Near West Side News 

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The CTA has proposed two Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes on Western and Ashland Avenues, as a possible service expansion project in the coming years.  BRT is unique from traditional bus service, in that it could feature dedicated bus travel lanes, elevated boarding stations, limited stops (arterials and major intersections), and stoplight-changing technology aboard buses. Taken together, these innovations are designed to allow BRT buses to travel nearly as fast as el trains, significantly reducing commute times. Detailed information on the project can be found here.


While this could be an exciting opportunity for development and employment in the Kinzie Corridor, the reduction of traffic or parking lanes on Western and Ashland could also have serious impacts on local businesses.  Currently, four proposed configurations exist for BRT service, should the project be approved (see configuration alternatives here). 


The CTA hopes to move into design and engineering phases sometime this winter. This raises concerns that the project may be moving too quickly, without enough input from local businesses, an economic impact analysis, or comparison to non-BRT alternatives like more el stops.


ICNC would like the input of its Member businesses on this issue. Though still in the planning and proposal phases, it's not too early to voice your concerns or support.  Would reduced street parking make it difficult for you to do business? Would BRT benefit you with a wider employee base? How would this impact loading or truck traffic? Please provide input via this brief online form. Your thoughts will help ICNC determine the best course of action on this issue.



Neighborhood Crime Meeting: Recap

An emergency meeting was called this week regarding a rash of break-ins and armed robberies in our neighborhood. The meeting was successfully pulled together on short notice by Jewell Events Catering, hosted by Salvage One, and attended by representatives from the 13th Police District and Ald. Burnett's office, as well as a number of affected business owners. Various strategies to combat crime were discussed, with some important takeaways:

  • Report all crimes to the police, even property crimes. If the police are unaware of crime trends in our area, they will not allocate resources to protect it.
  • Share information with your neighbors. We can work together to keep the neighborhood safe.
  • If you have security cameras on your building, consider having them patched directly into emergency dispatch. 
  • Report missing streetlights and graffiti to your Alderman's Office.
    • 27th Ward: (312) 432-1995
    • 26th Ward: (773) 395-0143
    • 2nd Ward: (312) 263-9273
    • 28th Ward: (773) 533-0900

Use ICNC as a resource as well - we have contacts virtually everywhere in the Kinzie Corridor and can blast information if needed. Together, we can keep Kinzie safe and continue to make it a great place to do business.

Changes Proposed to Kinzie Industrial Corridor Boundaries

View Larger Map  

The Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development is considering amending the boundaries of the Kinzie Industrial Corridor. The Corridor serves as an ideological designation for our neighborhood and the industrial uses it houses, and also provides an added layer of protection to discourage zoning land away from manufacturing uses. With the change, new additions to the Corridor will be subject to this bureaucratic protection, while those areas removed may be more easily re-zoned for commercial and residential uses. Please click the map above to view the proposed changes.


The Chicago Plan Commission will hold a public meeting on the proposed amendment on December 20th at 1:00pm, in the City Council's chambers at City Hall, when they will hear public comment. Members interested in attending or with questions or concerns should contact Ben at ICNC. 


DHED to Review Planned Manufacturing Districts

The Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development is currently reviewing the city's 17 Planned Manufacturing Districts for efficacy and possible boundary changes. PMDs protect industrial areas from zoning changes, barring residential and other uses which threaten business activities. DHED will present any recommendations to the City Council this spring, who alone can approve any changes to a PMD. DHED Commissioner Andrew Mooney announced this review project earlier this month. It is unknown what exactly is prompting the consideration.  ICNC will keep its Members informed of this project as information becomes available. 


Please forward questions and concerns to Ben at ICNC.

TIFWorks Program To Be Expanded to All TIF Districts

Chicago's TIFWorks program, which provides workforce training grants to businesses, will be soon be expanding with City Council's approval. TIFWorks grants are currently available in 79 of the city's 163 TIF districts (including Kinzie), and cover employee trainings on everything from sales and communication to technical manufacturing skills.


ICNC is currently enrolling for its own TIFWorks-funded training series in Essential Leadership Skills and Improving Internal Workplace Communication. These trainings will be provided at No Cost to businesses located in the Kinzie TIF District. To receive more information, please complete this brief interest form!

Mayor Includes Small Business Center in 2013 Budget


Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed a new one-stop shop for small business growth in his 2013 budget proposal, to be housed within the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The center intends to assign personalized reps to provide end-to-end business services. The budget proposal also calls for the elimination of the Employee Head Tax and the expansion of graffiti-removal services.  Read Mayor Emanuel's budget delivery remarks. 

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. 

International Student Interns Available Through EF Language Schools

Education First International Language School Chicago draws students from all over the world to participate in volunteer internships with local businesses as part of their studies. If your business could benefit from a different cultural perspective or communications skillset, EF students are available part-time for 1-3 month terms on a rolling basis. Internships are volunteer-based and unpaid, per student visa rules, and all students are of High-Intermediate to Advanced English fluency. For more information, contact Diane Gantenhammer at EF or call (312) 782-9200. 

ICNC Member News
Unison's Fall Warehouse Sale Nov. 2- 4

ICNC Member and Fulton-Carroll Center Tenant Unison is holding its Fall Warehouse Sale this weekend! Bedding, pillows, housewares, and unique samples will be available to the public at steep discounts. Unison will also be collecting nutritious, nonperishable foods for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  Bring 10 canned goods with you to receive an extra 10% off your purchase.


WISH LIST OF GROCERIES: Beans, Canned Fruit, Canned Vegetables, Cereal, Chili, Jelly, Macaroni and Cheese, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Peanut Butter, Rice, Shelf-Stable Milk, Soup, Stew, Tuna.


November 2nd - 4th 

Friday: 11:00am-6:00pm

Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am-4:00pm

2000 W. Fulton St. (enter courtyard from Carroll Ave. side) 


Free Webinars on Workers Comp

ICNC member Lamb, Little and Co. will offer a series of free webinars on Workers Compensation Insurance to fellow Members. Topics visited include audit preparation, experience ratings, avoiding litigation, and more. To register, email Dennis at dpowers@lamblittle.com with your name, company name, email address, # attendees, and which session(s) you'd like to attend.


Wednesday, Nov. 14th

Session 1: 10:00am

Session 2: 1:00pm 

ICNC Events

 ICNC's Annual Holiday Party

Join us for our annual holiday celebration at Garfield Park Conservatory! Meet your fellow ICNC Members and enjoy food, drinks, and holiday cheer, all at no cost (though you may want to bring money for the silent auction)!

Thursday, Dec. 13th - 5:30-7:30pm 
Garfield Park Conservatory: 300 N. Central Park Ave.
Thanks to our sponsor:
ICNC's Lead Breakfast: 
Meet Your Neighbors and Build Leads on Nov. 15th!


ICNC's always-popular Lead Breakfast returns on

Photo courtesy REP3 Photography

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!                                    
Exporting to Canada: Getting Started
Illinois companies exported $19.5 billion worth of goods and services to Canada last year, a 30% increase over 2010. Find out how your company can take advantage of a market that's close, growing, and eager to buy U.S. products. Attendees will learn how to locate and qualify buyers, navigate NAFTA and other paperwork, and handle the logistics and financing of sales. You'll also receive a free "Roadmap to Canada" brief customized for your company's product and access to no-cost one-on-one consulting to turn your export plans into export sales.

Wednesday, December 12th
9:00am-11:00am (doors open at 8:30 for coffee and networking)
320 N. Damen Ave.
Sign-up for No-Cost  Computer Classes 

 Upcoming  classes include:
          November No-Cost Classes


MS PowerPoint

MS Word 1 & 2

MS Access 1 & 2

MS Excel 1

MS Excel 2

Digital Media

Quickbooks Intro


Thursday-November 1: 12pm-4pm

Tuesday-November 6: 12pm-4pm

Thursday-November 8: 12pm-4pm

Tuesday-November 13: 1pm-4pm

Thursday-November 15: 1pm-4pm

Tuesday November 27: 12pm-4pm

Thursday-November 29: 1pm-4pm



 Click here to register for class           


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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For more info call 312-421-3941 or email info@industrialcouncil.com


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




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