Kinzie Corridor News 

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Starting a Business Just Got Easier: BACP Announces 60% Reduction in License Types

With input from Chicago's business community (including a roundtable event held at ICNC last month), the city recently announced a forthcoming reduction in business license types from 117 to 49, including a new "Emerging Business" category for those that fit nowhere else. The new ordinance is designed to eliminate the red tape and headaches associated with opening a new business, and also to cut requirements for licenses certain businesses should not need, according to common sense. ICNC congratulates the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team, the Chicago BACP, and small business owners across the city.

Get more information on the new licensing system here.
New Markets Tax Credits: an Opportunity for Project Funding


The City of Chicago recently received $65 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) which will be allocated to projects (e.g., manufacturing facility expansions, start-ups, real estate development, etc) in low/moderate income areas throughout Chicago.  The good news is that almost ALL of the Kinzie Corridor is located within census tracts that qualify for the funds!   


While NMTCs are complex funding tools, there may be great benefits if your project qualifies, such as 1% interest for seven years on the borrowed money and potential "forgiveness" of the loan after that time (see details).  Note that from the borrower's standpoint, these are not tax credits, but a low interest, forgivable loan.  Location of the project is key to receiving funding, rather than the financial resources of the borrower.  Insert the project's address using this link to make sure your business is located in an eligible census tract.  For more information on NMTC visit World Business Chicago, attend this upcoming seminar on Thursday, May 10th at Katten Muchin Rosenmann LLP, or call ICNC.

City Council Passes Tighter Signage Law

The Chicago City Council voted recently to approve amendments to the city's signage law, allowing for a range of fines for the posting of signs without written consent of the building owner. The law had previously imposed a flat $10,000 fine for all related offenses; in light of the difficulty of collecting this sum from small businesses, fines now vary between $350 and $15,000 per offense, depending on the size and functionality of the sign.


The revised law will now be strictly enforced: businesses are strongly encouraged to obtain valid permits for all signs on their property.



Cook County Unveils New Property Tax Website

This week the county launched CookCountyPropertyInfo.com, an electronic resource allowing residents and business owners to view their property tax bills online. The website database, searchable by address, provides information on property values, exemptions, a tax dollars tracker, and the ability to pay online.

Business Grants Available for Women Entrepreneurs 

The Eileen Fisher Business Grant Program for Women Entrepreneurs is seeking applications from wholly women-owned businesses that combine the principles of social consciousness, sustainability, and innovation to create new businesses or invigorate existing ones. Up to five grants of $12,500 each will be awarded, in either start-up or established business categories. Applications are due May 15th.  Click here for more details and link to RFP.

Made in Illinois: Join the Campaign

From the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC):


As part of the national "Make it in America" campaign being undertaken by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Manufacturing Extension Partnership, IMEC is launching a companion Made in Illinois program to showcase Illinois products to the public and provide an internet-based forum for manufacturers to connect and generate business opportunities. Illinois manufacturers can register for a free profile page to feature their products and services, share company news, and display pictures and videos.


You can join the campaign by displaying the Made in Illinois icon on your organization's website or other promotional materials, and distributing the flyer at your events and other activities that will involve manufacturers.  We will also be developing a Made in IL Partner recognition page on the IMEC website and social channels.  If you join the campaign, we will add your organization's logo to the list of supporters. 


Contact Tucker Kennedy at [email protected] to discuss ways to partner with IMEC. 

Free Hail Damage Assessment - Deadline June 30th

The Kinzie Industrial Corridor was at the center of the damage zone by last summer's hailstorm, but many businesses owners have not filed a claim on the damage their building suffered, and still more are unaware that their roof was damaged in the first place. Free assessments are available from licensed adjusters like Lachman Public Adjuster, but the deadline for insurance claims on last year's hailstorm is June 30th. Contact Lachman representatives Mike O'Donnell at 773-593-3663 or Donald Saia at 630-220-5225 for more information.


BACP and IRS Partner for Free Small Business Tax Counseling 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be at the BACP Small Business Solution Station from 9:30am to 3:00pm on May 25th, June 29th, and July 27th. The IRS will have bilingual (Spanish/English) staff on hand doing free one-on-one consultations for small business owners on all tax-related matters.   


Stop by the Small Business Solution Station every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to get free business counseling, legal assistance, and financial and loan assistance from our trusted non-profit partner agencies.   


Last Fridays This Summer:               

May 25th, June 29th, July 27th               


BACP Small Business Solution Station - City Hall               

121 N. LaSalle Street, Rm 800               

ICNC Tenants in the News!
Read about Solstice Art Source proprietor Emily Carlson in the Lake Michigan Shore and the Chicago Journal

Tenants of the Fulton-Carroll Center have gotten their share of the limelight this month. Check out stained-glass artisans Solstice Art Source in the Lake Michigan Shore and the Chicago Journal, and "weird stuffed animal" ideahouse Shawnimals on HLN!


Watch HLN's profile of ICNC Tenant Shawnimals and creator Shawn Smith
Illinois Exports on the Rise: Be Part of an Upward Trend 


Illinois is one of five states that generate half the U.S.'s total export value, and our share is increasing. Over 90% of our exports are manufacturing products. Exporting supports nearly 11 million jobs in the U.S., and wages at exporting companies average 11% higher than at non-exporting companies.  (Source: Illinois Innovation Index, April 2012) 


If these numbers add up for you, it may be time to contact the International Trade Center at ICNC. We'll help assess your capacity for international trade, prepare your product for export, select the most attractive markets, and generate buyer lead lists where available. And like all of ICNC's services, ITC assistance is free to Illinois businesses. To get started, contact ITC Director Steve DeBretto at ICNC.

Entrepreneurship on the Near West Side:
The Chicago Journal
Speaks to ICNC 

Neighborhood newspaper The Chicago Journal recently spoke with ICNC staff on the changing business climate in our area, and how enterprising folks are using this opportunity to strike out on their own. Read the article here. 

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

How to Buy Electricity Without Losing Your Shirt


The marketplace for electricity is expanding: this informational event will help you navigate this new landscape.  Join Sandee Whited of Energy Purchasing Services, Inc. on Thursday, June 14th for a discussion on competitive power pricing, the pros and cons of working with an electricity supplier, how to protect your business from bad supplier contracts, and more.


Energy Purchasing Services (EPS) is a professional energy consulting firm, not compensated by any supplier, offering expert services to companies located in northern Illinois.  EPS utilizes over 25 years of industry experience to help public, commercial and industrial entities develop strategies for purchasing and managing their energy requirements.   


Join us at ICNC for this free event!

Thursday, June 14th



Mark Your Calendars: ICNC's Next Lead Breakfast is July 12th 

Meet your neighbors and build leads at this popular and free ICNC event!  Join dozens of local business owners in making connections and increasing awareness of your product.  Register here!

Thursday, July 12th
Doors open at 7:30
Sign-up for FREE Computer Classes 

 Upcoming  classes include:



 Back to Basics

 Access 1 & 2                     

 Microsoft Word 1 & 2

 PowerPoint 1 & 2

 Excel Level 1                    

 Excel Level 2                     


Tuesday-May 8: 12pm-4pm

Thursday-May 10: 1pm-4pm

Thursday-May 17: 12pm-4pm

Tuesday-May 22: 12pm-4pm

Thursday-May 24: 12pm-4pm

Tuesday-May 29: 1pm-4pm

Thursday-May 31: 1pm-4pm

Click here to register for class                         
Other Events
Free Business Plan Workshops and Competition!

The Chicago City Treasurer's Office is sponsoring a citywide Business Plan Competition backed by $10,000 in cash prizes.  Interested parties are encouraged to attend one of four free business plan workshops (next workshop: May 9th). Learn more about the workshops here, or visit the City Treasurer's website for information on the competition.


Next Workshop Dates:

Wednesday, May 9th 


4321 S. Cottage Grove

Register Here 


Wednesday, June 6th 


216 W. Jackson, Ste. 700

Register Here 

A Winning Recipe: CFBC Presents John Hall of Goose Island Beer


Founder and President John Hall has built Goose Island Beer Co. into one of the Midwest's most beloved craft beer brewers. Join the Chicago Family Business Council on May 8 as they honor Hall with their Leadership Award. Hall will share the history of his family-owned company and his secrets for business success.


CFBC will also host a discussion that night on best practices for transitioning a business to the next generation. Moderator Deanna Salo, CPA of Cray, Kaiser Ltd., will speak with a panel of younger-generation business leaders about their successes and challenges while making the switch. 


Tuesday, May 8th                       


Hilton Chicago                       

720 S. Michigan                       


RSVP is required - register here for this event.      


Business Opportunities in a Changing Europe

The combined EU and US economies account for about half of the world's GDP and nearly a third of world trade flows.  Given what's at stake in Europe's current economic crisis, understanding this business relationship is more important than ever.  Join us as our panel of speakers highlight some of today's trends and challenges in doing business with Europe, including legal considerations, investment opportunities, market entry, and export strategies.  Presented by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday, May 10th
Mesirow Financial
353 N. Clark, 4th Floor
Registration: $20 members, $40 non-members.  Click here to register for this event.

Fourteenth Annual Child Care Business Expo

The Women's Business Development Center (WBDC) is proud to present the only business focused, child care specific Expo in America, now in its fourteenth year. The expo will provide child care entrepreneurs access to creative solutions to today's business issues and to a much-needed network of resources and support. Attendees may participate in speed-coaching sessions and visit with over sixty vendors in the exhibit hall.


Expo registration is now open: register before May 15th to take advantage of early bird rates.  To register, visit the WBDC's website.

Saturday, June 2nd
UIC Forum
725 W. Roosevelt

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 1,021 sf. unit with a great usable floor plan, Corner unit so lots of light and tall ceilings, and access to freight elevators and common bathrooms. Monthly rent is approximately $812 Call ICNC for an appointment to see this or other spaces



Other space available:

  • 4,217 sf. Great usable floor plan. First floor, light industrial Overhead door and exterior loading dock access. Restroom plumbing nearby,  concrete floors throughout.Monthly rent is approximately $2,398
  • 10, 678 sf. Great usable floor plan. Overhead door and exterior loading dock access, personal freight. Restroom plumbing in space, concrete floors. 14' ceilings. Monthly rent is approximately $4,449   
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For more info call 312-421-3941 or email [email protected]


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