Near West Side News 

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In This Issue:
Neighborhood News
Grants and Incentives Available
Upcoming Events
Available Space

CTA Releases Bus Rapid Transit Plan for Ashland Avenue

In a joint release by the CTA, the Chicago Dept. of Transportation, and the Mayor's Office, the City recently outlined its vision for Bus Rapid Transit on Ashland Avenue. The initial design, chosen by administrators from four possible alternatives, proposes to create bus-only lanes by eliminating one lane of traffic from each side of the street. On-street parking and medians will remain, but left turns off of Ashland Avenue will be removed almost entirely.  









Click images for larger resolution  


Click to view CTA's BRT design video
Click to view CTA's BRT design video

This design proposal raises numerous concerns for businesses in the Kinzie Corridor, notably the impact on freight movements with the loss of left turns and the possibility of increased vehicle traffic in the remaining travel lanes. ICNC wants to bring your concerns to CTA, to have our design demands met by project officials. If you have not spoken to an ICNC staffer about Bus Rapid Transit already, please email Outreach Coordinator Ben Spies to schedule an appointment. 


 Read the CTA's Ashland BRT project brochure here 


No-Cost Skills Training for Your Staff 
Through ICNC's Custom Training Service


ICNC is proud to offer workforce development training directly to your staff thanks to Chicago's TIFWorks funding program. Businesses located within the Kinzie TIF district are eligible to attend our one-day training programs in Essential Skills for Managers and Improving Internal Workplace Communication, all at no cost to you. Your staff will learn key communication, negotiation, management, conflict resolution, and planning skills, ultimately increasing efficiency and boosting your bottom line.  


Sessions are held at ICNC's convenient neighborhood location, with customized and on-location trainings possible for larger groups.  Enrollment is ongoing, but seats are limited, so act now to take advantage of this unique training opportunity at no cost to your business!  




For questions, contact Priscilla Torrence at (312) 421-3941 or [email protected].


Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Now Enrolling


Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at the City Colleges of Chicago is a practical business  management education program that helps small business owners develop the skills they need to grow their companies. Participants will receive one-on-one business advising from dedicated professionals to help them develop a tailored plan for growth. ICNC is proud to count several 10KSB graduates among our Membership, and the program consistently comes highly recommended from them.


Interested business owners can learn more at a free informational webinar on Thursday, May 9th at 1:00pm. Applications to 10KSB are accepted on a rolling basis, and are due on the 15th of each month. To learn more, email [email protected] or register for the webinar.
Entry Now Open for MIT Enterprise Forum's Whiteboard Challenge

Are you sitting on Chicago's next big idea? The MIT Enterprise Forum is now accepting entries from local innovators for its 2013 Whiteboard Challenge. Finalists will have five minutes to present their idea using only a whiteboard and colored markers on the evening of Monday, May 20th. Cash awards will be presented to the top three finalists as judged by a panel of entrepreneurs and innovators and the program audience. See rules and enter your idea here!

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.


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


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

Free Business Development Info Sessions 
All sessions below are free of charge and held at ICNC, 320 N. Damen Ave.

Getting Your Financials in Order: Thursday, May 9th, 9:00am-1:00pm
A discussion of financial goals and issues critical to YOUR business, including reading and understanding financial statements specifically relating to cash flow, profit and loss, and balance sheets. What are the key line items to watch for your business, and what do changes in these items mean? Other items covered include goal setting, sources of cash, and best/worst case scenarios.

Introduction to Quickbooks Setup and Cash Accounting:
Thursday, May 23rd, 9:00am-1:00pm 
This overview will introduce the new user to Quickbooks basics, working primarily from the software's own navigation page. Note: Only eight spaces available for this hands-on seminar.
The Basics of SEO: Thursday, May 30th, 9:00am-11:00am
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.  
The Basics of Pay Per Click Advertising: Wednesday, June 12th, 9:00am-11:00am  
Rod Holmes from Chicago Style SEO gives basic guidelines and answers questions on how to make your web marketing campaign successful.

Quickbooks Accounts Receivables: Thursday, June 20th, 9:00am-1:00pm 
Learn the basics of accrual accounting and the Quickbooks Accounts receivable processes. Note: Only eight spaces available for this hands-on seminar.
QuickBooks Payroll Feature: Thursday, July 11th, 9:00am-1:00pm 
Instructions on how to set up payroll in Quickbooks, including how to add employees and issue paychecks. Note: Only eight spaces available for this hands-on seminar.

To register for these sessions, contact Andrew at ICNC.  
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.    

Create a Blog/Website in Wordpress

MS Word

MS PowerPoint

MS Excel 1 & 2


Tuesday, May 14: 12pm-4pm

Thursday, May 16 12pm-4pm

Tuesday, May 28: 12pm-4pm

Thursday, May 30: 11am-4pm


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


Click here to register for class           


Save-The-Date-August 23rd


ICNC's Boat Cruise 

Join us on Friday, August 23rd for food, networking, and a two-hour cruise aboard the Spirit of Chicago at Navy Pier!  View Chicago's world-famous skyline, from the Sears Tower, to the John Hancock, to the Museum Campus, Aon Center and more.


Our summer membership event is a great opportunity to network with fellow members of our business community.   

Registration includes a two-hour cruise, open bar, and hot buffet.  Tickets are $65 each for ICNC Members, 2 for $60 for tenants of the Fulton-Carroll Center, and $75 each for non-Members.  


Space is limited and filling up fast, so register today to secure your place 


Friday, August 23

Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. 

Registration begins at 2:30 pm
Cruise ends at 5:30 pm


Event contact: Zoey Rangel


[email protected]

Save-the-Date-September 13
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

To see this space, 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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