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View our profile on LinkedIn   312-421-3941    Follow us on Twitter    March 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.  

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

OVER $20,000 IN PRIZES  
ICNC, in collaboration with
The Private BankAfter School Matters and a number of Chicago-based small business leaders, has launched a new competition that seeks to reward entrepreneurs hoping to start or expand their businesses.The Chicago Pitch Project challenges participants to pitch their ideas online to a panel of experts. 
The Grand Prize winner will receive one year of free rent (up to a $10,000 value) in the ICNC industrial incubator building, LLC formation and Trademark filing assistance (a $2,000 value) from Saper Law offices, interns from the After School Matters program, plus prizes from Culture Studio, Half Acre Beer and Gaudi Cafe. For more information, or to submit an application, visit
Members Event Recap
ICNC member company representatives packed the organization's office on February 18 to discuss local business and policy issues and vote on the 2014 board of directors. Staff and board noted that special focus would be given this year to area safety, business incubation, and ICNC programs and services, as well as to marketing and advocacy efforts. Special thanks to event sponsor MB Financial, whose support helped make the evening a success.

 A special thanks to our sponsor:


ICNC Events
Lunch and Learn Series:
Secrets of Crowdfunding-Learn from the Masters!

Haley Marceau, from Accion will discuss ways that local entrepreneurs can fund raise through Seed Chicago, a locally curated Kickstarter program. Then get down to the nitty gritty of how to make your campaign successful by talking to the masters! Our panel of  entrepreneurs who've successfully used crowd funding include:

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. 

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
11:30 am-1:00 pm
Ask The Pro: Contracts 101

Attorney Aaron D. Werner from Horwood Marcus & Berk will be here to discuss the basics of what you need to know before you sign on the dotted line.Don't miss this chance to get your questions answered about contract obligations. Snacks and beverages will be served. Seating is limited, so please register here.


Thursday, March 27th, 2014 

10 am-11:30 am


Lead Breakfast Returns!



Lead Breakfast ICNC's popular Lead Breakfast event is back! This is your opportunity to tell more than 50 business owners about your products or services. Don't miss this chance to build customer relationships, or just meet your neighbors, at this fun and engaging event.  
Thursday, April 10th, 2014 
8:00 am-9:30 am  
Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago
320 N Damen Ave., First Floor, Chicago

 This event is free, thanks to our Sponsor:

2nd Annual Fulton Fest-August 22

Fulton Fest is a chance to showcase the products and services on Chicago's Nearwest Side.  It is a business expo meets block party. Outdoor tents will be available to exhibit your products! Kids are welcomed, too. If you are interested in reserving a booth, complete the interest form and we will keep you posted with additional details as they become available. 


 Photos courtesy of REP3 

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 

ICNC News      
ICNC Companies Explore New Business Opportunities in the Canadian Foodservice Market


We're proud to report that four ICNC small businesses successfully took part in the state of Illinois trade mission to the Canadian Restaurant & Foodservices Association trade show in Toronto, Ontario last week: Choi Brothers/Sunstarr Apparel, Empanadas Patagonia, Safari Roasters/Black Mamba Coffee and Uptons Naturals.


Organized and run by the Illinois DCEO Office of Trade & Investment and the Illinois office in Toronto, the mission proved a valuable opportunity for our small business exporters to explore new potential business in the Canadian market - our NAFTA neighbor and Illinois' largest foreign trading partner. Read more about it, here.


Take the Cook County Transportation Survey

Have thoughts on bike lanes, Bus Rapid Transit, or the Circle Interchange?  Want to have a voice in transportation planning in the region?  Take the Cook County Transportation survey!  This minutes-long online survey will be used to highlight the county's priorities in the coming years.  The opinion of small businesses in the Kinzie Corridor is an important one, so make your voice heard! 

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!

Grand Ave. Zoning Ordinance Passes Committee

We're pleased to report that City of Chicago ordinance A-7973, a collective rezoning of lots on Grand Avenue from Western to Damen, has passed the City Council Zoning Committee.  The ordinance will rezone most of the north side of this portion Grand to the mixed-use B2 designation, while the south side will be designated C3, commercial uses without residential.  This will accomplish the dual goal of opening Grand to commercial investment that will end the underuse and blight it currently sees, while also protecting the Planned Manufacturing District just to its south with a line of nonresidential buffer zoning.  The ordinance is the result of a multiyear planning effort between ICNC, 26th Ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado, the city's Department of Planning and Development (DPD), and several community groups.  We extend our thanks to the Alderman and to staff at DPD and the 26th Ward for their hard work and persistence.

Paper Waste?
Our friends over at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business
are administering a short survey to understand the local need for mobile  
shredding services in and around our area. Please help them out by taking the survey 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:


Other Events
                                      Stained Glass Invitational Exhibition

Solstice Art Source, Inc. will be hosting the first ever Chicago Stained Glass Invitational Exhibition  on March 19. This one day event will be a part of the Day of Glass, taking place in conjunction with the 43rd annual Glass Art Society Conference, being held in Chicago for the

very first time.Guests are being invited to bring images and questions about their stained glass, which may be answered by our team of hands-on scholars.



The Chicago Stained Glass Invitational Exhibition will include a showing of all aspects of stained glass art. Several of the high points include the showing of master works by historical figures, Louis Comfort Tiffany, John LaFarge and Chicago's Edgar Miller. To learn more about the first Stained Glass Invitational Exhibition call Emily Carlson, Solstice Art Source, Inc., 847-561-4048, or Larry Zgoda, 773-698-3813.



Wednesday, March 19


2010 W. Fulton

Free event and open to the public!

2014 Women Business Owners Symposium
The 2nd annual 2014 Women Business Owners Symposium (WBOS)-pronounced "W" Boss-will bring together the State's best and brightest women business owners and innovators for a symposium during Women's History Month to learn and develop strategies to further their business goals.

Learn About...

 Affordable Care Act and procurement contracting opportunities for Women-owned business                               

"Buy Illinois" Initiative, getting your product or service in the market place

Women's Equal Pay Initiative

State and Federal funded programming and procurement opportunities

Access to capital; Wealth Management

Information Technology and Women in STEM

Public/Private sector diversity supplier contract bidding opportunities

March 27
UIC Forum
725 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Chicago, IL 60608
FREE Admission
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.

Employment Opportunities
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].
ICNC Seeking Workforce Development Coordinator
ICNC is recruiting a knowledgeable, organized and motivated Workforce Development Coordinator to assist in the day to day delivery of direct services to businesses and job seekers.  This part-time position is a great opportunity to work with a dedicated team and contribute to the economic development and self-sufficiency of the customers we serve. Click here  for job details and to apply please email: [email protected] 
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