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Last Chance to Register for ICNC's 2012 Boat Cruise!

ICNC's yearly summer membership event sails us past the city's renowned architecture along the Chicago River and into Lake Michigan. Join us on Sept. 6th for food, networking, and a two-hour cruise aboard the Summer of George.  Tickets are $60 for ICNC Members, $75 for non-Members, and $30 for Fulton-Carroll Center Tenants, and include the cruise, open bar, and hot buffet. The Summer of George is docked at 330 N. Wabash Ave., between Wabash and State.



Thursday, September 6th

4:10pm - 6:30pm

Board at 4:15pm sharp!

330 N. Wabash Ave


Register here or contact Dionne at ICNC with questions.  


Thank You to Our Sponsors:


ICNC/After School Matters Collaboration a Success!
Click to learn more about ICNC and ASM's partnership!
Click to learn more about ICNC and ASM's partnership!

ICNC recently wrapped up a six-week collaborative internship program with After School Matters, placing 50+ teens  into paid positions at 14 ICNC Member businesses.  The program has been a mutual success, providing ASM's teens coveted summer jobs and valuable workplace experience while also affording our companies some extra help at no cost.  By all accounts, the teens exceeded expectations and added considerable value.  ICNC hopes to continue this relationship in the future, and perhaps to grow the pilot program into a regular opportunity.
SSA Plans to Expand to Grand, Western, Damen, Ashland

Special Service Area #29 (West Town) plans to expand its borders to include the stretch of Grand Avenue between Ashland and Damen Avenues, as well as new sections of Western, Damen, Ashland, Milwaukee, and Ogden.  Property owners on SSA-designated blocks will see higher property taxes in exchange for increased city services like trash cleanup, snow shoveling, and beautification projects. SSAs are designed to improve the business environment in certain districts, but can come at considerable cost.
Existing SSA blocks are in yellow, with the new blocks in pink.
ICNC recently opposed an SSA proposal for Grand Avenue, citing the higher tax and limited benefits for manufacturing companies, compared to retail.  The West Town SSA is directed by an Advisory Committee, with West Town Chamber of Commerce as primary stakeholders.  

Please view the West Town SSA District Plan to find complete information on tax rates and SSA boundaries.
Exporters Have New Direct Line to US Ambassadors

The State Department has begun a new series of teleconferences that give small businesses in the U.S. a chance to connect directly with Ambassadors in countries where they'd like to sell. U.S. Embassies abroad have tremendous resources to help American businesses enter new countries, and these free teleconferences are a great way to learn about a country you'd like to enter. More than 20 calls have taken place from countries around the world.  The next are scheduled for 9/13 (Mexico) and 9/14 (Bangladesh). Visit this website for more information and to register.


The International Trade Center at ICNC is your no-cost resource for export assistance.  Contact ITC Director Steve DeBretto to get started. 

Your Expertise is Needed: Participate in Manufacturing Survey

In connection with the City's ongoing Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, World Business Chicago is seeking firms to share their experience via a brief interview.  To better understand how Chicago can support firm and industry growth, they are seeking to build contacts in the following fields:

  • Electrical Equipment Manufacturing
  • Metal Parts Fabrication and Manufacturing
  • Food Processing and Packaging
  • Freight and Logistics

If your company works in one of the industries above, please consider holding an interview with one of WBC's researchers.  This public service aims to yield long-term benefits for manufacturing in Chicago, and your input is valuable.  Contact ICNC with questions or to get involved.

Empowerment Zone Tax Credits Still Available
Though the federally designated Empowerment Zone program expired at the beginning of this year, companies located within these districts may still be able to claim associated tax benefits by amending tax returns going back up to three years.  Benefits include property and sales tax relief, as well as wage credits for employees residing in an EZ.  

ICNC Member R. Jeffrey and Associates works on contingency to secure these benefits, which you'll receive as a tax rebate check.  Time is running out, however-- claims on 2009 benefits are only available until April, with 2010 benefits expiring the next year.

Most of the Kinzie Industrial Corridor is within a Chicago Empowerment Zone.  Click here to view a map and find your status.

City Considers MBE/WBE Mentorship Program

The Chicago City Council is considering an ordinance proposed by Ald. Carrie Austin and Mayor Emanuel to encourage mentorships of Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses by more established contractors.  The program would award five percentage points of MBE or WBE procurement credit to senior firms that agree to an official mentor/protege relationship, aimed at building the protege firm's competitiveness.
ICNC Member News
ICNC New Member Spotlight

Blank Canvas Industries is the collaborative effort of two enterprising Chicago moms. A small manufacturer of unique children's products, they are proud to announce the launch of Bobobib, a bandana style teething bib that doubles as a fashionable accessory. Some Bobobibs are reminiscent of the classic western cowboy bandana, while others are a more modern take on the look in colorful prints. Most styles are 100% organic cotton and all are made in Chicago.  See the launch collection at www.bobobib.com or visit their Facebook page.   



Safety By Design Consultant Services (SBDCS) is a proactive safety company committed to providing oversight and professional guidance for workplace environments and communities. SBDCS offers industrial safety audits, lead and air sampling, industry compliance and safety trainings (some of which can be reimbursed in full - ask Ben at ICNC), and much more. SBDCS serves a number of fields, from heavy industry to food service to medicine - visit their website to learn more.  

Culinary Connections is a full service food and beverage consulting and training company for manufacturers, foodservice operators, and retailers,
specializing in fresh prepared healthy, natural, organic, ethnic, and specialty food products, meal solution programs, foodservice systems, and take-out food businesses. With a 35 year track record in the industry, Culinary Connections and its principal, Dr. Marcia Schurer, can assist your food business with everything from strategic business planning and market research to product and menu development, sustainable food systems and food safety, operations, sales and marketing. As a partner in the City's TIFWorks program, How to Strategically Grow and Market a Food Business with Limited Resources is now available at no cost to your business - contact Dr. Schurer for this training opportunity or email Ben at ICNC to learn about TIFWorks.

Ventricle: $20K and an Office to Grow Your Startup Business

ICNC Member Salt and Marrow Development is pleased to announce Ventricle, a new investment program for socially responsible startups. Ventricle will invest $20,000 for a 12% stake in a Chicago startup this year, and will also provide office space, website buildout, legal assistance, and communication strategy.  This unique opportunity is waiting-- will your business change the world?  Learn More and Apply to Ventricle here!
ICNC Events

Get Access to Capital:
Where to Go When the Banks Say No

Learn new ways to secure the funding you need to grow your business or launch that startup!

Creative technological and social solutions are making business capital accessible, even as banks remain conservative.  Join us at ICNC for this fun and free educational event, where you'll

hear from a panel of local pioneers about new lending and capital raising models.


Speakers include:


Sebastian Villareal - Founder, LendSquare


Brandon Hinkle - CEO, Plura Financial Solutions


Mike Sammon - Risk Management Specialist, Serpe Insurance


Andrew Fogaty - SBDC Director, ICNC


Presentations will be followed by Q & A.

Thursday, September 27th
9:00am - 10:30am (doors at 8:30)
320 N. Damen Ave.
Start Up Your Business Series
The Basics of Search Engine Optimization
Web marketing guru Rod Holmes from Chicago Style SEO explains the basics of what to do (and what not to do) to be recognized by the major search engines. Rod's ICNC seminars have gotten rave reviews in the past, but they don't happen often, so don't miss out on this free opportunity to learn from a pro!

Thursday, October 25thChicagoStyleSEO
9:00am - 10:30am
320 N. Damen
Register Here!

Start Up Your Business Series
The Basics of Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Rod Holmes from Chicago Style SEO gives some basic guidelines and answers questions on how to make your web advertising campaign a success. 

Thursday, November 29th                  

9:00am - 10:30am                               
320 N. Damen Ave.                             
 Register Here!                                    
Sign-up for No-Cost September Computer Classes 

 Upcoming  classes include:

September No-Cost Classes


MS PowerPoint

MS Access 1 & 2MS Excel 1 & 2

MS Word 1 & 2

Digital Media


Tuesday-September 4: 12pm-4pm

Thursday-September 13: 11am-4pm

Thursday-September 20: 12pm-4pm

Tuesday-September 25: 12pm-4pm

Thursday-September 27: 12pm-4pm


 Click here to register for class           


Other Events
26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman's Conference Sept. 20th  

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. 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 info. 


Thursday, September 20th


McCormick Place West

2301 S. Indiana Ave. 

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.






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




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