Chamber Advantage

December 3rd, 2023

As a dedicated baker, business owner, and mom, I know firsthand how the holiday season can whisk us away into a whirlwind of activity. Amidst the hustle and bustle, it's all too easy to lose sight of the enchantment and joy that this time of year brings. That's why I'm thrilled to share something special to infuse your days with festive spirit.

Introducing the Frosty Affair, a holiday shopping extravaganza set to unfold on December 8th at The Oak Park Arts Center (200 N Oak Park Ave). This carefully curated event aims to transport you to a world of wonder, where you can rediscover the magic of the season while crossing off items on your holiday shopping list. Join us as we create a joyful space filled with unique finds, delicious treats, and the warmth of community spirit. Let's come together to make this holiday season not just busy, but truly memorable.

From my family to yours, Happy Holidays!

Shana Taveras


OPRF Chamber of Commerce


Introducing: The Frosty Affair!

Vendor sign up NOW OPEN!

Get ready for a festive shopping extravaganza at The Frosty Affair! On December 8th, the Arts Center in Oak Park-River Forest will transform into a magical retail market featuring an array of local businesses. Sign up to be a vendor at this enchanting event for a fee of $50 for Chamber Members and $75 for non-members.

Why should you join? We're partnering with the Wednesday Journal for an extensive advertising campaign, including the Holiday Gift Guide published on December 6th. Visit Oak Park is also flexing its PR and digital marketing muscle to ensure maximum exposure. With large public display advertising around the village and the potential for paid social media promotion, The Frosty Affair promises a well-marketed platform to showcase your business.

Families can take advantage of childcare services, and everyone can enjoy the holiday spirit with a gift wrapping station, seasonal activities, and nourishment from local food vendors. Vendor spaces are limited, so secure your spot by December 1 for a chance to shine at this extraordinary holiday shopping experience. The Frosty Affair is not just an event; it's a community celebration where attendees can contribute a voluntary $5 towards event operations to ensure its continued success and growth. Join us on December 8th, from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM at The Arts Center – a retail market like no other awaits!


Plan Your Week!

Like to plan ahead?

Here are some events we have coming up over the next week so you can register now and receive a reminder right before the event.

Come join us for these wonderful networking opportunities and continue to grow your business!

Monday Dec 4, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM -

Nonprofit Focus Group

The OPRF Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for an exciting 2024, and we want your invaluable input to guide us in designing impactful programming that supports your Nonprofit. Your voice is crucial in ensuring that our initiatives align seamlessly with your needs and aspirations.

We invite you to a dynamic and interactive meeting facilitated by your peers within the OPRF Nonprofit membership community. This session is not just about discussing—it's about collaborating and co-creating a vision for the future of Nonprofit Groups in our community. The meeting is scheduled to last about an hour and a half, providing ample time for a comprehensive discussion.


Friday Dec 8, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM -

Women in Business Meeting - Holiday Celebration!

Women In Business is closing out 2023 with the ultimate anti-stress WinterFest Holiday Celebration! Get ready to get your jolly on as we celebrate another successful year of supporting the phenomenal women in the OPRF Chamber. If this time of year has you stressed and feeling disconnected, please join us for a morning of fun, food, laughter, conversation, and raffle prizes.

Plus, as always, enjoy the company of fellow women from the local business, nonprofit, and government communities - this is a wonderful group and we're glad for you to be part of it!


Plan Your Month!

Like to plan ahead?

Here are some events we have coming up over the next month so you can register now and receive a reminder right before the event.

Come join us for these wonderful networking opportunities and continue to grow your business!

Tuesday Dec 12, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM -

Business After Hours - Byline Bank

Join us at our regular monthly networking event - but this month for the special holiday version! Business After Hours (BAH) occur on the second Tuesday of every month at a new location each time. This is your chance to connect with other members in a more casual setting. 

This Holiday Business After Hours will be hosted by Byline Bank at their Oak Park location at 1001 Lake Street. The Holiday BAH is always one of the biggest Chamber networking events of the year - expect 100+ attendees, delicious food, festive decor, and a celebratory spirit in the air! 


Friday Dec 15, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM -

Sit-Down Chamber Lunch at Salerno's!

Join us for a Chamber sit-down luncheon! A business lunch in a casual setting, with little group networking. Come enjoy the food while you connect and get to know Chamber members.

Where Are We Eating This Month? At Salerno's - a classic Oak Park destination, in the same family for generations!

Cost includes entree, tax, and tip! Our menu will include lemon chicken, rigatoni with vodka sauce, pizza, and salad, served family-style. Please let us know if you have dietary restrictions - Salerno's is happy to accommodate! RSVP to join us for a delicious meal!


Friday Dec 15, 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM -

Ribbon Cutting at Self-Help Credit Union

Come celebrate with us! Ribbon cuttings provide an opportunity to welcome and connect with a new business, network with other attendees, and celebrate our growing business community. Connecting business to business, and business to community.

This week we'll be celebrating Self-Help Federal Credit Union, now open in Oak Park! We'll be celebrating this new business, taking pictures of the ribbon cutting, and enjoying a great networking opportunity! Come meet the staff and discover all the products and services they offer! 


Illinois Paid Leaves Begin January 1


Starting on January 1, 2024, employees in Illinois will accrue Paid Leave, which they’ll be able to use for any purpose. The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) has published FAQs for employers. IDOL is also working on final rules that will clarify how the law should be applied—those should be released no later than March 31, 2024. In the meantime, a draft of the proposed rules was filed November 3, 2023. 


Paid Leave applies to employers of all sizes and almost all employees, with limited exceptions. 

Employers that are covered by a municipal or county ordinance that requires them to provide any form of paid leave to employees (currently Chicago and Cook County) should continue to follow those municipal or county requirements for employees in those locations. Note that employers located in Cook County must provide state Paid Leave if they’re in a municipality that opted out of the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance.

Accrual and Carryover 

Employees will accrue Paid Leave at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked. Employers can calculate exempt employee accrual based on a 40-hour workweek (even if the employee generally works more than that) or they can use their normal work schedule if they regularly work less than 40 hours. 

Employers can cap accrual at 40 hours per year. Unused Paid Leave must be carried over from year to year. (The proposed rules suggest that carryover can be capped at 80 hours per year, but you can still limit use to 40 hours per year, as covered below.)


Instead of using an accrual system, employers can frontload an employee’s Paid Leave bank at the beginning of each year (or on a new hire’s first day of employment), in which case they don’t need to allow carryover of unused Paid Leave. Employers will need to frontload 40 hours of Paid Leave for most employees. However, according to the FAQs, employers can prorate this lump sum for part-time employees, and, per the proposed rules, employers can prorate hours for full-time employees hired mid-benefit year. If an employer chooses to prorate for part-time employees, but they ultimately work more hours than anticipated, they must accrue additional Paid Leave for the extra hours worked.


Employees can begin to use their Paid Leave on March 31, 2024, or after 90 days of employment, whichever is later. Employers can cap use of leave at 40 hours per year.

Employees are entitled to determine how much Paid Leave to use, though employers can require them to use their Paid Leave in increments as large as two hours, or their entire workday if it’s shorter than two hours. Paid Leave must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay or minimum wage if the employer usually relies on tips or commissions to bring the employee to minimum wage.

Employers can’t require employees to provide the reason for the leave or documentation to support their need for Paid Leave.

As is standard with sick leave laws, employers can’t require that an employee find their own coverage or deny them leave if a replacement worker can’t be found. 


Employers are required to post a notice about employees’ Paid Leave rights in a conspicuous location where notices are usually displayed. They also need to provide written notice of these rights to employees by March 31, 2024, or upon hire, whichever is later. Per the proposed rules, if employers usually communicate with employees by electronic means (email or messaging app), the notice should be provided electronically. IDOL will create the required notice by the end of 2023.

The proposed rules also suggest that employers will need to provide an employee’s Paid Leave balance on each paystub.


Employers aren’t required to pay out unused Paid Leave when an employee quits or is terminated. Employees who are rehired within 12 months of separation must have their unused Paid Leave restored.

Existing Policies 

Employers can use their existing vacation or paid time off (PTO) policy to fulfill their obligations under the new Paid Leave law, as long as the policy provides at least 40 hours of paid leave that employees can use for any reason. If employers use their existing vacation or PTO policy to fulfill their Paid Leave requirements, unused time must be paid out when an employee leaves employment (as required for vacation and paid time off under state law).

Action Items 

  • Add a Paid Leave policy to your handbook or, if you already have a vacation leave or PTO policy that you want to use to comply with the law, review it and update as needed to ensure compliance
  • Keep an eye out for the Paid Leave poster from the Illinois Department of Labor and, when it’s available, post it at each worksite 
  • Provide the written notice (either individually or in a handbook) to employees by March 31, 2024, or upon hire, whichever is later
  • Review the FAQs available on IDOL’s website 
  • If you thirst for more knowledge, plan to attend a Paid Leave webinar hosted by IDOL

Vision Zero Street Safety Survey

The Village of Oak Park is looking for feedback from residents and community stakeholders on their experience with street and traffic safety. Your feedback will help inform the direction that the Village takes in the approach to eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries on its roadways. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey on the project website here:


Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce

141 S Oak Park Avenue

Suite 3


[email protected]

This eBlast was sent out by the OPRF Chamber of Commerce on behalf of a member in good standing as a member benefit. For information about the event described please contact the host. For information about joining the Chamber, click our website below.

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