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ICNC Bids Farewell to Joyce Shanahan


This August, ICNC Executive Director Joyce Shanahan left the organization to pursue other opportunities. Joyce had served in the position since 1999, and was Director while ICNC made significant steps forward in building management, member recruitment, and increasing the scope and quality of services available to local businesses. The board and staff of ICNC thank Joyce for her service and wish her all the best in her new endeavors.


Welcome ICNC's New Executive Director,
Steve DeBretto

ICNC's Board of Directors has named longtime staff person Steve DeBretto as our organization's new Executive Director. Steve previously served as ICNC's head of membership, industrial retention representative, and most recently, as the first director of ICNC's Illinois SBDC International Trade Center. Steve brings years of experience and unlimited enthusiasm to his new role. Congratulations, Steve!

In Case You Missed the Fun...

ICNC members and supporters sailed Lake Michigan and the Chicago River on September 6. Great weather, smooth water, and good company helped ensure lots of smiles. Thanks very much to event sponsors PNC Bank & Synergy Construction, and thanks to the nearly 200 of you who came on the cruise with us.




Thank You to Our Sponsors:


ICNC to Offer No-Cost Skills Training Series


Beginning in early 2013, ICNC will offer a new skills training series to businesses located within the Kinzie TIF District*, presented at no cost thanks to the City's TIFWorks program.      


The first two workshops, "Essential Management and Leadership Skills" and "Improving Internal Workplace Communication", are enrolling now. Your staff will learn key communication, negotiation, management, conflict resolution, and planning skills, ultimately increasing efficiency and boosting your bottom line. Workshops can be conducted on-site at your facility and tailored to your business's unique needs.


All ICNC Members are encouraged to learn more about this exciting opportunity.  Click the "Learn More" button to get started! 



*Not all locations will be eligible.  View this map to see if your business is located in an eligible TIF District. 

Chicago Area Exports on the Rise

Chicago's overseas shipments grew 17% to $39.5 billion last year, according to a recent report from the U.S. Commerce Department. Chicago is the nation's seventh largest export-producing region, despite being an inland city.


If you recognize the potential in exporting your product, as Chicago business people increasingly are, it's time to utilize the International Trade Center at ICNC. We'll help identify the best markets for your product, generate lead lists, ensure regulatory compliance, navigate NAFTA, and create custom reports addressing your export needs... all at no cost to you.


The ITC at ICNC assisted in securing $29 million in exports last year. Find out what we can do for you: contact ICNC's International Trade Center today.




Saddled with unwanted slag, gray water, or off-spec product? These materials can generate revenue. The Greater Chicago Waste to Profit Network is a membership-driven organization that identifies synergies between the waste of one industry and the raw materials needed for another, and facilitates sales between the two at great value to both. Some examples:


  • A cement manufacturer uses the slag from a steel mill in its process, resulting in a 10% increase in production and a 30-40% decrease in nitrogen oxide emissions.
  • A brick manufacturer uses incinerated cow bone ash from meat processing plants, industrial ash, and water treatment residue to create a new product line of recycled "eco-bricks," diverting 16,000 tons of waste from landfills each year.

Free trial memberships are currently available to Chicago's industrial businesses. Realize the profit potential in your by-products: learn more at wtpnetwork.org and attend their focus meeting at IIT Downtown on October 17th.  


Wednesday, Oct. 17th, 8:00am-Noon 

IIT Downtown Campus

565 W. Adams St.

Register Here 

Check the Status of City Service Requests on 311 Service Tracker

You can now track the status of requests made to the City for services like graffiti removal, pothole repairs, and sewer cave-in inspections online. Requests made to 311 or to this service request site will give you a 10-digit tracking number. Enter this number into the City's mobile-friendly 311 Service Tracker to see if a work crew has been dispatched or if the request is under review. You can also enter your email to receive a notification when the status changes.

10,000 Small Businesses Application Deadline: October 15th

Goldman Sachs 10,000

Carmen Maldonado of La Criolla Foods recently graduated the 10K Small Businesses program.

Small Businesses is a comprehensive business development program providing education, capital, and support services. Participants in this highly selective program receive all services at no-cost, thanks to an endowment from Goldman Sachs.


ICNC Member La Criolla Foods recently graduated the program, and has enjoyed a 50% increase in sales thanks to its new growth plan. Want to find out what 10,000 Small Businesses can do for you? Apply before the October 15th deadline!

City to Bring Gigabit-Speed Broadband to Industrial Corridors

The Mayor's office recently announced the Chicago Broadband Challenge, a plan to make the city a digital leader by building access to ultra-high speed internet. 15 commercial and industrial areas have been identified as "Innovation Zones", to benefit from improved technological infrastructure and low-cost broadband service. To this end, the City has released a Request for Information (RFI) from businesses, universities, and nonprofits to help outline its long-term plan. The City also plans to expand residential broadband service to disadvantaged areas and to provide free Wi-Fi access in all parks and open spaces.

ICNC Member News
New Grucza Sculpture in Grant Park

Check out ICNC Tenant Michael Grucza's sculpture Shapeshifter, on display along the lakefront in Grant Park! Michael's piece has been installed as part of the 23rd Annual International Sculpture Conference (ISC), to be held in Chicago this month. Congratulations!





ICNC Member Spotlight


Caramel Ribbon is a designer and manufacturer of high-quality women's and children's wear. All of their proprietary styles are available at www.caramelribbon.com, and at the Apparel Industry Board's Store at 44 E. Grand Ave... and all are made in Chicago.


The Carroll-Keller Group translates business strategies into results through staff trainings, skills development workshops, executive coaching, and more. On-site, customized trainings are available, as well as public workshops on everything from pivot tables to executive-level sales. Full reimbursement of training costs may be available through the city's TIFWorks program: contact Ben at ICNC for info, and visit www.c-kg.com.

Member Announcements
  • Better Methods Supply has a 1250 sq. ft. (25'x50') secured parking pen for rent near 1948 W. Fulton. The pen is enclosed with corrugated steel and large enough to fit two straight trucks or about four work vans. Call Jeff at 312-829-3000 for more.
ICNC Events
Watch Your Inbox for ICNC's Holiday Party Invite!
December will be here before you know it!  Watch
Thanks to our sponsor
for an invitation to ICNC's annual Holiday Party, sponsored by American Chartered Bank.  Register early with Dionne at [email protected].
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!
ICNC's Lead Breakfast: 
Meet Your Neighbors and Build Leads on Nov. 15th!


ICNC's always-popular Lead Breakfast returns on Thursday, November 15th. The Lead Breakfast is your chance to introduce your company and demonstrate a product to dozens of other business owners at once. Find buyers, find vendors, or just find out what's new in the Kinzie Corridor. Space fills up quickly, so register today!


Thursday, November 15th  



320 N. Damen Ave.   


Thanks to our sponsor: 


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  Computer Classes 

 Upcoming  classes include:
          October No-Cost Classes


Excel Level 1

Excel Level 2

PowerPoint 1 & 2

Access 1 & 2

Word 1& 2

Wordpress 101

Wix (create website)

Digital Media

Quickbooks (Intro)



Tuesday-October 2: 1pm-4pm

Thursday-October 4: 1pm-4pm

Tuesday-October 9: 12pm-4pm

Thursday-October 11: 12pm-4pm

Tuesday-October 16: 12pm-4pm

Thursday-October 18: 12pm-4pm

Tuesday-October 23: 12pm-4pm

Thursday-October 25: 1pm-4pm

Tuesday-October 30: 1pm-4pm


 Click here to register for class           


Other Events
Network at the City Treasurer's
Small Business Expo 
Join over 3,000 attendees, 135 exhibitors, and over 30 expert workshop sessions. If your business has 100 or fewer employees, don't miss this FREE event. Register here.

Friday, October 5th

UIC Forum
(Halsted / Roosevelt)


Attend Community Cartography
The Kinzie Corridor Gallery and The Arts of Life are set to host a Community Cartography exhibition in conjunction with Chicago Artists Month this October and November. Focusing on the Chicago Artists

Month's theme of Art Block by Block, the gallery has put out a call to showcase Chicagoland artists that work with map-based imagery.  Read more. 


Friday, October 5th 


Kinzie Corridor Gallery  

(2010 West Carroll)

Chicago Fabric & Trim Show
The Chicago Fabric & Trim Show, held twice annually, is the only show of its kind in the Midwest and 
attracts up to 500 buyers from as far away as California, Nevada, Florida, and Canada.  
This show features more than 100 national fabric and trim resources that cater to small businesses. This service to the sewn products industry allows Chicago entrepreneurs, as well as manufacturers, the opportunity to purchase and review fabric locally, at wholesale prices. Click here to register for this FREE event. 


Thursday, October 18th, 9am-5pm

Friday, October 19th, 9am-4pm

Merchandise Mart Conference Center

350 N. Orleans

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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