Near West Side News 

View our profile on LinkedIn   312-421-3941    Follow us on Twitter    February 2014
Like what we do? Want to help ICNC assist local businesses? Please consider a donation to support ICNC as we advocate for local companies and help them grow and prosper.  

Check out ICNC's new website at!

and follow our new SBDC International Trade Center LinkedIn Page for updates on ITC events and activities and useful tips for exporters!

Join Us at ICNC's Annual Members' 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.

Enjoy networking and complimentary food and drinks from ICNC Member vendors.  The event is free, but RSVPs are required. For more information, contact Ben at [email protected].


 Tuesday, February 18th

3:30 to 5:30 p.m. 

    320 N Damen Avenue



A special thanks to our sponsor:


February 20th-it's gonna be BIG!
Skills Enhancement and Employment Readiness Training Grant

Are you looking to enhance the skills of your current employees?  If so, this new program (administered by ICNC) may reimburse up to 85% of the cost of training.  These grants are provided on a first-come, first-served basis to all eligible participants, at no cost.  Click here for grant application.



For more information, contact Priscilla Torrence at (312) 421-3941 or [email protected]com 


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.




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!

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].


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.
Rhine Hall Distillery Now Open!
Rhine Hall Distillery is open to the public for tastings and cocktails on Thursdays 5-9pm and Saturdays 2-7pm.  We look forward to meeting the ICNC community and more!  Tours are available for reservation on Saturdays at 3pm and 4pm.  Walk-ins are welcome, space permitted!

Hope to see you soon!

We are located at 2010 W. Fulton St. Ste: F-104F (located between Fulton St. and Hoyne).
Owners Verňnica & Betty.
SBDC Spotlight: Gaudi Café Expands
Gaudi Café has outgrown their current space on Ashland and has relocated to 1147 W. Grand Ave. On top of that, they will be opening a second location on the corner of Chicago Ave. and Damen at the old Lorraine's Diner spot called El Metro. They expect this location to be ready in about two months. Read more here.


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:


ICNC Events
Ask The Pro: SEO and Pay Per Click

SEO guru Rod Holmes from Chicago Style SEO will be on hand to answer your questions about Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click advertising and other issues related to keeping a steady stream of traffic to your website.. Don't miss this chance to get free assistance in boosting your online presence.Beverages and snacks will be served. Register here


Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

10 am-11:30 am

Lunch and Learn Series:
Everything you always wanted to know about HR
(but were afraid to ask)

Attorney Jenny Goltz from Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson will discuss a number of key HR issues of concern to every employer, including:




-nondisclosure/confidentiality agreements

-noncompete agreements  

-Employees vs. independent contractors

-Overtime laws 


This informative, luncheon event is free thanks to our sponsor ,First Chicago Bank & Trust, a Wintrust Community Bank. Seating is limited, so please rsvp today.

February 27th, 2014
11:30 am-1:30 pm 

ICNC's No-Cost Skills Training 

3-hour 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].
Other Events

Support Business-Friendly Zoning on Grand Avenue City Council Zoning Committee Hearing on Feb. 27th

With considerable input from ICNC and our Member businesses, as well as key planning agencies, Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th) has introduced an ordinance to bring a comprehensive zoning plan to Grand Avenue between Western and Damen.  The new zonings in the ordinance both open the street to development opportunities and protect the industrial users in the nearby Planned Manufacturing District from residential encroachment. 


There will be a public hearing on the ordinance at the next meeting of the City Council Zoning Committee on Thursday, February 27th.  Come voice your support for the growth of Grand Avenue and the continued development of industry in the Kinzie Corridor.


For information on the ordinance or its impact on business in the neighborhood, call Ben at (312) 421-3941.


Thursday, February 27th


City Council Chambers

121 N. LaSalle St., 2nd Floor

Fill Your Open Positions at Greater West Town Development Project's Job Fair
Our workforce development partners right here in the neighborhood at Greater West Town Development Project are recruiting employers for their 2014 Winter Job & Resource Fair on March 5th.  Meet vetted candidates with certified skills in woodworking trades, forklift, shipping and receiving operations, and more.  Firms seeking to fill all position levels are encouraged to get in contact.

Information is available by calling (312) 432-9595.


Register Here! 


Wednesday, March 5


534 N. Sacramento Blvd.

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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