Nearwest  News
In This Issue
Export Grant
Tax Credit For New Jobs
Annual Boat Cruise
Employee Benefits
Family Business
Food Workshops
Member Spotlight
Training Funds
Walmart Supplier
Development Opps
ICNC Turning 50!
Member News
Membership Directory
Space Available
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                May 2016     
Metro Chicago Exports Grant - May 27 Deadline
cargoship Is your company exporting or pursuing international growth opportunities?  If so, you may be eligible to receive a grant of up to $5,000 from Metro Chicago Exports for expenses related to international business development, compliance, consulting, marketing, and travel. Several ICNC members benefited from last year's grant, including DropCatch, whose Co-Founder Joe Walsh notes that the grant "allowed us to increase direct to consumer sales in our top three international markets of Canada, the UK, and Australia by creating a comprehensive marketing campaign targeting segmented audiences." For more information, contact Molly Banuelos at [email protected].
$2500 Tax Credit for New Jobs - June 30 Deadline
Have you created any new jobs since July 2012?  If you have created any new full-time salaried or hourly (for at least 35 hours/week) positions, you may be eligible for a $2500 credit against your state withholding taxes.  Any IL small business with no more than 50 FTEs across all locations is eligible.  New positions must be sustained for one year and pay no less than $10/hour.  In addition, any business that hired a 2010 "Put Illinois to Work" worker-trainee is eligible for a tax credit.  The deadline to apply is June 30, 2016. For more information and to apply, click here.
  ICNC Annual Boat Cruise - June 23
ICNC will be hosting its Annual Boat Cruise 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.          

Thursday, June 23rd
Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM                               
Boarding begins at 2:30 PM
Location: Dusable Harbor -150 N Lakeshore Drive 
Cost: $45-incubator companies, $70-members, $85-non members
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 
Time: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: ICNC - 320 N Damen Ave.
Register hereLunch will be provided.
Sponsored by:

Lunch and Learn: Family Business
Join a discussion on the unique challenges and opportunities facing family businesses. Bob Carmody of Diana's Bananas and Cathy Carroll of Legacy Onward will discuss the hard skills and soft skill dynamics that make family business leadership distinct.  Topics will include business strategy, succession planning, conflict management, and family business leadership.

Wednesday, June 15th
Time: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: ICNC - 320 N Damen Ave.
Register hereBring your brown bag lunch.
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. 

Member Spotlight: Clark Street Sports
Clark Street Sports, founded in July of 2004, is Chicago's source for Chicago sports apparel and merchandise. What began as four friends selling merchandise outside of Wrigley Field for their friend and mentor has expanded into a thriving business. They quickly grew from street vending, to mobile kiosks, to souvenir trailers, and finally to 15 retail stores outside many of Chicago's major sports stadiums and shopping malls. They have been managing their operations and distribution in the ICNC incubator since 2009. After starting in a smaller space, they have grown to an almost 7,000 square feet space with 30 foot-high ceilings which they use to vertically store their inventory.
Some of their more recent accomplishments include becoming the official vendor of the City of Chicago. They will be selling merchandise at the Taste of Chicago, Air and Water Show, Blues Fest, Jazz Fest, Gospel Fest, and Lake FX. In the last three months, they opened stores in Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills and Gurnee Mills in Gurnee, IL. They are also building a new store outside of Wrigley Field which will be state of the art, all green, and have the newest and best Cubs merchandise for those attending games. Click here to learn more.
Employee Training Reimbursement Opportunity
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].
Become A Walmart Supplier
Walmart is hosting it's 4th U.S. Manufacturing Summit with the theme of "Investing in American Jobs". The event will include an Open Call for new U.S.- made products. This unique event is open to both current and potential suppliers and will be hosted at their corporate offices on June 28, 2016 in Bentonville, Arkansas. To learn more and to apply, 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 for the next cohort is June 10. The cohort begins September 2016. For more information and to apply, click 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.

#FlatsChicagoFLATS Chicago is accepting applications for its Small Business and Community Accelerator Program, #FLATSproject. Businesses can apply to win a year of free rent for a retail storefront in Uptown. To learn more and to apply, click here.
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].
Member Announcements and News
The Garfield Park Community Council started a neighborhood market in Garfield Park selling produce and other products from local growers. The Market, located at Kedzie and Lake, features art and food vendors, music, food demonstrations, family-friendly activities, and more. They are looking for growers local food producers to participate.
here for the vendor application.

ICNC Newsletter and Website -  
ICNC members who have an announcement such as a new product launch or a special promotion can have it included 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..
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.  
For more info call 312-421-3941 or email [email protected]