Archive for the ‘catalyst’ Category

Economic Pulse Next Week

Monday, January 16th, 2017
Header
January 16, 2017
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
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Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
ComEd
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank – Aurora
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

The Tidy Queens
Shian Jno-Lewis
1872 Fescue Drive, Aurora
(630) 486-5629
Janitorial Services

John Greene Realtors – Kate Shields Broker
Kate Shields
1311 S. Route 59, Naperville
(630) 229-2234
Real Estate

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 8:30 a.m.
Painters District Council #30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora

This event provides business connections, an introduction to key leaders in the Chamber, upcoming chamber events and an opportunity to learn how you can maximize Your Chamber Membership. January is sponsored by Eye Boutique.

Economic Pulse 2017
Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 11:30 a.m.
Stonebridge Country Club, 2705 Stonebridge Blvd., Aurora

On Wednesday, January 25, the Aurora Regional Chamber will reveal the results of the 2017 Aurora Regional Economic Pulse Survey. The survey link has been shared with local businesses.

In partnership with our sponsors – Old Second Bank, Invest Aurora, and Dolan & Murphy – and community supporters, the results will be used to provide a stronger support system for business owners, entrepreneurs, and employers in the great Aurora region.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, January 26, 2017, 8:00-9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Drive, Aurora

Start 2017 making great connections! Get your introduction ready! Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce Fox Valley Networking Professionals is an open networking group that creates a positive atmosphere of collaboration, connection, introduction, business education and more.

All attendees will introduce themselves, share business cards and have open networking time before breakfast is served. Pre-registration is highly recommended. Breakfast included with registration.

Leadership Academy 2017
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy is offered to representatives of member businesses and organizations and is designed to prepare a select group of qualified candidates for future leadership roles in the Aurora area.

Established in 1979, the Aurora Chamber’s Leadership Academy has a rich history of providing confidence, knowledge, professionalism, and strong leadership skills that not only benefit the attendee but also their employers. The goal is simple: To create a development opportunity for graduates to serve and enhance themselves, their employers, and the community.

Over the past 35 years, more than 800 community leaders have participated in the program. Many have gone on to lead local businesses and organizations. Some have gone on to public office. All have left their mark on the community.

This year, we are partnering with the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce to provide the opportunity to a wider audience.

Our community needs you! Realize your potential to make a difference in the Aurora region. The program begins Friday, March 3.

Class size is limited. Applications and tuition will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applicants must possess a sincere interest in serving the community.

Premier Members
Premier Members
Events for Members
Coffee & Connections Networking
Tuesday, Jan 17, 8:30 a.m.
Painters District No.30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora

2017 Regional Economic Pulse
Wednesday, Jan. 25, 11:30 a.m.
Stonebridge Country Club, 2705 Stonebridge Blvd., Aurora

Did You Know?
Did you know that the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce’s website had 543,003 visits last year and that number continues to grow? Make it your new year’s resolution to capitalize on this great opportunity to increase visibility for your business or organization. Log-in and make sure you enter all the keywords that describes who you are and what you do, post hot deals, offer member-to-member discounts, etc. Shine and be seen in 2017! For questions, contact Reba Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184.
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:

Crime: Human Trafficking

Budget: ‘Stopgap’ Budget

Budget: December 2016 Revenues Again Fall Short

Congratulations, Rep. Wheeler; Appointed Republican Conference Chairman

Human Services: Developmental Disabilities

General Assembly: 2017 Schedule

General Assembly: New Members

General Assembly: House, Senate Calendars Released

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

Free Community Open House at VNA Health Care

11 Candidates Running for Fox Valley Park District Board in 2017

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Mayoral Forum, Economic Pulse, Leadership Academy, More

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017
Header
January 09, 2017
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
ComEd
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank – Aurora
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

iPromo
Gary Schafer
8145 River Drive, Morton Grove
(847) 581-6515
Marketing & Advertising

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Mayoral Candidates’ Forum
Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Aurora Public Library, 101 South River Street, Aurora
Candidates Invited: Linda Chapa LaVia, Richard E. Guzman, Richard C. Irvin and Michael B. Saville

Presented in collaboration by the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, Aurora Public Library, Fox Valley PAC, Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce and the Aurora Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Your participation matters! 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. Visit AuroraProsperity.org for deadlines, information, and polling locations.

Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 8:30 a.m.
Painters District Council #30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora

This event provides business connections, an introduction to key leaders in the Chamber, upcoming chamber events and an opportunity to learn how you can maximize Your Chamber Membership. January is sponsored by Eye Boutique.

Economic Pulse 2017
Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 11:30 a.m.
Stonebridge Country Club, 2705 Stonebridge Blvd., Aurora

On Wednesday, January 25, the Aurora Regional Chamber will reveal the results of the 2017 Aurora Regional Economic Pulse Survey. The survey link has been shared with local businesses.

In partnership with our sponsors – Old Second Bank, Invest Aurora, and Dolan & Murphy – and community supporters, the results will be used to provide a stronger support system for business owners, entrepreneurs, and employers in the great Aurora region.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, January 26, 2017, 8:00-9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Drive, Aurora

Start 2017 making great connections! Get your introduction ready! Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce Fox Valley Networking Professionals is an open networking group that creates a positive atmosphere of collaboration, connection, introduction, business education and more.

All attendees will introduce themselves, share business cards and have open networking time before breakfast is served. Pre-registration is highly recommended. Breakfast included with registration.

Leadership Academy 2017
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy is offered to representatives of member businesses and organizations and is designed to prepare a select group of qualified candidates for future leadership roles in the Aurora area.

Established in 1979, the Aurora Chamber’s Leadership Academy has a rich history of providing confidence, knowledge, professionalism, and strong leadership skills that not only benefit the attendee but also their employers. The goal is simple: To create a development opportunity for graduates to serve and enhance themselves, their employers, and the community.

Over the past 35 years, more than 800 community leaders have participated in the program. Many have gone on to lead local businesses and organizations. Some have gone on to public office. All have left their mark on the community.

This year, we are partnering with the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce to provide the opportunity to a wider audience.

Our community needs you! Realize your potential to make a difference in the Aurora region. The program begins Friday, March 3.

Class size is limited. Applications and tuition will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applicants must possess a sincere interest in serving the community.

Premier Members
Premier Members
Events for Members
Mayoral Candidates’ Forum
Thursday, Jan. 12, 7:00 p.m.
Santori Library 101 S. River St. Aurora

Coffee & Connections Networking
Tuesday, Jan 17, 8:30 a.m.
Painters District No.30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora

2017 Regional Economic Pulse
Wednesday, Jan. 25, 11:30 a.m.
Stonebridge Country Club, 2705 Stonebridge Blvd., Aurora

Did You Know?
Do you know that the Aurora Regional Chamber has a very active Facebook page? Like us on Facebook and keep up with news from the Chamber and our members. For questions, contact Reba Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184.
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:

Congratulations, Rep. Wheeler; Appointed Republican Conference Chairman

Human Services: Developmental Disabilities

Budget: FY17

General Assembly: 2017 Schedule

General Assembly: New Members

General Assembly: House, Senate Calendars Released

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

Park District offers free Sports Saturdays for kids

11 Candidates Running for Fox Valley Park District Board in 2017

Health Care: Illinois Hospitals

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

 

Human Services: Developmental Disabilities

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Department of Human Services (IDHS) director responds to reports. In the wake of an investigative-report series published by the Chicago Tribune that uncovered serious problems in some Illinois group homes for the developmentally disabled (DD) population, the General Assembly convened a joint committee to hold a hearing on the issue. More than 1,300 cases of abuse and neglect were uncovered by the series of news stories. Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 13, the committee heard from agency Director James Dimas, who described work being done by him and his top aides to understand the size of the scandal and improve enforcement of living conditions in Illinois DD group homes.

IDHS is required, under law, to supervise 3,000 licensed private-sector DD group homes throughout Illinois. These homes shelter approximately 12,000 persons with intellectual and developmental challenges, often in an extended-family setting. The treatment provided to persons in this category ranges from thoughtful, high-quality care to abuse and neglect. In some cases, DD group home caregivers are overwhelmed by the challenges of taking care of persons with two or more separately diagnosed disabilities.

A major finding by the Tribune was that many of the cases of abuse and neglect that had taken place since July 2011 had been flagged in some way or another by IDHS oversight, but that many of the investigative files on these cases had been hidden, concealed, or even legally sealed. A key pledge made by Director Dimas this week was that the Department will create a new infrastructure of electronic transparency to increase access to information on the standing of each group home. The transparency infrastructure will include an Internet-based public report card to detail the status of many State investigations based upon allegations of abuse and neglect. The report cards will include evaluations of many Illinois DD group homes. In another pledge, Director Dimas stated that Illinois group homes for adults with disabilities will face stricter standards for establishing and maintaining licensure.

Facts For Features The 2016 Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

FACTS FOR FEATURES

The 2016 Holiday Season

Holiday

This festive season, or simply the holidays, is a time for gathering and celebrating with family and friends, gift giving, reflection and thanks. To commemorate this time of year, the U.S. Census Bureau presents the following holiday-related facts and figures from its collection of statistics.

Rush to the Stores

$23.8 billion

The estimated retail sales by the nation’s department stores (including leased departments) in December 2015. A decrease of $0.4 billion in retail sales from December of the previous year.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade Survey

Presents

14.3%

The estimated percentage of total 2015 sales for department stores (including leased departments) in December. For bookstores, the estimated percentage was 12.4 percent.

23.7%

The estimated increase in the end-of-month inventories by our nation’s department stores (excluding leased departments) between August and November 2015.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade Survey

$55.7 billion

The estimated value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2015 — the highest estimated total for any month last year.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade Survey (NAICS 4541)
U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade Survey (NAICS 45411)

$27.1 billion

The fourth quarter 2015 after-tax profits for all retail trade corporations with assets of $50.0 million and over, up from $18.3 billion in the third quarter of 2015.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Quarterly Financial Report

Click here for PDF.

Trees

Christmas Tree Decorations

$1.1 billion

The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and September 2016. Imports from China led the way with 92.0 percent of the total imports of Christmas tree ornaments.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Statistics
USA Trade Online

$346.0 million

The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree lights from China between January and September 2016. Christmas tree lights imported from China accounted for 87.0 percent of the total imports for that product.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Statistics
USA Trade Online

Where Toys Are Made

560

The number of locations nationwide that primarily produced dolls, toys and games in 2014, an increase of 15 locations from 2013 (545); they employed 6,215 workers in the pay period including March 12, a decrease of 323 employees from 2013 (6,538). California led the nation with 93 establishments.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patterns

Holiday Names

Some names of places associated with the holiday season consist of a dozen places named Holly, including Mount Holly, N.C. (population 14,176), and Holly Springs, Miss. (7,610). There is Snowflake, Ariz. (5,666); Santa Claus, Ind. (2,474); North Pole, Alaska (2,189); Noel, Mo. (1,824); and — if you know about reindeer — Dasher, Ga. (963), and Rudolph, Wis. (432). There is also Unity, N.H. (1,603), and Peace, N.D. (28).
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates

Pic

23.6 million

The estimated number of young domestic turkeys hatched during September of this year in the United States, up 21.0 percent from September 2015.
Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service

$392.0 million

The value of U.S. imports of tapered candles in 2015. Most of these came from Vietnam, representing more than 35.0 percent of America’s imported tapered candles, followed by Canada with 24.0 percent. Many of these candles are lit during Diwali (Nov. 11), Hanukkah (Dec. 6-14) and Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan. 1) celebrations.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Statistics
USA Trade Online

This Week’s Newsletter for Chamber Members

Monday, October 24th, 2016
Header
October 24, 2016
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
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
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Tribune Media Group
ComEd
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Endiro Coffee
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Sprint
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Contact Us

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

 

 

Visit AuroraProsperity.org
Register To Vote

The wait is over! Visit www.AuroraProsperity.org today.

Your participation matters.

This website was created to provide Aurora Chamber members and their employees with a comprehensive, central location to learn more about the political process and how it affects our region. We encourage all citizens to get engaged if you choose to do so.

It is our goal is to provide useful, non-partisan, and non-biased information to help you become more knowledgeable about the political process. We hope you will take time to learn about the issues, use the tools provided to take action, and spread the word by encouraging others to become active.

Political participation is a cornerstone of American democracy-your voice, your vote, and your opinion matter.

Please check out this website’s resources, explore its tools, and let us know what you think!

This website does not endorse any specific political candidates, parties, or causes. Instead, it provides you with the resources and tools you need to become educated and involved.

Keep up-to-date on the upcoming elections, register to vote, and learn more about Aurora Chamber’s top issues by visiting our AuroraProsperity.org site.

Community Invited to Farewell Open House for Mayor Weisner
The Aurora community will have a final opportunity to wish Mayor Tom Weisner well prior to his retirement.

A public open house will be held on Monday, October 24, 2016 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Paramount Theatre’s Grand Gallery, 23 E. Galena Blvd.

During the open house, Mayor Weisner and Mrs. Weisner will welcome and speak with visitors. Guests will also have an opportunity to watch a scrolling pictorial review of some of the highlights of Mayor Weisner’s administration since he first took office in 2005.

For more information, visit the Chamber blog.

Legislative Breakfast: Hon. Keith Wheeler
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, at 8:00 a.m.
Orchard Valley Restaurant, 2411 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora

Join us for the first Legislative Breakfast of the Chamber’s fiscal year as we welcome Hon. Keith Wheeler, Illinois state representative of the 50th district.

Wheeler is a sixth-generation resident of Kendall County and lives in Oswego with his family. He grew up in Oswego, graduated from Oswego High School, and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For the last 24 years, Wheeler has been a successful small business owner with offices in Oswego and Chicago. He has served the community as the chairman of the National Federation of Independent Business Fox Valley Area Action Council for Small Business, as well as former treasurer of the Oswego Bears Youth Football and Cheer Pop Warner programs.

Perhaps most importantly (editor’s note), more recently, Wheeler served as Board Chairman for the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. He states, “I am very proud to have served in (this position) as we must work hard to improve the jobs and business climate in Illinois.”

Join us for breakfast and conversation with our elected official. We’ll hear what he is working on in Springfield and have discussion on the needs of business and employers in the greater Fox Valley.

Register

Premier Members
Premier Members
Events for Members
Intersect Illinois
Monday, Oct. 24, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, Aurora

Farewell Open House for Mayor Weisner
Monday, Oct. 24, 3:30-7:30 p.m.
Paramount Grand Gallery, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Oct. 27, at 8:00 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora

Legislative Breakfast: Hon. Keith Wheeler
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, at 8:00 a.m.
Orchard Valley Restaurant, 2411 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora

Annual Celebration of Membership
Thursday, Nov. 17, 11:30 a.m.
Aurora Country Club, 1548 Prairie Street, Aurora

WYNTK: Personnel Policies & Changes for 2017
Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 8:00 a.m.
Meyer Ballroom, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Holiday Celebration
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E. New York St., Aurora

WYNTK: Cybersecurity in Light of ‘Leaks
Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 8:00 a.m.
Meyer Ballroom, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Did You Know?
A Loras College poll in September found that 75% if Illinois residents believe the direction of the state is going in the wrong direction. In addition, a BIPAC poll recently found that 31% if employees trust their current or former employer for providing credible information on political issues and elections that directly affect their job or company? In an effort to support our members in communicating importance of voting in the upcoming election, the Aurora Regional Chamber has launched www.AuroraProsperity.org in partnership with Illinois Prosperity Project and BIPAC.
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:

Pensions: Possible Payment Delays

Outmigration: Illinoisans Leaving the State

Health Care: Affordable Care Act

Budget: Debt Refinancing

Voters Overwhelmingly Support ‘Lockbox’

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

VNA Health Care to Offer A Crucial Catch Day – Screening Saves Lives

IMSA Announces New Executive Director for Professional Field Services

CIS to Hold Turkey Fest; Supports Adolescents with Services

Community Invited to Farewell Open House for Mayor Tom Weisner

Aurora City Council Nominates Alderman O’Connor as Acting Mayor

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Email Patron on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

 

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 tothchris@co.kane.il.us 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 http://www.illinoisprosperity.org/languages/english/ezvote.asp?g=illinois .  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.