Nearwest  News
In This Issue
ICNC 2015 Highlights
Predatory Lending
Training Funds
Food Workshops
Employee Benefits
Annual Boat Cruise
Member Spotlight
ICNC Property Manager
Development Opps
New Incubator Co's
Member News
ICNC Turning 50!
Membership Directory
Space Available
Quick Links
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                April 2016     
ICNC 2015 Highlights
ICNC and its charitable organization, help small businesses grow and promote sustainable employment opportunities within the City of Chicago. Below are a few highlights of 2015.

  • Graduated 11 businesses who outgrew their incubator space and expanded to their own locations
  • Welcomed 17 new businesses into the incubator
  • Filled 150 jobs for 55 local employers by posting job openings, screening resumes, interviewing, and conducting background checks; and reimbursed 21 eligible companies for over $42,000 in employee training costs
  • Provided advising to 255 small businesses in the areas of starting up, strategic planning, marketing, finance, international trade, and workforce development
  • Supported policy decisions to preserve the Kinzie Corridor's industrial infrastructure and advocated for the retention of Chicago's Planned Manufacturing Districts (PMDs)
  • Secured $50K TIF Works grant which will provide our companies with 50% reimbursements for eligible employee training expenses
Help ICNC continue to make an impact in growing small businesses and promoting sustainable employment opportunities for Chicagoans. Click here to learn more.
Lunch and Learn: Small Business Predatory Lending
Please join us in a discussion on the changing landscape of small business lending. Increasingly, small business owners are being aggressively approached by online ("Fintech") companies offering quick cash and easy approvals. Unfortunately, many of these lenders put businesses at risk with unaffordable terms, lack of transparency, and abusive practices. This event is specifically designed for entrepreneurs working to grow their businesses. We will provide an overview of the small business financing market, share resources, and strategize how to access healthy financing.

Thursday, April 14th
Time: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: ICNC - 320 N Damen Ave.
Register hereBring your brown bag lunch.
                                                      Presented by:
Employee Training Reimbursement Opportunities
ICNC has received funds through TIFWorks 50/50, an employee training reimbursement program issued by the City of Chicago. Applications are currently being accepted. Applicants must be located within the Kinzie Industrial TIF District boundaries. All training must be pre-approved by the City. For more information, contact Hannah Jones at [email protected].
Upcoming Food Workshops
The Hatchery, a collaboration between ICNC and Accion Chicago to bring education, capital, and support to the Chicagoland food entrepreneur community, has upcoming food workshops on various topics from starting a food business to marketing your food business. 
Lunch and Learn: Employee Benefits and Your Company
Considering providing employee benefits? - You should attend!
Considering expanding your benefits offering? - You should attend!
Don't know benefit costs or what resources are available? - You should attend!
This panel discussion will provide real world insight on a topic that companies of all sizes should consider.

Tuesday May 24th  (Rescheduled)
Time: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: ICNC - 320 N Damen Ave.
Register hereLunch will be provided.
Sponsored by:

Save-the-Date - June 23 -  ICNC Annual Boat Cruise
ICNC will be hosting its Annual Boat Cruise Thursday, June 23rd from 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM aboard the newly-improved Anita Dee II Yacht at Dusable Harbor. Connect with other ICNC companies as we cruise Lake Michigan while enjoying beverages and light refreshments. Additional information coming soon.

Member Spotlight: The Apparel Agency
The Apparel Agency, provides customized services on product design, development, and production of apparel or accessory lines. They launched in 2010 after Nichole Rairigh, the owner, retired her children's clothing line to open the new business. She moved into the ICNC incubator in 2011. Nichole was asked by other brands to consult and run production with her Chicago resources. It was the experience of building her own brand from scratch paired with helping others that really cemented the fact that there was a market for pre-production development and management services in apparel manufacturing.

The Apparel Agency recently launched a new website featuring two new sides to their business: The Shop - where DIY makers can purchase industry tools, templates and pattern blocks, and The Line - their own private label manufacturing line where businesses can customize and buy trend forward "blanks" without having to develop and produce them. Click here to learn more.
       ICNC Bids Farewell to Zoey Rangel
The board and staff of ICNC would like to thank Zoey Rangel for her service as the Commercial Property Manager. In March, she left the organization to pursue other opportunities. We wish her all the best in her new endeavors. We are currently searching for a new Commercial Property Manager. To view the job description and to apply, click here.
Professional Development Opportunities     
IRS Tax Webinars for Small Businesses: The Internal Revenue Service is hosting FREE Small Business webinars on April 26! The webinar, "Avoiding Top Tax Mistakes Small Businesses Make", will cover important information on recordkeeping, business use of the home, choosing a tax preparer, tax scams, and IRS resources.
Tuesday, April 26
Time: 10:00 AM (English) Register here.
Time: 1:00 PM (Spanish) Register here.

Business Workshops: The Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) offers workshops every Wednesday and Friday. Workshops vary each month and are conducted by city officials, experts, and partner business organizations. All workshops are free and open to the public. To view the business workshop calendar,click here.  
Welcome New ICNC Incubator Company
Renee's Raw Chocolate - Their chocolate is made of premium, high quality, raw, and organic ingredients, all of which provide valuable health benefits. There is no added sugar, preservatives, dairy, or additives.
Member Announcements and News
ICNC members who have an announcement such as a new product launch or a special promotion can have it announced in our monthly newsletter. Members with media attention can have the article link included on ICNC's 'In The News' section of the website. Send all relevant information and links to Dionne Moore at [email protected] by the last day of the month.
We Are Turning 50!
ICNC will be celebrating 50 years of helping small businesses grow next year!  We are kicking off the planning of the 50th year anniversary celebrations and would love to have your ideas and energy.  If you are interested in sharing some of your time and ideas with us to help us plan for next year, contact Jennifer Holmes at [email protected].
Reminder: Online Member Directory Profile
ICNC has revamped its online member directory! Directory profiles feature business descriptions, product photos, and member-to-member deals. If you are a member who would like to set up your directory profile, click here. For more information, contact Hannah Jones at [email protected].
ICNC Incubator Space Available      
Enjoy a thriving entrepreneurial environment and immediate access to ICNC's services. Click here to view more available spaces.Space
For more info call 312-421-3941 or email [email protected]

ICNC | 320 N. Damen Avenue | First floor | Chicago | IL | 60612