Nearwest News
In This Issue
Damen Green Line
Financial Expert Panel
Food Workshops
ICNC Open House
Training Funds
Development Opps
ICNC Turning 50!
Member News
Alderman's Meeting
ICNC Space Available
Quick Links
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August 2016
  Damen Green Line Station Update
Moving forward with our efforts to improve transit access to the neighborhood, ICNC and Alderman Burnett met with the CTA's strategic planning team and the Chicago Department of Transportation to discuss bringing a Green Line train station to Damen Avenue and Lake Street.

As a result, the CTA committed to undertake conceptual planning for the new station and to use the results to estimate construction costs. ICNC will continue to spearhead the discussion and will update you as efforts progress to make the Damen Green Line station a reality for the Near West Side. For more information, contact Hannah Jones at   
Financial Expert Panel
Do you have financial questions but never enough time to ask them?
Questions such as:

How can I save time and money with direct deposit while providing a benefit to my employees?

Am I getting the most out of my merchant services?

Is my business banking account the right one?

What are my commercial loan options?

What should I be doing to plan for retirement?


Financial experts from First Midwest Bank will be available to answer your questions in an informal and stress-free environment with complimentary food and drinks. A free Merchant Service analysis is available if you bring in two months of statements. There will also be a drawing of four $25 gift cards!
Wednesday, August 10th
Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: ICNC - 320 N Damen Ave.
Register here.
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.
Food Business Insurance  - Thursday, September 15
Technical assistance to food entrepreneurs made possible by our sponsors Bank of America and the United States Small Business Administration.
Save-The-Date: ICNC Incubator Open House October 5
Back by popular demand, ICNC will once again be showcasing the Incubator and the businesses in it by having an open house. Businesses in the building will be opening their doors and allowing other company owners and partners in the neighborhood to check out their products and services. Afterwards, ICNC will be hosting a BBQ on the dock for networking and socializing. Stay tuned for more information!
Employee Training Reimbursement Opportunity
Receive money back for investing in employee trainings! 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
Development Opportunities   
Digital Marketing Bootcamp: On August 16th, take advantage of an intensive day of training on digital marketing hosted by the Local Search Association at the Gleacher Center. Topics include email marketing, social media, SEO, mobile marketing, reputation management, and website best practices. Since ICNC is an IL Small Business Development Center, you can receive a 50% discount off of the $49 registration fee. Use code ILSBDC when you register. For more information and to register, click here.

ChallengeHER: Opportunities for Women in Federal Contracting is a free half-day conference in Chicago on Thursday, September 1st to help women-owned small businesses learn more about accessing federal contracts. Learn about how to leverage federal awards and the federal procurement process. Connect with the right people with a matchmaking session at the end. Click here for more information and to register.

DMDII Project Call Workshop: Join the  UI LABS Innovation Center  for DMDII's Project Call Workshop Thursday, September 8th for a full-day event to learn, connect, and form teams around their newest set of project calls released on July 27th. For more information, contact Kristen Preble at . To register, click here.

RMUIL ICenter Program: One of the core values of Robert Morris University Illinois is experiential learning. The ICenter program pairs student/faculty teams with businesses to work on real projects. Successful past projects have included accounting, marketing and social media plans, graphic design and videos, food business product development, and much more. For more information, click here or contact Deanna Ho at

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 .
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
Member Announcements and News
Commuter Reimbursement Account -  Save money through a Commuter Reimbursement Account by electing  to have a specified amount of pre-tax funds deducted from your gross earnings each pay period to cover the following expenses: parking expenses, transit passes (Metra and CTA), and vanpool expenses. For more information, contact Ameriflex's Jennifer Dyer at or your current insurance company.

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. Click  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 Hannah Jones at  by the last day of the month.
Monthly Alderman's Meeting
Every month ICNC hosts a breakfast with 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. These meetings are an opportunity for area companies to discuss issues they have with crime, infrastructure, zoning, and other topics. For more information on ICNC's monthly Alderman's meeting, please contact Hannah Jones at
ICNC Incubator Space Available    
Enjoy a thriving entrepreneurial environment and immediate access to ICNC's advising, export, and advocacy services. Click here to view more available spaces.  
For more information, call 312-421-3941 or email .