Archive for the ‘stimulus’ Category

Economy: Site Selection

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Site Selection magazine honors Illinois as potential location for job creation. A magazine aimed at CEOs and corporate executives has honored Illinois as one of the top states in the U.S. with the most qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita. A total of 434 new job-creating projects of the types tracked by Site Selection were announced in 2016. In the eyes of the magazine, this made Illinois the No. 3 “site selection” state in the U.S. in 2016, with Texas and Ohio as #1 and #2.

Projects tracked by Site Selection include corporate headquarters, manufacturing plants, R&D operations, and logistics sites. They must involve a capital investment off at least $1 million, create at least 20 new jobs, or add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area. Illinois House Republicans have made a specialty in recent years of pushing for new logistics sites, with the General Assembly enacting changes to Illinois tax law to encourage this class of investment and job-creating activity. Rep. Christine Winger’s HB 3245, scheduled for a hearing in the House Revenue Committee next week, is one of the bills that continues this push.

Site Selection noted that almost all of the private-sector investment activities they tracked in 2016 were concentrated in the Chicago area. Of the new Tier 1 job-creating projects noted by the magazine, 424 were located in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin expanded Chicagoland metropolitan area.

2017 Aurora Regional Economic Pulse Survey

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce released the results of the annual Regional Economic Pulse survey of businesses. Panelists Steven C. Meves, CFA, Old Second Bank; Kathy Gilmore, Valley Industrial Association; and Alex Pope, Rush-Copley Medical Center, joined Chamber CEO Joseph B. Henning, IOM, CAE, to discuss the results and highlight the implications for the region.

A cursory overview of the results show some positive feelings:

  • 90 percent of those responding expect to maintain or increase (50%) their workforce.
  • 64 percent of all respondents believe the economy will improve over the next 12 months. When large employers are asked, fewer than half (45%) believe it will improve; this is down from 69 percent of larger employers as surveyed last year.
  • When asked if the economy will improve over the next three years, 75 percent believe it will improve. Again, larger employers are less optimistic with 64 percent believing it will.
  • 73 percent of those responding believe their company’s sales/revenues will increase in the next year.
  • Only 27 percent of large employers plan to invest in plant or equipment capital over the next 12 months; last year, 71 percent of large employers planned to invest. This is lower than the overall response of 39 percent (which itself is down 10 percentage points from last year).
  • 70 percent of those responding state their business is better today than 12 months ago. Interestingly, larger employers are more positive with 90 percent stating an improvement.
  • 100 percent of large businesses – and 89 percent overall – were able to obtain financing for their business during the past six months.

Negative feelings were also brought to light in the results:

  • 37 percent believe economic uncertainty is the top obstacle in preventing new hiring – the great obstacle across the board no matter the size of employer.
  • Economic uncertainty is pervasive in other areas, as well. 52 percent of all responses feel it is the greatest obstacle facing business.
  • 37 percent of respondents rate the state government’s regulations on business negatively (either very or somewhat unreasonable).
  • Nearly nine in 10 respondents (87% overall) are either very concerned or somewhat concerned about regulations, restrictions, and taxes place on their business by Springfield.
  • The top three small business issues identified as priorities to be addressed in Springfield are the same across the board: State Budget (29%), Taxes and Fees (15%), and Regulations and Mandates (15%). Last year, Taxes and Fees was the top issue with 27 percent of respondents and State Budget was second. State Budget jumped 18 percentage points over last year.
  • Finally, when asked how confident they were about the direction our state is going, an overwhelming 71 percent were not confident. This is similar to a Gallup polls which have reported that only 25 percent of Illinois residents were confident in the State government.

The Aurora Chamber would like to thank Old Second Bank, Dolan & Murphy Real Estate, and Invest Aurora for their sponsorship of the survey and lunch program. The Chamber and its partners will use the results of the survey to identify and provide programs for the business community throughout the year. For questions or more information, contact the Aurora Chamber at (630) 256-3180.

Ways to Give This Giving Tuesday

Friday, November 11th, 2016

National Day of Giving is November 29!

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.” -

#ILGIVE is Illinois’ Giving Tuesday campaign. Nonprofit organizations across the state have registered with #ILGIVE, making it easy for people to find ways to donate, volunteer and fund-raise in their communities. Below are links to the #ILGIVE profiles of Aurora Chamber member participating agencies:

A+ Foundation For West Aurora Schools

Association For Individual Development

Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry

Aurora Public Library Foundation

Breaking Free

CASA Kane County

Compassion Foundation

Fox Valley Montessori School

Fox Valley Special Recreation Foundation

Fox Valley United Way

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois

Hesed House

Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry

Mutual Ground

Paramount Arts Center

Rebuilding Together Aurora

Three Fires Council Boy Scouts of America

VNA Health Care

Wayside Cross Ministries

World Relief Aurora

YWCA Aurora

Visit to search all participating nonprofits throughout the state.

Our Roads Need Your Help!

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
This election, voters in Illinois will have the opportunity to Vote YES on an amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would protect our state’s vital transportation money in a lock box.  The Safe Roads Amendment will be the first question on the ballot and has broad support from the business community, organized labor and the trucking industry.
Transportation infrastructure is so important to the overall wellbeing of our state’s economy, yet Illinois’ politicians are using the state’s Road Fund as a piggy bank.  Thirty other states have a constitutional guarantee that once transportation dollars are put into the infrastructure funds, that those dollars will actually be spent on infrastructure.  Illinois should be no different.
Voters are sick and tired of hearing government promising that user fees at the pump and at vehicle registration will pay for roads and bridges when in fact it is being used for other pet projects throughout state government.
A strong infrastructure contributes to the overall well-being of our state’s economy. It’s time we protect these vital resources and VOTE YES to keep our roads and bridges safe.  Visit Businesses for Safe Roads today and pledge your support!

Kane County Set to Unveil Incentives of Up to $2,500 for Minority Businesses

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Kane County is set to unveil a program aimed at advancing the development of minority businesses and business entrepreneurs.

The concept is similar to the successful Kane County Export Grant Program in that it piggybacks on another program in order to provide additional incentives for Kane County businesses to apply.

In this case, the Kane County incentive would pay for loan closing costs and fees up to $2,500 for any local business that applies for and wins funding from the state of Illinois’ new Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship program.

Under that program, just announced by Gov. Bruce Rauner, up to 15 minority/women-owned startup or small businesses in the Chicago region — including Kane County — will be selected by the state to receive training and mentorship as well as access to capital in the form of loans. The ADME selection process emphasizes the business’s potential to create jobs.

The aim of Kane County’s program, which was brought up in resolution form at the Sept. 16 Kane County Board Jobs Committee meeting, is the same as ADME: to strengthen start-up and small businesses by tapping into the potential of underrepresented communities, including African-American, Latino, Asian-American, women, and veteran entrepreneurs.

The ADME application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016.

If the resolution is passed on Oct. 6 by the County Board Executive Committee and approved by the full County Board, any Kane County resident who is accepted into ADME will be eligible for a supplemental grant of up to $2,500, paid for via Kane County Economic Development funds.

Criteria for ADME Candidates

  • Must be 21 years of age or older.
  • Must be a United States citizen.
  • Business annual gross revenue must be less than $1 million.
  • Businesses selected for the program must become certified as a Minority Business Enterprise and in “Good Standing” with the State of Illinois.
  • Business address must be located within the three selected regions RockfordChicago or Peoria, Illinois.
  • Must be qualified as a member of one of the following minority groups: Women, African-American, Latino-American, Asian-American, Disabled-Persons or a Veteran.

Find more information on the ADME program, visit the ADME Illinois website.

For more information on the Kane County program, contact Chris Toth, Kane County Development & Community Services Department, at or 630-232-3491.

ChallengeHER: Opportunities for Women in Federal Contracting

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Registration: 8:00 – 9:00

Sessions: 9:00 am to 12:30 pm

Matchmaking / Networking:  8:00 am to 1:30 pm




222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza

Chicago, IL  60654


ChallengeHER works specifically with the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) federal contracting program as a tool to help to assist women business owners leverage federal awards, learn the federal procurement process, and to connect them with the right people.

With this knowledge, you are much better positioned to grow your business and increase your revenue.

Information is power! 


Marketing Your Business to Help Create WOSB Set-Asides with Freida Curry, Director, Procurement Technical Assistance

Conversation with Panel of Federal Buyers with U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Housing and Urban Development, Department of Energy, and Direct Steel and Construction.

Research and Marketing – “Doing Your Homework!” with Rita Haake, Procurement Technical Assistance Center.

Who’s Who in Procurement Buying with Janice Kaiser, Procurement Center Representative and Tom Krusemark, Procurement Center Representative

Making Your Business DCAA Compliant with Arelis Diaz, Supervisory Auditor, DCAA and Kimberly Chow, Senior Auditor, DCAA

Teaming and Joint Ventures with Michelle Kantor, Partner, McDonald Hopkins LLC


Enjoy Matchmaking with Resource Partners, Agencies, and Primes.

Contract Connections




Alliance for Industry and Manufacturing
American Express OPEN Advisor on Government Contracting
City of Chicago Department of Procurement Services
Construction Business Development Center
Department of Energy Office of Science Chicago
Direct Steel and Construction LLC
IL Hispanic Chamber of Commerce PTAC & SBDC
Illinois CMS Business Enterprise Program (BEP)
Illinois PTAC at College of DuPage
Siemens Building Technologies
U.S. Army Engineer District, Chicago
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Walsh Construction Company
Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC)

(visit often to review updated list)


Event is free; seating is limited

For additional information, please email

 A few special notes on our program:

  • Event registration and networking will begin at 8:00am and the program will begin promptly at 9:00am.
  • Remember to bring ample business cards for networking purposes.
  • Bring your Capability Statement for Matchmaking
  • Coffee and light pastries served

Export-Grant Initiative Wins Illinois Economic Development Award

Monday, May 9th, 2016

A groundbreaking exports initiative with handfuls of success stories right here in Kane County has been recognized as one of the top economic development efforts of the past year.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Illinois Economic Development Association, named Metro Chicago Exports a winner of the eighth annual Economic Development in Illinois Awards — the Edies.

“We are proud to recognize five outstanding economic development projects that were completed in 2015,” said Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber. “Economic development is key to Illinois’ continued growth and recovery, and these companies are making a difference. The Edies honor those who imagine, design, invest, and build in Illinois, and by doing so bring jobs, growth and prosperity to our communities.”

In 2015, the Metro Chicago Exports Grant Program provided $225,000 in funding to 54 regional companies— including many in Kane County — to offset financial risks associated with exporting and investing in research, certifications and other services necessary to pursue opportunities in the global marketplace. This resulted in $10 million in new revenue to the region, eight new jobs, and 25 retained jobs.

The program used three strategies: fill the pipeline, strengthen the local network and reduce the costs of international trade growth.

Metro Chicago Exports is a collaboration between seven counties — Kane, Cook, DuPage, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will — and the city of Chicago, and its goal is to increase exports from small- and mid-sized enterprises and support regional job growth. It is a strategic economic development program and is part of the region’s broader business retention and expansion strategy.

Kane County is an active participant in the Metro Chicago Exports program. In fact, the county offers the additional incentive of matching any grant that a Kane County company wins in the program — a value of up to $10,000.

Applications for the 2016 Grant Program will be accepted through May 27, 2016. Details and eligibility requirements pertaining to the 2016 Metro Chicago Exports Grant Program are available at

If you have any questions about the Kane County program, please contact Chris Toth of Kane County Development and Community Services Department at or 630-232-3491.


  • Riverbank Laboratories, Inc. — Geneva
  • Miner Elastomer Products Corporation — Geneva
  • SBS Steel Belt Systems USA — Gilberts
  • InFlight Entertainment Products — Carpentersville
  • AIR802 — Aurora
  • Radco Industries, Inc. — Batavia
  • Micro Products Company — Batavia
  • Brasel Products, Inc. — Batavia

Make A Connection At The Illinois Tollway Construction Resource Fair

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Attend the Illinois Tollway Construction Resource Fair, Wednesday, April 27, 2016 and learn how you can become a participating contractor in the Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future Program. This new 15-year, $12 billion capital program is open to construction prime contractors and subcontractors including disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise firms (D/M/WBE’s), as well as small and veteran-owned businesses.
Registration is FREE for the Illinois Tollway Construction Resource Fair.

  • Get updates on upcoming business opportunities
  • Hear Illinois Tollway’s top executives talk about this new $12 billion program
  • Learn the bidding and awards process for the Job Order Contracting (JOC) Program
  • Get information on diversity programs and resources available
  • Participate in the scheduled “Workshops for Success” sessions

Don’t miss your chance to network with JOC prime contractors, Illinois Tollway resource partners and other small businesses. For additional information email the Illinois Tollway’s Diversity and Strategic Development at:
The Joseph Business School – Joseph Center, 7600 W. Roosevelt Rd., Forest Park, IL Free parking is available.
NOTE Online registration ends Monday, April 25th at Noon (12 p.m.) Register Online >
Same day on-site registration begins Wednesday, April 27th at 8:30 a.m.

Export Grants for Companies in Kane County – Applications Due by May 27

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

In May 2015, Metro Chicago Exports (MCE) announced the launch of a Grant Program to help small and mid-sized businesses grow in international trade, specifically through exports. The Metro Chicago Exports Grant Program, presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co., awards grants up to $5,000 to businesses throughout Northeastern Illinois.  This innovative and successful grant program has been renewed for 2016.

The Kane County Exports Grant Program provides an additional incentive for Kane County companies to start or increase exporting.  Companies located in Kane County which apply for, and are awarded, a grant from Metro Chicago Exports, would be eligible for up to an additional $5,000 from Kane County to reimburse 50% of eligible expenses associated with implementing an export plan.

These grants will reimburse 50 percent of eligible expenses associated with exporting, such as executive training, trade show participation, and international certifications. The 2016 Grant Program will accept applications through May 27, 2016. Later this year, Metro Chicago Exports will host a pitch fest during which both 2015 and 2016 grant recipients will be eligible to submit a pitch for additional funding totaling $30,000.

Additional details and eligibility requirements pertaining to the 2016 Metro Chicago Exports Grant Program are available at

Community Foundation Sees Record-Breaking Scholarship Apps

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Another Community Foundation scholarship application cycle has come to a close.  We received 705 applications – the most in Foundation history!

Thank You!

Thank you to all the students who applied. The Community Foundation and its scholarship donors are proud to support local students with their educational journeys.

Please feel free to contact our Scholarship Team at or (630) 896-7800 if you have questions.

What Happens Next?

If you have successfully submitted your application, please stay tuned to the Scholarship Checklist to review the supporting documents we have received from you. Also, please be sure to check your e-mail regularly so you do not miss any important information regarding your scholarship application.

Toward the end of February, the scholarship team will send you a Supplemental Application Information Form that you must complete and submit by Monday, March 14. FAFSA and SAR documentation is also due by March 14.

Beginning in May, the scholarship committee will review the applications. With 705 applicants, this committee has the difficult task of determining how to distribute the scholarships.

Applicants will be notified on June 1, 2016, as to whether or not they have received a Foundation scholarship.