Kinzie Corridor News 

Find us on Facebook  312-421-3941   Follow us on Twitter   March 2012
Join Us Next Thursday for 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 awareness of your products. RSVP to [email protected].

Thursday, March 8th


320 N. Damen Ave.
Doors open at 7:30am

Thank you to our sponsor:

ICNC Backs Small Business Health Care Co-Op Bills


ICNC has joined over a dozen other business organizations in backing Illinois General Assembly Bills HB3976 and SB2885, which would allow small and medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs, and employees to come together to form health insurance cooperatives. These cooperatives would allow small businesses to stabilize the cost of their health insurance, and provide a competitive alternative to large insurance companies. The bills' cosponsors are hoping to have them voted out of committee by March 9th, the last day a bill can be voted onto the floor this legislative session. To learn more and find out how you can support these bills, visit the Illinois Small Business Advocacy Council.


Read HB3976 here.  Read SB2885 here.

City to Open Discussion on Future of Former 13th Police Site

Chicago is ready to begin discussing plans for the site of the former 13th Police District station at 937 N. Wood Street. The station, which was closed amid much controversy as part of the City's 2012 budget, served communities on the south end of Alderman Proco Joe Moreno's 1st Ward, among others. Part of the Alderman's rationale for voting for the budget involved a promise from the Mayor that something "innovative, impressive, and appropriate" would take the place of the old building. A council of community members has been selected to join administrative and police officials in going over possibilities for the site. No dates have been given for the group's meetings at this time.


New Cook County Property Tax Website

On April 1st, Cook County will roll out a new website detailing information on 1.7 million commercial and residential properties. In addition to displaying five years' worth of official records currently kept by separate offices, the site will also allow for online bill-pay and assessment appeals. The project was conceived to cut down on the amount of paperwork needed to perform basic tasks related to property governance, and to consolidate information pertinent to home or business owners into one resource.



Sales Lead Lists in Latin American Markets from ICNC's International Trade Center

Looking for buyers in Latin America?  The International Trade Center at ICNC can put together a sales lead list of the top buyers of products like yours so your sales department can get to work finding new customers!  U.S.-Latin America merchandise trade has grown almost 85% in the last 15 years (faster than Asia and the E.U.), and a number of emerging markets have made the region a top priority for exporters. Thanks to new electronic resources in our toolkit, the ITC can now identify the top importing companies of products like yours in Chile, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.  Trade information is also available for Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina and more.  And as always, trade research and other export assistance is free.  To find out how ICNC can help your business increase its exports, contact ITC Director Steve DeBretto.



Taxi Reforms Pass City Council

Chicago will see several changes to its taxicab industry after the City Council voted to approve a number of incremental reforms over the coming months and years. The legislation includes incentives to modernize cabs and improve fuel efficiency, mandates to increase accessibility, the creation of an online moving violation database, and some new license categories, among other items. Complete information on the reforms can be found here.


Big Tradeshow - Discounts for Food Manufacturers


You can get a 10' x 10' booth at the May 1-3 Food Marketing Show in Dallas for only $2560 -- 25% lower than the regular price -- thanks to subsidies by The Illinois Department of Agriculture. Your food company may also be eligible for another subsidy that would bring the cost down to $1,280 and help pay for samples and rental fees. This show draws 25,000 retailers, distributors, and buyers from more than 130 countries. For information contact Kim Hamilton at 217-782-5809 or [email protected]inois.gov

Mayor Emanuel Releases Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, acting in his role as chair of World Business Chicago, released the first draft of his Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs Wednesday. The Plan, a five-month collaborative effort of business and civic leaders, calls for Chicago to increase its exports, invest in next-generation infrastructure, enhance its position as a logistics hub, and encourage advanced manufacturing.  


Read the plan here.

Unison Opens Studio/Store at Fulton-Carroll Center

ICNC member and tenant Unison Home will open its new studio + store this Friday, March 2nd. Discover first-hand the intersection of elegance and craftsmanship in Unison's bedding, table, and housewares designs. Unison's storefront (2000 W Fulton St, Ste. F-109) will be open each Friday from 12-6pm, and ICNC members will receive a 20% discount on all in-person purchases throughout the month of March!


Midwest Generation to Close Chicago's Coal-Fired Plants

Closures of Chicago's two coal-fired power plants will come earlier than expected. The Fisk plant in Pilsen will be closed by December of this year, with the Crawford plant in Little Village following by the end of 2014. Midwest Generation, who owns both plants, originally agreed to close them by 2018 if they were unable to meet emissions reduction benchmarks, according to a deal struck with state regulators in 2006. Increased pressure from environmental groups and City Council's threat of a new emissions ordinance, however, have led the company to voluntarily close the plants. Long a concern in the Pilsen and Little Village communities, pollution from the plants has caused more than $1 billion in health damages since 2002, according to a report by the nonprofit Environmental Policy & Law Center.

Chicago's Restaurant Tax Highest Among Big City Downtown Areas

A new report from the Tax Foundation says Chicago's downtown restaurant tax (a combination of sales tax, the city's meals tax, and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority's 1% tax) is the highest of America's ten largest cities and second highest among the largest fifty. Chicago's 10.75% total tax on downtown restaurants ranks second only behind Minneapolis's 10.775% among the big fifty, and surpasses peers New York City (8.875%) and Los Angeles (8.75%).



LISC/ Morgan Stanley Small Business Loan Fund

Local Initiatives Support Coalition and Morgan Stanley have developed a pilot program to offer low-interest, long-term loans to businesses in preferred industrial cities like Chicago. The Small Business Loan Fund uses the advantages of the SBA 504 Program to provide loans of $250K - $2.5M with below-market interest rates, lower down payments, and longer repayment terms than conventional loans. Qualifying small businesses must be located within a New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) census tract and must demonstrate need for an NMTC subsidy, among other criteria. For eligibility requirements, see this term sheet. For additional details on the program, download this presentation by Morgan Stanley.


ICNC Tenant Michael Grucza in
Link Magazine!

Check out ICNC tenant Michael Grucza in the Winter 2012 issue of Link, from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Mr. Grucza, a CIA alum, recently had his massive steel sculpture "BOING!" installed in Cleveland's David E. Davis sculpture park. Read the piece here, and see more work at gruczasculpture.com. Visit gruczastudios.com for art restoration and installation services.


Free Tax Assistance for Chicago Residents - Save up to $5,700!
It's that time of year!  The City Of Chicago is offering FREE tax preparation assistance at several Tax Preparation Sites.  This is an important opportunity that can shed light on tax credits for which your family may be eligible.  Last year, Chicago's Tax Preparation Sites helped return more than $34 million to local families through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  Even so, 25% of those who qualify are not aware of EITC, losing a refund opportunity of up to $5,700.  Don't miss out: find out more at the City of Chicago's website, or click here for a list of Tax Preparation Site locations. 
Gov. Quinn Turns Over Chair of the
Midwestern Governors Association

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn concluded his leadership of the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) this month. The MGA is a nonprofit, bipartisan organization bringing together the governors of Midwestern states to work cooperatively on agriculture, economic development, energy, and other issues of common interest. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will serve as MGA's 2012 Chair.

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 2011-2012 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 


Sign Up for FREE Computer Classes at ICNC

Have you checked out ICNC's free computer classes? Sign up today for one-time classes in Digital Media, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and more, all right here at ICNC at no cost! Click through or see the listing below under "ICNC Events" for class dates.



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 Small Business Profile: Power Clean Inc.

Power Clean Inc. brings twenty years of experience to power washing. From steel to stone, they clean a wide variety of exterior surfaces for both residential and commercial buildings. To learn more, call 630-545-9551 or email [email protected].

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 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.

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  classes include:
Microsoft Word;  Thursday-March 1: 11am-4pmcomputer class 1
PowerPoint;         Tuesday-March 6: 11am-4pm
Digital Media;       Thursday-March 8: 12pm-4pm 
Excel Level 1;       Tuesday-March 13: 1pm-4pm 
Excel Level 2;       Thursday-March 15: 1pm-4pm 
Social Media;        Thursday-March 22: 1pm-4pm 
Access 1 & 2;       Tuesday-March 27: 11am-4pm 
QuickBooks;        Thursday-March 29: 11am-4pm 
Click here to register for class                         
How to Get Certified as a MBE/WBE/DBE and Doing Business with the Government
Have you considered certifying your business as a Minority, Women or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise? Do you want to do business with the Government but are unsure about how to get started? Join us for a workshop on How to Get Certified and Doing Business with the Government presented by Adrian Soto from the Procurement Technical Assistance Center at the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday, April 18th
320 N. Damen Ave.

Register Here for this Event!
Other Events

Understanding Health Care Reform

In order to provide the most up to date information on health care reform and employer benefits, The Taylor Group Insurance Agency will be presenting to the members and guests of The Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago.  From this event, attendees will have a better understanding of:

  • Status of health care reform
  • Grandfathered plans
  • Small business tax credit
  • Plan coverage and administration changes
  • Employer reporting and disclosure rules
  • Uniform Summary of Benefits and Coverage
  • How health care reform (PPACA) will affect their company's benefits
  • Concepts to maximize employee benefits while minimizing employee and employer costs
  • Utilizing tax deferred savings to increase their business' bottom line
  • Containing the risk of compliance issues from COBRA, HIPAA, ERISA, FMLA, and more

Wednesday, March 21st



320 N. Damen Ave. 


The session will include a presentation by Devlin O'Connor.  Please contact Taylor Group Insurance Agency at 312-867-1100 or by email at [email protected].  



Discover Chicagoland's Newest Products and Services:
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce welcomes exhibitors and guests alike to The Exchange, its yearly networking and exposure event. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your firm's capabilities, build relationships, and generate leads. Over 1,000 professionals attended The Exchange last year, and a similar turnout is expected in 2012. Learn more here, or visit the Chicagoland Chamber's website to register.

Thursday, March 22nd
Hyatt Regency Hotel - Grand Ballroom
151 E. Wacker Dr.

 Register here!
Digital Resources for Nonprofits: Check Out these Free Trainings

HandsOn Tech Chicago seeks to transform how nonprofits use technology in the Chicago area, and to build resources for low-income communities and families. They have crafted a number of free seminars and online tutorials geared towards our city's nonprofit community, on topics like Search Engine Optimization, CRM Software, Dropbox, social media, Google applications, and more. To find out how HandsOn Tech can improve your organization's digital toolkit, visit their website. To browse a list of upcoming trainings, check out their events calendar.  


Upcoming free seminars:   


Wednesday, March 14th

Social Media 101  

9:00am - 10:00am

at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago

560 W. Lake St.                   

Click here to register  

Licensing, Permits, and Inspections 101

This City of Chicago BACP monthly informational series will allow business owners to speak directly with City inspectors and permit specialists. Get all your questions about zoning, licensing, health or fire code and more answered in one place. This workshop is ideal for all owners and prospective owners of businesses requiring inspections, so sign up today! Call 312-744-2086 or email [email protected].


Next Workshop:
Wednesday, March 7th

3:00pm - 4:30pm

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


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 3,118 sf. unit with a great usable floor plan, 14' high ceilings, plenty of light, and access to freight elevators and common bathrooms. Monthly rent is approximately $1,689 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 approximately $1,798
  • 902 sf.  Perfect studio space. Concrete floors, lots of natural light and easy access. Access to freight elevators and common bathrooms. Monthly rent is approximately $664    
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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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