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Articles filed under Small Business

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  • How Santa keeps his cool at Banana Split’s Christmas in July Jul 21, 2014 4:44 PM
    Nothing cools you off on a hot day like sitting outside the elf house on Santa's lap near a Christmas tree as you wait for your Frozen Hot Chocolate and Gingerbread Flurrie. The Banana Split in Aurora uses its Christmas in July to have fun and raises funds for the Salavation Army.

  • Barrington mortgage pro helps Hispanic families Jul 21, 2014 4:50 AM
    Kukec's People features Eduardo Paras of Barrington, who helps Hispanic families obtain mortgages to buy homes.

  • States with higher minimum wages gain more jobs Jul 19, 2014 4:01 PM
    Nine of the 13 states increased their minimum wages automatically in line with inflation: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Four more states — Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island — approved legislation mandating the increases.

  • Rauner wants freeze on local property taxes Jul 17, 2014 6:31 PM
    Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner announced details of his job growth and tax reform plan at a Schaumburg business Thursday, including a proposal to require voter approval before any local government can raise its property tax. Rauner outlined his plan to phase out the income tax increase over four years, reform business taxes and fees, phase in an increase of the minimum wage up to $10 per hour and make changes to workers’ compensation policies.

  • Ogden billboards staying until end of 2015 in Naperville Jul 16, 2014 4:01 PM
    The billboards on Ogden Avenue at Rickert Drive in Naperville have a new lease on life. The agreement allowing the signs to stay on the property of Simply Hair Salon and Renewal Spa owner Frances “Dolly” Long expired June 7, but the city council Tuesday night granted an extension until the end of 2015.“I think leniency and flexibility should apply here,” council member Robert Fieseler said.

  • Why Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates struggle to land hardware stores Jul 14, 2014 5:00 AM
    With their combined population of more than 125,000 and central location in the Northwest suburbs, Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates have attracted a variety of auto dealerships, high-end stores and restaurants, and the headquarters of major corporations like Sears and Motorola. But both are currently begging for even one neighborhood hardware store to serve their residents.

  • Streamwood backs property tax breaks for local manufacturers Jul 14, 2014 10:41 AM
    Three Streamwood manufacturers are urging Cook County to extend their property tax breaks for another 12 years. The breaks, backed by Streamwood village officials, would cut the businesses' property taxes in half over the next decade, then offer smaller breaks the following two years.

  • Nobody said owning a business would be easy Jul 14, 2014 4:59 AM
    Decisions are difficult. • Will putting time and money into a social media campaign really grow the business? • Fire Mike? His family needs the income and he was recommended by an employee, but Mike can’t get a handle on his duties. How much damage will he do if I keep him on? • We need more space, but that’s more overhead. Will we be that much more efficient? • An offer to buy the business came out of the blue. What should I do? Accept? Seek other potential buyers? Talk to a lawyer? There’s no doubt that decisions can be tough, but neither is there any doubt that business owners must make them — everyday. “Step back,” suggests Gail Sussman-Miller. “Look at the big picture. Look at how the decision fits your business’ mission — and your personal mission. “If money were no object, what would you really want to do?” A conversation with Sussman-Miller, chief obstacle buster at Inspired Choice, Chicago, is at least interesting and potentially downright helpful. She won’t make your decisions, but she offers some interesting thoughts on how to approach the process. “Most people have trouble asking for help (in the decision-making process),” Sussman-Miller says. In fact, she adds, “Not asking for help is a small business weakness. Our ego gets in the way. We don’t want to appear stupid.” But, she asks with a nod to TV’s Dr. Phil, “How is what you’re doin’ working for ya?” Pause for a moment: That’s a key question. The fear of making the wrong decision can be paralyzing, but keep in mind, Sussman-Miller says, that doing nothing is a decision. “A decision to not act is one of the choices,” she states. An option, Sussman-Miller says, is to ask for help — from a mentor, specialist in your industry or professional adviser. Another is to detach. “Don’t personalize the issue,” she says. “Detach. Put on a white lab coat, pick up a clipboard and pen, and observe your behavior. Remember another time when you had to make a decision. “The mind will always over think an issue. Disconnect your mind. Find some silence to quiet your mind and sort out any emotions that are present. “Take five deep breaths. Inhale through the nose, then exhale through the mouth. That stops the chatter. That calms us, gets us centered.” Even the most uncertain decision-maker has strengths, Sussman-Miller says. “Remember the times when you did something courageous.” Sussman-Miller, who admits to a fear of heights, walked San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, which at mid-span is about 270 feet above the water. You may not have a trek across a bridge to fall back on when one of those difficult decisions must be made, but Sussman-Miller’s point is valid: if you’ve done something difficult before, call upon that experience to help you make the business decision you’re facing today. • Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter, and at Kendall Communications on Facebook. Write him at 2014 Kendall Communications Inc.

  • Glen Ellyn entrepreneur forsakes tech’s nomadic life Jul 14, 2014 4:58 PM
    Kukec's People features Saad Rehmani of Glen Ellyn who forgoes his father's world travels to stay here in the area. But he recently left innovative Redbox and has settled at Kapow.

  • Founder of Glen Ellyn toy company dreams big Jul 14, 2014 4:57 AM
    We talk to the owner of a line of plush, sports-themed dolls called Go! Go! Sports Girls. The dolls are made to empower girls to be active, promote healthy life skills, and encourage creative play through sport.

  • Barbeque & More offers a taste of Pakistan in Algonquin Jul 14, 2014 12:57 PM
    After moving to Algonquin from Pakistan, Shakil Hussain noticed that if he wanted to get some of the tastes from home when dining out, he had to head all the way into Schaumburg. So, he decided to open his own restaurant closer to his Fox Valley home featuring food from Pakistan, as well as Indian, Mediterranean and Asian food.

  • Want contracts? Work harder, women’s org. CEO says Jul 13, 2014 6:16 AM
    Pamela Prince-Eason isn’t letting women business owners off the hook — if they want more contracts with big corporations or the government, they have to work harder to get them than they do now. The CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, an organization that helps women-owned companies win those contracts, says it’s not just corporations standing in women’s way.

  • Woodfield adding six new stores this summer Jul 11, 2014 1:01 AM
    Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg is celebrating the grand opening of six new retailers this summer, including Lulumon athletica, located on the upper level near J. Crew, which will have its grand opening celebration Friday.

  • Schaumburg mayor honored for support of small business Jul 8, 2014 11:51 AM
    Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson received the 2014 Partner America Small Business Advocate Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Tuesday. The award honors Larson's work to help small businesses in Schaumburg, including the village's micro-enterprise loan program.

  • Acacia Organics opens at Barrington’s Ice House Mall Jul 8, 2014 6:02 PM
    Acacia Organics, a local business offering spa treatments and organic products since 2009, will hold a grand opening next month at a new location at the Ice House Mall in Barrington. The new location will feature more spa treatment space, a larger retail store and expanded services, according to a news release.

  • Des Plaines residents oppose Black Ram restaurant patio request Jul 8, 2014 1:59 PM
    Residents near the Black Ram restaurant in Des Plaines are upset with noise coming from the business late at night, and say the business’ plans for an outdoor patio would make matters worse. But the restaurant’s attorney says his client has taken steps to resolve noise issues, while promising that the new patio won’t have DJs or live music as they do inside — just “typical dining noise.”

  • Arlington Heights OKs redevelopment despite opposition Jul 8, 2014 12:53 PM
    The Arlington Heights village board approved a new TIF district for the Hickory-Kensington area in spite of concerns from residents that businesses would be forced to move to make way for redevelopment. The village didn't disagree. “We don't want to misconstrue this and say that these businesses can all stay here," the village's Bill Enright said.

  • Mount Prospect settles lawsuit with Ye Olde Town Inn owner Jul 7, 2014 5:15 PM
    The village of Mount Prospect has reached a settlement with the owner Ye Old Town Inn, who accused officials and a local development company of conspiring to seize his land and move forward with a redevelopment plan downtown without him. “I plan to be there making pizzas for the next 40 years,” he said.

  • Blu Rain Massage fills need for active Antioch residents Jul 7, 2014 5:00 AM
    An interview with Sheila Loos, owner of Blu Rain Massage in Antioch.

  • New rules affect job application process, pregnant employees Jul 7, 2014 8:07 AM
    Jim Kendall' focuses on two pieces of legislation that will change the way small businesses deal with job applicants and pregnant employees.

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