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Articles filed under Small Business

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  • Downtown Naperville dress shop moves to strip mall with 'facelift' Jul 31, 2014 2:29 PM
    A designer dress shop has moved from downtown Naperville to a location that would have seemed unlikely a few months ago, a vacant strip mall on Washington Street just south of Ogden Avenue that needed some work. "Yes, it needed a facelift, but as you can see with the new facelift it's brought life to the whole building,” said Sue Zanayed-Cerulli, owner of Bri'Zan Couture.

  • Naperville shop celebrates wizard with ‘Potter’ birthday party Jul 31, 2014 4:56 PM
    Anderson’s Bookshop in downtown Naperville twice has hosted “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling and even has gathered as many as 70,000 people to celebrate the release of the seventh book in the popular series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Thursday’s event was much smaller, but the shop hosted roughly 75 people for a Harry Potter party to celebrate the July 31 birthdays of both the fictional wizard and the author who brought him to life.

  • Lombard Town Centre leader pleased with progress in village’s downtown Jul 30, 2014 1:01 AM
    Since taking over as executive director of Lombard Town Centre last August, Sarah Richardt has brought what she feels is a “kinder, gentler attitude” to the village’s downtown business arena. “I’m not above calling code enforcement on somebody if they’re not complying with things that need to be done, but it’s an attitude shift,” she said. “I think a lot of it is just talking to (downtown business owners) and asking them what they want instead of telling them what Lombard Town Centre needs from them.”

  • Batavia couple planning Naperville marijuana dispensary Jul 31, 2014 5:58 AM
    Traci and Hugo Fernandez already fight the pain and paralysis of chronic spinal cord injuries through a nonprofit organization they created, the United Paralysis Foundation. Now the Batavia couple are coming at spinal cord injuries from another angle as they aim to open medical marijuana dispensaries in Naperville and Joliet. “People are constantly looking for relief from the chronic pain and the things that go along with mobility issues,” Traci Fernandez said.

  • New downtown Lombard businesses include jewelry store, salons Jul 30, 2014 8:01 AM
    Five businesses have opened their doors this year in downtown Lombard to help give the area a new look. “I’m just very pleased with who’s coming down here,” said Sarah Richardt, executive director of Lombard Town Centre, a group that promotes downtown. Here's a quick look...

  • DuPage County manufacturing incubator nearing launch Jul 29, 2014 9:41 AM
    An innovation center that aims to provide entrepreneurs with space and manufacturing technology to launch their ideas is soon to have a home in DuPage County. Rev3 Innovation Center expects to choose a site in the next few weeks, said Nic Zito, business services director for Choose DuPage. “We’re 99 percent done with securing our space."

  • Des Plaines tech firm is real gem for entrepreneur Jul 28, 2014 12:52 PM
    Kukec's People features Mitul Gandhi was part of a family of jewelers in India. He said he was the so-called black sheep. Instead of jewelry, he gravitated toward technology. Now, he's the co-founder and chief architect of Des Plaines-based SeoClarity.

  • International Trade Center helping Lake County businesses grow Jul 28, 2014 4:53 AM
    An interview with Frank Brisbois, director of the Illinois Small Business Development & International Trade Center at the College of Lake County. Q: Tell us about the SBDC International Trade Center in Grayslake. A: The Illinois Small Business Development & International Trade Center (Illinois SBDC/ITC) at the College of Lake County assists Lake County entrepreneurs and innovators start small businesses. The center also assists existing small businesses expand and grow. Our mission is to assist in job creation, support entrepreneurship, business start up, domestic and global expansion, productivity, and strengthen Lake County’s small business community. The SBDC/ITC at the College of Lake County accomplishes this through free, confidential one-on-one advising, low-cost workshops, networking opportunities and business development expertise. Q: Who does the center cater to? A: The Illinois SBDC/ITC serves Lake County small businesses from new to experienced. Our International Trade Center assists small businesses export products and grow globally. We help business owners anywhere in their business cycle. Q: Tell us a little bit about the history of the center and how it was started. A: CLC was asked to be a host institution in 1985 to serve the residents of Lake County and to build economic independence. The Illinois Small Business Development Center became part of CLC’s Workforce and Professional Development Institute in 2007. WPDI provides training, consulting, and cutting-edge courses for businesses, professionals, and the community. The SBDC added an International Trade Center in 2013 to provide export and import counseling. On an annual basis, the Center serves more than 500 businesses. Q: Many people are not aware that this is in Lake County. How are you spreading the word? A: The Illinois SBDC/ITC is part of the Workforce and Professional Institute at CLC. We are included in WPDI’s promotional pieces as well as attending networking events, presenting at community speaking engagements, chamber outings and events, social media (find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter) and local media such as the Daily Herald Business Ledger. And, of course, we promote by word-of-mouth. Our clients are our best promoters. Q: What other services do you provide? A: The Illinois SBDC/ITC provides: • Free, confidential one-on-one business advising in both English and Spanish • Assistance developing business plans and financial statements • Aid forming strategic marketing plans • Provide information on federal, state and local loan programs and angel investments • Support securing loans with local lenders and service providers • Review cash flow issues and offer solutions • Identify potential global markets • Share international trade knowledge and expertise • Access to vital business resources • Offer low-cost, interactive small business workshops, including: Starting Your Business in Illinois QuickBooks Legal Aspects of Business Ownership Start Strong Business Boot Camp Social Media for Small Business • Workshops are offered at CLC’s Grayslake and Southlake Campuses. We also offer online classes for the convenience of busy business owners. Q: Tell us about the atmosphere there. A: The Illinois SBDC/ITC’s professional office space is conducive to confidential, one-on-one advising located at the College of Lake County’s Grayslake Campus, room T302. We also have a resource library available for clients use. Clients can access valuable small business resources, use a computer for business purposes, or steal a few moments away to plan and strategize their next business venture. We also offer advising at CLC’s Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan and Southlake Campus in Vernon Hills. Advisors are also available, by appointment, at the Lake Villa Library. Our advisers are seasoned, small business owners who have walked in our clients’ shoes! They are a team of experts ready to share their business expertise. Q: What is one interesting fact about the center that most may not know? A: The Center will celebrate its 30 year anniversary in 2015. The SBDC/ITC will be celebrating three decades of small business success. Another interesting fact is we are also an International Trade Center. Our International Trade Specialist, Nicole Massey-Pratt, offers confidential, one-on-one strategic export counseling. Q: How long have you been the director? What is your previous experience? A: I have been the director since September 2013. I joined the Small Business Development Center as a business adviser in 2011. In 2012 the center became an International Trade Center (ITC). To assist our clients, I earned my certification as a Certified Global Business Professional. Previously, I worked at Lake County Partners and focused on the origination of Small Business Administration 504 Loans, the packaging of SBA 7a Loan Guarantees and Industrial Revenue Bond financing. I have over 20 years’ experience working in commercial banking and have held management positions at LaSalle Bank, First Midwest Bank, Bank of Lakehurst and Home Savings and Loan Association in Lake County and have also worked in the Human Resources/Personnel Recruitment field. Q: What is the connection with the center to CLC? A: The College of Lake County provides operational funding for the Center as well as space for administrative staff, counseling and training courses and workshops. The Center on behalf of its clients may avail itself of research and subject matter experts associated with the College. • For more information, contact the Illinois Small Business Development and International Trade Center, (847) 543-2033 or

  • Fair Trade brings big sales and a clear conscience Jul 27, 2014 7:32 AM
    Brooklyn Roasting Co. has a booming business based on helping people thousands of miles away. Ninety percent of the coffee the New York-based company sells is Fair Trade — certified as produced by people who are treated and paid well. “In a thoughtful urban center like New York City, I think it’s a smart business decision to be the company known for responsible coffee sourcing,” co-owner Jim Munson says.

  • Saw safety demo in Schaumburg Aug. 1 Jul 27, 2014 5:07 PM
    Rockler Woodworking and Hardware in Schaumburg will be hosting a free, SawStop table saw safety demonstration and event from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1. Table saws cause tens of thousands of serious injuries every year, and event attendees will learn how SawStoptable saws can help prevent serious injury.

  • Women business owners face gender gap, report says Jul 27, 2014 7:35 AM
    Women who own small business are still far behind their male counterparts when it comes to getting loans and government contracts, a congressional report said Wednesday. The report by Democratic staffers of the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee found that while businesses owned by women account for 30 percent of small companies, they receive only 4.4 percent of the total dollars in conventional small-business loans.

  • Hanover Park adopts temporary ban on pawn shops, some lenders Jul 25, 2014 5:25 AM
    Concerned by their growing numbers, Hanover Park officials have temporarily banned any new pawn shops, "cash for gold" and other lenders from opening up in town. There are 14 such businesses in town. “It has a little bit of a predatory feel to it,” Trustee Bill Cannon said in a phone interview. “When you have that kind of situation, it's even more important to make sure you're not oversaturating your community.”

  • Youthful entrepreneurs sell their wares at Aurora farmers markets Jul 25, 2014 11:00 AM
    Meet four girls who someday may be your boss. The four, ages 11 to 16, are selling their wares at Aurora's farmers markets as part of the city's Young Entrepreneurs program. The girls make their own products, set their own prices and run their own booths. And it seems to be working.

  • Popular craft beer bar coming to Rolling Meadows Jul 24, 2014 2:03 PM
    Bigby's Pour House, a popular craft beer bar in Addison, will open a Rolling Meadows site next month where the Caribou Coffee used to be on Algonquin Road.

  • Des Plaines business offers free yogurt for a year Jul 24, 2014 6:23 PM
    A business coming to downtown Des Plaines is offering free yogurt for a year to the winner of a logo design contest. Veronica Ricci and her husband, Riccardo, plan to open a Forever Yogurt location this fall in a Metropolitan Square storefront between Potbelly and Panera Bread.

  • Mt. Prospect teens learn to be entrepreneurs Jul 27, 2014 5:25 PM
    The Youth Entrepreneur Academy, which turns young people into thriving business owners, returns this fall to Prospect High School."It's hugely important to reach young people these kinds of lessons," said Susan Dozier, a vice president of American Chartered Bank who has served on the program's investor panel.

  • Cary Grove chamber hosts first fall fest Jul 23, 2014 4:42 PM
    The Cary Grove Area Chamber of Commerce will host its inaugural Cary Main Street Fest Sept. 27 and 28. The outdoor fall festival will feature local restaurants and businesses, a marketplace of vendors and artists, live entertainment and a children’s area. “We’re really excited about the launch of this event,” said Brad Ball, chamber executive director. “A street festival offers a great opportunity to reach a lot of people."

  • Naperville boutique holding event on Riverwalk to help Women At Risk Jul 23, 2014 3:09 PM
    A Naperville boutique that supports international programs to get women out of prostitution and human trafficking is taking its cause to the Riverwalk on Saturday during a new, free event. WAR Chest Boutique is hosting the first Celebrate Hope event to introduce people to the shop’s mission, said Meggie Zayas, a WAR Chest volunteer who is organizing the event. “A lot of women through Women At Risk have been rescued and are now out of the life that they were in,” Zayas said. “We should be celebrating that and standing together as we continue to lift women back to dignity and grace.”

  • Holy Family Ministries to open resale shop in Arlington Hts. Jul 22, 2014 5:30 AM
    Arlington Heights will soon have a third resale store in the same area along Rand Road. Holy Family Ministries, a Chicago based church, will open a 9,800-square-foot resale shop at 1101 E. Rand Road near a Salvation Army and Goodwill store following approval from the village board on Monday night.

  • Tie Bar to close Naperville warehouse, plans to increase Chicago staff Jul 22, 2014 10:43 PM
    The Tie Bar, an Internet only business that sells ties, is closing its warehouse in Naperville and plans to increase its workforce at its Chicago headquarters. About 35 workers in Naperville will be laid off. The warehouse operations will be outsourced to a Texas-based company, who will handle the warehouse in Kentucky.

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