow us on Twitter   January 2012
State Training Money for Your Business Will Disappear Soon! 
ICNC can reimburse up to 50% of the money companies spend on employee training.  The 2011 round of ETIP grant money is still available, but won't be for long.  If your company paid for a qualifying employee training between July 2010 and January 2012 (except for sales and soft skills training, most training is eligible), we may be able to reimburse up to half the cost if you act within the coming weeks.  The application is quick and simple, and ICNC is here to help - but you need to take action NOW!  Call us for assistance with this and other programs. We'll help make sure more of your tax dollars come back to the neighborhood.

See how Berthold Electric secured State funding for its employee trainings... and how your business can, too.
ICNC's Annual Holiday Party - A Resounding Success

Around 300 people from Chicago's business and nonprofit communities attended ICNC's Annual Holiday Party on December 15th. The event was held at the brilliantly festive Garfield Park Conservatory, and featured delicious food from a number of generous caterers as well as Goose Island beer. ICNC would like to thank all those who attended, and especially those businesses kind enough to donate:


T & T Foods

Michael Barlow Center

Jewell Events

Amazing Edibles

Gourmet Kitchens

Chicago's Legal Cafe

Goose Island

Anthony's Own


Take the Cake

Bridgeford Foods           

Magnolia Spice Teas, Inc.




We hope you can join us at our next networking and celebration event!        Visit our site to view more photos.



50% of Building Permit Fee Now Due Up Front 
As of January 3, 2012, the Chicago Department of Buildings will require a 50% deposit up front on building permit applications.  The Department says the deposit has become necessary to defray the cost of reviewing and approving plans that never complete the permit process or are not ultimately paid for.  Officials say the new payment structure will expedite the permit process for serious applicants.
Protect Your Business From Crime
A business tenant of ICNC's Fulton-Carroll Center was robbed in the early morning hours of Wednesday, December 28th.  While they were fortunate enough to capture the suspect on video, police are still investigating.   A few weeks earlier, a van was stolen from the Fulton/Hoyne area. 

ICNC has also received reports of several thefts along Fulton Street in the past two weeks, including vehicle theft, as well as an armed robbery at a business on Chicago Avenue.  These incidents underscore the importance of
security and caution in the Kinzie Corridor.  Businesses can better protect themselves with foresight and shared strategies.  Please take a moment to complete ICNC's survey on area crime and mail delivery, or notify ICNC if you'd like to share your experience with theft or burglary in the Corridor.  And as always, report suspicious behavior to the police immediately.


Proposed Bikeway and Safety Measures Along Lake Street

The Chicago Department of Transportation is consulting with local aldermen on a proposed Lake Street Safety Improvement Project.  


The project seeks to add a dedicated bike lane between Damen and Central Park Avenues, to be protected by flexible safety posts, along with enhanced crosswalks and pavement markings. The bike lane would run next to the curb along Lake Street, with street parking still available

between the bike lane and the pillars supporting the elevated train tracks above.


The project is being designed as a safety improvement

for motorists and pedestrians as well as bicycle riders. CDOT remains attentive to concerns from businesses that may be impacted; any such input may be relayed to Andrew at ICNC.


Columbia College Solicits Real-World Clients for Industrial Design Course

Industrial Design students at Columbia College Chicago will be diving into a real-world project this Spring, using local manufacturing as a path to sustainability and economic stability. Student teams, participating in a course called Design For Less, will collaborate with Chicago-area fabrication shops, designing to their capabilities, and prototyping new products that those companies can add to their offerings. The class begins in January, concluding with a final presentation of concepts in May. 


If your company would like to participate as a client for this course, please email Carl Boyd at Columbia College. For more information on Columbia's Product Design program, visit the program homepage.


U.S. House to Hold Vacant Properties Hearing in Chicago

The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a field hearing in Chicago to determine who is ultimately responsible for upkeep of the city's vacant homes. Per city ordinance, mortgage services are currently responsible for maintaining homes in the foreclosure process. The hearing, which will tentatively be held in early 2012, seeks to address a lawsuit filed against the city by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to win exemptions to the ordinance for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Chicago claims to have spent $15 million in 2010 on closing vacant buildings.  The city's residential vacancy rate stands at about six percent.



Transit Benefit Fare Program - Earn Incentives by Offsetting Your Employees' Transit Costs!


Have you heard about the Transit Benefit Fare Program? 

If your company acts now, you can earn incentives for saving your employees money on their transit needs.  The program works by offsetting some of the cost of CTA, Metra, Pace, and RTA fares (among others) from employees' tax burdens.  Participating companies can earn $200 outright and $30 for each transit-riding employee.


For more information, visit: http://www.lesstaxingcommute.com/ 

Or call/email James Drew at 773- 269-4081, jdrew@cnt.org 

No SSA for Grand Avenue!!
An SSA was recently proposed for Grand Avenue stretching from California Avenue on the west side to Halsted on the east.  We are happy to report that due to lack of support the proposed SSA on Grand is no longer being considered.  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).
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.  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. 
Proposed SSA on Grand Ave.
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



Reminder: Mandatory Online Business License Renewals in 2012
Don't forget: as of January 1st, all business license renewals in the City of Chicago must be  processed online.  Contact ICNC for information on city-sponsored tutorials for the new system, or visit the BACP's online renewal page to get started.

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.
Application Period Closing Soon for 2012 No-Cost EMT Training Course - Apply Now

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.



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 computer training., 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.
New Member Spotlight :Taylor Group Insurance   TaylorGroup

New member Taylor Group Insurance was founded to help business owners find the perfect insurance policy to fit their many, ever-changing needs. In order to stay on top of the market and control clients' costs, they maintain healthy relationships with some of the best brand names in the insurance industry as well as dozens of specialty carriers for unique risks. Through Taylor Group Insurance's Risk Services division, Taylor has helped many of Chicago's long standing industrial businesses tackle key HR, compliance, and safety issues.  Visit www.taylorgia.com, email them at devlin@taylorgia.com, or call us at 312-867-1100.

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.

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.
  • 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 January classes include:
All classes are from 1pm-4pm
computer class 1


Excel Level 1           Tuesday-January 3

Excel Level 2           Thursday-January 5

Access Level 1        Tuesday-January 10

Access Level 2        Thursday-January 12

Digital Media            Thursday-January 19

PowerPoint               Tuesday-January 24

Microsoft Word        Thursday-January 26

QuickBooks             Tuesday-January 31

Click here to register for class                         
Getting Started in the Tech Business

Have the urge to become a dot com tycoon? Wondering how to get started? Then this event is for you! Join us here at ICNC and listen to Troy Henikoff discuss strategies for tech entrepreneurs and the work of Excelerate, the seed stage accelerator he co founded.
Register Here to Attend!

For questions or to get more information, contact Andrew at ICNC.

Wednesday, January 25th
320 N. Damen Ave.
ICNC's "Meet the Neighbors" Lead Breakfast
A couple of times each year, ICNC hosts a gathering of more than 50 area business people to build referrals and educate each other about their goods and services. Please join us at this fun, free event focused on building your products awareness. RSVP to Andrew@industrialcouncil.com.

Thursday, March 8th
320 N. Damen Ave.
Doors open at 7:30am
Thank you to our sponsor:cole

Other Events
Accessing Credit and Navigating Health Care Reform
The Small Business Administration the Campaign for Better Health Care would like to invite you to a free webinar on changes in health care and access to credit for small businesses.  The session will include presentations by:

Marianne O'Brien Markowitz, Regional Administrator for the SBA
Mark Petrilli, State Director, Illinois Small Business Development Center
Jessica Stone, Outreach Manager, Small Business Majority 

Jim Duffett, Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Healthcare


Register here for this FREE web event.   sba2011logo


For more information, contact Joyce Harant, jharant@cbhconline.org, 309-648-3035   


Wednesday, January 11th  

11:00am CST 

 Social Media Marketing Seminar & Contest
The Chicago City Treasurer's Small Business Online Marketing Contest sponsored by Constant Contact is officially open! Cash prizes are available for the best email and social media promotions from Chicago businesses. Enter now to showcase the vision and originality of your campaign.


And if you'd like to learn more about marketing through social media, the Chicago City Treasurer and Constant Contact present Social Media Made Simple. This FREE seminar will be the first of four in a series, so register now to save your spot.



Friday, January 13th


Microsoft Chicago Office

200 E. Randolph, Suite 200 


Public Meetings on the Chicago Streets for Cycling Plan 2020

The City of Chicago has embarked on the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 to identify a network of bicycling facilities that will ensure all Chicagoans, from children riding to school to senior citizens riding to the grocery store, feel safe and comfortable riding their bikes on the city's streets. Chicago seeks to identify up to 250 miles of innovative bicycle facilities that will encourage all Chicagoans to use their bikes to get around their neighborhoods.   


The City is holding a number of public meetings to present its plan.   Attend one below to find out how the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 will impact your neighborhood.



Wednesday, January 18th 
6:00pm - 8:00pm, presentation begins @ 6:30
Garfield Park Conservatory - Jensen Room
300 N. Central Park
Wednesday, January 25th 
6:00pm - 8:00pm, presentation begins @ 6:30
Woodson Regional Library - Auditorium
9525 S. Halsted Street
Wednesday, February 1st 
6:00pm - 8:00pm, presentation begins @6:30
Sulzer Regional Library - Auditorium
4455 N. Lincoln
Webinar #1
Friday, February 3rd 
12:00pm-1:00pm CST
Webinar #2
Monday, February 6th 
6:00pm-7:00pm CST




60% Discount for ICNC Members at Chicago Krav Maga
Attend "Everything Must Go" Sale
Get the hottest shoes, jackets, purses, and more at the Carline Leathers Warehouse sale.  Carline Leathers retails high quality merchandise at discount prices! 

Tuesday, January 17th & Wednesday, January 18th

Carline Leathers

2140 W. Fulton St., Suite G 


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
Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List

For more info call 312-421-3941 or email info@industrialcouncil.com


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




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