Archive for November, 2013

Shop Local, Holiday Celebration, Member News, and More

Monday, November 25th, 2013
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.
Header
November 25, 2013
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Balihoo Productions
Basil’s Greek Dining
BMO Harris
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Caterpillar, Inc.
Central DuPage Hospital
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
Create Cut Invent
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Fox Valley Country Club
Global Data Sciences
Ice Miller LLP
Idea Marketing Group
In & Out Creative – Log Web Video
Konen Insurance Agency
Law Offices of McLaughlin & Associates, P.C.
Liberty Mutual – Dawn Tully
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Nelson Multimedia/WSPY
Old Second National Bank
Organo Gold
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipefitters Local 597
Piper’s Banquets
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
River West Radiation Therapy Center
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Ryland Homes – Ingham Park
S&S Metal Recycling
Safeguard Construction Co.
Sequoia General Contracting Corp.
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
St. Charles Bank & Trust
Strayer University
Stumm Insurance, LLC
TCE Company
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
uberloop
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WERV FM Radio (Next Media)

Contact Us

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

 

 

Shop Local on Small Business
Saturday This Week
The busiest shopping weekend to kick off the holiday season is upon us. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, don’t forget about Small Business Saturday. This Saturday, Nov. 30, shop small and support small businesses around the country.

Small Business Saturday The Chamber office has free Shop Small doormats and bags available for your business.

You may stop by during the following dates and times to pick up your doormat and Shop Small bags (supplies are limited):

Today: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Display your mat and use the Shop Small bags this Saturday after Thanksgiving. Do your part to help make this Small Business Saturday one of the biggest shopping days of the year for small businesses.

Join Us for the Annual Holiday Celebration
Holiday Celebration
Waubonsee to Assist Small, Minority-and Women-owned Businesses
As part of a partnership among the Illinois Tollway, the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC), Waubonsee Community College is launching a new program to assist small, minority- and women-owned firms in the construction industry.

On November 14, Waubonsee hired William (Bill) Grau to work with small, minority and women-owned businesses to provide resources, information and assistance to successfully submit bids for projects with the Illinois Tollway. The aim is to provide small, minority- and women-owned businesses with a customized roadmap to help them develop a strategic approach for growth and success in the highway construction industry.

2014 Illinois Economic Outlook
Survey Now Online
We need your input. Please take a few minutes to click this link and take this economic outlook survey.

Follow this link to the survey: Take the Survey

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with chambers and associations throughout the state, is participating in the 2014 Illinois Economic Outlook Survey. This is an exciting statewide effort that will help us better determine how we can make our community a great place to grow a business.

By providing your feedback in this survey, you are part of a broad effort to help Illinois become a stronger, healthier economy. Your input will also help us to understand your priorities for 2014 and how the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce can help our members succeed in 2014.

This survey is made possible by the Baker Strategy Group, a consulting firm helping clients in the Great Lakes region develop growth strategies, and CFI Group, a global leader in providing customer feedback insights through analytics.

If you have any questions or concerns about the survey, please contact David Baker via phone at (734) 355-8232 or e-mail at david@OutlookSurvey.com.

Thank you in advance for completing this survey and providing your input. Please feel free to forward this email to your colleagues so they can provide their input as well.

Premier Members
Premier Members
Save the Date: Mark Your Calendars
Business Development Leads Group 1
Tuesday, November 26, at 7:15 a.m.
Chamber offices

Offices Closed in Observance of Thanksgiving Holiday
Thursday, Nov. 28, and Friday, Nov. 29

Shop Local Saturday
Saturday, Nov. 30
Follow promotions on our Facebook page

Diversity Network: Business Before Hours
Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber Offices
Register

Seminar: Social, Mobile, Local, & Search Marketing
Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 7:00 a.m.
Hotel Arista, 2139 CityGate Lane, Naperville
nwickstrom@suntimes.com

Business Development Leads Group 1
Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 7:15 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business Development Leads Group 2
Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Holiday Celebration
Thursday, Dec. 12, from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora
Register

GA to Return to Springfield for Pensions
Next Month?
In The Know Illinois reports, driven by reported progress toward a state pension deal, House and Senate staffs began surveying members Wednesday about a potential Dec. 3 return to the state Capitol for possible action on a plan to solve Illinois’ $100 billion pension crisis.

Leader Durkin spokeswoman Vicki Crawford said there is no consensus yet, but the aim is to strike a deal by the end of the year.

“They’re making progress. We’re still waiting for numbers,” she said. “No deal yet.”

Read Dave McKinney’s full story from the Sun Times here.

City of Aurora Building and Permits Updates
Aurora permit activity at pre-recession levels: Year-to-date issued permit volume surpasses past six years, reports John Curley, and nearly meets 2007. Issued permit volume has increased 27% year over year. Not only has their issued volume steeply climbed the first three quarters, the construction valuation of these issued permits has skyrocketed to a 112% increase over last year’s issued construction valuation.

Seeking Electrical Commission Nominees for Forthcoming NEC 2011 adoption process: Aurora Building and Permits will be embarking upon a 2011 NEC code adoption in the next half year. They have committed to keeping the business community posted on progress. Public commission meetings will be open to the public and announced through their newsletter and a new code development section our web page. They encourage participation.

One way to be involved would be to sit as a commissioner on our Electrical Commission. The commission currently has three vacancies. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer, visit http://aurora-il.org/mayorsoffice/boards/index.php and complete the candidate form.

For information, contact John at jcurley@aurora-il.org.

Fox Valley United Way Requests
Holiday Support
With the holiday season just around the corner, Fox Valley United Way is once again partnering with local businesses, community and student groups, along with families and individuals who are interested in helping those that are experiencing difficulties during these tough economic times.

While countless parents are telling their children that there will not be many gifts under the tree this year, a large number of children in our community will not be receiving any presents. The Fox Valley United Way wants to give to those families in need, who do not have the financial means to provide gifts for their children this year.

You can help by donating to the Fox Valley United Way Holiday Assistance fund. Your financial gift will be used to purchase clothes, toys, hats, mittens and scarves for the children. If donations allow, we will also buy each family a gift card to a local grocery store, so they can enjoy a family holiday meal!

Below are some ways you can make a difference this holiday season:

  • Sponsor an individual child or family. We will send you detailed information about a family in need this holiday season and you purchase gifts for each child in that family. For more information about a sponsorship, please contact Deborah at deborah.collins@uwfoxvalley.org.
  • Provide a monetary donation. All donations can be mailed to or presented at the following address: Fox Valley United Way, 44 East Galena Blvd., Aurora, IL 60505. If processing a donation by credit card is preferred, please visit www.uwfoxvalley.org.
  • Purchase a gift card.By purchasing a gift card from a local grocery store, you can provide a holiday meal for a family in need.
  • Organize a community drive to collect specific items. Basic needs items that are always in shortage are scarves, hats, and mittens (or gloves). Another beneficial drive encouraged is collecting toys for children. All basic needs items, toys and other gifts can be dropped off at the Fox Valley United Way office.

Please note that all gifts should be unwrapped and donations of any size appreciated. Deadline to drop off donations, at the Fox Valley United Way office, is Friday, December 13th.

Annual Food Drive through November 27;
Last Chance to Help
Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry’s 6th Annual Holiday Food Drive is running from now until Nov. 27 at Prisco’s Fine Foods (1108 Prairie St., Aurora) and Cermak Fresh Market (1250 N. Lake Street, Aurora).

This Thanksgiving Season, we hope to provide a substantial amount of non-perishable food items to The Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry as a result of our drive. The Pantry has served a record number of recipients in the past year and the numbers continue to increase. In 2012 The Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry distributed 2 million pounds of food to the equivalent of 150,000 individuals. They are on pace to distribute 2.5 million pounds of food by the end of 2013. While the needs continue to increase, the Pantry is experiencing a reduction in the amount of food received through food drives and donations, as well as a decrease in assistance from state and federal programs.

The goal of the “Annual Holiday Food Drive” is to collect enough food and monetary donations to purchase food to ensure that no one in our community is ever forced to go hungry simply because they cannot afford to buy food. Your monetary donation will be used to purchase food items that are not collected and desperately needed, as well as to maintain efficient and effective distribution of the food to those who are in need.

We would like to become a community where no one goes hungry and we need your help to feed our brothers and sisters in need. Please help us make the 6th Annual Holiday Food Drive the most successful to date by purchasing, in way of a monetary donation, a truck load of food or one of the other sponsorships below.

Donations can be made Online at www.aurorafoodpantry.org.

The Annual Food Drive for Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry is going on now. This year — with gratitude to an anonymous benefactor — each pallet donation will get a matching donation. And if your company matches your donation, a simple gift of $162 will triple and get the Aurora food pantry and Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry three pallets of cereal — that’s 2,700 boxes of cereal for the season — and it started with your generous gift of $162. Check out this link and see how far your gift can go to help our community’s hungry. Please share this with your friends and co-workers.

Website Changes
Chamber Members no longer need to create (and remember) a login name and password to reach the Chamber’s blog and the ‘Members Only’ section of www.aurorachamber.com. Please enjoy unfettered access to the entire website. However, a login name and password is still required to sign into ChamberMaster, our Membership Management Portal.
Member News
Thank you to Aurora University for sponsoring November’s “Coffee & Connections”. We appreciate Jason Harmon and Ed Miranda for representing the University with style.

Thank you to Jim Connon from Weblinx for presenting at November’s “Not-For-Profit Alliance” and to SmithAmundsen for sponsoring.

Get into a festive mood with Mooseheart’s 4th Annual Holiday Lights from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. nightly, starting on Nov. 29 all the way through Dec. 31. Come see 90+ displays and drive through a giant light tunnel! Cost is $10 per car ($1 for 3D glasses) and all proceeds go to benefit children in need. Call (630) 906-3601 or visit www.mooseheart.org for more information.

Please join Rasmussen College and DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd for a presentation on Tax Planning for the Privately-Held Business on Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at Rasmussen’s Aurora/Naperville Campus (2363 Sequoia Drive, Aurora, IL 60506). Please RSVP by Nov. 29 by calling (630) 888-3500.

Crown Trophy will be moving to 2274 Cornell Ave., Montgomery, IL 60538 around Dec. 1. The new location will have more space and easier accesses. Their contact information will remain the same.

The Growing Place will be holding another Wreath, Container, and Swag Workshop on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at both their locations. Come make a custom wreath, swag, or container of fresh greens to accent your home with the help of expert designers.

If These Walls Could Talk is hosting “Pack the Pantry Project,” a holiday art auction, on Friday, Dec. 6 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Artists have been challenged to incorporate an ordinary paper bag into an artistic masterpiece. All proceeds will go to benefit the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry. Email wallstalk@itwct.com for more information.

Naper Settlement is collecting donations on the behalf of Savers Thrift Stores from Monday, Dec. 2 through Friday, Dec. 6. Interested parties should place clothing, toys, shoes and accessories, household items, bedding, linens, and bath items in kitchen garbage bags (about 13 or 14 gallon) and drop them off at the Carriage House between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. If at least 400 bags are donated, Saver’s will give Naper Settlement a financial contribution of $1,000 that will go towards building The Rita (Fredenhagen) and John Harvard Early Learning Playscape. For more information, call (630) 420-6010 or e-mail towncrier@naperville.il.us.

Waubonsee Community College uploaded a Request for Information (RFI) on their website recently, seeking consulting services related to meeting the requirements of the Community Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. If you (or someone you know), are interested in submitting a response to this RFI, you will find it posted at http://www.waubonsee.edu/businesses/purchasing/. The response is due by December 10, 2013. Contact Harriet Parker at hparker@waubonsee.edu and Judy McCoy at jmccoy@waubonsee.edu for more information.

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.

 

This Week’s Newsletter: Programs, Economic Outlook Survey, Holiday Drives, More

Monday, November 18th, 2013
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.
Header
November 18, 2013
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Balihoo Productions
Basil’s Greek Dining
BMO Harris
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Caterpillar, Inc.
Central DuPage Hospital
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
Create Cut Invent
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Fox Valley Country Club
Global Data Sciences
Ice Miller LLP
Idea Marketing Group
In & Out Creative – Log Web Video
Konen Insurance Agency
Law Offices of McLaughlin & Associates, P.C.
Liberty Mutual – Dawn Tully
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Nelson Multimedia/WSPY
Old Second National Bank
Organo Gold
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipefitters Local 597
Piper’s Banquets
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
River West Radiation Therapy Center
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Ryland Homes – Ingham Park
S&S Metal Recycling
Safeguard Construction Co.
Sequoia General Contracting Corp.
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
St. Charles Bank & Trust
Strayer University
Stumm Insurance, LLC
TCE Company
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
uberloop
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WERV FM Radio (Next Media)

Welcome New Members

Brookfield Zoo
Matthew Mayer
3300 Golf Rd.
Brookfield, IL 60513
(708) 688-8400
Zoo

Lyles Realty
Melvin Lyles
1065 Scarlet Oak Cir.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 207-2329
Real Estate

PC Electric Co., Inc.
Peter Clementz
111 Franklin Ave.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 896-6790
Contractors

 

Contact Us


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

 

 

#SmallBizAurora Week A Success
Thank you to our co-sponsors for #SmallBizAurora week.

Rasmussen College OnLight Aurora AT&T Mobility Old Second Start Banking FirstMerit Bank Aurora University

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce thanks the following partners for their support of the #SmallBizAurora 2013 program: City of Aurora and City of Aurora Neighborhood Redevelopment, Fox Valley SCORE, Illinois SBDC at Waubonsee Community College, and Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce.

For photos highlighting the week, visit our Facebook page.

Website Changes
Chamber Members no longer need to create (and remember) a login name and password to reach the Chamber’s blog and the ‘Members Only’ section of www.aurorachamber.com. Please enjoy unfettered access to the entire website. However, a login name and password is still required to sign into ChamberMaster, our Membership Management Portal.
2014 Illinois Economic Outlook
Survey Now Online
We need your input. Please take a few minutes to click this link and take this economic outlook survey.

Follow this link to the survey: Take the Survey

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with chambers and associations throughout the state, is participating in the 2014 Illinois Economic Outlook Survey. This is an exciting statewide effort that will help us better determine how we can make our community a great place to grow a business.

By providing your feedback in this survey, you are part of a broad effort to help Illinois become a stronger, healthier economy. Your input will also help us to understand your priorities for 2014 and how the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce can help our members succeed in 2014.

This survey is made possible by the Baker Strategy Group, a consulting firm helping clients in the Great Lakes region develop growth strategies, and CFI Group, a global leader in providing customer feedback insights through analytics.

If you have any questions or concerns about the survey, please contact David Baker via phone at (734) 355-8232 or e-mail at david@OutlookSurvey.com.

Thank you in advance for completing this survey and providing your input. Please feel free to forward this email to your colleagues so they can provide their input as well.

Premier Members
Premier Members
Save the Date: Mark Your Calendars
Coffee & Connections Networking Events
Tuesday, November 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Painters District Council #30, 905 Sequoia Dr., Aurora
Co-sponsored by Aurora University
Register

Aurora First
Presentation: City of Aurora Neighborhood Redevelopment Division
Wednesday, November 20, at 11:00 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Medical Marijuana in the Workplace
HR & Managers Resource Group
Thursday, November 21, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Hopvine Brewing Company, 4030 Fox Valley Center Dr., Aurora
Co-sponsored by SmithAmundsen
Register

Not-For-Profit Alliance
Developing an Effective Marketing Communications Plan
Friday, November 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Chamber Offices
Co-sponsored by SmithAmundsen
Register

Business Development Leads Group 1
Tuesday, November 26, at 7:15 a.m.
Chamber offices

Shop Local Saturday
Saturday, November 30
Follow promotions on our Facebook page

Business Development Leads Group 1
Tuesday, December 10, at 7:15 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business Development Leads Group 2
Wednesday, December 11, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Holiday Celebration
Thursday, December 12, from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora
Register

GA to Return to Springfield for Pensions
Next Month?
In The Know Illinois reports, driven by reported progress toward a state pension deal, House and Senate staffs began surveying members Wednesday about a potential Dec. 3 return to the state Capitol for possible action on a plan to solve Illinois’ $100 billion pension crisis.

Leader Durkin spokeswoman Vicki Crawford said there is no consensus yet, but the aim is to strike a deal by the end of the year.

“They’re making progress. We’re still waiting for numbers,” she said. “No deal yet.”

Read Dave McKinney’s full story from the Sun Times here.

City of Aurora Building and Permits Updates
Aurora permit activity at pre-recession levels: Year-to-date issued permit volume surpasses past six years, reports John Curley, and nearly meets 2007. Issued permit volume has increased 27% year over year. Not only has their issued volume steeply climbed the first three quarters, the construction valuation of these issued permits has skyrocketed to a 112% increase over last year’s issued construction valuation.

Seeking Electrical Commission Nominees for Forthcoming NEC 2011 adoption process: Aurora Building and Permits will be embarking upon a 2011 NEC code adoption in the next half year. They have committed to keeping the business community posted on progress. Public commission meetings will be open to the public and announced through their newsletter and a new code development section our web page. They encourage participation.

One way to be involved would be to sit as a commissioner on our Electrical Commission. The commission currently has three vacancies. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer, visit http://aurora-il.org/mayorsoffice/boards/index.php and complete the candidate form.

For information, contact John at jcurley@aurora-il.org.

Fox Valley United Way Requests
Holiday Support
With the holiday season just around the corner, Fox Valley United Way is once again partnering with local businesses, community and student groups, along with families and individuals who are interested in helping those that are experiencing difficulties during these tough economic times.

While countless parents are telling their children that there will not be many gifts under the tree this year, a large number of children in our community will not be receiving any presents. The Fox Valley United Way wants to give to those families in need, who do not have the financial means to provide gifts for their children this year.

You can help by donating to the Fox Valley United Way Holiday Assistance fund. Your financial gift will be used to purchase clothes, toys, hats, mittens and scarves for the children. If donations allow, we will also buy each family a gift card to a local grocery store, so they can enjoy a family holiday meal!

Below are some ways you can make a difference this holiday season:

  • Sponsor an individual child or family. We will send you detailed information about a family in need this holiday season and you purchase gifts for each child in that family. For more information about a sponsorship, please contact Deborah at deborah.collins@uwfoxvalley.org.
  • Provide a monetary donation. All donations can be mailed to or presented at the following address: Fox Valley United Way, 44 East Galena Blvd., Aurora, IL 60505. If processing a donation by credit card is preferred, please visit www.uwfoxvalley.org.
  • Purchase a gift card.By purchasing a gift card from a local grocery store, you can provide a holiday meal for a family in need.
  • Organize a community drive to collect specific items. Basic needs items that are always in shortage are scarves, hats, and mittens (or gloves). Another beneficial drive encouraged is collecting toys for children. All basic needs items, toys and other gifts can be dropped off at the Fox Valley United Way office.

Please note that all gifts should be unwrapped and donations of any size appreciated. Deadline to drop off donations, at the Fox Valley United Way office, is Friday, December 13th.

Annual Food Drive through November 27;
Please Help
Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry’s 6th Annual Holiday Food Drive is running from now until Nov. 27 at Prisco’s Fine Foods (1108 Prairie St., Aurora) and Cermak Fresh Market (1250 N. Lake Street, Aurora).

This Thanksgiving Season, we hope to provide a substantial amount of non-perishable food items to The Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry as a result of our drive. The Pantry has served a record number of recipients in the past year and the numbers continue to increase. In 2012 The Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry distributed 2 million pounds of food to the equivalent of 150,000 individuals. They are on pace to distribute 2.5 million pounds of food by the end of 2013. While the needs continue to increase, the Pantry is experiencing a reduction in the amount of food received through food drives and donations, as well as a decrease in assistance from state and federal programs.

The goal of the “Annual Holiday Food Drive” is to collect enough food and monetary donations to purchase food to ensure that no one in our community is ever forced to go hungry simply because they cannot afford to buy food. Your monetary donation will be used to purchase food items that are not collected and desperately needed, as well as to maintain efficient and effective distribution of the food to those who are in need.

We would like to become a community where no one goes hungry and we need your help to feed our brothers and sisters in need. Please help us make the 6th Annual Holiday Food Drive the most successful to date by purchasing, in way of a monetary donation, a truck load of food or one of the other sponsorships below.

Donations can be made Online at www.aurorafoodpantry.org.

The Annual Food Drive for Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry is going on now. This year — with gratitude to an anonymous benefactor — each pallet donation will get a matching donation. And if your company matches your donation, a simple gift of $162 will triple and get the Aurora food pantry and Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry three pallets of cereal — that’s 2,700 boxes of cereal for the season — and it started with your generous gift of $162. Check out this link and see how far your gift can go to help our community’s hungry. Please share this with your friends and co-workers.

Member News
Sunnymere will host their monthly Breakfast Club on Wednesday, November 20th at 8:30 a.m., with the topic of “Laughter Yoga.” Make plans to attend and find out about this great, fun exercise that is both good for body and the mind. The event is free of charge, but reservations are requested by calling Cecelia Sanders at (630) 898-7844.

The Growing Place will be holding a Wreath, Container, and Swag Workshop on Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at their Aurora location, followed by a decorating demo from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. that will show creative ways to use seasonal greens, berries, cones, branches and festival accents for holiday decorating.

Welcome the winter season with the Fox Valley Special Recreation Foundation‘s Northern Nights charity event on Nov. 22 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the St. Charles Hilton Garden Inn. For $50 a ticket, guests of will enjoy an evening of wine, appetizers and special auctions. Visit www.fvsrfoundation.org or call (630) 907-1114 for tickets and additional details. Proceeds from the event support recreation services for people with disabilities.

Get into a festive mood with Mooseheart’s 4th Annual Holiday Lights from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. nightly, starting on Nov. 29 all the way through Dec. 31. Come see 90+ displays and drive through a giant light tunnel! Cost is $10 per car ($1 for 3D glasses) and all proceeds go to benefit children in need. Call (630) 906-3601 or visit www.mooseheart.org for more information.

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.

 

25 Apps Small Businesses Need to Succeed

Friday, November 15th, 2013

It doesn’t matter if the economy is good or bad; small business owners always need to be aware of new creative ways to run their business more efficiently.It’s important for businesses both large and small to use innovation in technology to ensure success.  However, where large corporations always had the budget to pay for these innovations; small businesses couldn’t afford that luxury. Until now.Today, many small business entrepreneurs are turning to mobile applications to operate more efficiently and build a better business. Mobile applications are revolutionizing the way businesses operate because they are creating a more level playing field and an opportunity for small businesses to compete with larger sized companies.

Whether you are a current or future entrepreneur, check out this list of apps you can use to further optimize your business activities on the go and help you and your business continue to succeed no matter what the economy or “those other big guys” are doing.

Apps for Small Business Owners

Social Media

1.  Hootsuite 

Many small business owners struggle to find the time to manage their social media marketing efforts. This app allows users to manage social engagement with customers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare, all in one place. This means you save time by managing posts, messages, tweets and updates across multiple platforms from one easy location while on the go.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android – BlackBerry

2.  LinkedIn 

Networking is a great way to find talented employees to bring into your business. Let’s say you meet someone outside of work that you may be interested in hiring. You can use this app to instantly look up their professional profile to learn more about them and see if they’re qualified for a position.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android – BlackBerry – Windows

3.  Yelp 

While often used by customers to search for local businesses, this application is equally useful to small business owners for seeing what customers are saying about their business. Use this app on the go to keep up with customer reviews and address any potentially problematic comments before it impacts your business. You can also keep an eye on your competition’s reviews in order to identify business opportunities in areas that your customers care about, such as customer service, value or atmosphere.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android – BlackBerry – Windows

4.  Instagram

Most small businesses don’t have the funds available for large marketing campaigns  but now they can use this app to instantly share photos highlighting products or services in an artistic way. Simply upload pictures on the go and make them unique with Instagram’s photo filters for instant marketing to share via your social media channels.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android

5.  Facebook Pages Manager

When owners choose to promote their business online, Facebook is often the number one site used to attract and engage with customers. This app allows users to manage their Facebook page and stay informed about customer interactions. Use this app on the go to always stay connected with your customers or to address immediate issues.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS

Productivity

6.  Hours Tracker

If you work as a self-employed contractor, it’s important it is to accurately track the amount of hours worked on each project. This app allows you to track your hours on the go with a start–and-stop feature that works by just tapping your finger on the screen. This enables you to not have to remember to log your hours at the end of the day, which can sometimes lead to errors.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS

7.  Trello

Business projects are complex and often require completing many different tasks at just the right time along the way. With this app you can create to-do lists, track the progress of projects and stay organized on the go. Keep your projects organized outside of the office by moving your “cards” to different “lists” as you complete them so you can easily manage your progress to get more things done.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android

8.  Pandora

As a business owner life can sometimes be stressful. And while that stress comes with the territory it is extremely important to relax every once in a while and refocus. This app allows you to listen to your favorite music while taking some time for yourself so you can come back to your business operations refreshed and ready to work.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android – BlackBerry – Kindle

9.  Evernote

Business owners are always coming up with new ideas at random times. It’s important to be able to record these ideas wherever you are before they vanish. This app can help you by creating notes or voice memos no matter where you are so you can revisit them later in order to take full advantage of your great business ideas.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android – BlackBerry – Windows

10.  iTalk Recorder

Have you ever left an important business meeting trying to remember the key points of the discussion? This app allows you to take full-length recordings and email them to yourself so you can review your conversation at a later time. Never again will you find yourself trying to remember what the other person said and what you were going to do next.

Price: Free and Premium Versions
Platform(s): iOS

Financial

11.  Expensify

Keeping track of expenses is something many new owners in fast paced industries struggle with upon starting their business. Use this app to track your mileage, food and other expenses on the go. This way you can build expense reports later and not have to worry about saving all of those receipts because you can take a picture of them to create digital copies.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android – BlackBerry – WebOS

12.  PayPal

Depending on the needs of your business, you may need a variety of different ways to accept payment for your product or services. Download this app so you can accept payments or transfer funds no matter where you conduct your business.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android – BlackBerry

13.  Mint

For small business owners, personal and business finances will often go hand in hand.  Use this app to track, budget and manage your accounts all in one place. It will also help to have a clearer picture of your personal finances to help you avoid late fees, remember to pay bills on time and check account balances.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android

14.  Square

In a world where cash is considered king, consumers using credits cards is on the rise.  With this app you will sign up to receive your credit card reader so you can accept cash or credit payments from your customers. What is unique about this system is that it’s mobile and instead of monthly processing fees, there is a small percentage fee charged for each transaction processed.

Price: Free to Download
Platform(s): iOS – Android

15.  QuickBooks

To save on expenses many small business owners choose to complete all of the accounting work for their business themselves by purchasing a software package such as QuickBooks. With this application you can sync the app with your computer software to manage customer invoices, complete billing and organize expenses as you receive them to avoid the dreaded stack of paperwork that you would otherwise have to tackle on your day off.

Price: Free to Download
Platform(s): iOS – Android

Information Management

16.  CamCard

As a business own you are constantly meeting new people and collecting their business cards.  Instead of storing those cards in your desk or wallet, download this app to simply snap a picture of the card. It will save the information to a contacts list.

Price: $2.99
Platform(s): iOS – Android – BlackBerry

17.  Google Drive

As an owner you will need to organize, securely store and access key pieces of information for your business at a variety of different times. Use this app to view, edit, and store your saved documents on the go with this cloud-based system. An added bonus is that Google gives 5GB of free storage.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android

18.  iFax

In business you need a variety of different pieces of technology to conduct business. While the use of a fax machine can be a necessity, it’s often used either all the time or on very rare occasions. With this app you no longer need to depend on a machine and landline. Use this app to have your own incoming fax number to be able send or receive faxes for a small charge all from your mobile device at anytime no matter if you use it a lot or very little.

Price: Free with In-App Purchases
Platform(s): iOS – Android

19.  Delivery Status Touch

Product and inventory management can be a huge part of running your small business. Use this app to keep track of any packages you are waiting to arrive from many of the different shipping companies. Use it anywhere you are to keep business running as smoothly as possible.

Price: $4.99
Platform(s): iOS

20.  1Password

Security is of the upmost importance in managing your business. It can be difficult to remember all your login information, passwords, credit card numbers or membership IDs. With this app you can securely store all of this information on your mobile device, and be able to access it whenever it’s needed by just remembering one password to access the app.

Price: $9.99
Platform(s): iOS – Android

Miscellaneous

21.  Quickoffice

Only within the past few years has technology allowed small business owners to bring their office along with them wherever they go.  No matter if you are traveling cross country or just down the street for a meeting with your banker, you can use this app to create, edit, and view your Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets on the go, without bringing your computer along.

Price: $19.99
Platform(s): iOS – Android

22.  Skype

Businesses today are able to personally connect with their partners, vendors and customers from all over the world. Nothing is better for a business relationship than face time. This app allows you to use voice or video calls for free to better connect with others as you grow your business.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android – Windows

23.  Google Search

When running a small business unforeseen problems are bound to happen and you need to find solutions to them as soon as possible. With this app you have access to the master problem solver Google no matter where you may be. Just run a search to get immediate answers without even typing it in because you can use the voice search function!

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android – BlackBerry

24.  Google Analytics

These days many small businesses are dependent on a website to attract customers. By using this app you can see real time statistics such as current site visitors and other performance reports at any time on the go from your mobile device. You can even set up goal alerts to know exactly when you business reaches new milestones!

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android

25.  Google Calendar

Staying organized and remembering important dates is extremely important for small businesses. Use this app to create events such as sales meetings, payment deadlines and other events that are important to your business. And because this is an app from Google it is integrated into the other Google products that you may already use such as Gmail and Google+.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS – Android

External links provided on Rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.



As an Inbound Marketing Specialist at Rasmussen College, Grant creates helpful, student-focused articles to educate, encourage, and motivate current, past, and future students in an effort to promote a learning culture that changes and builds lives.

Tap into the OnLight Aurora Network

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Tap into the OnLight Aurora High-Speed Fiber Private Network for internet access and more.

Thanks to the City of Aurora and OnLight Aurora, businesses, schools and non-profits can now leverage fiber-optic cabling for high speed internet access and off-premise data services.

The City of Aurora’s state-of-the-art Fiber Optic Network is now complete and Gigabit Ethernet (1000BaseLX) is now available to the educational, business and healthcare communities.

Features and Benefits

  • Developed for B2B, Schools & Non Profits
  • Self-healing Ring Design
  • On Ring Intranet Services
  • Affordable Reliable Speed
  • Pay with a single flat fee versus by metering
  • From 50 Mbps to 10 Gbps
  • Diverse Internet Backbones
  • Symmetrical Internet Bandwidth
  • Data Center Services

 

Data Center Services

OnLight Aurora has partnered with PDS to offer area businesses data center services, such as virtual storage, virtual servers, data protection and recovery services. Services are offered directly from the PDS Cloud Extension Center (CEC), located right here in your community.

 

For more information

To contact PDS for off-premise, hosted data center solutions, contact Britt Engstrom at 800-966-6090.

To contact OnLight Aurora, contact Peter Lynch at (630) 256-4620.

It’s Here: #SmallBizAurora 2013 This Week

Monday, November 11th, 2013
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.
Header
November 11, 2013
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Balihoo Productions
Basil’s Greek Dining
BMO Harris
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Caterpillar, Inc.
Central DuPage Hospital
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
Create Cut Invent
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Fox Valley Country Club
Global Data Sciences
Ice Miller LLP
Idea Marketing Group
In & Out Creative – Log Web Video
Konen Insurance Agency
Law Offices of McLaughlin & Associates, P.C.
Liberty Mutual – Dawn Tully
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Nelson Multimedia/WSPY
Old Second National Bank
Organo Gold
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipefitters Local 597
Piper’s Banquets
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
River West Radiation Therapy Center
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Ryland Homes – Ingham Park
S&S Metal Recycling
Safeguard Construction Co.
Sequoia General Contracting Corp.
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
St. Charles Bank & Trust
Strayer University
Stumm Insurance, LLC
TCE Company
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
uberloop
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WERV FM Radio (Next Media)

Welcome New Members

American Express OPEN Small Business Credit Cards
Jasginder Singh
(917) 593-8729
Business Credit Cards

Prudential – Fox Valley Agency
Donna L. Powell
2132 Deep Water Lane, Ste. 140
Naperville, IL 60564
(630) 210-7500
Financial Services

Planet Fitness
Chris Kouros
1842 Douglas Rd.
Montgomery, IL 60538
(630) 896-5500
Fitness Center

 

Contact Us


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

 

 

Veteran's Day

We are proud to honor all who have served the United States and we celebrate the service of our veterans.
#SmallBizAurora Week
Small businesses are at the heart of the American economy. Join us next week as we celebrate small businesses in the region. #SmallBizAurora Week is co-sponsored by Rasmussen College and ONLight Aurora. Follow #SmallBizAurora on Facebook and twitter for updates and information.

Rasmussen College OnLight Aurora

Monday, Nov. 11
Ribbon Cutting Celebration
11:30 a.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Join Mayor Tom Weisner and community leaders to kick off the week with a ribbon cutting celebrating our community’s small businesses. All businesses are invited.

Tuesday, Nov. 12
Business Development Leads Group 1
7:30 a.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

City Council
Mayor Tom Weisner and Council Proclaim #SmallBizAurora Week
6:00 p.m.
City Hall, 40 E. Downer Place, Third Floor Council Chambers

Wednesday, Nov. 13
Business Development Leads Group 2
8:00 a.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Annual Celebration of Membership
12:00 p.m.
Piper’s Banquets, 1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora

Co-sponsored by
AT&T Mobility

Friday, Nov. 15
Small Business Showcase & Symposium
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Fox Valley Country Club, 2500 N. Route 25, North Aurora
Visit exhibitors to gather resources, ideas, and support for your small business. Exhibitor spaces are available.

Co-sponsored by

Old Second Start Banking FirstMerit Bank Aurora University

Saturday, Nov. 16
How to Get Money for Your Business
9:00 a.m. – Noon
Waubonsee’s downtown Aurora, 18 S. River Street, Aurora

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce thanks the following for their support of the #SmallBizAurora 2013 program: Accion, City of Aurora and City of Aurora Neighborhood Redevelopment, Fox Valley SCORE, Illinois SBDC at Waubonsee Community College, and Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce.

Call the Aurora Chamber at (630) 256-3182 for information and details.

Premier Members
Premier Members
Save the Date: Mark Your Calendars
Business Development Leads Group 1
Tuesday, November 12, at 7:15 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business Development Leads Group 2
Wednesday, November 13, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices

2013 Annual Celebration of Membership
Wednesday, November 13, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Piper’s Banquets, 1295 Butterfield Rd., Aurora
Register

#SmallBizAurora Showcase and Symposium
Friday, November 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Fox Valley Country Club, 2500 N. Route 25, Aurora
Register

How to Get Money for your Business
Saturday, November 16, from 9:00 a.m. – Noon
Waubonsee’s downtown Aurora, 18 S. River Street, Aurora
Register
Co-sponsored by Accion, City of Aurora Neighborhood Redevelopment, and Illinois SBDC at Waubonsee Community College

Coffee & Connections Networking Events
Tuesday, November 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Painters District Council #30, 905 Sequoia Dr., Aurora
Register

Not-For-Profit Alliance
Medical Marijuana in the Workplace
Thursday, November 21, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Hopvine Brewing Company, 4030 Fox Valley Center Dr., Aurora

Not-For-Profit Alliance
Developing an Effective Marketing Communications Plan
Friday, November 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Chamber Offices
Register

City of Aurora Building and Permits Updates
Aurora permit activity at pre-recession levels: Year-to-date issued permit volume surpasses past six years, reports John Curley, and nearly meets 2007. Issued permit volume has Increased 27% year over year. Not only has their issued volume steeply climbed the first three quarters, the construction valuation of these issued permits has skyrocketed to a 112% increase over last year’s issued construction valuation.

Seeking Electrical Commission Nominees for Forthcoming NEC 2011 adoption process: Aurora Building and Permits will be embarking upon a 2011 NEC code adoption in the next half year. They have committed to keeping the business community posted on progress. Public commission meetings will be open to the public and announced through their newsletter and a new code development section our web page. They encourage participation.

One way to be involved would be to sit as a commissioner on our Electrical Commission. The commission currently has three vacancies. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer, visit http://aurora-il.org/mayorsoffice/boards/index.php and complete the candidate form.

For information, contact John at jcurley@aurora-il.org.

Fox Valley United Way Requests
Holiday Support
With the holiday season just around the corner, Fox Valley United Way is once again partnering with local businesses, community and student groups, along with families and individuals who are interested in helping those that are experiencing difficulties during these tough economic times.

While countless parents are telling their children that there will not be many gifts under the tree this year, a large number of children in our community will not be receiving any presents. The Fox Valley United Way wants to give to those families in need, who do not have the financial means to provide gifts for their children this year.

You can help by donating to the Fox Valley United Way Holiday Assistance fund. Your financial gift will be used to purchase clothes, toys, hats, mittens and scarves for the children. If donations allow, we will also buy each family a gift card to a local grocery store, so they can enjoy a family holiday meal!

Below are some ways you can make a difference this holiday season:

  • Sponsor an individual child or family. We will send you detailed information about a family in need this holiday season and you purchase gifts for each child in that family. For more information about a sponsorship, please contact Deborah at deborah.collins@uwfoxvalley.org.
  • Provide a monetary donation. All donations can be mailed to or presented at the following address: Fox Valley United Way, 44 East Galena Blvd., Aurora, IL 60505. If processing a donation by credit card is preferred, please visit www.uwfoxvalley.org.
  • Purchase a gift card.By purchasing a gift card from a local grocery store, you can provide a holiday meal for a family in need.
  • Organize a community drive to collect specific items. Basic needs items that are always in shortage are scarves, hats, and mittens (or gloves). Another beneficial drive encouraged is collecting toys for children. All basic needs items, toys and other gifts can be dropped off at the Fox Valley United Way office.

Please note that all gifts should be unwrapped and donations of any size appreciated. Deadline to drop off donations, at the Fox Valley United Way office, is Friday, December 13th.

Annual Food Drive through November 27;
Please Help
I hope that this e-mail finds you well and that 2013 has been a good year so far. We are reaching out to past volunteers, hoping that we can once again count on your support for our 6th Annual Holiday Food Drive.

We have created an online signup for handing out flyers at our participating stores (Prisco’s Fine Foods at 1108 Prairie St., Aurora and Cermak Fresh Market at 1250 N. Lake Street, Aurora). The flyers are provided and available at the customer service desk of each store. The food drive runs from November 1 until November 27. We ask volunteers to commit to a two-hour timeslot.

To sign up, go to: http://annualholidayfooddrive.com

Or, feel free to contact me and I will signup for you. If you part of a group, club, church, etc., please consider taking a whole day at one of these locations! This is a great way to show your group’s willingness to support our community.

In addition, to selling the pre-assembled bags, we encourage groups, organizations, etc. to sponsor their own food drive. Remember, we have volunteers willing to pick up your food drive collection.

Public Policy Update
The conclusion of the two-week veto session last week proved somewhat anti-climactic. The House quickly recessed yesterday morning leaving only the Senate to take up legislative items while leaving others idle on the floor before recessing to the possibility of a return in December or in the New Year before regularly scheduled spring 2014 session gets underway on January 29.

Here is a rundown of legislative action taken and not taken on issues of importance as provided by the Illinois Chamber:

MPC and EDGE: Both the House and the Senate took action this week to fix a technical error with the Manufacturers Purchase Credit (MPC); however, that technical fix was furnished in two different bills, neither of which were advanced in the opposite chamber. The House passed SB 1448 earlier this week to provide for the MPC fix in addition to a provision that authorizes an EDGE tax credit against withholding for chemical distributor Univar Corporation. The Senate did not take up SB 1448 and instead unanimously approved a separate bill – HB 2977- containing only the MPC technical fix language yesterday after the House had drawn its fall session to a close.

While the Senate did advance two different EDGE bills this week – one for Decatur-based ADM and Naperville-based Office Depot, Inc. (the pre-merger Office Max) – both of those bills failed to receive a full vote on the Senate floor this week. HB 2536, as amended, was unanimously approved Wednesday by the Senate Executive Committee to provide a an EDGE credit against corporate withholding liability for ADM to help offset costs associated with moving the company’s global headquarters from Decatur to Chicago.

Responsible Bidder: The Senate Labor and Commerce Committee approved HB 924 on Wednesday against heavy opposition from the Illinois Chamber, the Black Chamber of Commerce, the NFIB, and other business/trade groups and local governments. As previously reported, the bill would require contractors and subcontractors to comply with Responsible Bidder requirements to qualify for public works projects at the local level and require local contractors to participate in a US Department of Labor approved apprenticeship program in order to bid on public works projects. The bill threatens both small contractors’ ability to comply and compete for local public works projects and increased public construction costs on local governments and municipalities.

While the legislation received the green light from the committee, it was not without the committee members’ directive that the bill return to the committee if and when a compromise between business and labor could be identified. Until that time, the bill’s sponsor – Senator Harmon – has committed to holding the bill on Second Reading.

The bill narrowly passed the House in April by a vote of 60-50-3. For more information on the legislation, please click HERE.

Pension Reform: While the General Assembly did not take up any sweeping pension reform legislation impacting the state retirement systems, the Legislature did approve a bill that could very well serve as a test balloon for a pension reform bill down the road. SB 1523 only makes changes to the Chicago Park District pension fund and sped through both chambers only this week, passing the House by a vote of 87-26-2 on Wednesday with the Senate concurring 46-4-4. Under the plan, the retirement age for existing employees under 45 increases from 50 to 58 years and employee required contributions increase from 9% to 12% of their salaries by 2019. The measure also decreases automatic annual increases in retirement benefits and decreases on-duty disability benefits. The park district is required to make supplemental contributions in 2015, 2016 and 2019 in an attempt to increase the current 43% funded level to 90% by 2050.

In the meantime, the bipartisan legislative committee tasked with producing a legislative solution to the state’s burgeoning pension problem is currently awaiting an actuarial cost-savings analysis on their latest proposal. The proposal, while currently sparse on exact details, may prompt a legislative return in the coming weeks and/or months if the pension reform proposal, which appears to have promise, proves actuarially sound.

Member News
Fox Valley United Way is looking for assistance with their Forgotten Teens Holiday Assistance Program, providing teens with gifts they otherwise wouldn’t receive this holiday season. Contact Deborah Collins at deborah.collins@uwfoxvalley.org to see how your business or group can help.

Local business The Label Printers went international with their anti-counterfeiting products last month at the 2013 International Law Enforcement IP Crime Conference in Dublin, Ireland, becoming a Gold Sponsor for the event that was co-hosted by INTERPOL and An Garda Siochana-the national police service of Ireland-in partnership with Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

Come to West Aurora High School to see The Healing Field, which presents dedicated American flags to the Veterans who gave their lives for our great country. They are on display now until Nov. 13.

Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry’s 6th Annual Holiday Food Drive is running from now until Nov. 27 at Prisco’s Fine Foods and Cermak Fresh Market. For those interested in helping out, the volunteer sign-up can be found here.

Naper Settlement will present an interactive presentation on the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago to celebrate its 120th anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. Advance tickets for this event can be purchased through Naper Settlement’s website here.

VNA Health Care has partnered with Fox Valley Repertory Theater at Pheasant Run Resort to present “Making God Laugh”-a holiday family comedy-on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7:00 p.m. Proceeds from the show will benefit VNA Health Care’s Expansion Fund. Tickets are available here.

The Growing Place is hosting a Holiday Event on Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get into a festive mood with refreshments, decorating ideas, workshops, demos and the first look their fresh greens, cones, berries and their beautiful designer-created decorations.

Welcome the winter season with the Fox Valley Special Recreation Foundation‘s Northern Nights charity event on Nov. 22 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the St. Charles Hilton Garden Inn. For $50 a ticket, guests of will enjoy an evening of wine, appetizers and special auctions. Visit www.fvsrfoundation.org or call (630) 907-1114 for tickets and additional details. Proceeds from the event support recreation services for people with disabilities.

Association for Individual Development announces the perfect holiday gifts for family, friends, and coworkers! Two great products assembled by individuals with special needs: Jubilee Jam ($15) and Country Inn Breakfast Basket ($10). Contact Wendy Bialek at (847) 931-2294 to place your order.

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.

 

Special Issue: #SmallBizAurora 2013 Next Week

Monday, November 4th, 2013
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.
Header
November 04, 2013
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Balihoo Productions
Basil’s Greek Dining
BMO Harris
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Caterpillar, Inc.
Central DuPage Hospital
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
Create Cut Invent
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Fox Valley Country Club
Global Data Sciences
Ice Miller LLP
Idea Marketing Group
In & Out Creative – Log Web Video
Konen Insurance Agency
Law Offices of McLaughlin & Associates, P.C.
Liberty Mutual – Dawn Tully
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Nelson Multimedia/WSPY
Old Second National Bank
Organo Gold
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipefitters Local 597
Piper’s Banquets
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
River West Radiation Therapy Center
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Ryland Homes – Ingham Park
S&S Metal Recycling
Safeguard Construction Co.
Sequoia General Contracting Corp.
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
St. Charles Bank & Trust
Strayer University
Stumm Insurance, LLC
TCE Company
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
uberloop
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WERV FM Radio (Next Media)

Welcome New Members

Arlington Computer Products
Michael Krzus
(630) 715-0833
Information Technology

Walgreens – Randall Rd.
Alan Ward
1207 N. Randall Rd.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 897-7112
Pharmacy/Retail

 

Contact Us


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

 

 

Small businesses are at the heart of the American economy. Join us next week as we celebrate small businesses in the region. #SmallBizAurora Week is co-sponsored by Rasmussen College and ONLight Aurora. Follow #SmallBizAurora on Facebook and twitter for updates and information.

Rasmussen College OnLight Aurora

Monday, Nov. 11
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, there are 28 million small businesses in the United States. Join Mayor Tom Weisner and community leaders to kick off the week with a ribbon cutting celebrating our community’s small businesses. All businesses are invited.

Ribbon Cutting Celebration
11:30 a.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Tuesday, Nov. 12
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, immigrants make up 12.5% of small business owners nationwide.

Business Development Leads Group 1
7:30 a.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

City Council
Mayor Tom Weisner and Council Proclaim #SmallBizAurora Week
6:00 p.m.
City Hall, 40 E. Downer Place, Third Floor Council Chambers

Wednesday, Nov. 13
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 60 to 80% of all new jobs come from small businesses.

Business Development Leads Group 2
8:00 a.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Annual Celebration of Membership
12:00 p.m.
Piper’s Banquets, 1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora

Co-sponsored by
AT&T Mobility

Friday, Nov. 15
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses employ 57% of the country’s private workforce and pay 44% of the U.S. payroll.

Small Business Showcase & Symposium
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Fox Valley Country Club, 2500 N. Route 25, North Aurora
Visit exhibitors to gather resources, ideas, and support for your small business. Exhibitor spaces are available.

Co-sponsored by

Old Second Start Banking FirstMerit Bank Aurora University

Saturday, Nov. 16
According to the Los Angeles Times, one third of small businesses rely on credit for financing.

How to Get Money for Your Business
9:00 a.m. – Noon
Waubonsee’s downtown Aurora, 18 S. River Street, Aurora

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce thanks the following for their support of the #SmallBizAurora 2013 program: Accion, City of Aurora and City of Aurora Neighborhood Redevelopment, Fox Valley SCORE, Illinois SBDC at Waubonsee Community College, and Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce.

Call the Aurora Chamber at (630) 256-3182 for information and details.

Our Condolences
The Aurora Chamber received a message last week that Farnsley L. Peters had passed away in October at his home in Nokomis, Florida. He served on the staff of Madison (WI) Chamber of Commerce and was the chief executive officer of Aurora (IL), Rockford (IL), and Cincinnati (OH) chambers of commerce. In Aurora, he was a member of the team that played an important part in bringing the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to the Aurora area. He is survived by his wife, Jean; daughter, Susan and son-in-law Patrick Brugh of Glen Ellyn; son David of Nokomis; three grandsons, Miles and Griffin Brugh and Derrik Peters; and his brothers, Kenton of Madison, Wisconsin, and Barry of Oswego.
Premier Members
Premier Members
Save the Date: Mark Your Calendars
Business Development Leads Group 1
Tuesday, November 12, at 7:15 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business Development Leads Group 2
Wednesday, November 13, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices

2013 Annual Celebration of Membership
Wednesday, November 13, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Piper’s Banquets, 1295 Butterfield Rd., Aurora
Register

#SmallBizAurora Showcase and Symposium
Friday, November 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Fox Valley Country Club, 2500 N. Route 25, Aurora
Register

How to Get Money for your Business
Saturday, November 16, from 9:00 a.m. – Noon
Waubonsee’s downtown Aurora, 18 S. River Street, Aurora
Register
Co-sponsored by Accion, City of Aurora Neighborhood Redevelopment, and Illinois SBDC at Waubonsee Community College

Not-For-Profit Alliance
Developing an Effective Marketing Communications Plan
Friday, November 22, from 8:30 – 10 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Member News
Congratulations are in order for the Aurora Area Convention and Visitor Bureau for winning the 2013 McDaniel Award for Bureau Innovation, presented to them by the Upper Midwest Convention and Visitors Bureaus. Thanks to a cutting-edge strategy to increase engagement and exposure via social media, the introduction of gateway packages and mobile marketing, they beat out bureaus in seven other states for the prestigious award.

In honor of Veterans Recognition Month, the Fox Valley Park District is offering free admission to all their fitness centers to veterans and their immediate family for the month of November. In addition, the Park District is hosting a Veterans Day Luncheon on Friday, Nov. 8 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Prisco Community Center. Interested parties should register before Nov. 5.

Come to West Aurora High School to see The Healing Field, which presents dedicated American flags to the Veterans who gave their lives for our great country. They are on display now until Nov. 13.

Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry’s 6th Annual Holiday Food Drive is running from now until Nov. 27 at Prisco’s Fine Foods and Cermak Fresh Market. For those interested in helping out, the volunteer sign-up can be found here.

Rebuilding Together Aurora, a local non-for-profit that provides free home repairs and accessibility modifications for low-income homeowners, will host “Dodging to Make a Difference,” its largest fundraiser of the year, from Friday, Nov. 8 to Saturday, Nov. 9, at East Aurora High School.

Naper Settlement will host a segment of “This History Speaks” lecture series, which will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10. The presentation will discuss President John F. Kennedy’s administration and assassination. They are also holding an interactive presentation on the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago to celebrate its 120th anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. Advance tickets for both these events can be purchased through Naper Settlement’s website here.

VNA Health Care has partnered with Fox Valley Repertory Theater at Pheasant Run Resort to present “Making God Laugh”-a holiday family comedy-on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7:00 p.m. Proceeds from the show will benefit VNA Health Care’s Expansion Fund. Tickets are available here.

With their Holiday Shop opening Nov. 9, The Growing Place is hosting a Holiday Event on Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get into a festive mood with refreshments, decorating ideas, workshops, demos and the first look their fresh greens, cones, berries and their beautiful designer-created decorations.

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.