Archive for the ‘catalyst’ Category

Promoting Local Government Consolidation

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

On Wednesday, the Transform Illinois coalition held its 2nd Annual Awards Ceremony at the Metropolitan Planning Council in downtown Chicago.

Transformer Awards were given to lawmakers and citizens who have furthered the goals of the coalition by streamlining local government.

This year’s awards were presented to Sen. Tom Cullerton (D- Villa Park), Rep. Tom Demmer (R- Dixon), the Village of Algonquin, and former Board President of the Century Hill Street Lighting District Tom Cieslak.

The luncheon also featured a keynote presentation from Dr. Chris Berry of the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.  Dr. Berry’s keynote traced the path that Illinois took to become the state with the highest number of local governments in the nation.

Truth In Taxation

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Illinois lawmakers are treating the state’s Road Fund as a piggy bank. The solution?  A constitutional amendment that would protect your tax dollars and prohibit politicians from tapping into our state’s vital Road Fund.

Every year, vehicle owners in Illinois are forced to pay $101 (+ “Processing Fees”) for their annual vehicle registration.  Politicians promise that this money will go toward maintaining the state’s roads and bridges.

And every time vehicle owners in Illinois fill up their gas tank, they are hit with a motor fuel use tax.  Politicians promise that this money will go toward maintaining the state’s roads and bridges.

But politicians are not telling the truth.  Instead, they are breaking their promise and are raiding the fund that houses these user fees and sweeping these dollars for other non-transportation related programs in state government.

Shouldn’t infrastructure dollars go towards our state’s ailing infrastructure?  This election, VOTE YES on the first question on the ballot and let’s hold politicians accountable to your tax dollars.

Please share the Businesses for Safe Roads website with your friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to VOTE YES ON THE FIRST QUESTION ON THE BALLOT. The more informed voters Illinois has, the more we are able to keep Springfield accountable with our money.

Aurora Chamber Calls on Congress to help Local Business Growth, Job Creation

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
The Illinois Chamber joined nearly 150 business organizations from across the country in signing a letter sent to all members of Congress calling for the legislative branch to urgently reduce the regulatory burden on small, medium and regional banks.

“We have joined in this call to Congress because we see firsthand how the financial regulations imposed on our community banks have resulted in depleted capital and higher costs for Main Street businesses, cutting them off from the products and service they need to grow,” said Benjamin Brockschmidt. “Our entrepreneurs and local business owners provide the foundation for our community’s economy and are essential to its future. However, they can’t succeed without the support of our banks.”
The letter, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and signed by business organization is nearly all 50 states, shows the widespread impact the regulatory regime imposed on banks if having on Main Street economic growth. The letter calls on Congress to address these concerns by fixing the rigid “one size fits all system” that harms small, medium, and regional banks, and their customers.

“Lawmakers have failed to provide community banks with the relief they need in order to support Main Street businesses and best serve consumers,” said Tom Quaadman, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness. “In order to break the cycle of anemic growth, low productivity, and lack of labor participation, Congress must make it a priority to ensure these institutions have access to the capital and tools they need to support local businesses.”

You can read a full copy of the letter here, and learn more about the U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness’ Financing America’s Economic Growth Campaign to address the financial regulatory burden here.

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.

Employers, Encourage Your Employees to Vote with These Resources

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Four years ago, according to the Pew Center on the States (2012) one in four eligible citizens were not registered to vote for the General Election. That is an astounding estimate of 51 million U.S. citizens.

Citizens who register and vote in elections have a unique opportunity to shape local, state, and federal governments.  The candidates we elect to office will directly impact our region’s and our country’s policy agenda.  Whether a policy maker’s decisions are large or small, your decisions on Election Day determine the direction we go.  Make sure you’re registered so you can have a say.

Next week, Sept. 26-30, the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is joining with other organizations – and most importantly our members, to support Voter Registration Week.

If you are not already registered to vote or if you need to update your information on file with your voter registration, this is a great time to do so. Take time to visit the voter registration page on .  Once you’re there, simply enter your ZIP code and complete the voter registration process.

While you’re on the website, be sure to check out the candidates on your ballot, other pertinent election issues important to our nation and our state. Everything you need to become an informed voter has been provided.

Don’t be silent during this election.  If you are already registered to vote, take time to make sure your voter registration information, such as your home address, is accurate and up-to-date.

Your vote counts, but you can’t vote if you aren’t registered.

Northern Illinois University Diverse Supplier Fair, October 5, 2016

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

Democratizing Our Economy through Local Economic Innovation

Sunday, September 18th, 2016


Much of the economic growth of the past three decades disproportionately benefitted a small group at the top. This Distinguished Speaker Series focuses on developing a more equitable economy through place-based initiatives. Inspired by What Then Must We Do? by Gar Alperovitz, each session will challenge the audience to develop new approaches to strengthen their communities.

The Center for Governmental Studies, within NIU’s Division of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development, and PASCAL Observatory are pleased to bring the following three discussions to the community.

October 4, 10:00-noon: The Next American Revolution
Gar Alperovitz’s provocative thoughts regarding transformative economic change speak to our chaotic political climate. Via internet, he discusses democratizing wealth and building a community sustaining economy from the ground up. A live discussion will follow.

October 19, 10:00-noon: Growing a Place-Based Economy
In the morning, Scott Struchen discusses how he developed Tangled Roots Brewing Company as well as a hops farm, microbrewery and restaurant located in Ottawa, Illinois. Each celebrates local fare and capitalizes on regional assets.

October 19, 1:30-3:00: This optional afternoon session discusses using Community Supported Enterprises as a financing tool for new businesses.

November 1: Engaging Institutions in Sustainable Economies
Leodis Scott of Columbia Teachers College, New York will facilitate a panel discussion on how we can transform our institutions of higher education, healthcare and finance to support local economic innovation.

Faculty, staff, students and interested individuals are encouraged to attend all three events as each discussion builds on the previous. However, you are welcome to attend fewer if you prefer. There is no charge but registration is required. For additional information, click on flyer below, go to, or contact Pat Inman at


Follow this link to register: Register




Looking to Expand in Global Markets?

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

Employee Voter Registration Week

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

September 26-30 is Employee Voter Registration Week (EVRW) and the Aurora Regional Chamber in partnership with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce is participating in the Employees Vote campaign to ensure you have easy access to the information you need to be prepared to vote in the 2016 General Election.

The elections this year have proven to be unpredictable. But your vote does count, it does make a difference, and there are many important races on the ballot from the top to the bottom. Don’t let “not being registered” be the reason you don’t vote.

We’ve made registering to vote easy for you.  During EVRW 2016, take time to visit  Once you’re on the site, you’ll be able to enter your zip code, and learn more about your state’s voter registration process.  Also, if you’ve recently moved or changed addresses, use the Illinois Prosperity site to find out how to update your voter registration information.

Registering to vote is the first step towards making your voice heard. We won’t tell you who to vote for; we just want you to participate.

Your Weekly Newsletter from Aurora Chamber Has Arrived

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
September 07, 2016
In This Issue


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For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
BMO Harris – Bilter Rd.
BMO Harris – Eola Rd.
BMO Harris – Lake St.
BMO Harris – N. Farnsworth Ave.
BMO Harris – W. Indian Trail
CARSTAR North Aurora Collision Center
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Premium Outlets
Chicago Tribune Media Group
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Dependable Contracting Services
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Dolan & Murphy
Ice Miller LLP
Idilus, LLC
ieple, LLC.
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Northwestern Medicine
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Central DuPage Hospital
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Resurrection Lutheran Church/School
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Ryland Homes – Ingham Park
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Sole Unique Dance Complex, Inc.
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Trust Lending
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WIT-Enterprises, LLC
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189



What You Need to Know:
Employers, ACA for 2016 and Beyond
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 8:00-9:30 a.m.
Meyer Ballroom, North Island Center, 8 E. Galena Blvd., downtown Aurora

Chamber members rank ACA compliance a top concern in business. Are you prepared for what the Affordable Care Act has in store? Knowing your healthcare cost drivers and available containment tools can benefit small and large businesses. Understanding the shift in ACA compliance requirements is a growing priority. Join us for clarity on this issue.

We have What You Need to Know.

Among the topics covered will be:

• Compliance concerns for 2016 and beyond
• DOL audit exposure
• Managing healthcare costs
• Comments on the changing group marketplace


Wellness Works 2016
Employers large and small are invited to take part in Wellness Works 2016, a conference focusing on improving the health of their employees.

Wellness Works 2016, sponsored by the Healthy Living Council of Greater Aurora, is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave. in Aurora.

The conference will inform employers about the importance of promoting healthy living in the workplace. Healthy living practices for corporate and small businesses, social service organizations, schools, government agencies and other places of employment will be explored.

A worksite wellness panel, made up of representatives from local and regional employers, will address employee assistance programs, work-life balance, worksite health initiatives, program implementation, and issues facing small employers and large-scale businesses.

Guest speakers, a variety of health and business-related exhibitors, and networking opportunities will be offered.

The registration fee of $25 includes lunch.


Nominate 2016 Kane Co. Manufacturer of the Year
All of us in Kane County have the opportunity to again celebrate our manufacturing businesses by nominating a Kane County awardee for the 2016 Kane County Manufacturer of the Year. This year’s winner will be celebrated at the Kane County Board Jobs Committee meeting on Friday, October 14th.

The Kane County winner will also be celebrated at the Making Manufacturing Matter 2016 event on October 6th in Chicago, hosted by the Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing (AIM). The Kane County winner will be responsible for any costs related to the AIM event. More information about the AIM Event can be found at

NIU Encourages Illinois Procurement Bulletin Registration for RFP Notifications
Northern Illinois University encourages vendors to register on the Illinois Procurement Bulletin – Public Institutions of Higher Education web site indicated below. Registering for My Bulletin at this web site will allow you to sign up to receive e-mail notifications of new solicitations matching your chosen criteria.

At this web site you will find notices of bids, Requests for Proposals, sole source purchases, and emergency purchases for the State of Illinois public university campuses. Bid and RFP notices run for a minimum of 15 days, as will the subsequent award notice. Where indicated on the Procurement Bulletin, you may download complete bid/RFP documents directly from this web site after you have registered.

Get Out the Vote this November
The business community and Aurora Chamber need your help to turn out the vote for Illinois’s upcoming elections. As Election Day draws near, voters will seek credible information about how to get involved in the process – something that Chamber members can easily provide their employees through the Illinois Prosperity Project.

Believe it or not, 31% of employees surveyed ranked their current or former employer as the most credible source for information on political and public policy issues. To top that off, for employees who heard from their employer during the 2014 Midterm Election, 63% of them were motivated to learn more about the issues that were important to their employer and/or 43% were motivated to register to vote.

Premier Members
Premier Members
Events for Members
Wellness Works 2016
Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora 60506
Friday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, Sept. 20, 8:30 a.m.
Painter’s District Council No. 30, Aurora

WYNTK: Employers, ACA for 2016 and Beyond
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 8:00-9:30 a.m.
Meyer Ballroom, North Island Center, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Grand Re-Opening: Holiday Inns & Suites
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
111 N. Broadway Ave, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting at 4:00 p.m.

Ribbon Cutting: Sports Clips
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 3:30 p.m.
405 N. Eola Rd, Ste. H, Aurora

Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

Safe Roads Amendment

New Illinois Child Bereavement Law

Two Ramps Reopened at Farnsworth Interchange

Mark Your Calendars: Diverse Supplier Fair 2016

Get Out the Vote this November

Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act Signed by Governor

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

Waubonsee to Host Career Fair Sept. 23

Salvation Army Seeks Advisory Board Members

VNA Health Care hosts “VNA Uncorked” on Sept. 30

Aurora Named One of the Best-Run Cities in America

Wellness Works 2016

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 |