Near West Side News 

Find us on Facebook  312-421-3941   Follow us on Twitter   January 2014
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Join Us at ICNC's Annual Member's Event
The annual membership event is ICNC's premier issues-oriented gathering and your chance to shape the organization's priorities for 2014. We want your input and participation as we advocate on issues including development, regulation, transportation, and infrastructure. The event is free, but RSVP's are required. Register or get more information here.



Tuesday, February 18
3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
320 N Damen Avenue
          RSVP now



A special thanks to our sponsor:


ICNC's Annual Holiday Party re-cap
Last month's ICNC Holiday Party was attended by over 400 people, featuring several great raffle prizes and food and drinks from  over a dozen ICNC Member companies. We'd like to thank all those who attended, and especially those companies who donated food or prizes:
A special thanks to our event sponsor:
 American Chartered
Renew Your ICNC Membership for 2014

If it's been one year or more since your last ICNC Membership dues payment, it's time to renew! Your Membership dues are a key part of ICNC's operating budget, supporting job-creating economic development activities year-round and helping to keep the Kinzie Industrial Corridor a great place to do business.   You may have received a notice already, but you can also follow the link below to renew via credit card on our PayPal site.




Dues are scheduled to increase in 2014; however, we invite you to renew your Membership for one year at the 2013 rates if you do so by January 31st. For questions about your Membership or dues payments, please contact Ben at [email protected].


Thank you for renewing - we look forward to serving you in 2014!

Crime Alert: Armed Robbery Near Damen and Carroll
At about 8:30am on Tuesday, January 14, two local workers were mugged at gunpoint on the 2000 block of West Carroll Avenue.  The victims were not injured, but the assailant has not been found. 

As this incident happened during daylight hours on a workday, please remember to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times.  Report suspicious behavior or persons to the police, and please be sure to file police reports for all crimes, so that they may staff their patrols appropriately.  Crimes may be reported after the fact to 311.  Crimes in progress should always be reported to 911.
Kinzie Corridor SBiF Lottery Results

The application period to the Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) has closed in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, and SomerCor has held a drawing to determine the first applications to be accepted before the program funds are exhausted. The lottery results may be found here, via SomerCor's website.


Applicants will be kept on a waiting list for two years, and will receive SBIF if additional funds become available.

Tax Season Relief: Get Up to $3,000 Credit for Certain Employees by Claiming Your Empowerment Zone Benefits

Keep in mind as you or your accountant prepares your taxes this year: up to $3,000 in tax credit per qualified employee is available to businesses which are located in, and which employ people who live in, a Chicago Empowerment Zone. Most of the West and South Sides, including the majority of the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, are located within a qualified Zone (please see this map for boundaries). The credit is claimed with one easy form submitted with your tax return. 2013 was the final year of the Empowerment Zone program, so take advantage while you can.


Your business may also qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for hiring veterans, ex-felons, or members of other marginalized groups.


For information on how to claim these benefits on your 2013 tax return, contact Director of Economic Development Ben Spies at [email protected].


 New brief on product liability for small businesses available from the ICNC Illinois SBDC International Trade Center

Have you ever wondered whether your product liability insurance covers you in foreign markets? If a product that you sell ends up as part of a machine in Mexico, is your company liable for damages in Mexican courts when it breaks? What are the limitations to this? If you do need insurance for foreign markets, how much will it cost?


Read the answers to these questions and more in our quick guide to product liability for small business exporters HERE. If you have questions about this or other issues related to doing business abroad, contact Laura Flamm, International Trade Center Director, at [email protected].  

90% Subsidized Manufacturing Skills Trainings at JARC
Our partners at Jane Addams Resource Corporation are enrolling for employee certification courses in CNC Machining, MIG/TIG Welding, SolidWorks, and 12-hour OSHA Forklift, beginning in January.  Eligible companies can have 90% of their course costs reimbursed through Illinois Dept. of Commerce grant financing.  This is an excellent opportunity to improve your workforce's skills at very little cost.  Contact JARC Businesses Services Coordinator Mike Slezak at 773-751-7124 to get started.
Grand Ave. Zoning Ordinance Introduced
In keeping with ICNC's longstanding recommendations for Grand Avenue, Alderman Roberto Maldonado has introduced an ordinance for a comprehensive zoning plan of this street between Western and Damen Avenues.  The ordinance calls for B2-2 (business with residential options) zoning for the north side and C3-2 (commercial with no residential permitted) for the south side of Grand, whose lots abut the Planned Manufacturing District.  This zoning plan protects industrial businesses in the PMD from residential encroachment, while also opening the underutilized Grand Avenue to greater development options.  ICNC applauds the ordinance, and will keep our Members informed on its progress through City Council.

On the Job Training: up to 90% Wage Reimbursement for Hires

The On the Job Training (OJT) grant program can subsidize the wages you pay a new hire for up to their first six months as you train them into their new position. Reimbursement of up to 90% is available for job candidates who have been laid off from their previous positions through no fault of their own. This program has created dozens of jobs at ICNC Member companies, so if you're considering a new hire, email [email protected] or call (312) 421-3941 to learn more about OJT.

 Presented in partnership with:


Winter Overnight Parking Ban Now in Effect
The City of Chicago's Winter Overnight Parking Ban is now being enforced on 107 miles of vital arterial streets from 3AM to 7AM between December 1 and April 1, regardless of snow.


Motorists who ignore this permanently posted seasonal tow zone face a $150 towing fee (minimum) in addition to a $60 ticket and an initial $10 daily storage fee.


A separate snow related parking ban exists for another 500 miles of main streets and can be activated after there are at least two inches of snow on the street, no matter the time of day or the calendar date. While the 2-inch snow ban is not activated often, motorists who are parked within the restricted area could receive a ticket or find that their vehicle has been relocated in order to facilitate snow clearing operations.
Click here for downloadable maps and more information.
SBDC Member Spotlight: Junsa
Time to get back in shape after the holidays? Then check out ICNC member Carmen Ramirez's new line of Junsa workout videos. She is an expert health and fitness coach who has 23 years of experience  For more information go to 
Events to look forward to in 2014
  Here is a glimpse into some of the events you have to look forward to this year:     
Boat Cruise-Our summer event is a great opportunity to network with fellow members of our business community while enjoying Chicago's skyline.
Fulton Fest-Our inaugural block party and expo event showcasing small businesses and their products/services.
Holiday Party-Meet your fellow ICNC Members and enjoy food, drinks, and holiday cheer, all at no cost! Bring the whole family to this fun event.
And more..

ICNC Events
Lunch and Learn Series:
Small Business Borrowing Basics: Improving Your Ability For Acquiring a Small Business Loan

Starting and growing small businesses often requires additional funding that can be derived from your community bank lenders or other external sources. Improving your ability to acquire a small business loan begins with understanding what is required to obtain the loan.


Need a line of credit up to $50K? First Chicago Bank & Trust, a Wintrust Community Bank, has put together a special program to give ICNC companies the access to capital that they need.
Seating is limited, so please rsvp today.

January 23rd, 2014
ICNC's No-Cost Skills Training 

One-day sessions in Essential Skills for Managers and Improving Internal Workplace Communication are available at no cost to Kinzie Industrial Corridor companies through Chicago's TIFWorks program. seats are limited, so act now to take advantage of this unique training opportunity!   



For questions, contact Priscilla Torrence at (312) 421-3941 or [email protected].
Ask The Pro: Book Keeping


Book keeping pro Virginia McCann from Value Management Resources will be on hand to answer your questions about book keeping and other issues related to keeping your business in fiscal order. Don't miss this chance to get your business book keeping in order. Beverages and snacks will be served. Register here for this informative free event.


Other Events
Available Space
Fulton-Carroll Center Space Available Now
 Enjoy competitive rent, a thriving entrepreneurial environment, and immediate access to ICNC's development services as a tenant of the Fulton-Carroll Center business incubator.  


Click here to view available space.

ICNC seeking office assistant
ICNC is recruiting a motivated, detail-oriented professional to serve as a full-time receptionist and office assistant. This is a great opportunity to work with a dedicated team at Chicago's premier economic development organization. Details here.


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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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