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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
Find more information about PROBE and other manufacturer programs, visit the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC): http://www.imec.org
Metals manufacturers in the Chicago region, visit the Chicago Metro Metals Consortium (CMMC): www.chicagometrometal.org.
Keep making Kane County great!
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.”
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.
For a complete list of members and specials, click here.
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 foster.house.gov/payerstate.
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 AuroraChamber.com 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.
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.”