Near West Side News 

View our profile on LinkedIn   312-421-3941    Follow us on Twitter    April 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!

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
ICNC Events

Lead Breakfast Thursday! Seats are filling up fast



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:

Ask The Pro: Social Media



How can social media help a business grow? Before you can harness the power of social media to boost your brand, you have to understand the basics of social media, i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and how it works to super-charge your internet presence. The experts from 435 Digital will be here to share their knowledge of social media and answer your questions. Workshops are always fun, informative, and provide those attending with skills they can take from the classroom and immediately apply to their real-world needs. This event is free, but seating is limited so please RSVP here. 


Thursday, April 24th, 2014 

10 am-11:30 am 

Lunch and Learn Series: Intellectual Property
Trademarks, Copyrights, Domain Names, and Patents
Your brand, products, inventions and creations are all important parts of what keeps your company competitive. Learn what you can do to protect your valuable intellectual property assets. 
Richard J. Gurak, founding partner at Advítam IP, LLC, will present information on trademarks, patents,  copyrights, domain names.  A Q/A session will follow the presentation. Seating is limited so please RSVP here.
Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
11:30 am-1:00 pm
This event is free thanks to our sponsor:
2nd Annual Fulton Fest-August 22

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

Photos courtesy of REP3 




Check out a few of this year's exhibitors below

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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
ICNC News      
Get Money Back for Employee Training Costs

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. .


For more information, contact Priscilla Torrence at (312) 421-3941 or 

Planning the Fulton and Randolph Markets: City Passes Preliminary Landmark District Status
Seeing the rapid development of the Fulton and Randolph Market areas, including increasing interest from hotels, the Chicago Department of Planning and Development is working out a set of planning guidelines for the area which were discussed at a public meeting on April 1st.  The plan, to be released early this summer, may contain land use recommendations for the district intended to both retain the existing food wholesaler base near Fulton and to encourage new restaurants on Randolph.  Other guidelines may control building height and density, establish a public market facility, and protect historic building facades with a Landmark District status for part of the district.


To that end, 75 buildings in a contiguous area of the district have recently been adopted for preliminary consideration by the Chicago Landmarks Commission (see image of proposed district here).  While this does not bestow landmark status but rather begins the discussion process, it does subject all new building redevelopment proposals in the district to review by the Commission while landmark status is being considered.  This may have the effect of slowing the pace of some proposed projects in the area.


The City's April 1st presentation can be seen here ICNC will continue to issue updates about this planning effort, and will engage affected members. For questions on the Market area plan, land use policy in general, or to discuss how this may impact your business, please call Ben at (312) 421-3941 or email


Taken from Dept. of Planning and Development presentation
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


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.

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 or call (312) 421-3941 to learn more about OJT.

 Presented in partnership with:


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 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: 

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For more info call 312-421-3941 or email


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