Archive for the ‘stimulus’ Category

Making Global Local: Third Annual Exports Conference

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Wintrust Corporate Headquarters

(9700 W. Higgins Rd., Rosemont 60018)

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce International Business Council and the Business Services Division proudly present the Third Annual Export Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, at the Wintrust Financial Corporation in Rosemont.  The event will bring together top global experts serving at the highest level of government and industry to examine the most important issues involved in exporting: legal, financing, and tax implications to market considerations and distribution needs. Panelists will share their best practices and success stories to illustrate how companies can increase their global sales. This conference was designed with both small and large businesses in mind. We anticipate that attendees will be drawn from nearly every sector of the economy. We expect to host 100-200 individuals representing the leadership of small, midsize, and large companies and trade associations.


Registration Fee:

Member Rate:  $95

Non-Member Rate:  $145


Exhibitor Tables and Sponsorships available


To register to attend, or for more information on Exhibitor or Sponsorship Opportunities

Contact Pam Holleman, HR Specialist/Event & Publication Sales

at (855) 239-6150 or

City Announces Grants for Local Non-Profits

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Grant applications are available to local non-profit organizations that are interested in applying for a 2018 Quality of Life Grant from the City of Aurora.

Quality of Life Grants are annual competitive grants provided to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that serve the residents of Aurora in one of the following service areas:  child care|youth, education, job training, homelessness, elderly|disabled, or veterans.

“City government alone cannot make lasting change in the community,” said Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “Our non-profit organizations are on the front lines and know firsthand what our residents need. Quality of Life Grants can assist with their respective missions while bettering Aurora as a whole.”

Previous grant recipients include food pantries, museums, youth services providers and other local agencies serving the Aurora community.

Applications are available online at 2018 Quality of Life Grants  or can be downloaded here.

Deadline for submission is Friday, September 15, 2017.  Funding for the 2018 grant season will be available in late January.

Mandatory Pre-Application Block Grant Meeting Set for Sept. 8

Friday, August 4th, 2017
In preparation for the City of Aurora’s 2018 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding cycle, interested organizations are invited to a pre-application workshop. This workshop will be held on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., at Aurora City Hall – 44 E. Downer Place, Council Chambers, 2nd floor.
In order for an agency’s 2018 CDBG funding application to be considered, this workshop is mandatory and an agency representative MUST attend.
If you have any questions, please call the Neighborhood Redevelopment Division, (630) 256-3320, email

Aurora to Celebrate National Night Out at 45 Neighborhood Events

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Forty-five neighborhoods throughout Aurora are planning events big and small to celebrate National Night Out on Tuesday, August 1, 2017.

Billed as “America’s Night Out Against Crime,” National Night Out encourages residents to lock their doors, turn on their porch lights and spend the evening getting to know their neighbors, police officers, firefighters and other city officials.

“National Night Out is a prime example of what it means to be ‘One Aurora’ as we strive to build our city together,” Mayor Richard Irvin said.  “Because of the success of previous National Night Out events, new neighborhood groups have been formed all throughout the city. This year, National Night Out is bigger and better than ever. On this one night, we’ll have 45 neighborhood gatherings with thousands of Aurorans coming together to celebrate the present and plan for the future.”

Neighborhood events with family entertainment, free food and more activities include:


  • Church Road Park, 1700 Block of Church Road, 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Lighthouse Worship Center, 170 E. Indian Trail, 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Pigeon Hill Neighbors, Garfield Park, 817 Forest Ave., 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Stonegate West HOA, 1704-1740 Briarheath Drive, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


  • Copley Boxing & Training Center, 517 N. Union St., 4 – 8 p.m.
  • Distinctive Woodworks & We Are United, 300 block of Clark St., 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Inglesia San Pablo, 520 Second Ave., 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Luces de Sagrado Corazon, 771 Fulton St., 5 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Restore the Neighborhood, 100 Block of Root St., 5 – 8 p.m.
  • Vineyard Church, 505 E. Galena Blvd., 6 – 8 p.m.


  • Home Town Center Park, 1721 Town Center St., 4 – 8 p.m.
  • LakeView Residences at Phillips Park, Parker Pavilion, 740 Parker Ave., 6 – 8 p.m.
  • United Neighbors, 500 Block of Fourth Ave., 6 – 8 p.m.


  • A Community Affair, McCleery Park, 1002 W. Illinois Ave., 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Aurora Township Youth Services, 313 Gale St., 4:30 – 7 p.m.
  • Blackhawk Neighbors, Winona Avenue (between Seneca & Iroquois), 5 – 8 p.m.
  • Divine Providence Ministries Church, 402 Sherman Ave., 5 – 8 p.m.
  • Fourth Ward Tomcat Neighbors, Evans Street (between Lebanon & Sexton), 5 – 8 p.m.
  • West Park Neighbors, Greenman Elementary School, 729 W. Galena Blvd., 6 -8 p.m.


  • Invested Neighbors, Freeman Elementary School, 153 S. Randall Road, 5 – 8 p.m.
  • Kensington Lakes Subdivision, Colorado Avenue & Westgate Drive, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Washington Neighbors, Washington Park, 231 S. Constitution Drive, 5:30 – 8 p.m.


  • Arrow Wood Park, 1040 N. Commonwealth Ave., 5 – 7 p.m.
  • Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry, 834 N. Highland Ave., 4 – 7 p.m.
  • Randall West Neighborhood, 1373 Monomoy St., 5 – 7 p.m.
  • Northwest Territories, 842 Foran Lane, 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Gayles Memorial Baptist Church, 730 Gillette Ave., 6-8 p.m.
  • St. Augustine College, 841 N. Lake St., 6-8 p.m.
  • Gandi & Tracey Falcon, 446 West Park Ave., 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Plum Landing, 495 N. Lake St., 6:30 – 8 p.m.


  • Eastwood Community Center, 1644 Grove St., 5 – 8 p.m.
  • Forest Ridge Community Center, 1217 Second Ave., 5 – 7 p.m.
  • Grand Blvd. Center, 1226 Grand Blvd., 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Greater Mount Olive Church of God, 1039 Bonner Ave., 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Main Baptist Church, 814 E. Galena Blvd., 5 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Nature’s Meadows Park, 1861 Westridge Pl., 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Oak Park Elementary School, 1200 Front St., 5 – 7 p.m.


  • GRENO, Georgetown School, 995 Long Grove Drive, 6 – 8pm
  • McCarty Park/School Area, Village Green Drive, 5 – 8 p.m.


  • Washington Square Plaza on Federal Drive (between Capital & Congress Ave.), 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Wheatlands Park (Fox Valley Park District), 2700 Block of Spinnaker Drive, 6 – 8 p.m.


  • Butterfield Park, 2550 White Barn Road, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Cinnamon Glen, 2737 Preston Ct., 6 – 8 p.m.
  • The Willows of Fox Valley & Aurora, 193 N. Gregory St., 7 – 9 p.m.
  • Village Baptist Church, 515 S. Frontenac St., 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Aurora, Naperville Receive $1.3 Million to Collaborate on Terrorism Training

Friday, July 28th, 2017

First responders in Aurora and Naperville will be better prepared to deal with coordinated terrorist attacks thanks to a grant of over $1.3 million over three years awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The cities worked in tandem to secure the grant money which will be used by police officers, firefighters, emergency management personnel and other first responders to coordinate training, planning and exercises to enhance response in the event of a Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack (CCTA); such as those that have occurred in Paris, Boston, San Bernardino and other cities across the globe.

“Regional capability sharing between Aurora and Naperville would be essential in the response to a complex coordinated terror attack,” said Aurora Emergency Management Coordinator Joseph Jones. “Due to the population size and proximity of the two cities it is likely that any large scale event would impact both jurisdictions.”

Officials from both municipalities stress that training, planning, and exercises are needed to create appropriate response to any attacks. This preparation enhances the abilities of police, both patrol and Special Response Teams, and other first responders, to respond to multiple locations and effectively mitigate a complex coordinated terror attack.

“The vision of the CCTA program is to create a sustainable program for the region,” said Naperville Emergency Management Coordinator Dan Nelson. “This grant provides us with a tremendous opportunity to enhance the safety of the entire region by developing a system to identify gaps, educate, train, analyze, and implement changes to prepare our area to first prevent and, if needed, respond to a terrorist attack.”

The cities submitted a three-year plan when they applied for the grant in February as part of FEMA’s competitive “Prepare Communities for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks Grant Program”. Some of the plan’s goals include the adoption of region-wide common response tactics for first responders, reviewing all valid assessments and critical infrastructure, ensuring that continuity of operations plans exist at all levels and with all responding agencies; and sharing all approved processes findings and corrective actions with local, regional, state and national partners.

The $1,373,809 grant award to the Aurora-Naperville collaboration is the largest received by any Illinois municipality or government agency and the 12th largest of the 30 awards handed out nationwide by FEMA.

Mayor’s Transition Team to Host Town Hall Meetings

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Mayor Richard Irvin’s Transition Team will host two public Town Hall Meetings to gather additional community recommendations on ways to enhance Aurora.

“In the past month, the Transition Team subcommittees have begun meeting while I have crisscrossed the city to meet with hundreds of residents and business owners,” said Mayor Irvin. “I have learned a lot in a short amount of time, and I look forward to coming together during the upcoming meetings to continue listening to ways we can build Aurora together.”
The meetings are scheduled for:
Wednesday, June 14, 9:00 a.m.
Waubonsie Valley High School, 2590 Ogden Ave, Aurora, IL 60504
Monday, June 19, 6:30 p.m.
West Aurora High School, 1201 W. New York Street, Aurora, IL 60506
Along with Mayor Irvin, representatives from the transition team will be present to listen to recommendations on the transition plan’s key focus areas:
  • Culture, Arts and Recreation
  • Economic Development
  • Education and Workforce Development
  • Government Administration
  • Housing and Community Development
  • Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Public Safety
  • Transportation, Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainability
The meetings are open to the public. To have an accurate count of attendees, participants are encouraged to RSVP via email, phone or online:

You’re Invited: Mayor Irvin to Make Special Announcement

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Metro Chicago Exports is accepting applications for the 2017 Grant Program

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Metro Chicago Exports is accepting applications for the 2017 Grant Program, presented by JP Morgan Chase & Co.

The 2017 Grant Program will award up to $5,000 to small and medium-sized companies in the seven-county region to implement an export plan. The grant will reimburse 50% of eligible expenses related to the plan.

Businesses located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties that are existing exporters with fewer than 500 employees are encouraged to apply.

Businesses located within Kane County are also eligible for up to an additional $5,000 per the Kane County Export Grant Matching Funds. We are asking you to share this information with any Kane County company you know who may be able to advantage of this opportunity.

The application process involves the online submission of a grant application. Applicants may save the form and complete in more than one sitting. Past Grant Program award recipients are eligible to re-apply and their evaluation will include their prior performance in the grant program.

If potential barriers to maximizing export potential are identified during the Grant Application, companies may be referred to export service providers to assist them in formulating international export plans.

In order to be considered for grant funding, an authorized representative of the company must certify that the company meets all of the following requirements:

  • Registered to do business in one of the following seven counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, or Will with a valid W-9 form listing company address.
  • Meets the Small Business Administration’s definition of a small business – under 500 employees.
  • Been in business for at least one year from the date the application is submitted.
  • Operating profitably, based on domestic operations.
  • Provides a product/service manufactured in metro Chicago or made outside the region from which metro Chicago will derive a significant benefit from increased international sales or investment.
  • No legal liabilities which inhibit performance of grant/exporting.
  • Must be willing to share results from use of grant funds in the form of survey feedback or success stories.


Small and medium-sized companies that provide either goods or services are eligible to apply to the Metro Chicago Exports 2017 Grant Program. No preference will be given based on target export market, specific industry sector or to company location within the seven-county region.

Find more about the Export Grant and apply here.

Contact Lisa Reijula, Program Director at Metro Chicago Exports, at or by phone at (312) 589-5773

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.