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Chamber@Work Newsletter

Thursday, February 2, 2017

From the President’s Desk: 
State of Small Business Survey 2017

Dear :

I am regularly asked, why is the Chicagoland Chamber investing in neighborhood-based entrepreneurs?  I have four good reasons:

  1. Small business is a vital part of the economy, producing 2 out of every 3 jobs in the nation and employing half of the private sector workforce in Illinois.
  2. Small business owners are anchors for local economic development, job growth and community investment.
  3. Medium- and large-sized businesses rely on small businesses for products and services, workforce development, and innovation.
  4. Small business growth and investment increases employment and economic activity in underinvested communities.

This is why the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce created Small Business Chicago, an initiative to create jobs and economic activity in Chicagoland communities through high-quality support services, growth opportunities, and ongoing investment in neighborhood-based businesses and entrepreneurs, local chambers of commerce and partner organizations.

This initiative came about because we asked small businesses what they care about and what they need.  Through a partnership with the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University, we are now in our 3rd year of surveying Chicago area small business owners and entrepreneurs and I am happy to share with you the State of Small Business 2017.

Based on the findings from the survey, which sampled 770 business owners from a wide range of industries, small business owners top concerns include new taxes and healthcare changes.

Small businesses are also deeply concerned with the state’s economic condition. Only 29 percent of them believe the Chicagoland economy will strengthen over the next year, and only 17 percent believe Illinois’ economy will strengthen over the next year. With 64 percent naming regulatory requirements as a concern, employers collectively worry about government’s next actions and how it will impact their businesses.

On the bright side, 77 percent of business owners have expressed interest in expanding their businesses. This optimism is due to the resources available to businesses in the Chicagoland area, be it Chicago’s abundant workforce or its reputation as a major transportation hub. According to the study, businesses are looking for assistance with marketing, strategic business planning and advancements in technology.

At the heart of Small Business Chicago is the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.  Since August 2014, we have assisted more than 400 clients, providing guidance and resources in business planning, financing, marketing plans, dealing with local government and much more. We host office hours in 12 communities, including Hyde Park, Washington Park, Pullman, Beverly, Englewood, West Loop/Loop/River North, Edgewater, Lakeview, and Rogers Park, and plan to expand into additional neighborhoods in 2017.

So, whether you are an entrepreneur, small active business, growing and ready to expand, or have clients that fit the small business classification we invite you to check out Small Business Chicago.

And for those of you who have grown beyond your small business beginnings, I also invite you to participate in Middle Market Chicago.  You can get a flavor for the program and the people participating next at our next event Pro-Business, Pro-Chicago | Family Business: A Force for Good in Turbulent TimesRichard Edelman will join us for a fireside chat about his experience going from a family owned firm to a global powerhouse in Communications and Public Relations.

Until next time…


Theresa E. Mintle
President & CEO
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Pro-Business, Pro-Chicago
Family Business: A Force for Good in Turbulent Times

February 8 | 7:30 – 9:30 AM

Category: Mid-Market

Hear from one of the most important
business leaders of our time

Join the President & CEO of Edelman, Richard Edelman, for an exclusive fireside chat about the new imperatives for Chicago-based middle market and family owned companies to not only survive, but thrive in these turbulent times. Edelman a leading international public relations firm in the world started as a sole proprietorship and has grown to nearly $900 million in annual revenue and more than 65 offices around the globe by staking the future of the business on the right investments, the right people and staying true to its Chicago roots. 

Learn More


Top International Business
Trends for 2017

February 16 | 8:00 – 10:00 AM

Category: International

A lot has happened since our last Top International Trends events.  Join us at Telemundo to explore Chicago’s place in the global economy and discuss the state of international business as we enter a new era of political leadership, foreign policy, and demographic shifts.

Register Now


Business After Business
Networking at Dolce Italian

February 16 | 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Category: Membership

Chicago social life—Chamber style!  From the food to the service, every aspect of Dolce Italian is an experience.  Join the Chamber at our next networking event at the hip and happening Dolce Italian.

Register Now


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


Outbound Trade Mission to ANTAD/Alimentaria Trade Show An Evening with the Chicago Blackhawks The Exchange 2017
Expo Guadalajara 6354894027982315121041305910_blog1-002-bos-getty__170397196_10-main-imgopt1000x70 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. Break the ice with potential clients and make new connections during a networking reception at Bottom Lounge before heading to the United Center to watch the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Anaheim Ducks. 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 Upcoming Events

  • VIP Evening with the Board | February 9
  • Our Seat at the Table | February 22
  • Prioritize Your Professional Growth | March 30
  • EL Chicago Connect | April 19
  • Kickoff to Summer | May 18

Photos from Recent Events

Learn More About EL Chicago

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Member Spotlight & News





New Members

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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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