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Chamber@Work Newsletter

Thursday, February 16, 2017

From the President’s Desk: Compromise is not a dirty word

Dear Chamber Members and Friends:

The State of Illinois is entering its third year without a budget.  Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce members, including non-profit hospitals and universities, Fortune 100 and mid-market companies, and local entrepreneurs, remain uncertain about their prospects to thrive and grow in Chicagoland and Illinois.  This sentiment was validated by our recent 2017 Small Business Outlook Survey.

We can all agree that Illinois needs a balanced budget with necessary economic reforms to provide long-term stability and a path for growth for businesses, our people, and our State.

Recently, discussions have centered on the Illinois Senate’s attempts at a bi-partisan “grand-bargain” led by Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno.  While the Chamber has voiced its concerns on several items, President Cullerton and Leader Radogno must be applauded and recognized for their transparent and genuine attempts to forge compromise.

The proposal has been constructively criticized by many, while others pretend that we can craft a budget without any revenue or simply believe that compromise is a dirty word.  The latter is misguided and disingenuous.  The Chicagoland Chamber recognizes the need for revenue, though what those specific sources are in relation to responsible spending levels and the required economic reforms continues to be our most important consideration.

Chicagoland remains strong.  A recent bi-partisan report prepared by Moody’s Analytics/Consumer Credit Analytics for the State of Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting & Accountability tells us so.  It also tells us we MUST put our fiscal house in order.

Chicagoland is the Midwest’s economic engine.  But we cannot sustain Illinois’ economy alone; in fact, just the opposite is true.  Without a fiscally strong state, Chicagoland is at risk of losing its edge.  We need the talent that comes out of our state universities.  We need jobs for people at every skill and education level.  We need to ensure that job training and education remains cutting edge and responsive to our work force and the businesses that employ them.  We need the diversity of economic sectors found throughout our state to support our dynamic ecosystem, including agriculture and manufacturing.  A state capital bill is necessary at a time when the federal government is looking to do a $1 TRILLION infrastructure program.  Everything we need to be a strong City and region are the same things the state needs to stem the outflow of people, jobs, and economic activity.

A grand-bargain will come.  It must.  Illinois cannot survive without a responsible budget and necessary economic reforms.  The cost of doing nothing is real and makes the consequences all the more inhibitive and painful from a human and financial cost perspective. The recent Civic Federation FY 2018 Illinois Budget Roadmap provides great insight into the painful and tough choices.  The bond rating agencies continue to tell us the same.

The Senate’s plan is just a start.  It must have input from the Governor and the Illinois House of Representatives.  Compromise will come with the four legislative leaders and Governor working together toward the common goal of passing a balanced budget.  This is how democracy works, no matter how frustratingly slow it can sometimes be.

Through it all, the Chicagoland Chamber continues to talk with and maintain working relationships with the Governor and the four legislative leaders.  We put our members first.  Through our Public Policy Committee, Tax Policy Council, and Council on Logistics and Transportation, we engage with our members every day to advocate without regard to partisan politics.  Our agenda is your agenda—everyday, at every level of government.


Theresa E. Mintle
President & CEO
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

2017 PAC Advocacy Award Luncheon

February 24 | 11:30 – 1:00 PM

Category: Government Relations

A true entrepreneur, Bob started Brook Furniture Rental with a small loan and grew it into a national company with over 500 employees. Bob has advocated on behalf of entrepreneurs just like himself, and is dedicated to advancing all businesses so that they thrive and grow successfully.

Join us in honoring Bob Crawford as the third annual honoree of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce PAC Advocacy Champion Award.

Register Now

Crawford, Bob

An Evening with the Chicago Blackhawks

March 9 | 5:30 – 10:00 PM

Category: Networking

Break the ice with potential clients and make new connections during a networking reception at the West Loop’s most popular rock bar Bottom Lounge before heading to the United Center to watch the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Anaheim Ducks.

Register now

blackhawks 2

Own Your Career | Prioritize Your Professional Growth

March 30 | 4:30 – 7:00 PM

Category: Emerging Leaders Chicago

  • How do you prioritize professional development when bogged down with your workday  responsibilities? Do you linger next to the exit looking uncomfortable when you attend a networking event?
    • Whether you’re new to the working environment or looking to brush up on your networking and business development skills, this event will feature something for you.
    • Discover common mistakes in networking and how to structure conversations that result in valuable personal and professional introductions.
Register Now

March 30 event

2017 James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award | Kickoff Reception

April 12 | 5:00 – 8:00 PM

Category: Small Business

Vote for your favorite emerging business! Hear pitches from the top 12 front-runners for the 2017 Tyree Award. A panel of former Tyree Award winners and finalists will serve as Shark Tank-style judges while the audience decides the top 6 businesses to advance to the next round of judging.

Register Now



Outbound Trade Mission to ANTAD/Alimentaria Trade Show Global Food Challenges; Innovative Irish Solutions The Exchange 2017
Expo Guadalajara ardnasidhe-sneem-2 Aloha Prints
Agribusiness is one of Chicago’s largest economic sectors and we have a global connection for our members. Join the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce on an agribusiness trade mission to Expo ANTAD/Alimentaria in Guadalajara, Mexico. This March, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Ireland, the Chamber is excited to explore Ireland’s innovations, R&D and best practices around agribusiness and celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day season with a business luncheon. Chicagoland's largest networking event this year is at Soldier Field. The Exchange 2017 provides networking opportunities and a trade-show floor that are second to none, with more than 700 professionals and 100 exhibitors from all industries in attendance. Mark your calendars now and plan to be a part of the fun.

Emerging Leaders Chicago Spotlight

Photos from Recent Events

Learn More About EL Chicago

More Event Photos

Member Spotlight & News

New Members

Join us in welcoming these new members and make sure to connect with them at upcoming Chamber events:

More News

Learn About Membership

ChamberPlus Member Savings

Take advantage of exclusive, member-only deals that will help you cut costs and save money immediately.  Each of our ChamberPlus Partners offers competitive rates and discounts on the products and services our members need most.

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Member to Member Offers:

Mention your Chicagoland Chamber membership and have your room rental fee waived at any Gibsons Restaurant Group location: Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House, LUXBAR and Quartino. Contact Amy at avizek@grgmc.com or 312.221.9824 for more info.

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Text to Save Offer with Office Depot. Click here to learn more!

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Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Wrigley Building, 410 North Michigan Ave, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60611
Telephone: (312) 494 6700
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