Nearwest  News
In This Issue
Annual Boat Cruise
Food Safety Seminar
HR Lunch & Learn
Export Seminar
Export Grant
ICNC Receives Grant
Corridor Creating Jobs
Member Spotlight
Kitchen Space Available
Development Opps
New Incubator Co's
1,000 Jobs
Design Harvest Fest
Quick Links
Follow Us
Join Our List

Join Our Mailing List
                  May 2015      
ICNC's Annual Boat Cruise - June 26

Connect with other ICNC members on a fun and relaxing afternoon on ICNC's annual boat cruise. Enjoy food, an open bar, networking, and views of Chicago's amazing world-famous skyline as we cruise Lake Michigan aboard the Spirit of Chicago.


Friday, June 26th

Time: 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Location: Navy Pier - Spirit of Chicago

Purchase tickets here.

FSMA and Food Safety: What Your Food Business Needs to Know      

The Food Safety Modernization Act is an all-encompassing piece of federal legislation setting new regulatory standards for the food chain from farm to fork. The FDA is working to ensure a smooth and effective implementation in late 2016 and 2017. Learn how FSMA will impact your food business and ask questions directly to food safety professionals from ConnectFood.


Tuesday, May 19th

Time: 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Location: ICNC - 320 N. Damen Ave.

Register here.

  HR Lunch and Learn: Job Description Techniques and Recruiting Tips

Employee selection is one of the most important issues in business. Making the wrong hiring decision means throwing away a substantial investment of time and money on recruitment, training, and benefits. Hear from ICNC Members Geof Foster of Lamination Specialties and Eric Schneider of Huron Paper about best practices.


Wednesday, June 3rd

Time: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Location: ICNC - 320 N. Damen Ave.

Register here. Bring your brown bag lunch.


For those who missed April's seminar on Employment Law and Immigration, click here for the presentations and updated I-9 documents. 

Export Seminar For Metal Manufacturers      

The Illinois International Trade Centers (ITC's) and Metro Chicago Exports (MCE) invite you to attend a complimentary export seminar designed to create export opportunities for American metal fabricators and machinery manufacturers. Metro Chicago metal manufacturers exported over $11 billion last year. Is your business ready to export to high growth markets abroad? Click here to learn more.

Seminar participants will receive:

  • A global market report focusing on international opportunities for metal fabricators and machinery manufacturers
  • Access to free and low-cost resources
  • Grant opportunities to help finance your export activities
  • One-on-one assistance to create a custom export plan


Tuesday, June 30th

Time: 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Location: ICNC - 320 N. Damen Ave.

Register here.

Metro Chicago Exports Grant     

Metro Chicago Exports has announced the launch of a Grant Program to help small and mid-sized businesses grow in international trade to meet the rising demand in emerging markets. The Grant Program, presented by JP Morgan Chase & Co., will award grants up to $5,000 to businesses throughout Northeastern Illinois to help cover costs associated with the company's next steps in going global including, obtaining international credit reports, developing an international marketing campaign, and interpreter service in foreign markets. Click here to learn more and to apply.

ICNC Receives Grant From Bank of America
ICNC has been awarded a grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to enhance our food industry resources and assistance. While ICNC has long supported small food businesses with advising, HR services, and training, this will allow us to provide even more expertise to food industry clients. ICNC thanks Bank of America for their generous support and looks forward to partnering with them.

Kinzie Industrial Corridor Shows Robust Job Growth

Job growth in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor

The Planned Manufacturing District 4 (PMD4 )has been creating jobs every year, according to data taken from the US Census Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program. The data shows jobs at the block level from 2002 through 2011.  In that time, the number of jobs in PMD 4 grew by nearly 70%. East of Ogden Avenue, the total number of jobs more than doubled, while jobs in industrial categories grew by a third.


The district's existing mix of industrial and approved nonindustrial uses has proven to be a winning formula.  Despite this, PMD 4 is under new pressure from incompatible uses (residential, large scale retail, etc.) as the nearby West Loop grows. Some parties are spreading a false narrative that the PMD stifles job growth, but the data says otherwise.


ICNC is actively defending PMD 4 from proposals that could undermine the businesses here.  Click here to read more. To get involved in protecting the PMD, contact ICNC today..

Member Spotlight: POW Photography

US internet sales were estimated to be $304.1 billion for 2014 and businesses that sell online often need simple photos of their products on a white background. Traditionally, businesses had to take their own pictures or pay a photographer. Photographers Jeff Delacruz and Paul Zimmerman recognized the demand and saw an opportunity to make it faster, easier, and more cost effective using technology. Products on White Photography was born. POW has worked with over 500 different businesses and delivered over 15,000 images. They recently secured funding to expand their production capacity and enhance their systems.

Click here to learn more about POW Photography and to receive an ICNC member discount!

Kitchen Ready Incubator Space
Have you outgrown your current food production space? With sealed floors and water access, this 2,855 square foot space is perfect for a culinary entrepreneur. To inquire about this space or to view other available spaces, click here.

Development Opportunities

10,000 Small Businesses:  Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a no-cost program that provides business owners with practical business education, a supportive network of advisors and peers, and access to capital.  Through the program, owners will receive the tools and support to develop a customized growth plan to take the business to the next level. The application deadline is June 1st for the August 2015 cohort.  For more information and to apply, click here
CASE: Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy: CASE fosters strategic relationships between anchor institutions (universities, cultural institutions, hospitals, government, businesses, etc.) and small businesses who can supply their needs, to build economic vitality across Chicago's neighborhoods For more information about CASE, click here.  

Welcome New ICNC Incubator Companies

Beastgrip - manufacturers of an adapter that fits most phones and allows users to attach a high quality lens to shoot professional quality videos and photos. A special thanks to incubator company Solid Development Corp. for this referral.  

Crockett Cookies - bakers of Chicago lunchroom style butter cookies that are sold at almost 100 Chicagoland locations including select Walgreen's and Whole Foods.

Modern Sprout - designers and manufacturers of hydroponic planters to grow herbs and other plants at home. Their products can be found online, at Sprout Home, Fleur, and more.


SteamVolt - repairers of coffee production equipment, espresso machines, and more, which ensures customers get the perfect cup of coffee from their local caf´┐Ż.


Vitae Sessions - specializes in video production and design using state-of-the art equipment to create an exciting cinematic experience.


The Road to 1,000 Manufacturing Jobs
World Business Chicago's 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing Campaign has placed more than 100 job seekers in full-time positions; over 80 in apprenticeships and training programs; and has served more than 30 employers.


If you are a manufacturer ready to become a WBC 1000 Jobs partner or if you would like to learn more, click here or contact Bob Climack at

[email protected]
Grand Art and Design Festival

Grand Art and Design Festival (formerly Design Harvest) is seeking local sponsors, vendors, and participants. An all-new and revamped Design Harvest will create pop up shops in the empty lots and inside storefronts along the Grand Avenue Design District. Designer spaces will also be available indoors at Eurofurniture. Contact [email protected] for more information.  


September 26th and September 27th

Time: 12 PM - 10 PM

Location: Grand Avenue between Damen and Wood
ICNC Incubator Space Available      
Enjoy competitive rent, a thriving entrepreneurial environment, and immediate access to ICNC's services. Click here to view available space.
For more info call 312-421-3941 or email [email protected]