Archive for the ‘stimulus’ Category

This Chamber Newsletter is Packed with Information

Monday, February 8th, 2016
Here is this week’s newsletter to members of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. If you have Member News to include,
please send it to us by Wednesday the week prior to publication. For more information, contact the Chamber at (630) 256-3180.
February 08, 2016
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 University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Basils Greek Dining
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.
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
Safeguard Construction Company, Inc.
St. Charles Bank & Trust
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
Sleepy’s – Farnsworth
Sleepy’s – North Aurora
Sleepy’s – Rt. 59
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

Welcome New Members

Bickford Senior Living
Amy Orlando
7 S. Orchard Road
Aurora 60506
(630) 667-8206
Supportive Housing/Assisted Living

Michaleen Nendeau
2051 Baseline Road
Montgomery 60538
(630) 449-1337
Distribution Center


Contact Us

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



Share Your Thoughts: Pulse to Report State of Regional Business
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with Old Second Bank and Invest Aurora to survey regional business and take a pulse on the economy for the area. The results of the survey will be made available at a lunch hosted by the three organizations on Wednesday, March 16. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

2016 Leadership Academy Scheduled for February
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 participants to serve and enhance themselves, their employers, and the community.

Thirty hours of class time, over the course of 10 meetings, will focus on personal and professional development of the participants through a personality inventory identification and leadership development. In addition, the unique positioning and potential of the Aurora region will be highlighted with discussions on community and economic development, local government and cultural diversity, as well as civil and social services.

Academy begins Friday, Feb. 19. For information and the application, click here.

State of the Village
Wednesday, March 9
Registration at 11:30 a.m.
Oak Street Restaurant, 945 Oak Street, North Aurora

Presented by SmithAmundsen, SALT, and Fast Color 2016-state-of-the-village-address-10335

Join us for the Annual State of the Village address. Meet with Village of North Aurora leadership and regional business owners. Hear from President Dale Berman on where the Village wants to go as a municipal government, as an organization, and as a community over the next several years. A great deal has happened over the past year in North Aurora – and a number of new and exciting opportunities to come. 2016-state-of-the-village-address-10335

Premier Members
Premier Members
Next Session Days
Both the House and Senate will return to session on Wednesday, Feb. 10, and Thursday, Feb. 11. President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak to the General Assembly Feb. 10. This marks the first time in nearly 38 years since a sitting president will address the General Assembly.
Member News
John Gorzak of Naperville was recently named vice president of commercial banking with Old Second National Bank. He will be responsible for new business development and cross-selling of bank products, as well as servicing new and existing commercial relationships.

Visit our blog for more news for and about our great members:

Farnsworth Offices’ Coffee and Conversation features a 2015 Income Tax Update

Community Foundation Announces Spring 2016 Grant Cycle Has Begun

The CF is Excited to Announce Its Newest Funds

Naper Settlement Announces March Programs

Junior Volunteers make a difference in their community


Events for Members
Business Development Leads Group
Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Ambassadors Committee
Thursday, Feb. 11, at 11:30 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Ribbon Cutting: Bright Oaks
Tuesday, Feb 23, at 10:30 a.m.
Bright Oaks, 1340 N. River Street, Aurora

Business Development Leads Group
Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Feb. 25, at 8:00 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora

2016 State of the Village Address
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.
Oak Street Restaurant, 945 Oak Street, North Aurora

2016 State of the City Address presented
by Walter E. Deuchler Associates

Thursday, April 14, 2016
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Piper’s Banquets, 1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora

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


The CF is Excited to Announce Its Newest Funds

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

The Humane Society of Aurora Fund has been created to support the Humane Society and its adoption program. The Humane Society of Aurora works in partnership with Aurora Animal Control and Care to increase adoptions and rescues, improve shelter conditions, and to educate and assist the community in responsible pet ownership. To learn more about the Humane Society of Aurora, visit their fund profile page.

The Wayne and Karin Greenawalt Family Fund has been established to provide ongoing financial support for Wayside Cross Ministries in Aurora. Wayside Cross serves not only men whose lives are troubled and in crisis, but also homeless women and children, at-risk youth, people behind bars, and low income families. Wayne Greenawalt was the executive director of Wayside Cross Ministries from 1984-2010. Karin Greenawalt is a kindergarten teacher at Aurora Christian School where she has served for more than 30 years.

The Clyde and Kathryn Case Shields Kiwanis Legacy Endowment Fund kicks off a campaign for the Aurora Kiwanis Club’s centennial anniversary year. Clyde Shields, the current president of the Aurora Kiwanis Club, and his wife Kathryn are the first members to create a Kiwanis Legacy Endowment Fund within the Foundation. The goal is for 10 Kiwanis Club members to establish their own centennial endowment funds to support the next 100 years of Kiwanis in Aurora.

Richard and Irma Larson of Sugar Grove recently established the Richard J. and Irma E. Larson Scholarship Fund. Richard served as a judge for over twenty years, and Irma was a school teacher. Richard’s parents worked in the fields of ministry and agricultural. To pay tribute to the careers of the Larson family, the Richard J. and Irma E. Larson Scholarship Fund will be awarded to students who choose law, education, ministry or agriculture as their fields of study.

Community Foundation Announces Spring 2016 Grant Cycle Has Begun

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

CF Now Accepting Letters of Intent

The Community Foundation is now accepting Letters of Intent from non-profit agencies for the spring 2016 grant cycle. Letter of Intent forms are available on our grantmaking page.

Foundation grants are awarded for capital purposes in the areas of education, social services, health care and arts & humanities.

During the fall 2015 grant cycle, the Foundation awarded fourteen grants - the most in Community Foundation history! A total of $153,070 was awarded to help local organizations fulfill their missions. A total of 26 grants were awarded for more than $302,000 in all of 2015.

After Letters of Intent are submitted, the director of community involvement and partnerships will contact each agency to determine their eligibility, talk about their project, and schedule a site visit.

The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent is Friday, April 8, 2016.

If you have any questions, please visit our Grant FAQ Page or contact Julie Christman at (331) 208-9428 or

Promoting Business Excellence (PROBE) Offered to Kane Manufacturers

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

The Illinois Manufacturing and Excellence Center, in partnership with Chicago Metro Metals Consortium and Kane County, is offering  the Promoting Business Excellence (PROBE) Assessment Program to Kane County Manufacturers.

PROBE is a simple yet dynamic catalyst for organizational change. Using PROBE, business advisers and business support agencies achieve deep engagement with their client businesses, helping them to achieve improved bottom line results and real forward momentum on their journey to excellence.

PROBE helps advisers to deliver high impact for their clients through a highly effective and cost efficient process. Thousands of organizations, in 50+ countries, across the full spectrum of sectors, types and sizes, have benefited from the infectious enthusiasm and insights that PROBE generates within an in-house team, spurring focused actions to improve the way their organization works, the service it delivers and the performance it achieves.

The result is action. A focused plan helps make certain your business operates at internationally-benchmarked “smart” levels. PROBE spurs you toward manufacturing excellence.

Call IMEC today at 1-888-806-4632 or email:

Find more information about PROBE and other manufacturer programs, visit the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC):

Metals manufacturers in the Chicago region, visit the Chicago Metro Metals Consortium (CMMC):

Keep making Kane County great!

Small Business Saturday Spending Reaches $16.2 Billion in 2015, a 14% Increase from 2014

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

This year, more shoppers reported visiting their local independent businesses on Small Business Saturday than ever before, according to results from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released today by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. More than 95 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, marking an eight percent increase from 2014.

This year Small Business Saturday saw record levels of support from communities and local organizations. More than 4,100 Neighborhood Champions around the country rallied local businesses and created events in their communities for Small Business Saturday — an increase of 48 percent over last year. And more than 425 organizations joined the Small Business Saturday Coalition – an increase of 11 percent over last year.

According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, total spending among U.S. consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reached $16.2 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on the day, an increase of 14 percent from $14.3 billion in 2014. Among those who shopped on Small Business Saturday, 31 percent attended a community event on the day and 81 percent encouraged family and friends to support their local small businesses.

Additionally, consumers and small businesses helped rally support for Small Business Saturday and their favorite small businesses on social media channels. In the month of November, there were 85 million social media engagements1 in support of Small Business Saturday.

“It’s very encouraging to see small businesses participate every year and more shoppers giving local entrepreneurs a chance to compete for their business,” said NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner. “Americans are returning to Main Street for the things they need and ultimately that’s a very healthy economic trend.”

“Small Business Saturday is an increasingly important economic engine for independent businesses,” said Janey Whiteside, senior vice president and general manager of American Express OPEN. “These impressive numbers demonstrate the value that Small Business Saturday brings to local businesses, and American Express is proud to support the Shop Small Movement. We encourage shoppers to support their local businesses not only on Small Business Saturday, but all year long.”

Help Local Businesses Do More Business

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help business owners with their most pressing need — getting more customers. Today, shoppers across the nation continue to rally in support of small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The following Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce Members will be participating and offering something special on Saturday, Nov. 28.  We encourage you to support fellow Chambers members on this day.


Aurora Fastprint, Inc

Aurora Historical Society and Museum

Fox Valley Nutrition

Gillerson’s Grubbery

Grothman Clinic of Chiropractic, P.C.

It These Walls Could Talk Framing & Gallery

K.Hollis Jewelers

Kirhofer’s Sports

Prisco’s Family Market

Promcam Photo & Video Gear

Rocktown Adventures

The Voice

WBIG Radio AM 1280


For a complete list of members and specials, click here.

Why Aren’t We Getting Our Fair Share?

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner and Chamber President Joseph Henning will join Congressman Bill Foster for a panel discussion on Illinois’ “Payer State” problem. Business and community leaders are invited to join the discussion Friday, Feb. 6, in Aurora City Council Chambers at 44 E. Downer Place. The event begins at 1:30 p.m.

Other panelists include Illinois Deputy Treasurer Jay Rowell and Illinois Poison Center Medical Director and MCHC Physician Michael Wahl, MD.

In a typical year, $20 billion leaves Illinois because we are a “payer state.” In fact, we pay $1.36 in Federal taxes for every dollar of Federal spending returned to the state. Illinois ranks in the bottom three nationwide when it comes to return on the Federal dollar. What could Illinois do with that money?

To attend, register at

Shop Local this Holiday Season; We All Benefit

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

This week begins the holiday season for many of us. It also starts the chaotic rush of list making, shopping and shipping. By all reports, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be bigger than ever. But on Saturday, we all have an opportunity to support our local businesses and our community.

For the third consecutive year, the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce has partnered with American Express and others to encourage the community to support our local businesses.

Celebrate the local character of our retailers. In a world that is increasingly mass produced and packaged, there are a number of options for consumers to find something unique and personal within our community. By supporting these businesses, you are helping to preserve their distinctive character.

For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 of additional economic activity is generated through additional spending cycles. According to a Civic Economics’ study of Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, this activity is in addition to wages and local taxes. Businesses tend to use local services such as marketing, accounting, and consulting firms. They get their supplies — such as paper, signage, and products — from fellow local businesses.

These businesses build strong communities that link us with our neighbors. They contribute to the causes and societal needs of our community.

In addition, when supporting our local retailers, restaurants, and service providers, you realize lower taxes. According to the American Independent Business Alliance, a local focus on shopping and dining locally means a more efficient use of land which results in less demand on our roads, sewers, and safety services.

More importantly, the Alliance reports that specialty retail — primarily small neighborhood-located businesses — generate a net annual return to municipalities of $326 per 1,000 square feet of store space. Most other businesses in the survey actually cost the taxpayers more than the return on the investment.

Furthermore, according to the City of Aurora and Village of North Aurora, they each receive one percent in gross sales back from the State of Illinois. This money is applied to essential public services such as police, fire and public works. In addition, North Aurora receives $0.50 per $100 general merchandise purchases while Aurora (a home-rule community) receives $1.25 per $100 for road improvements and capital projects.

While supporting our local businesses, we are also reducing our reliance on other taxes. We realize more effective and efficient services.

I encourage you to support the many retailers, restaurants and service providers in our area this shopping season. Keep our tax dollars in the community where they can truly make a difference.

Check out the business directory at and select a couple of local businesses to visit. Choose to do some of your holiday shopping at a local business. Join us on Facebook and let us know what you find.

Year in Review: An Annual Report to Our Membership

Friday, October 31st, 2014
We appreciate all of our members, community partners, and volunteers. During yesterday’s Annual Celebration of Membership,
we shared the following data with those in attendance. We believe this information supports the work of our members, our volunteers,
and our staff. We are focused on supporting our business members. If you are interested in discussing membership with
the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, please contact our office.
October 31, 2014
In This Issue


Quick Links


Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Signed and Sealed
Certificates of Origin
(a 44% increase over previous year)


Products, Programs, Services for Our Business Members


Public Policy Meetings


Visitors to Website


Represented more than
Employees in Membership


Accreditation with
U.S. Chamber of Commerce


Business Members Represented
Communities in Illinois


Took Positions on
Bills in Illinois General Assembly


Business Members Realized
Hits to 534 Job Postings


According to National Study
by The Schapiro Group
of Consumers were More Aware
of Chamber Member Businesses


Hosted more than
Events for Members


Creating a Strong Local Economy
  • Produced workshops on Medical Marijuana in the Workplace, Concealed Carry, Affordable Care Act, and other Employment Law programs to support our businesses
  • Conducted business retention, expansion, and development activities
  • Produced week-long Small Business Aurora event
  • Forged ongoing collaboration with regional and statewide economic development programs
  • Graduated the 35th Leadership Academy class
  • Offered opportunities to improve their bottom line with affinity programs for office supplies, utilities, and internet services
  • Responded to information requests and data research for member support services
  • CEO represented membership on numerous workforce development groups, including River Valley Workforce Investment Board, Governor’s 21st Century Workforce Development Advisory Fund, and Pathways to Prosperity
  • Provided intermediary responsibilities for Aurora Region Pathways to Prosperity initiative with City of Aurora, community colleges, and public school districts
Representing Business to Government
  • Presented on behalf of business at City Council meetings
  • Held monthly Aurora First meetings to support improvements in Permitting, Electrical Ordinances, and other initiatives
  • Board and CEO attended Illinois Business Lobby Day in Springfield
  • Participated in 107 public policy meetings with elected officials, State departments, and local committees and groups
  • CEO and Board represented business members on various task forces, committees, and advisory groups
  • Conducted member surveys and provided input to elected officials on issues ranging from business taxes, state finances, economic development, and education reform
  • Hosted regular Council on Legislative Affairs to address pending legislation that would impact business community
  • Took positions on 45 bills in Illinois General Assembly, including Pension Reform, Workers’ Compensation, Minimum Wage, Taxes, and more
  • Coordinated grassroots engagement of members with elected officials through meetings, communications, and business visits
Relationship Building Opportunities
  • Presented six successful Coffee & Connections programs with more than 300 total attendees
  • Hosted the Mayor’s State of the City address with more than 400 in attendance
  • Hosted the State of the Village of North Aurora address
  • Offered two Business Development Leads Groups for interested members
  • Leveraged U.S. Chamber of Commerce membership while offering Federation Partnership to participating small business members
  • Offered Constant Contact affinity program to better connect member businesses with their customers and prospects
  • Coordinated more than 55 ribbon cuttings, grand openings, groundbreakings, and open houses for business members
  • Offered Not-For-Profit Alliance to support collaboration, advancement of participating members
  • Coordinated annual Holiday Celebration in collaboration with Quad County African American and Aurora Hispanic chambers of commerce
Promoting Our Community
  • Maintained existing website with nearly 65,000 unique visitors
  • Realized more than 2.2 million page hits to the website
  • Reached 718 fans on Facebook page
  • Counted 2,079 twitter followers
  • CEO commenced writing a monthly column in Beacon News
  • Responded to all media interview requests
  • Produced weekly e-newsletters, blogs, and social media posts
  • Supported community special events
  • Collaborated with City of Aurora and Village of North Aurora as well as more than 50 other partners on various initiatives
  • Collaborated on Diversity Network to support business-inclusion practices in community
  • CEO and staff served on numerous state and national boards and committees
Promoting Our Members
  • Provided members with sponsorship, marketing, and promotional opportunities via our newsletters, eBlasts, special events, and website
  • Offered additional levels of membership, including Premier Membership with 12 members and Elite Membership with more than 50 members
  • Promoted several Member-to-Member discount programs
  • Successfully supported the Shop Local and Shop Small campaigns
Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 |

State Award Will Drive Economic Development

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Governor Pat Quinn announced today that OnLight Aurora is a recipient of an Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge Grant award, a statewide competition to establish ultra-high speed broadband networks across Illinois. The state is awarding $1 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital funding to OnLight Aurora to help connect the city of Aurora’s fiber optic network to its education, business, and healthcare communities and accelerate economic growth and job creation.

“Smart communities will foster the job engines of the future,” Governor Quinn said. “To win in the information economy, we need information infrastructure that is second to none. Through the Gigabit Communities Challenge, Illinois will build stronger, smarter communities with Internet connections more than 100 times faster than they are today.”

OnLight Aurora is an independent, not-for-profit organization that was formed out of a technology task force organized by Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner in 2011 that included volunteers from Aurora’s business community and city officials. The mission of OnLight Aurora is to leverage the world class connectivity of Aurora’s Fiber Optic Network for non-municipal use. The $1 million award from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will help provide connectivity to Aurora’s public and private K-12 schools; higher education and healthcare institutions; commercial corridors and community anchors in underserved areas; and major non-profit organizations across the city.

“This grant will help OnLight Aurora continue to close the digital divide within our city by capitalizing on our Fiber Optic Network,” said Mayor Weisner. “We know that technology has the potential to revolutionize our educational system and it is an absolute must for successful companies of all sizes. By developing the infrastructure of the future, we drive economic development, strengthen our tax base, and address our community’s most fundamental needs: jobs, quality of life, and global competitiveness.”

“One of the major factors in companies locating to a city is the access to technology,” said Joseph Henning, President and CEO of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This grant will make it more cost effective to provide current businesses and those looking to make Aurora home, with the technology they need to succeed in today’s global business environment while creating thousands of jobs over the next five years.”

OnLight Aurora Board Member and software business owner Mark McCoy added, “It has always been OnLight Aurora’s goal to provide internet access to the many organizations that make Aurora a great city for families and businesses. This grant will help move Aurora into the future and assure success for our schools, hospitals, business community and non-profits.”