Near West Side News 

View our profile on LinkedIn   312-421-3941    Follow us on Twitter    May 2014
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For questions about your Membership or dues payments, please contact Ben at [email protected].

In This Issue:
Part Business Expo, Part Block Party
$ Back for Employee Training
ICNC is Hiring!

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!

ICNC Events
Lunch and Learn Series: Discover Talented Freelancers
Learn how/where to discover talented freelancers in a variety of fields, including application developers, web designers, market researchers, social media marketers, customer service agents, administrative assistants, accountants, lawyers and many more. RSVP here.


Kyle Joseph of Elance will be at the ICNC to go over:


- Overview of Online (Freelance) work and the shift in hiring/jobs

- Specific examples of successful online contracts

- Overview of best practices for hiring Online and Offline

- Facilitate conversation for hiring


Thursday, May 29th, 2014  

11:30 am-1:00 pm



This event is free thanks to our sponsor:

Lunch and Learn Series: Selling your Product(s) to Retailers - Part I

So you have an idea for a product - what's next?  How do you convert that idea into actual sales? The process from idea to retail shelf is complicated.  There is research to do and decisions to make. Learn from someone well-versed in these complexities. Join us on June 12th at Noon to discover from Yohan Jacob at Retailbound on how to navigate the process of selling to and working with retailers. In this 1 hour seminar, you will learn the secrets of selling to retailers of all shapes and sizes!  RSVP here.



Thursday, June 12th, 2014

11:30 am-1:00 pm

Doors open at 11:30 am

Seminar 12 pm-1 pm


                                   This event is free thanks to our sponsor:


Presentation from April intellectual property Lunch and Learn available:
If you missed the April IP protection seminar with Richard Gurak from Advitam IP, you can email him at [email protected] for the slides explaining how to protect your brand, products, inventions, and creations.
Training: Working with Your Forwarders, Brokers & Carriers 

Global Training Center's course on Managing your Forwarders, Brokers & Carriers gives participants a comprehensive overview of available international shipping options as well as helpful tools for evaluating and working with international logistics partners.


Sponsorship of the course fee is available for Illinois small business exporters through a grant from the Illinois DCEO; cost for other participants is $295.
Limited space available.


Wednesday, June 18th, 2014  

8:30 am-12:00 pm  

RSVP to Laura Flamm  


Provided in partnership with Global Training Center

Training: Export Documents and International Commercial Terms

The Export Documentation & International Commercial Terms training by Global Training Center provides essential insights into both of these important areas, enablng exporters to gain confidence in the documentation process and strategically use commercial terms to reduce risk in an export transaction.


Sponsorship of the course fee is available for Illinois small business exporters through a grant from the Illinois DCEO; cost for other participants is $295.
Limited space available.


Wednesday, August 6th, 2014  
8:30 to noon  
Provided in partnership with Global Training Center          



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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Last Chance to Sign-Up for 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 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 [email protected]com 

ICNC Hosts Round Table on Free Trade with Europe

The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at ICNC was honored to host a delegation of 11 European economic researchers and trade experts on Friday, May 2nd. The European visitors participated in a round table discussion on free trade with 5 local small business exporters supported by the ITC. The group discussed the potential impacts of free trade between the US and the EU on small businesses in Chicago. The Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP), a free trade agreement currently under negotiation, could lead to significant cost savings for US exporters on measures such as product testing and EU regulatory compliance, while also making their products more affordable for European customers.  


The companies' comments and notes from the round table will be made available to the US Dept. of Commerce International Trade Administration team working on TTIP for consideration. Comments from other ICNC members who may be impacted by free trade with Europe are welcomed! Please contact Laura Flamm, Director, Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at ICNC at [email protected]

City to Release Fulton-Randolph Market Plan May 16th

The Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is conducting a planning effort for the Randolph and Fulton Market areas on the east end of the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, whose recommendations will be released in an initial draft on May 16th on the DPD website.  The plan aims to balance the continued ability of industrial firms to do business in the area with its growing popularity as a retail, restaurant, and entertainment destination.  Features of the plan may include land use guidelines subdividing the district, historic landmark designation for many of its buildings, and the creation of a public market facility.  More information is available here. 


Public comment on the plan draft will be welcomed at an Open House event on Wednesday, May 21st from 4:00pm - 8:00pm at Union Park Fieldhouse (1501 W. Randolph St.).  DPD staff will be on hand to answer questions.


Discussion on the planning effort is ongoing, and community stakeholders have the power to shape its outcome.  To discuss the plan or the district in general, contact Ben at ICNC at (312) 421-3941 or [email protected].

IMD Blue Line Stop to get $23M Upgrade

City Council recently approved a measure to make major improvements to the Illinois Medical District stop on the CTA Blue Line, just south of the Kinzie Corridor at 430 S. Damen.  The station, which has seen a 53% ridership increase in the last five years, will receive platform and building upgrades and the addition of an elevator.  The $23 million project will be paid for by TIF funds from the Central West district in which it is located.  There are currently no plans to port funds from the nearby Kinzie Industrial Corridor TIF District.


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 is Seeking Small Business Development Director
We're looking for a smart, hard-working business advisor who knows small business inside and out. Our Illinois Small Business Development Center advises current and aspiring small business owners as they seek to start, grow, and manage their companies. Many of the clients will come from the 110 small businesses that rent space in our 416,000 incubator, one of the oldest and largest in the world. If you want to apply to be the director of this dynamic center, check out the full position description here.


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For more info call 312-421-3941 or email [email protected]


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