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ICNC's BES Job Placement Program is Back!

ICNC is pleased to announce the return of our popular Business Employment Services job placement program!  This program serves both employers and jobseekers, matching dedicated workers with appropriate skills to positions that need filling. Thanks to the Chicago Community Trust, our services all come at No Cost to either party, and include:
  • Advertising available job positions
  • Screening and interviewing potential candidates
  • Criminal background/reference checks
  • Computerized skill testing for new or current employees
  • Resume assistance 
  • Human Resource information  
Employers may submit this application to have their job posting listed , or call. Jobseekers may email their resume, cover letter, and desired position to [email protected] , or may stop by the ICNC Office with a valid ID, Social Security Card, and birth certificate or passport Mondays through Fridays between 8:30am and 4:30pm.

BES Director Priscilla Torrence is available for general inquiries.

Sign-up for No-Cost July Computer Classes 

 Upcoming  classes include:


July No-Cost Classes

MS Word

Back to Basics


MS Access

MS Excel Pt. 1

MS Excel Pt. 2

Digital Media

Thursday-July 5: 12pm-4pm

Tuesday-July 10: 1pm-4pm

Thursday-July 12: 1pm-4pm

Thursday-July 19: 12pm-4pm

Monday-July 23: 1pm-4pm

Thursday-July 26: 1pm-4pm

Tuesday-July 31: 12pm-4pm


 Click here to register for class                         

ICNC's Next Lead Breakfast: July 12th March 2012 lead breakfast
Looking for a fun free way to promote your company? If so, then ICNC's "Lead Breakfast" is for you. Last time more than 70 companies met to make connections and 
increase awareness of their product. So don't miss out. This event only happens a few times each year! Register here.
This event is sponsored by our friends at Cole Taylor Bank.

Thursday, July 12th
Doors open at 7:30                   Sponsored by:

Immediately following the Lead Breakfast, please stay for:


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, July 12th 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, July 12th




Financing Your International Sales

This free workshop, presented by UPS Capital, takes the mystery out of export finance and risk mitigation. Learn how to finance your sales and how your buyers can access money to purchase your products. Risk mitigation will also be covered, and by the end of the seminar you'll have the tools to begin or increase your exports. Register here for this free event!



Thursday, July 19th





Former ICNC Tenant Awarded $1.5 MillionGreater West Town

The Greater West Town Community Development Project (GWTP) has been awarded a two-year, $1.5 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide training and employment services to formerly incarcerated juveniles and young adult ex-offenders. To learn more, click here.



FREE Trial Membership in the Chicago Waste to Profit NetworkWaste to profit Logo


The Greater Chicago Waste to Profit Network is a member-driven organization focused on local and regional sustainability issues that affect businesses and communities within the Greater Chicago Area.
For a limited time, they are looking to ramp up membership by offering qualified companies a TRIAL GOLD MEMBERSHIP , allowing companies to participate  free of charge for the remainder of the 2012 cycle. There are a limited number of spots available and deadline for applicants is August 1st. Qualified applicants must be for-profit non-service organization within the Greater Chicago Area with annual revenues greater than $25 million. They must also be willing to attend 2 focus meetings and provide information to create a profile on the resource software application cirrus™.
For more information, contact Jesse Kunes at [email protected] .



Business Inspections to be Streamlined in Chicago

The Mayor's office announced this month a plan to reform the city's business inspection process, to reduce the number and wait times of inspections and increase the consistency of their approach. Beginning with restaurants, inspections are now to be moved to a team-based model to reduce waiting, under a modernized and automated scheduling system. Inspector checklists and common violations are to be posted online, so that businesses can take care of potential problems ahead of time. According to the Mayor's press release, the reforms are soon to be applied to inspections for all business types.
ICNC Advocates for PMD Exemption from Landscape Ordinance

ICNC met with Alderman Burnett last month and asked that the PMD be exempt from the Landscape Ordinance.

Though City Council recently voted to extend the morotorium of the Landscape Ordinance until June 15, 2014. Companies may still be required to make expensive lanscape upgrades if they seek to make changes on their current lots. The ordinance contains terms mandating business owners to make expensive aesthetic upgrades to their properties, including ornamental fencing, tree plantings, and parking lot improvements. The moratorium extension comes amid pushback from business owners and associations decrying the cost of landscape upgrades, when that money could go toward hiring new workers. Implementation of the ordinance has been suspended in the past due to the weak economy, most recently for a two-year term that expired last week.

Google Provides Free Websites for Illinois Small Businesses

Did You Know?: While 97% of Americans look online for products and services, 58% of small businesses in Illinois still do not have a website. ICNC's Small Business Development Center has partnered with Google in joining Illinois Get Your Business Online, a free program that provides the tools and resources to establish themselves and succeed online. With professional templates and a few easy steps, businesses can create and publish a website in less than 60 minutes. Illinois GYBO provides:

            • A free, easy-to-build, professional website from Intuit
            • A free customized domain name and hosting for one year
            • A free local business listing on Google
            • Free tools, resources, and local events


Visit Illinois Get your Business Online and build your free website today!


Illinois Enterprise Zone Program Extended
The Illinois General Assembly voted unanimously this month to extend the statewide Enterprise Zone program, which provides state and local tax incentives to defined area struggling with job growth. SB 3616 currently awaits Governor Quinn's signature. If enacted, the bill will modernize the program and extend existing Enterprise Zone terms for 25 years, and create five new zones over the next 20 years.


Chicago has six of the state's 97 Enterprise Zones, one of which contains the Kinzie Corridor and most of ICNC's service area. Use this mapping tool to determine if your business is located within an Enterprise Zone. Click here to learn about Sales Tax Exemption, Real Estate Tax Exemption, and other Enterprise Zone benefits.

County Reserves $200M for WBE/MBE Contracts
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle recently announced a partnership with several banks to provide $200 million in public works project-related financing to women- and minority-owned businesses. The program is designed to provide the working capital needed for smaller and disadvantaged firms to participate in these projects, and will allow 25% of contracts to include women- and minority-owned businesses. Procurement legislation has also been changed to provide more timely payment to these firms.
Energy Grants for Non-Profits Experiencing Hardship

ComEd and CNT Energy have partnered to launch the Non-Profit Special Hardship Program, a means of relief for 501(c)(3) organizations experiencing financial distress. One-time grants of up to $2,000 are available for non-profits that qualify on the basis of vandalism, property damage, unexpected loss of funding, or general financial difficulties. Applications are being accepted through December 31st or until funds are exhausted; qualifying  participants will receive the grants in the form of credits on their ComEd bill.

ICNC Member News
CWF Owners Diana and Jay
ICNC New Member Spotlight

ICNC is proud to welcome its newest members!


Chicago Wholesale Fabrics is an invaluable resource for independent fashion designers. Sourced from dozens of mills and importers, they carry thousands of fabrics, buttons, trims, and zippers, all on display at their Near West Side showroom (2256 W. Grand).


MidAmerican Printing Systems offers high-quality commercial printing for your marketing and communications plans. Products range from banners to postcards, offset to digital.  Prepress, finishing, and mailing services available.



Upper Crust Bakery is a family owned and operated breadbaking company. Stop by their neighborhood caf´┐Ż (1332 W. Grand) for espresso and a loaf of brioche, or let them cater your next event. All breads are handcrafted and baked fresh on-site.

Check out KoreFit's new testimonial video
KoreFit: Endless Workout Possibilities
ICNC tenants KoreFit recently released this promotional video demonstrating their versatile training equipment.  Looking good!
Take the Cake and Chocolate Gourmet Launch CAKE

ICNC Member Take The Cake and Chocolate Gourmet have decided to become one.  Joint venture Cake offers exquisite custom

 wedding cakes, but also provides a variety of more affordable basic cakes that can be designed and ordered online with the same integrity and quality of a custom cake.  cake also prepares squares, "damn good cookies", and ugly truffles daily.  ICNC Members can take 10% off online orders during the month of July, using the code icnc.


take the cake + chocolate gourmet = cake

 South Central Bank Opens on Grand/Damen in August
South Central Bank is continuing their 47 years of banking by opening a new branch in August. The new bank office will be open six days a week and will have drive-up banking lanes and a parking lot for their customers. Learn more at www.banksouthcentral.com.
Other Events
FREE Theater Tickets from ICNC Tenant TUTA
For the first time, ICNC tenant,TUTA Theatre Chicago, will be presenting a full-scale theatrical production right inside their space at ICNC. TUTA is a professional, critically acclaimed theatre company with a mission to support international works that are rarely seen or produced in the US. TUTA is opening their doors to the ICNC community and offering each ICNC member 2 free seats to come and see their latest production, The Dumb Waiter, by Harold Pinter, valid for any point during our five week run.Your two free seats can be reserved by e-mailing [email protected], and are based on availability  Click here for more info.


July 19-August 18, 2012
Thur-Sat at 8:00pm and Sat. matinee at 5:00pm  
TUTA Studio Theatre, 2010 W. Fulton Avenue, Ste#F-263-A 


West Fest is THIS Weekend!
Local Retail Vendors - Local Food Vendors - Live Music & Mixes on 3 Stages! 
We have a fantastic live music line up this yearFor more information on the music and all of the 2012 West Fest activities including Kid Fest and PUP Fest please visit: www.westfestchicago.com.


Saturday, July 7th and Sunday, July 8th, 2012

on Chicago Avenue between Damen and Wood
How To Turn Your Google+ Local Page Into A Magnet For New Customers!

One of our newest members, Social Mapp Media, will be offering an educational series on staying abreast of the latest trends in effective marketing practices that is a must for small and medium size businesses if they want to stay relevant and competitive in today's marketplace.  Local and mobile marketing are becoming the primary factors in a company success, so tune in to monthly webinars hosted by Social Mapp to learn how to leverage them and grow your business.  


Register now for this FREE informative webinar and learn:


     Why your business should care about-and invest in-Google+ Local

     Top strategies smart SMBs use to leverage their listing and increase traffic

     Costly mistakes to avoid when optimizing your Google+ Local page

     How Google+ Local differs from Google Places (and why it's muuuch better)

Learn About Exporting to India Seminar
Find out how your company can tap into a young, growing consumer base in India that's spending more money every year. You'll hear companies currently selling there talk about how they got into the market and get a chance to ask questions about your company, product, or industry. Thursday, August 9, 8-10 am; $20. Details and registration here.

Thursday August 9, 2012
8:00 am-10:00 am

Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing
8430 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Main floor: Conference Room next to the Cafeteria

Save the Date: 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman's Conference Sept. 20

The Women's Business Development Center invites you to the 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman's Conference, the oldest conference for women in business in the country, and the premier event for women business owners in the Midwest. This year's conference will be held Thursday, September 20, 2012 at McCormick Place West in Chicago. The Conference offers women business owners real-world solutions to the current problems they are facing and the opportunity to increase the profitability of their businesses by building relationships with buyers, business experts, and other women business owners.


Registration is available here. Please visit the conference website for updates as we get closer to September.

Last Chance to Enter FREE Business Plan Competition

Enter The City Treasurer's  Business Plan Competition for a chance to win in your share of $10,000 cash prizes for your Chicago small business.  Fill out a 3-4 page executive summary on theOfficial Competition Template. Deadline is Sunday, July 9th at MIDNIGHT. (Need assistance with our business plan competition?  Chicago/IL SBDC/Duman Entrepreneurship Center at312.673.3429)   


We also urge to to enter the Chicago Innovation  Awards with a deadline of July 15th. 


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]


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




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