Near West Side News 

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In This Issue:
Neighborhood News
Grants and Incentives Available
Article Headline
Member News
ICNC Events
Available Space
$10M in Infrastructure Improvements Coming to Kinzie Corridor!

ICNC is pleased to announce that the Chicago Department of Transportation and Department of Housing and Economic Development have recently approved $10 million in infrastructure improvement projects between the Kinzie and Near West TIF Districts for 2013. The bulk of projects on the list will come from ICNC's ongoing request log, solicited by YOU our Members and submitted regularly to the City. Projects will include curb and pothole repair and street resurfacing.


This development shows that when Chicago's business community speaks in a unified voice, the City listens, and it also underscores the importance of utilizing ICNC as your advocate. Submit all infrastructure repair requests to [email protected] to be included in the ongoing log, and we will continue to lobby on your behalf!

ICNC's No-Cost Skills Training Series



Beginning in early April 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 Skills for Managers" 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 here to register!

Austin Polytech Seeks Manufacturing Partners


Austin Polytechnical Academy is currently seeking industrial partners to be part of its advanced manufacturing education curriculum for Chicago teens. Participating companies may choose to host field trips, spring break student "shadowing" programs, or long-term internships from which they can hire program graduates with the skills they want, including NIMS certifications. For more info, contact Bill Vogel at [email protected] or (773) 534-6326.

Grants, Incentives, and Subsidies Available Now


At any given time, ICNC has access to several grant and subsidy opportunities for its small business Members. These programs have the potential to grow your workforce, your export opportunities, or your capital investments, and provide public benefit by creating jobs and reducing blight. All are subject to their own eligibility requirements.


Current Opportunities Available:


State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP): Reimburses 50-75% of travel and exhibition costs at foreign trade shows.


On-the-Job Training (OJT): Reimburses up to 50% of a new hire's wages for their first 6 months.


Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP): Reimburses up to 50% of qualified employee training sessions in new equipment, industry-related software, ISO and LEED, and more.


Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF):Currently available to Division/Homan TIF District
Reimburses 50% of capital improvement costs, including building rehabs and some site acquisitions.

TIFWorks: Free workforce training programs to companies located in designated TIF Districts.


Empowerment Zone Benefits: Federal tax credits of up to $3,000 per employee for employing people from the neighborhood (business must also be located in the Empowerment Zone).


Work Opportunity Tax Credits: Federal tax credits between $1,200 and $9,600 per employee for hiring from targeted groups like veterans, ex-felons, and SNAP recipients.


For information on how to take advantage of these opportunities, call us at (312) 421-3941.

ICNC Events
Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) Program Rollout - Division/Homan


Chicago's Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) is a grant program that will reimburse 25-75% of eligible building  rehabs and site acquisitions.  Join us to learn how to take advantage of this new funding stream for the Division/Homan TIF District.


Friday, March 15th 

North Pulaski Library

4300 W. North Ave.


New Hiring Leads, a free online platform for local entry level hiring, is hosting a breakfast for all ICNC members interested in exploring new ways to find and retain qualified talent.  With you will receive recommended candidates with the credentials you care about, and build relationships with organizations that deliver talent to you.


Wednesday, March 27th



Register Here! 

"Meet Your Neighbors"

At ICNC's Lead Breakfast 
Thursday, April 18th, 8:00-9:30 am

A couple of times each year, ICNC hosts a gathering of more than 50 area business people to build referrals and educate each other about their goods and services. Please join us at this fun, free event focused on building your product's awareness.


If you haven't already signed up, RSVP here!


Note: Doors open at 7:30 and the event starts promptly at 8 AM!


Questions? Contact Andrew at:

[email protected].

Learn International Product Compliance Basics

Learn about the testing and certification processes required in some foreign markets, including Canada and the European Union, and whether or not  these apply to your products. Hear from a local product compliance expert as well as an ICNC Member about the costs, timeframe, resources and most efficient ways to get your products certified in order to prepare for or expand your export business! Presentations and Q&A to be followed by drinks and networking.



Product Safety Consulting Inc.

John R. Allen is the Founder and President of Product Safety Consulting and a recognized expert in Lighting, Medical, and Industrial Controls compliance standards. John will provide valuable insight on the most important international safety standards, which countries they are applicable in, who must comply with them and the most efficient ways to get them.


C. Cretors & Company

Based in Chicago for over 125 years, Cretors designed and patented the first popcorn popper machine  that popped corn in oil. The company exports its famous popcorn machines around the world and has undergone numerous international product certification processes for this, including for the EU's low voltage and machinery directives and EMC testing with such companies as UL, DLS, TUV, and IRAM (Argentina). Cretors will discuss its experience with international product certification and the obstacles and challenges it presents.

 Register here


Tuesday, April 30th




ICNC Member News

ICNC Spotlight 

Chef Laura Martinez

Chef Laura Martinez has spent her life overcoming challenges. Though blind since infancy, she was determined to learn to cook, and boy, did she ever! After learning the basics as a child, in her grandmother's kitchen, Chef Laura went on to train at Chicago's Le Cordon Bleu.   


She spent three years honing her skills at Charlie Trotter's restaurant in Lincoln Park where she worked with some of the best Chefs in the country. When Charlie closed his restaurant last year, Chef Laura set a new goal, to open her own restaurant!  



Ella Vanilla Cake Kits

Ever wonder how they do it on those boutique cake-baker TV shows? Ella Vanilla allows customers to create gorgeous, professional-quality cakes with its complete fondant cake decorating kits. Decorations and specialty tools included-you just supply the cake. Visit to learn more.



Abbey Brown Soap Artisan

Abbey Brown Soap Artisan manufactures high-quality olive oil soaps, body oils, shea balms, and more at its Grand Avenue storefront location. Stop in for a visit or attend one of their many classes in soap making or herbal infusion. For more, go to  

  • ICNC Member O'Signs is selling a set of industrial shelving ($225) and an HDX Industrial Pedestal Fan ($180).  Interested parties should call Elizabeth at 312-888-3386 or email [email protected]
Sign-up for No-Cost  Computer Classes 
Thanks  to a grant from the State of Illinois, ICNC offers on-site computer classes at no charge. Space is limited, so sign up today. Get your employees trained in Quickbooks, Excel, Powerpoint, and more. See ICNC's website for a complete description of classes.    
March No-Cost Classes


MS Excel 1

MS Excel 2


Digital Marketing

MS Access

Tuesday-March 12: 11am-4pm

Thursday-March 14: 1pm-4pm

Tuesday-March 21 1pm-4pm

Tuesday-March 26: 12pm-4pm

Thursday-March 28: 1pm-4pm





  All classes are held at ICNC: 320 N. Damen Ave.

               Click here to register for class           

Available Industrial Space 

ICNC and KIDC are actively renting commercial and light industrial space to tenants at below-market rents through our business incubator, the Fulton-Carroll Center.  Here's a look at what we have available:
  • 6,534 SF first floor, drive-in door, high ceilings, office area partially built out, in-unit bathroom
  • 4,627 SF third floor, partial 30-foot ceilings, lots of natural light
  • 3,569 SF first floor, drive-in door
  • 2,947 SF third floor, high ceilings, lots of natural light, two access doors  

To see these or other spaces, call us at (312) 421-3941. 

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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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