How do you plan for disturbances to your business that can show up at a moments notice? COVID-19 has rocked our world in a matter of weeks. Now we are all living in a remote world, planning for re-entry, and trying to positively impact our community all at once. 

    It can be overwhelming to try to carry on business as usual, in this unusual time. The Schaumburg Business Association is dedicated to getting you as many resources as we can to help ease the turbulence. 

    This new blog series will include member inspired information in three categories…

    • Working from Home – Etiquette and Hacks
    • Building a new Blueprint – Navigating COVID-19 and Planning for Re-Entry
    • When Community is Business – Stories Using Business for Community

    There are unlimited resources, perspective and expertise in the SBA membership. If you or your business have something to share with the membership, please reach out to Marketing & Communications Manager, Christina Cox at [email protected].




    One of the greatest challenges of the COVID-19 crisis is the devastating effect it has had on employees. Loss of hours or their jobs all together. Our employees are our family, so check out these resources and frequently asked questions to help navigate.

    Terry Koehler, Presidio

    Some of the top questions to benefits providers include.. 

    • How are claims being covered?
    • How do you council the insured and uninsured during this time?
    • How does this impact the employee if the employer is not collecting premium payments?

    All that and more is covered in this FAQ page provided by Presidio. 


    Benefits providers are not the only ones being asked to clarify the technicalities in the laws and benefits in place for employees at this time. Attorneys are hard at work sorting it all out. Andre with Bruning & Associates offers up these resources to help understand some difficult topics.

    Andre Ordeanu, Bruning & Associates

    Emergency FMLA:

    Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act:

    Essential and Non-essential in Governor's Executive Order:

    What can be a bright spot in the day, is planning for re-entry to a business as usual world. One of the greatest lessons we can learn is how important employee health is. There are tons of ways to build health initiatives into our daily business lives. Take it from people who have made health their business.

    Julie & Charlie Cates, Muscle Activation Schaumburg

    “Julie and I recommend using this time to create a new normal for yourself. Use a more open schedule to create time to move, time to destress, and time to rest and recover every day. Get outside, take naps, join in on our Facebook workouts, start a mediation practice - get in the habit of doing things today that will pay dividends in the future.

    As individuals, we are all going to come out of this time either healthier or less healthy than we are right now. By utilizing the opportunities that a schedule with fewer commitments presents to prioritize your health and well-being, you will find yourself in a better place to handle the challenges that await each of us once we all return to business as usual.”

    For great ideas on what afflicts employees, check out this great podcast produced by Muscle Activation Schaumburg.

    With our 800+ members we will have no shortage of expertise, keep an eye out for our two other blogs as well as weekly updates to each topic, while we remain #communitystrong.

  • Female Entrepreneur making waves in Schaumburg

    Amanda Whelan: Entrepreneur

    After I graduated beauty school in 2004, I started working at a chain salon building my haircutting skills & clientele. After a few years of industry experience I was approached by a full service salon asking if I wanted to join their team & have the opportunity to learn from senior stylists. I grew my clientele even more & had access to advanced one on one training at the salon in hair color, updos, makeup & business development. After a few years there, I moved to a different town & continued my career at a new salon rebuilding my clientele. That lead to being promoted to management. I’m always trying to learn more and to be more at every salon I was a part of. Continuing education classes were always a part of my progress.. I became certified in a handful of classes. One being extensions. In 2013, I got married, and had children. Shortly after finding out I was pregnant with my youngest, my husband actually suggested I get into teaching in the industry. I would have the opportunity to work days & be home night & weekends. As stylists we don’t get nights & weekends off very often. So, I did. As I was pregnant with my youngest, I went back to school to get my cosmetology educators license. My first vision was to be an educator for a product or brand. I sent my resume out to a dozen different companies, one being the extension company, I was certified in. Even though you do not NEED to be a licensed educator in the state of IL to educate for a brand. I am a go big or go home type of girl, so I wanted to make sure I had all the credentials. I was asked to join the team of educators on an as needed status, educating at tradeshows, seminars & performing school demos. I was able to travel the states educating artists in extensions. I did platform work at the top trade shows like, Premier Orlando & Americas Beauty Show. This is where my LOVE for educating was started. I continued to travel & educate with the extension company but, parting ways in 2020. My official licensed educator position was in 2013 at Regency Beauty Institute. Still keeping a small clientele on my off days, I started out as a part time educator which lead to full time shortly after as lead educator. Sadly a few years later, they abruptly closed their doors with no noticed to students or staff. I knew in my heart I would never find the same culture I had there with those students and fellow educators. I decided to focus on building a business for artists like myself. ILLINOIS BEAUTY CEU was born OCT2015. Still wanting to service my clients as well I rented a salon suite in the area to try to accommodate both businesses. After a year I was outgrowing the space, but financially I couldn’t make the move to a bigger space. An industry friend asked if I wanted to rent a larger space together, so all 3 business can grow. We went for it. We moved into a larger suite together. Unfortunately, 8 short months later, we realized the environment around us was not for us. She decided to downsize back to her smaller room at our previous location, but I definitely didn’t see that for my goal. Many nights of conversations with my husband about my salon business growing and my education business growing, we talked about having our own storefront. He came across an old business, a small 519 square foot salon in our neighborhood that had moved out. He decided to call to get information on leasing it. 5 months later STUDIO.19 Salon was born March2019.


    Illinois Beauty CEU is a continuing education company for Illinois salon & spa professionals & was designed to continue to fuel my passion for education. IBC’s mission is to inspire and educate unlike any other CE classes in the industry while focusing on skills, not selling. As a stylist and licensed educator, I always search for quality education, but they all seemed to be product focused and always ended with a sales pitch. Illinois Beauty CEU is not product driven. It is education driven. Over the years this company as grown so much building a platform for all artists in Illinois to unite within education and share their industry experience & knowledge allowing Illinois artists to get advanced training and earn their state required CE hours. As of today Feb 2020, IBC has 22 educators & 6 business partners. We are always looking to join forces with artists and industry companies to better our endless amazing industry.

    Studio.19 Salon is an independent salon where hairstylists/barbers can be their own boss. Studio.19 was designed from my struggles being in the salon suite life and independent artist and educator. Rent for one little room all by myself wasn’t that great of an experience for me. I was quickly outgrew the spaces I rented in those few years in the beginning as my clientele & educational classes grew. I was always looking for opportunities for a better option that BOTH companies could benefit from. After a short time renting the bigger suite with a friend & trying to coordinate our schedules with classes. It became clear I needed have my own space to grow both businesses in the direction I wanted. Today, Studio.19 Salon has 4 stations for barbers/stylists to rent at low cost. An opportunity to be your own boss & service your clients in a comfortable, professional yet still intimate 519 square space. Operating like salon suites but, you have the comradery of being in a salon environment & be a part of a TEAM. I designed this business to help artists like myself to have the freedom to be independent use their own professional products of choose & make their own schedule but also as an educator having the support to help them grow as well. Sunday and Mondays the salon is used for Illinois Beauty Ceu’s classes. The artists working at studio.19 have VIP access to attend any classes scheduled at the salon.


    It definitely wasn’t Smooth. I am working behind the chair servicing my clients 4 days a week, Mom duties, Wife duties, Illinois Beauty Ceu is very time consuming because of the planning that goes into a successful class. Studio.19 has daily/weekly duties. I, as an owner need to stay on top of things like making sure towels & capes are cleaned and available for the artists, helping keeping the space organized and assisting the artists when they need it, weather it be helping formulate color clients or posting to the salon social medias to help build clientele at the salon. I am a night owl. When the kids go to sleep that is when I do my research for the industry, I pride myself as a CE Provider to try to stay up to date on all the new laws and rules within our industry to inform artists attending our classes, so they stay in loop. I also design class flyers, prep social media posts, you name it.. I’m a woman with MANY HATS. The one thing I can say that I continue to struggle with is with marketing right now. Social media has been very helpful in giving a platform to promote for the salon as a whole and IBC’s classes but it is exhausting keeping up with the evolving algorithms and hashtags. 

    What sets these companies apart from others? 

    Well to be honest… ME. I am a very passionate artist myself, with an extremely supportive husband. I am a mother who wants to show my children what passion and drive can get them. I am the one interviewing educators and having meetings with companies that want to join forces with Illinois beauty CEU to offer IL licensed professionals one of a kind education. I do the marketing, the set up & tear down for classes. With Studio.19 I simply wanted to offer a space I searched for. I wanted to Grow Illinois Beauty CEU & continue to build my clientele behind the chair in a professional setting. In addition, allowing other artists to join me with the same opportunity

    “if your more fortunate than others, build a longer table not a wall”.   

    Success to me?

    My view of success has changed over the years. In 2018 I was interviewed for Voyage Chicago Magazine. I was asked this same question and my answer was this exactly: “Success to me is being able to take annual vacations with my family without financial worries, Have classes be FULL, Be financially stable enough to have a storefront for bigger classes and workshops that would also accommodate a daily clientele, A girl can dream right?!”

    FAST FWD: its January 2020.

    This GIRL got her DREAM.

    In 2 years, hard work, late nights on the computer, dedication to have something not like the others and the determination not to stay down when things got rough... don’t get me wrong I wanted to be like, “is this worth it? Am I worth this?” Yep, after a few pity parties of self-doubt I always ended up dusting myself off & used that to fuel my way even the times when I doubted myself... I made it happen.

    Today Success to me is looking back at my struggles and seeing the positive waves I’ve made since, not only for myself & my family but for all the artists & educators & their families that are a part of ILLINOIS BEAUTY CEU & STUDIO.19 SALON today.



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    The State of the American Business

    On January 9th the United States Chamber of Commerce hosted the State of American Business address and update. This address featuring small businesses and chambers of commerce from around the country outlined the top legislative priorities for America’s business community for 2020. Presented by US Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Thomas Donohue shared an ambitious blueprint to encourage American businesses vibrancy and growth while addressing the current challenges compressing investment and job creation.

    With several global economic conditions confronting the American (small) business the US Chamber focused on a few of these challenge that will be MOST prevalent in 2020. As a continuation of the most communicated challenge of the last several years workforce development, hiring, and talent pools will be at the forefront of American business concern. There are currently 32.6 million business in the United States, and there are more jobs openings then people available to fill those positions. If every one of the 3.6% unemployed American’s got hired in a new job tomorrow, there would still be job openings available. Due to the historical unemployment and wages are starting to rise becoming a contributing factor to this strong economy – even while having the tightest, most competitive, labor markets in U.S. history.

    Beyond the documented challenges of the labor market the other keynote obstacle to economic growth are the (geo)political factors occurring in 2020. With the usual uncertainty that accompanies a Presidential election year, the US Chamber’s address encouraged businesses to proceed and not slow down with their business growth. Business leaders and stakeholders in the U.S. economy must not default to a mindset of stalled growth because of the election year but businesses should rise above challenge of political tantrums and be the force for America’s economic greatness. The US Chamber sees the global economy as the way to rise American economic standards by looking for customers outside of North America for trading partnerships and pushing elected officials to limit the damaging impact of multi-national tariffs.

    To read more about the State of the American Business address and US Chamber’s forecast for the American economy in 2020 please follow the link to read the follow transcript.  There you will be able to find the full transcript of Thomas J. Donohue’s speech on the State of American Business.

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    8 Workforce Trends for 2020

    8 Workforce Trends That Will Define 2020

    Finding the best person for the job — and retaining existing employees — is never easy. Plus, a new year means a whole new set of hiring trends to learn and incorporate into your company policies. While challenging, taking this step is crucial to building a powerful and engaged workforce.

    Like every year, 2020 brings its own employment trends. Some carried over from last year, while others are newer ideas that will become more prominent in the next 12 months.

    Access to Available Talent Still a Challenge

    As of December 2019, the unemployment rate was record-low 3.5 percent. This is great for the economy, but not so amazing for employers looking to hire top talent. Of course, this is nothing new, as the unemployment rate has been on a steady decline for a decade. This lack of readily available talent means you’ll have to keep working hard — and maybe get a little creative — to find the best person for the job.

    Competitive Pay is a Must

    A historically low unemployment rate means top talent probably isn’t out of work. The best person for the job might be a passive job seeker — i.e., someone who is gainfully employed, but willing to make a move for the right opportunity. A competitive salary — paired with an interesting job — can make all difference in securing top talent.

    Hiring Decisions Need to Happen Fast

    The average length of a hiring process in the U.S. is approximately 23.8 days, according to Glassdoor. If your company tends to take longer than this to make a hiring decision, it’s time to streamline your processes. Tightening up your hiring timeline will increase the chances you’re able to present an offer to your first-choice candidate before they select another position.

    Employee Satisfaction Surveys Help Reduce Turnover

    More than two-thirds — 68% — of U.S. employees are at least moderately stressed at work, according to Wrike. This can easily lead to turnover, as 56% of people have searched for a new job because of stress at work. Internal employee satisfaction surveys can help reduce turnover. This gives you the opportunity to find out what you’re doing well and where there’s room for improvement, so you can make meaningful changes that will entice top talent to stay on board.

    Telecommuting Becomes Even More Popular

    Up to one-quarter — 20-25% — of the U.S. workforce telecommutes at least sometimes, according to VirtualVocations. However, 80-90% of people want to work from home on at least a part-time basis. When possible, attract and retain top talent by allowing employees to telecommute at least part of the week.

    Having a Strong Employee Value Proposition is a Must

    If your company doesn’t have a formal Employee Value Proposition — benefits and rewards enjoyed by employees in exchange for their performance — it’s time to change that. Just as you would for customer acquisition, it’s essential to make sure employees feel like they’re in good hands. This includes making sure their compensation, benefits, career path, work environment, and company culture add value to their lives.

    Corporate Social Responsibility is Crucial

    More than just in search of a paycheck, younger employees want to work for a company that shares their values. This allows them to really believe in the work they’re doing and feel like it has a greater good. Engage talent by clearly defining your corporate values, making them clear to both employees and potential hires, and standing by your principles.

    Employee Engagement Gets Personal

    No two people are the same, which is why taking a blanket approach to employee management doesn’t work. Companies are going to start working to change this by conducting research and engaging employees on a more personal level. If HR is able to take a customized approach to employee management, job satisfaction levels will rise because people will feel heard.

    Need a little help planning your 2020 hiring strategy? Malone Workforce Solutions is here to assist every step of the way. Get in touch today to find out what we can do for your team!

    Ivan Berber

    Sr. Branch Manager

    Commercial Division: Office Professionals & Hospitality 

    Chicago Loop & Schaumburg

    direct: 847.794.0026 | cell: 847.666.7629 |  fax: 312.666.6784

    Learn about our Office Professionals & Hospitality Staffing

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    Schaumburg's 2019 Rankings

    During 2019 Schaumburg regularly made appearances on national ratings, rankings, and recognition list for being a community that provided outstanding schools, an inclusive economy, and a secure quality of life for everyone.  

    The Schaumburg Business Association actively tracks and follows these headline rankings, from independent third-party sources, to tout and celebrate the community we are proud to call our home! 

    Check-out the following Top 50 ratings and recognitions that Schaumburg received during the course of 2019: 

    1. Schaumburg ranks #48 on “Most Diverse Cities in Illinois” (HomeSnacks, April 2019) 
    2. Schaumburg rated 36th on “Best Suburbs to Live in Illinois” (Niche, April 2019)
    3. Schaumburg ranks #6 on “Best Suburbs for Young Professionals in Illinois” (Niche, April 2019)
    4. Schaumburg ranks 20th on “Best Education System in Illinois 2019” (Areavibes, January 2019)
    5. Schaumburg ranks 7th on “Best Places to Live in Illinois 2019” (Areavibes, January 2019)
    6. Schaumburg ranks 9th on “Best Places to Live in Illinois” (The Crazy Tourist, January 2019)
    7. Schaumburg ranks 50th in “Business Suburbs to Raise a Family in Illinois” (Niche, April 2019)
    8. Schaumburg ranks #42 on “Best Places to Live in Illinois” (Niche, June 2019)
    9. Schaumburg ranks #39 on "Places with the Best Public Schools in Illinois" (Niche,2019)
    10. Schaumburg ranks 47th on "Best Places for Young Professionals in Illinois" (Niche,2019)
    11. Schaumburg rated 18th on "Illinois's Safest Cities" (SafeHome, 2019)

  • Schaumburg Business Association's 2019 Economic Development

    Throughout 2019 the Schaumburg Business Association made a committed effort to the economic development and growth of Schaumburg. As we transition into 2020, we wanted to highlight some of the incredible accomplishments and feature the broader impact that the Schaumburg Business Association has had on local, state, and international commerce:

    • Designed and Executed the first National Real Estate Showcase of Schaumburg to an audience of National Site Selectors profiling why Schaumburg for business investment
    • Provide the formal welcome remarks for the World Leaders Forum by Judson University featuring Former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy
    • Supported and assisted in Commissioner Kevin Morrison’s Small Business Resource Fair
    • Developed 5 customized data reports specific to company’s needs and requires including Market Development with 10 verified email address for company to do digital marketing campaign
    • In collaboration with State Representative Mussman SBA organized and lead the statewide Inclusive Hiring Workforce Summit to better connect industry with people with disability
    • Organized the first industry meeting of ABC Illinois – Alliance of Business and Colleges Illinois – to align college curriculums with industry needs providing Schaumburg employers an opportunity to shape regional workforce trends
    • Facilitated over 12 manufacturing conversations related to workforce training and development grant dollars
    • Higher Ed Act roundtable with Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi . Asked by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to coordinate a roundtable for Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi to gain feedback from 20 corporate headquarters in Schaumburg.
    • Asked by Japanese Consulate to be part of the host delegation and plan part of the Chairman’s visit Chairman Kato is head of the majority political party in Japan – Liberal Democratic Party. Arranged for a visit at Sodick USA
    • VIP participants in Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki visit to Chicago
    • Part of the delegation receiving Indian Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Harsh Shringla during his visit to Chicago
    • Asked to coordinate a tour and visit for Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle of a Schaumburg manufacturer Axon Cable
    • Part of host delegation for new Chinese Consul-General in Chicago to the Midwest the honorable Zhao Jian
    • Advocated for the successful resolution of IL HB 354 allocating equitable resources for Cook County Board of Review
    • Polish Investment and Trade Agency official site visit and formalization of the relationship
    • Hosting Korean Small Business and Start Up Agency President and early discussion for formal partnership
    • Partnered with Japanese Consulate and Japanese Embassy to host the Walk in US, Talk on Japan forum and organize a formal dinner to better connect Schaumburg with Japan featuring Special Advise to Prime Minister Abe Dr. Taniguchi
    • Hosted the Cost of Doing Business Summit featuring Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi attended by over 100 business and civic leader
    • Launched the Commissioner Canvass program to directly connect Schaumburg’s Cook County Commissioner with small and medium size businesses
    • Partnered with the Polish Investment and Trade Agency to organize 8 site visits for interested Polish companies looking to open a North American headquarter operation
    • Attended FabTech – Fabricated Metal Technologies industries largest trade show – and made contact with over 12 prospective and interested companies
    • Organized a Small Business Roundtable with Schaumburg’ State Representative Michelle Mussman to provide a legislative update on the activity of the Illinois General Assembly
    • Represented Illinois in the November “Grassroots Exchange in Japan” as a guest of the Japan Foundation and Japanese government

    As we prepare for 2020, the Schaumburg Business Association is excited to continue our focus on the economic well-being and position of Schaumburg. With plans to enhance the existing relationships and expand the programs that will facilitate job creation and a competitive business climate the SBA’s economic development program looks forward to even more highlights, successes and growth next year.





  • 2020 Laws Impacting Businesses

    As we all plan personally and professionally to bring in a new year, and a new decade, there are tons of new Illinois laws that will have a direct impact on businesses in 2020. With legislation ranging in categories, below are some highlighted new laws that may affect your business, the economic development of Illinois, the environment & energy sector, higher education moving forward and labor.

    With legislation stretching across numerous industries the Schaumburg Business Association has identified the most impingement business policies that will take place on January 1st so you can be aware and plan accordingly.

    • HB 2528 - Provides that a person operating a home-based business under an assumed name may list the county clerk and its address as the default agent for service of process, to include either a court order or police report.
    • HB 2670 - Reduces the restrictions on opening a business for those with past criminal offenses and defines the terms and provides flexibility to various state departments to review the circumstances around past offenses.
    • HB 3084 - Requires DCEO to work with the General Assembly, to complete an assessment of its current practices related to its marketing programs administered and the extent to which it assists Illinois residents in the use of programs offered.
    • SB 2146 - Requires Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to create a Clean Water Workforce Pipeline Program to prepare people for a career in water infrastructure.
    • HB 3575 - Creates the Blockchain Technology Act which provides for permitted uses and limitations of blockchain technology in transactions and proceedings and 2) prohibits local governments from imposing taxes or fees and certain restrictions on the use of blockchain.
    • SB 1624 - Requires companies that collect personal information concerning Illinois residents report data breaches affecting more than 500 Illinois residents to the Attorney General.
    • SB 1529 - Provides that delivery of renewable energy credits can be delayed until June 1, 2022, if the delay in establishing an operating connection with the applicable transmission is due to the distribution providers or unforeseen circumstances.
    • HB 2237 - Establishes Illinois Higher Education Savings Program and creates the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program Fund, which will deposit $50 into college savings account for every child born or adopted in Illinois after December 31, 2020, for the purpose of expanding access to higher education. Requires each public university to submit an annual report to the Board of Higher Education on the amount of tuition that undergraduate, degree-seeking students attending the university paid in the previous academic year.
    • SB 1919 - Creates the 21st Century Employment Grant Program to support manufacturing, healthcare and innovative technology training programs at community colleges and high schools.
    • HB 2304 - Creates the Youth Training and Education in the Building Trades Program with the Department of Human Services and the Illinois Housing Development Authority to train at-risk youth for careers in the building trades.
    • HB 3405 - Provides that gratuities to employees are the property of the employees and may not be retained by an employer.
    • SB 1899 - Delays what is known as the “speed bump” until 2022, which would decrease unemployment benefits and increase unemployment taxes on employers.
    • SB 2024 - Requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to conduct a study on the potential expansion of apprenticeship programs and publish it by June 1, 2020.

    The following captures just a portion of the business-related policies that will take effect starting January 1st, 2020. As part of the Schaumburg Business Association’s commitment to its pillars, we facilitate these types of policy and governmental affairs updates to provide Resources and Advocacy for our members. If you would like to discuss 2020’s new policies or meet with a state or federal elected official please contact the SBA and we would be happy to integrate your business with policy makers at the locate, state, federal and international level.

    To look up more on these new laws, or others going into effect, visit

  • International Impact Overview


    Schaumburg Business Association’s International Impact – 2019 Overview

    It has been an incredible year for economic development and foreign direct investment by the SBA, from Schaumburg to the world! As we wrap up 2019 and enter a new decade of economy, we do so with the momentum gained from many strides forward on behalf of our members and our community.

    International Issues—Local Impact
    At no point in the history of the Association has the value of our organization’s Economic Development pillar been more vital. While the economy continues to thrive in the United States, uncertainty is growing among our traditional trade partners and allies. This uncertainty is shifting the ways in which government and corporate leaders collaborate for mutual benefit.

    The newly-established USMCA, ongoing trade negotiations with China, and new iterations of Middle East tensions are just a few examples of the factors involved with the international economy going into 2020. Locally, many businesses rely upon stable relationships and predictable means of conducting business internationally, and we are affected by these issues as well as other ones that don’t make as many headlines.

    The SBA’s Economic Development Efforts in 2020 and Beyond
    Going into the next decade invigorated by the fruits of our previous efforts, we will be providing, on a regular basis, a wealth of news and information about the work we’re doing in service to our Association’s commitment to Economic Development. We will provide

    Timely news on the specific outreach events we are attending, contributing to and leading;

    Considered, informed opinions and guidance on issues affecting local Economic Development; and

    Thought leadership regarding best practices for local businesses conducting business internationally.

    The following is just a sampling of the work your SBA team has accomplished in the last year.

    Host Delegation for Chairman Katsunobu Kato
    This spring, the SBA was asked by the Consulate General of Jap to the Midwest to be part of the team planning the visit of Chairman Kato, the head of the country’s majority political party and the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare among other positions within the national government. Sodick, Inc. hosted the Chairman and the delegation, providing an overview of their operations and facilitating a discussion about our countries’ shared challenges of workforce development, especially in manufacturing. This invitation came as a result of a relationship with the Consulate General, whose office in Chicago is in service of ten Midwestern states, and who has connected on several occasions with the Schaumburg Business Association since the summer of 2018. We will be sharing more information about the strategic alliance that is growing between Schaumburg and leaders of the Japanese government, why that is crucial to the performance of 100 Japanese-owned companies with U.S. headquarters operating in Schaumburg, and how this relationship will help businesses with established or prospective interests in Japan and the Pacific Rim.

    World Leaders Forum featuring Former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy
    This October, the eighth-annual World Leaders Forum moved from the Elgin-based Judson University for the first time, to the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center to accommodate nearly 2000 attendees from across the nation. The keynote address by Ambassador Kennedy drew more than 600 attendees, for which the Schaumburg Business Association offered formal opening remarks. The event was recorded to be part of the Socrates in the City series, described as a forum for conversations about, “life, God, and other small topics.” The bipartisan yet congenial and thoughtful conversation that followed centered on values, political courage, and service. To have Schaumburg Business Association leaders be integrally involved and associated with this powerful event is a fortification of our influence on an international scale.

    VIPs for the Visit of Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki to Chicago
    The gravity of influence that Poles have had on Chicago area history cannot be overstated. That influence is just as vibrant today, with more than 1.5 million people of Polish heritage living in the area and thriving communities throughout the area keeping long-held cultural traditions alive. The visit of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in April is yet another example of the mutual affinity shared between our region and Poland. Spending only two days in the country, he attended the debut of “Poland: The Royal Tour”, a documentary featuring Morawiecki. Members of the SBA staff were invited to attend this event, the attendees of which were among the most influential corporate and political leaders in the region.

    Delegation for Indian Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Harsh Shringla
    Soon after having assumed office in January of 2019, His Excellency Harsh Shringla scheduled visits to each of India’s five consulates in the United States. His road trip to promote bilateral ties between our countries included a detailed address to a business seminar at London House in Chicago in March. Members of the SBA staff were integral to the coordination of this event, where the Ambassador noted the shared commitment of the countries to the principles of democracy, ever-increasing trade, and the inter-reliance of the countries with regard to education and workforce development.

    Host Organization for New Chinese Consul-General to the Midwest, the Honorable Zhao Jian
    The Honorable Zhao Jian was appointed Consul-General to the Midwest United States this March, having previously served for three years in a similar role in Melbourne, Australia. This year is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. As the two countries continue working toward a relationship based on coordination, cooperation, and stability, the direct connection with the Consul-General will help local businesses understand the impacts of agreements made at the federal level. The Schaumburg Business Association will continually update its membership with news on this front as developments unfold.

    Hosts to President of KOSME—Korea SMEs & Startup Agency
    The Korea SMEs & Startups Agency (KOSME) is a non-profit, government-funded organization established to implement government policies and programs for the sound growth and development of Korean-founded small and medium venture enterprises. The organization’s President, Lee Sangjik, and members of the Schaumburg Business Association met recently and began discussions of a formal partnership to connect supply chain, customer, and workforce resources between South Korea and Schaumburg.

    “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan” Forum
    In October, Schaumburg’s Roosevelt University played host to a Special program sponsored by the Schaumburg Business Association in partnership with the Consulate General of Japan. The Japanese delegation was led by Dr. Tomohiko Taniguchi, a professor at the Keio University Graduate School of System Design and Management and a Special Adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet. The purpose of the program was to meet with citizens and business leaders to share perspectives on the relationship between Illinois and Japan. The insightful discussion ranged from geopolitical relationships between US-Japan-China, the future economic ties between our two countries and Japan’s innovative approaches to developing zero waste communities.

    Polish Investment & Trade Agency Partnership
    As an outcome from the SBA coordinated visit this spring and the networking that started while planning the coordination of the event, eight site visits were conducted with Schaumburg Polish companies interested in opening North American headquarters as part of their operations.

    FabTech Conference
    During our attendance at the International Fabricated Metal Technologies industry’s largest trade show, our team made contact with several companies who are now interested in building facilities in Schaumburg. Eight of these companies are headquartered outside of the United States.

    This is exactly the kind of momentum we want to capitalize upon as we continue increasing our Economic Development efforts in the next year. We look forward to reporting our successes and broadening our reach, from Schaumburg to the world.

    Thank you to Noon Key Productions for assisting in the creation of this International Impact Overview. Noon Key Productions is a valued member of the SBA and a full service marketing and communications firm. Helping you create Meaningful, Memorable and Motivational messaging.

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    US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement

    The Schaumburg Business Association participated in the U.S.-Mexico-Chamber of Commerce Chicago roundtable update and discussion on the pending US-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement (USMCA).

    Joined by representatives from the US Chamber of Commerce, the Consulate General of Mexico Chicago, Canadian officials, and business leaders from around the Midwest the discussion centered around the possible differences between the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the USMCA and the steps towards ratifying the provisional agreement.

    The USMCA seeks to modernize NAFTA which was originally agreed upon 25 years ago and had not been updated to account for significant economic changes that have emerged since the mid-90s. These discrepancies include a digital economy, a shared automotive sector, and strengthened labor laws for workers across North America.

    Long discussed the USMCA cleared an important hurdle when US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Democrats in the House of Representative and President Donald Trump had reached an internal agreement on USMCA allowing the trade treaty to be brought to a vote before the end of 2019.

    This domestic agreement now positions the USMCA for final ratification with each country’s federal legislature for final ratification and implementation. While much of the attention in the United States had focused on the negotiations between Speaker Pelosi and President Trump the US-Mexico Chamber breakfast provided a unique opportunity to understand the Mexican and Canadian path forward towards ratification.

    The primary takeaway is that both Mexico and Canada would like to see the modern benefits of the USMCA but both have “clear lines” of positions that are unacceptable and untenable for each country. The most intriguing dynamic is that the Mexican Senate has already ratified the USMCA and is waiting for the United States and Canada to ratify before executing.

    The Canadian parliament is waiting for the United States to take action on USMCA before proceeding with a vote in order to maintain leverage for any unforeseen final negotiations that result because of partisanship.

    With a provisional agreement in place in the United States and a vote scheduled for before the House of Representatives adjourns for 2019 the outlook for the USMCA – after 18 months – is promising with passage expected in February of 2020. The Schaumburg Business Association will continue to monitor and update the economic implications of the USMCA (and Schaumburg’s specific relationship with Mexico and Canada) as this trade treaty moves to formal, and adopted, ratification.

  • Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison, Small Business Resource Fair

    In November, the Schaumburg Business Association was proud to partner with Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison, 15th District in a Small Business Resource Fair hosted at Roosevelt University, Schaumburg. The idea behind the fair was to network and learn about various community and government resources available for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. The Schaumburg Business Association was one of many resources made available to those business leaders within the community looking for additional assistance in growing their business.

    As being the first Small Business Resource Fair hosted by Kevin B. Morrison it turned out to be a great success. There were break-out sessions going on throughout the day to give small businesses the opportunity to learn more about some common needs to assist them in their own business. Presentations on tax incentives and procurement opportunities from the Cook County Assessor, Bureau of Economic Development and Office of the Chief Procurement Officer were among the highlights.

    Ultimately, at the end of the day there were many resources available to small businesses in the local community. Some of the other resources that were available that day to help local small businesses were from the following:

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    Shape Chicagoland's Workforce Strategy

    The Schaumburg Business Association's partner in workforce development the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership is inviting businesses in Schaumburg to to participate in the 2020 WIOA Local Plan process. 

    WIOA - the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act - requires a new regional workforce plan every four years. 

    The local plan serves as an action plan to develop, align, and integrate the region’s job-driven workforce development systems and provides the platform to achieve strategic and operational goals.

    The WIOA local - Chicago - plan sets the strategy to:

    • Direct investments in workforce training programs to focus on providing education and training so that individuals, including youth and those with barriers to employment, have the skills to compete in the job market and that employers have a ready supply of skilled workers
    • Apply job-driven strategies in the Chicago and Cook County workforce system
    • Enable economic, education, and workforce partners to build a skilled workforce by innovation and alignment of employment, education and training programs

    Hearing from Schaumburg business leaders is especially critical during this process. This process will shape the way workforce development is conducted throughout Chicagoland for the next half decade.   

    Please click this link to share your voice and perspective during this formation process. 

  • Small Business Saturday

    Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting the independent businesses that makes the Schaumburg community unique, vibrant, and provides invaluable contributions to our local economy. Small businesses across the U.S. generate about 4.8 trillion dollars- a figure roughly equivalent to the GDP of Japan, the world’s third largest economy.

    Created by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday serves as the ceremonial kickoff to the holiday shopping season for small and local businesses across the United States. In 2018, U.S. shoppers reported spending an estimated $17.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on the day, according to the 2018 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey. In addition, the Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express found that an average two-thirds of every dollar spent at small businesses in the U.S. stays in the local community, meaning a consumer’s local impact during the holiday shopping season can be significant. According to a study commissioned by American Express, the company that started the idea, for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S. about 67 cents stays in the local community. And small business generate an additional 50 cents on the dollar at other local businesses due to employee spending and the businesses purchasing other local goods and services.

    While the U.S. Small Business Administration defines small business as a business (corporation, limited liability company or proprietorship) with 500 employees or less. The Small Business Saturday created by American Express defines and reports on small business with less than 100 employees.  Amex-commissioned 2018 Small Business Economic Impact Study,

    According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses represent 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses. Small businesses created 1.9 million jobs in 2015 with some of the smallest firms - those with 20 employees or less - adding over half of the positions with a 1.1 million increase. As of 2018, the SBA estimates there are 30.2 million small businesses employing a total of 58.9 million workers.

    Small businesses do not always stay small. Large corporations, such Motorola started off as a small business and grew to become a major player in the national and international marketplace.  Microsoft and Amazon are prime examples of how a small business idea can change the world. Small businesses that grow into large businesses often remain in the community in which the business was first established. Having a large corporation headquartered in a community can further help provide employment and stimulate the local economy, creating a market that favors the development of additional small businesses.

    Small Business Saturday celebrates the diversity of small businesses across the U.S. and recognizes the importance of supporting small businesses, the jobs they help create, and the culture they foster in local communities. These should be celebrated Saturday and every day throughout the year to encourage a vibrant and innovative economy. 

  • Mazak Tour

    Mazak is the global leader in the design and manufacture of highly productive CNC machine tools and automation systems, including turning centers, vertical and horizontal machining centers, Multi-Tasking solutions, 5-axis machining centers, PALLETECH manufacturing systems, laser-cutting machines and laser-based automation cells.

    Currently, Yamazaki Mazak Corporation has 10 manufacturing plants operating around the world, and each one has undergone several expansions to effectively support the growing technology demands of customers across all industry segments.

    The Schaumburg Business Association had the pleasure of arranging for a tour of the 56,000 facility at 300 E. Commerce Drive in Schaumburg Those in attendance included the Schaumburg Business ASsociation's Executive Committee members, Matt Hancock, Mark Kolar, Matt Frank as well as Schaumburg Mayor Tom Dailly, Trustee Brian Bieschke, Trustee George Dunham, Village Clerk Marilyn Karr.  We coordinate these type of tours to ensure we remain informed of the economic climate of businesses within Schaumburg.  This allows us to align programming, events and resources to meet the needs of all type of business in Schaumburg.  


  • Procurement Workshop

  • Official 2019 SBA TOAST of Schaumburg Press Release

    Toast of Schaumburg – Press Release 

    Schaumburg, IL, October 11, 2019 – The Schaumburg Business Association hosted an evening of celebration, recognition and philanthropy with its annual Toast of Schaumburg held at the Renaissance Convention Center Hotel Business awards recognizing the outstanding leaders in the Schaumburg businesses community as well as raising for their scholarship fund and celebrating what makes up the SOUL of the SBA.

    “This year’s Toast of Schaumburg was truly a celebration of those businesses and individuals exemplifying the soul of the Schaumburg Business Association which is reflective in our five pillars; Economic Development, Community, Resource, Relationships and Advocacy.” said Lisa Gilbert, President of the Schaumburg Business Association.

    The Schaumburg Business Association recognized the impact of individuals and businesses this year by awarding five highly coveted awards including the Brian H. Burke Business of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Leader of the Year, and the Laurie Stone Woman of the Year.

    Congratulations to the 2019 winners of each:

    Brian H. Burke Business of the Year

    Muscle Activation Schaumburg

    Laurie Stone Woman of the Year

    Kari-Ann Ryan of Midwest Moving & Storage

    Leader of the Year

    Scott Felgenhauer of Plaidypus

    Volunteer of the Year

    Sarah Moreau of Harvest Media

    Rookie of the Year

    Allstate – Sundara Insurance Group

    “The Toast of Schaumburg is our opportunity to honor the exceptional accomplishments of all 25 nominees and 5 scholarship recipients of this past year, all the while making sure we support the future of this community by raising funds for the Schaumburg Business Association’s 501c3’s Charitable Foundation scholarship drive to ensure that more high school students can achieve higher education. The professionals in the room at the Toast raised well over $13,000 that evening alone.” said Gilbert.

    About the Schaumburg Business Association

    The Schaumburg Business Association (SBA) is dedicated to our members' growth and prosperity. We advance business causes and are committed to helping our members maintain a competitive edge by providing them with outstanding programs, benefits and services. The Association was formed in 2001 to represent the needs of businesses within the Association. The SBA embodies the spirit of our business community that includes a dynamic blend of corporate, commercial, retail, service and industrial businesses in the largest suburban economic center in the State of Illinois.


  • Five Generations in The Workforce

          On August 7, Dr. Katherine Jeffrey will be speaking on The Generational Shift at the Economic Summit. To better understand the impact that having five (5) generations inside the workforce have on culture inside the workplace the Schaumburg Business Association visited with Acara Solutions to get an overview on how your business can best adapt and thrive in this environment of five distinctly different types of workers in your company. The following addresses the generational gap and how different generations come together in the workplace – so that Baby Boomers and Millennials can all work happily ever after.

    Acara – Chris Beckage Interview

    This is the first time ever that five generations have been in the workforce. What impact does that have on workplace culture and productivity? 

    • The impact starts with implementing processes (recruiting, on boarding, training, etc.) that appeal to all generations with respect to their various backgrounds, learning styles, and communication preferences.
    • Of these elements, communication tends to be the most critical areas of focus because each generation has a preferred method of communication (in-person, email, text, etc.) and how they interact with one another. Education on these topics, which is similar to ethnicity training, is key in creating self-awareness and emotional intelligence for all employees.
    • The result can be a dynamic culture that embraces all generations, leads to innovation and improves bottom line results.

    Each generation brings something different to the workforce, how can employers use each generation to produce a well-functioning workplace?

    • Put simply: Embrace the strengths and experiences of each generation. It goes without saying that baby boomers and millennials, for example, view the world, the workplace, and life in general differently—and that’s neither good nor bad—it’s just a fact. The trick is to create cohesive, collaborative environment. But that can be tough to do, too, because you can’t make assumptions about a person’s skill set or preferences based on their generation. In other words, you can’t say, “Oh, Allison is 25 so she must know how to post a job opportunity on Instagram more easily than Jim, who is 55.” While millennials are especially tech-savvy, that is not to say that others aren’t. Not always.
    • To answer your question, I would say, generally speaking, just create opportunities for everyone from each generation to interact with each other as much as possible, even if it isn’t always work-related. Maybe it’s at the company picnic or holiday party. Starting with a shared comfort zone first will lend to a well-functioning workplace later. From there, educate all on how to adapt their communication to the person they are speaking with to create a win/win scenario.

    What is the most difficult thing about having such a wide age group of employees? What is the best thing about it?

    • I may have touched on this in the previous question, but it’s worth restating how challenging it can be to understand why certain people have the preferences they do without making broad, sweeping generalizations about an entire generation.
    • The best part about having all these different people from so many different backgrounds is that you bring multiple perspectives to the workplace, which means you can reach a broader audience and have innovation. If you have a room full of 20-year-olds, for example, you might miss out on the best opportunities to speak to, say, C-level job candidates who are typically from a different generation. The endgame is to adopt communication and methodologies that create win/win scenarios for everyone.

    The millennials are the most educated generation. Will a bachelor’s degree soon become obsolete, and will most work places start to require a master’s degree or even a Ph.D. for entry level positions?

    • Even if millennials are the most educated, we are starting to see the importance of a college degree fading away. In regard to all generations, we’re starting to do a better job of appreciating the skill sets of people who, despite not graduating from college, can absolutely bring value to the workplace. I would argue that we need to prepare the workplace to properly train intelligent, high-quality job candidates who might not be too familiar with a typical office environment, for example.
    • To put it another way, skill matters—not diplomas. For example, IT professionals in software and application development will likely have a lesser need for a college education as they are often self-taught from an early age. They attend boot camps and things like that, and companies of all sizes are smartly sponsoring and engaging these types of events to gain access to this type of talent.
    • Given today’s candidate-driven labor market, many employers are backing off the bachelor’s degree requirement because they know they have additional personal and professional trainings that will accommodate these types of employees. For other professionals, my opinion is that companies are going to focus more on the internship and “real” world work experience during college over further education. Employers understand the rising costs of college because they need to pay higher salaries so their newer employees can pay them.
    • So, no, I don’t think we’ll see a demand for more high-level degrees.

    Millennials are the most “tech-savvy” generation, does this make things easier in the workplace, or are they too dependent on technology to do the work for them?

    • Both. We’ve found that millennials are often capable of assisting or training others on techie gadgets and social media. On the flipside, we are seeing millennials struggle with live, interpersonal relationships. The great irony of social media, as we know, is that it allows us to create all these relationships with people from all over the world from our mobile device—but at the same time, it is taking us away from engaging the people who are in the same room as us. One solution might be to have phone-free get-togethers and online-only chats to mix and match these mediums for everyone.

    Once baby boomers start to retire, what will the economy look like? Will there be a decrease in economic activity due to Boomers producing less? Or will it free-up employment for younger generations causing an influx in economic development?

    • Retiring baby boomers will still be buyers of products and services. And succession planning is a focus item for most companies, so, yes, baby boomer retirement will free up employment opportunities for younger generations. That said, I don’t want our younger audience to feel as if opportunities will be given to them just because older generations have moved on and left vacancies. It will be important for us to award positions based on skills, aptitude, effort, and performance.

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    Economic Insight From Blackhawk Bank

    The Schaumburg Business Association recently partnered with Blackhawk Bank to provide an overview on current economic conditions and a prospective economic forecast. It is important to stay up-to-date on economic trends in order to better prepare for the future. Having an economic plan set in place can be extremely beneficial. 

    The US economy expanded from January through March at a 3.2% annualized rate. Is that rate of growth sustainable?

    • The Q1-2019 growth and expansion of the US Economy at that 3.2% pace mirrored the growth experienced for 2018; which was measured at 3.1%. With that said, the robust expansion in the first quarter of 2019 is considered largely to have been a carryover from 2018 and the impact of the change to federal tax laws, etc. A more normalized growth should be anticipated through the remainder of 2019, with projections for annualized growth in GDP to be in the 2.1-2.3%. This is still considered healthy expansion by most measures.

     How do the economic slowdowns occurring in Europe and China impact the US economic growth?

    • While one may anticipate the struggles in China and Europe to have similar negative impact to the Global economy and that of the U.S., that has not been the case in 2019. The US economy continues to expand at a pace well above Europe and China. US Interest rates have continued to remain low, historically. Despite multiple increases to the Fed Funds Rate throughout 2017 and 2018, the rate (which is the basis for the Prime Rate) has remained steady since December 2018 and is anticipated to remain flat for the near future. The 10-Year US Treasury has actually dipped from 2.71% in January 2019, down to 2.07% in July 2019. Borrowing costs remain low, which continue to bolster corporate investment and thus aid the US Economy in outpacing foreign economies.

    What impact does the ongoing trade war with China have on the overall economy? Will this war on trade be effective and eventually strengthen domestic industries?

    • Initial impacts to Tariffs and the trade war with China were mixed results. Several U.S. industries, from technology, to steel, to farming experienced spikes in their own costs, and a negative impact from the initial tariffs. As of June 2019, the U.S. and China agreed to a trade war cease-fire during the last G20 meeting. Tariffs of foreign goods should make products produced by U.S. companies more cost effective by comparison, in theory. However, to-date, both U.S. and international firms have stated negative impacts from these tariffs.

    Reports continue to point/predict an economic recession occurring sometime in the next two-to-three years. What are signs/indicators that a recession is occurring?

    • Unemployment trends are one of the primary factors analysts will look at when trying to predict an upcoming recession. While it’s widely known that the country has experienced historically low unemployment figures recently, the question becomes how much lower, if at all, can it go? And can it remain stable? With such low unemployment rates, it makes it difficult for employers to hire and retain skilled employees, which could negatively affect production levels.
    • The housing market has been a strong indicator of past recessions, so is definitely something to keep an eye on. Based on data for the 1st quarter 2019, both new housing permits and new housing starts are down as compared to the same period for 2018. Rising interest rates and higher home prices are also making it so fewer people can afford new homes.
    • Another factor to monitor is the United States GDP. Analysts will track the gap between actual GDP and the potential GDP (as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office). When this gap starts to increase, it is one potential indicator of an oncoming recession. While GDP has been stable over the past few years, it is worth noting that the aforementioned issues with China and the existing tariffs are projected by many economists to drop the GDP by 25 basis points or more.

    How should businesses prepare for this pending recession, and when should they start preparing?

    • Don’t Panic! Too often business owners, and consumers alike, can fall prey to mildly negative information and overreact. With that said, some conservative best-practices may be:
      • Increase and maintain cash balances, if at all possible. 3-6 months of operating cash flow is a good place to start.
      • Maintain a cash flow forecast, and keep a good eye on your budget. You need to be able to identify issues quickly.
      • Have a backup plan for additional working capital. Bank lines of credit, and investor financing, are some of the ways to obtain this.
      • Diversify your customer base as much as possible, and stay on top of customer payments. Large concentration with a few customers could be detrimental in times of recession.
  • Insight On US Trade Relations

    In 2017 the US launched a trade investigation on China to understand trade relationship between the two countries. Following the examination, the United States imposed billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs on China in a move to start trade negotiation. However, the US tariffs were met with retaliatory tariffs. While the United States imposed three rounds of tariffs tallying over $250 billion, and raising the duty rate to 25% on some key industrial products China responded by slapping tariffs on key products with rates varying from five to 25%

    Both sides have continued to go back-and-forth in an attempt to get leverage in the trade negotiation process. A truce in the tariff war was temporarily reached last December, but was unceremoniously ended in May of 2019 as the US raised tariffs once again on $200 billion worth of goods and raised the tariffs by 10-25% on key imports. China countered by raising tariffs by $60 billion on US imports.

    This most recent trade war was short lived as President Trump and Chinese President Xi met at the G20 Summit in Oska, Japan and reached a second trade tariff truce. To understand the economic implications that this ongoing back-and-forth has on Schaumburg’s economy the Schaumburg Business Association asked our partners at the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago to provide perspective and insight.

    What is the true definition of a trade war and how does it affect the country’s overall economy?

    • A trade “spat” is when two countries threaten to raise tariffs. A trade war is when they actually do. The threat to a nation’s economy depends on how many products are included and the tariff percentage. As of now, here’s the scoreboard:
    • Total US tariffs applied exclusively to Chinese goods: US$250 billion
    • Total Chinese tariffs applied exclusively to US goods: US$110 billion

    How was this most recent truce different than the truce that was reached in December 2018? 

    • The “truce” reached in June involved an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports that the US threated with a 25% tariff rate. Presumably, this was initiated to reduce tensions and to provide a little breathing space for negotiations to resume. The December truce was undertaken for much the same reason: the U.S. withdrew its threat to increase tariffs from 10-25% on some $200 billion of Chinese goods. China, in turn, pledged to purchase more US products – especially agricultural and energy products – and to crack down on the production and distribution of Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid produced primarily in China.

    How can President Trump and President Xi come to an agreement that not just settles the trade war for the time being, but prevents it from occurring again in the future?

    • President Trump started the trade war, apparently assuming that China was content with the status quo in their trade relationship with the U.S. In fact, it seems clear from media accounts and private conversations, that China wants to recalibrate their relationship with the U.S. – from inferior-superior to one of equals. This leaves very little common ground on which to negotiate.

    Is there an ideal middle ground that can be reached where both nations are content with the results? If so, what does it look like and how does it get achieved?

    • Again, until there is a fundamental recalibration of the relationship, neither side is going to be pleased. If the U.S. was willing to concede to a more equal relationship, China would certainly have to be held accountable for improvements in IP protection, technology transfer and a host of other dodgy trade practices. How that outcome gets achieved is way above my pay grade.

    If the trade war continues and conflict between the two countries gets worse, what could a potential worst outcome for both nations look like?

    • The worst scenario would be for the rest of the world to get dragged into the trade war (p.s., we’re also in a tariff war with the EU, though on a much smaller scale). The last time there was a global trade war (1929 – 1933), global trade shrank by a third, helping foment the Great Depression.

    How does this trade war with China affect local economies like Schaumburg, Illinois?

    • From bridal gowns to steel bearings, virtually every product and manufacturer faces challenges. In the case of bridal gowns, I am told, the fine silk and embroidery is only sourced in China. Since orders are often placed six or more months in advance, owners of bridal shops are paying 25% more and unable to pass along the cost to consumers. Families are already paying more for washing machines (20% tariff) and dryers (no tariff!), and no doubt a host of products with imported parts that we cannot see (e.g., autos). Schaumburg exporters are no doubt feeling the pinch as well. And local economies across the country are noticing that Chinese investments in their communities have fallen 90% in the past two years.

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    Chinese Consul-General Jian

    In advance of this weekend’s G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan the Schaumburg Business Association attended a private luncheon with Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago, Zhao Jian.

    Much of the political intrigue surrounding the G20 Summit involves the US – China relationship and the continued trade war between the two countries and its continued economic ramifications for growth.

    The luncheon, hosted by the Central Asia Productivity Research Center (CAPRC) provided a platform for Consul-General Jian to directly address the US – China relationship from the Chinese perspective.

    While the remarks were polished and conveyed little by the way of new insights or perspective the consistent theme conveyed throughout the remarks was of continued cooperation and partnership.

    Citing the 40-year diplomatic, and economic relationship that the United States and the People’s Republic of China have had Consul-General Jian stated that the Chinese believe in “mutually beneficial cooperation” and “peaceful developments that produce win-wins” for all interested parties.

    Further emphasizing the importance of cooperation for the China relationship with the United States that it was important to focus our “trade based on respect and equality” that will open for broader reforms that will improve the overall environment and relationship between the two countries.

    Though Consul-General Jian’s remarks were very diplomatic the timing of the program was advantageous as it came in advance of the much-anticipated meeting between President Trump and President Xi in Osaka. The Schaumburg Business Association will track the outcomes and results of the 2019 G20 Summit and its ramifications on the Schaumburg economy.

  • The 2019 Mid-Year Economic Opportunities

    On Tuesday, June 11th the Schaumburg Business Association hosted our mid-year snapshot of the economic opportunities coming to Illinois and Schaumburg. 

    With a panel of economic development professionals focusing on new investments and businesses entering the market the Good Morning Schaumburg served as the primary source of information to further expand your businesses opportunity. 

    Thanks to Comcast Business for presenting this educational update and thanks to the Village of Schaumburg and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for providing an understanding of the economic growth occurring in Illinois. 

    If you were not able to attend but are interested in learning more about the new opportunities coming to Schaumburg follow the link to get a quick snapshot of the new industrial, office, retail, restaurant, and residential acclivity coming online!

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    2019 General Assembly Review

    The begin of June brought the end of the Spring General Assembly session and a fury of activity as it relates to the business community. Thanks to the Illinois Economic Development Association, the SBA is able to provide a snapshot of some of the new policies that can benefit and impact businesses:

    • Blue Collar Jobs Act - Beginning January 1, 2021, four new (or expanded) income tax credits. For the purposes of these credits:
      • Underserved areas refer to a geographic area that meets any of the following conditions [pg170]: 
        • 20% poverty rate
        • 75% of children in federal free lunch program
        • 20% of households receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
      • Average Unemployment rate is more than 120% of the national average The total aggregate amount of credits awarded under the Blue-Collar Jobs Act shall not exceed $20,000,000 in any State fiscal year. Eligible projects include building a structure/building or making improvements to real property, undertaken and commissioned by an eligible business. This does not include the routine operation, repair, or maintenance of existing structures, buildings, or real property. A credit may not reduce the taxpayer’s liability to less than zero. If the amount of the credit exceeds the taxpayer’s liability, the excess may be carried forward and applied against succeeding years
    • Leveling the Playing Field for Illinois Retail - After the Wayfair v South Dakota decision, Illinois can now require that remote retailers (Amazon, Ebay, Facebook, etc) collect State and local Retailers’ Occupation Tax (ROT) rather than use tax. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association states (more information here) that Illinois would raise $460 million annually, with $368 million to the state and $92 million to localities by formula, plus any additional ROT where applicable. IRMA states that local governments win with an increase in their tax share, and they get all of any locally-imposed ROT. Finally, there is no change in this matter for Illinois retailers or anyone with a warehouse or distribution center in Illinois.
    • Manufacturing Machinery & Equipment Credit - Manufacturing machinery and equipment exemption which includes production-related tangible personal property purchased on or after July 1, 2019. Adds to the definition of “production related tangible personal property” to include supplies & consumables used in a manufacturing facility including fuels, coolants, solvents, oils, lubricants, and adhesives, hand tools, protective apparel and fire and safety equipment used or consumed within a manufacturing facility. The maximum amount of the exemption may not exceed 5% of the price of the property. The aggregate amount for the exemption may not exceed 10 million.
    • Repeal of the Franchise Tax - The Illinois franchise tax is being phased out. New provisions in the Business Corporation Act exempt the first $X in liability “from the tax imposed under this Section” as follows:
      • 2020: $30
      • 2021: $1,000
      • 2022: $10,000
      • 2023: $100,000
      • 2024+: No Payment Due

    For a more detailed analysis of the economic consequences of the Spring session please follow the link for the Daily Herald’s summary of the activity and impacts of the General Assembly in Springfield.

  • @events_ Coffee&Contacts

    Networking, breakfast and Harvest Media speaking made for a perfect Thursday morning. Coffee & Contacts is a great event to meet new people and learn from speakers on a variety of topics.

    We heard from Mike Moreau, from Harvest Media who spoke on the complications within your business. He drove home the importance of highlighting your differences and communicate your unique value so that your audience knows why you matter. Mike gave many tips on how to shed a commodity mindset, discovering what makes your business unique, showing your customers why you matter, owning your parking spot in your customer's minds, and stop competing on price.

    Thank you to Fairfield Inn & Suites for hosting us. Thank you to our sponsors Country Financial and Corner Bakery. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday May 2 for Business After Hours at the Schaumburg Boomers.

  • @events_Leadership Luncheon

    Boosting productivity and company culture are a great way to make your employees feel important. Leadership Luncheon is a great opportunity to network and to learn from speakers. We had a panel discussion where we heard from Jason Turner, Tarah Galloway, and Zach Youngblood. We heard about how economic indicators are affecting your employees and what you currently have available that you can enhance employee wellness.

    Jason Turner is the COO of Great Lakes Advisors and gave a high level overview of the economic forecast for 2019. Tarah Galloway, LCPC, ATR, Psychotherapist relayed how these stressors are impacting/ or can impact individuals in the work place. Zach Youngblood from Country Financial shared about what employers can do to have their employees feel more secure by what they offer for employee wellness.

    Thank you to our sponsors from Links Technology, and Divine Signs and Graphics, and a big thank you to all who joined us. We had around 40 people in attendance. We look forward to seeing you at the next event!

  • @ Events_ Business After Hours

    The SBA helped to celebrate the start of baseball season with an incredible event! Business After Hours at Lavelle Law is always a great time! A huge thank you to Lavelle Law for welcoming the SBA into their office and making things run smoothly. Not only was the networking flowing, but there were signature drinks and opportunity’s to win raffles! Like last year, Lavelle Law had a baseball theme where attendees had the chance to visit different vendors to try out signature drinks. Each person visited each “base” and entered into a chance to win prizes!

    Delicious tasty bites were provided by Global Gyros. To highlight the new Schaumburg Boomers’ Jim Beam Club, the Boomers offered a signature event cocktail, "BEAM BALL". Of course, there was plenty of “COLD BEER HERE” as well as wine.

    Rich Eisenhuth, Chairman of the Ambassador Committee stated, “Lavelle Law is an energetic participant with the SBA. Their baseball themed, annual After Hours event is a great kick-off to Spring. Lavelle’s festive event is always well planned with their employees enthusiastically serving members with a smile. Fellow attendees have shared with me the great time they experienced connecting, having some laughs and enjoying the food and drinks provided by Global Gyros and the Schaumburg Boomers. Thanks Lavelle for going the extra mile once again!”

    SBA member Gil Vaquero from Andigo stated, “As a young professional new to the SBA, it’s nice to see how events like these bring everyone together from the Schaumburg community. I’m excited to continue to attend SBA outings like these and make meaningful connections with professionals around the area. Thank you to the SBA and Lavelle law for hosting!”

    This Business After Hours had 120 in attendance. We look forward to seeing you all at Leadership Luncheon on the 24th as well as Coffee and Contacts on the 25th!

  • @ Events_ Good Morning Schaumburg

    Networking, breakfast, and workforce was the core of April’s Good Morning Schaumburg. With discussions from the Chicago Cook County Workforce Partnership and Acara Solutions made for the perfect Good Morning Schaumburg. Featuring keynote address from Karin Norington-Reaves, the founding President/CEO of Chicago Cook County Workforce Partnership, discussing the development and implementation of effective programs that assure alignment between the skills demanded local employers and the ever-changing economy. Chris Beckage provide actionable advice for addressing the skills gaps. Beckage serves as Senior Vice President of North America for Acara Solutions, providing industry-leading talent solutions for acquiring and retaining top class talent leveraging that experience to continually refine and improve Acara’s business development efforts.

    Both Norington-Reaves and Beckage spoke on Workforce Hide-and-Seek discovering the hidden workforce capital existing in your community. Norington-Reaves provided an interesting observation during her presentation was live-sourcing crowd for what percent of college graduates are not prepared for work and in real-time the SBA was able to capture and report that 58% of employers find that college graduates are not adequately prepared for work. This insight gained by technological incorporate allowed Good Morning Schaumburg to sample the audience to understand how many people had children around the age of eight years old, and proposed that their children may work in a job, or industry, that has not yet been invented. Norington-Reaves stated that 65% of today’s grade school children who will work in jobs that haven’t been invented yet.

    Beckage built on the evidence and data collected, shared, during the Chicago Cook County Workforce Partnership by addressing best practices and methods to attract the best talent at the most affordable cost. One shocking estimation is that employers lose $14,000 for every job that remains open for longer than three months. With this type of economic loss employers have to be compelling when filling your open positions. Though techniques and approaches can vary because of society’s use and familiarity with smartphones job postings should be interactive, fast, and engaging. To gain deeper insight please click the link to read more:

    With over 90 business leaders in attendance the April Good Morning Schaumburg was an insightful event that featured lots of value-added content and discussion. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend Good Morning Schaumburg. We are excited for the rest of April’s programming which includes our monthly Business after Hours, our quarterly Leadership Luncheon series devoted to company culture and employee engagement and of course, in May our Golf Classic! Hope to see you at all of these events building out the relationships.  

  • @ Events_ Business After Hours

    Two hours of open networking, food, and drinks all while exploring The Grove Country Club- we had a blast! Thank you to The Grove Country Club for hosting Business After Hours on April 4, 2019. We were so excited at everyone who was able to come out, and we had a great turnout of many people eager to network and meet new faces. 

    The Grove Country Club is home of the only dual private club in the Chicagoland area (The Royal Fox). It was originally founded in 1964. Not only do they have a beautiful golf course, but they host private events, have room to dine, and an outdoor pool. 

    Patrick Panayotov, Ambassador and Chairman of Young Professionals stated, “The Business After Hours hosted by The Grove Country Club was a fantastic event. The venue was beautiful and really drew a crowd of local business leaders. I always enjoy speaking with my fellow SBA members. It feels like every event you meet someone new and learn something new. My favorite part of the night was learning about Tony Lentino’s career and the journey he took to get to where he is today, at Laugh out Loud. I will not spoil the twist and turns the story took, but I highly encourage you to meet Tony and find out for yourself!”

    Business After Hours are always a time to come together, network, drink and meet with new and familiar faces. We are looking forward to seeing you at our new Business After Hours from 5-7pm on April 16, at Lavelle law located at 1933 N Meacham Rd Suite 600, Schaumburg, IL 60173

  • Calling All High School Seniors!


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    The Indo-US Economic Summit Partnership

    The Schaumburg Business Association had pleasure of participating in the Indo-US Partnership Summit that featured a keynote economic address from India’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Harsh Shringla.

    Following the welcome remarks that were delivered by Schaumburg’s United States Congressman, Raja Krisnamoorthi – that focused on the economic strength and diversity of the Illinois 8th Congressional District – the Indo-US Partnership Summit focused on the bilateral relationship between the AMerican Midwest and the India.

    Ambassador Shringla’s remarks focused on the rapid economic growth that India has experienced and the impact that India will have on the global economy by 2030. This economic impact can be seen by the following growth:

    • India’s GDP has been growing steadily at 8%
    • Thanks to this charged, and dependable, growth India has become the world’s 6th largest economy and will soon be the 5th largest
    • India’s economy currently accounts for 9% of the world’s economic activity
    • There is a strong economic tie between the US and India that is captured in the:
    • $50 billion invested from the US into India
    • $20 billion invested from India into the US
    • While the number reflects a trade gap in favor of India that deficit has slowly been made even and will be improved thanks to ongoing trade negotiations

    India’s economy as experienced this rapid growth in thanks to its very American respect for democracy, free media, the rule of law, and an independent judiciary. As a site location, India offers numerous advantages compared to other of its contemporary emerging markets that include:

    • Commitment to digitalization that reaches the remotest corners of the country
    • An overall younger workforce
    • Soon-to-be the world’s largest workforce (within 5 years)
    • Demonstrated by 1 billion people entering the workforce every month
    • Investment and delivering of key infrastructure including roads, bridges and airports for global commerce

    The Schaumburg Business Association was pleased to be in attendance representing Schaumburg and the State of Illinois at this special Summit. This type of dialogue allows the SBA to understand how to align our activities to better partner with the interest of an important economic center. With 10,000 Indian jobs created in Illinois the Indo-Illinois partnership is one that the SBA will look to continue to promote – especially in the shared space of entrepreneurship and start-ups as both are of interest and necessity for the future of our economies.

  • @events

    Networking, games and the SBA! Sounds like the perfect Thursday night to us. Thank you to PAC-MAN Entertainment for hosting us for Business After hours on March 7, 2019- and thank you to everyone who was able to attend. We had a great turnout with 111 in attendance. It was great to see so many members who knew each other, but even better to hear of all the connections made between those who hadn't known each other before the event. 

    PAC-MAN Entertainment is home of drinks, food, bowling and games. Once 257, PAC-MAN Entertainment has changed their name and is better than ever! The food looked amazing and the drinks were flowing. PAC-MAN Entertainment did not disappoint. Our members had nothing but great words to say about the night.

    Chairman of Schaumburg Business Association Kashyap Trivedi stated, “The event was very well attended. There were a lot of connections being made, but attendees were able to mix business and scratch their competitive itch by playing games. PAC-MAN offers the best of both worlds.”

    We had a blast networking, gaming and seeing the space. Please join us for our next event, Coffee & Contacts from 7:30am- 9:00am, located at Fairfield Inn & Suites 700 National Parkway, Schaumburg, IL 60173.

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    Advantage Illinois

    Accessing Capital: Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Have Options -

    Ask any business owner today to name the two biggest challenges they face and most will tell you extended job vacancies/growing skills gap and access to capital. Addressing both challenges is key to success but without capital entrepreneurs can’t generate jobs, expand operations and grow their enterprises. Most businesses rely on their bank for traditional lines of credit and equipment loans but oftentimes that’s not enough. Even well established businesses sometimes fall short of meeting the credit criteria of the bank to qualify for a loan. There are programs available, SBA loans, most often come to mind, and they are certainly one solution. Another program, less well known, is the Advantage Illinois Participation Loan Program.

    In conjunction with the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DECO) created the Advantage Illinois Participation Loan Program (Advantage Illinois). The program is federally funded through the Small Business Credit Initiative. The program has created over 400 jobs and $78million dollars plus has been lent to Illinois businesses.

    Working with participating lenders across the State, Advantage Illinois gives entrepreneurs an avenue to access capital. One such participating lender in the program is Schaumburg Bank & Trust Company N.A., a Wintrust community bank. The Bank, alongside the State and the business owner structure a credit that works for all parties. The Bank is the primary lender and the State participates by purchasing up to 50% of the loan amount thus reducing the Bank’s credit exposure and strengthening the overall credit quality of the loan. A win, win.

    Eligible companies with less than 750 employees looking to finance equipment, owner occupied real estate, working capital, inventory, A/R or leasehold improvements should inquire about the Advantage Illinois program. One of the key requirements of the program is for every $50,000 participated one new job must be created within two years of funding the loan. The application process is simple, the maximum term is 10 years and the Advantage Illinois loan rate is 2% below the Bank’s rate.

    The ideal candidate for an Advantage Illinois Participation Loan Program is a well-established business with strong cash flow whose credit request carries with it a collateral shortfall. A recent example: the Bank partnered with Advantage Illinois to provide credit to a local manufacturing company working to expand its business and needing to purchase equipment. The company wanted 100% financing on the equipment purchase but the equipment appraisal came in with a value lower than expected. With Advantage Illinois purchasing a 50% loan participation in the new equipment loan with the Bank, a lower blended interest rate and 100% financing the company was able to achieve their expansion goal.

    Another excellent candidate for utilizing Advantage Illinois in partnership with the Bank are companies looking to refinance SBA 7A loans that have been outstanding for at least two years or more. There may be opportunity to lower the overall interest rate.

    The Advantage Illinois Participation Loan Program promotes business expansion, job creation and helps to keep businesses in Illinois. If you are looking to grow your business or refinance existing debt you should seek a banking partner with a large toolbox of options and one who thinks outside of the box.


    [email protected] 

    [email protected]

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    A Straightforward Preview

    Economic Outlooks are like butts – everyone has got one…

    but what is really happening in the economy? How should businesses plan for the coming year with conflicting economic reports? To address this issues the Schaumburg Business Association has organized the Straightforward Economic Outlook summit for a candid conversation on economic trends, models and challenges facing growth in 2019.

    Featuring Scott Brave, Senior Policy Economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, this forthright conversation promises to address the leading factors confronting economic growth. To get a preview of the discussion the Schaumburg Business Association connected with Brave on some of the initial noteworthy trends to consider:

    1. Was 2018 a good year for the US Economy? Brave notes that 2018 is shaping up to be a year of strong economic group. Noting the tense of his response it is important to understand that the Federal Reserve is still collecting data from Fourth Quarter of 2018. This data collection has been delayed by the Government Shutdown. However, available data shows GDP Growth – total value of everything produce in the country – is up 3%. This is the highest percentage since 2005.

    • SBA Observation – Based on our internal tracking 2018 was a strong economic year for Schaumburg with many of our businesses citing their strongest sales year (ever) or since before the Great Recession.

    2. What is going on with the economy now? Why are there conflicting stories? The conflicting report begins with lack of data. The government shut down delayed the available data that is required to comprehend the economic outlook. There are signs of strength with the continued labor market increasing by 304,000 new hires in January. Reversely, December had weaker than projected retail sales number which is an indicator that growth through spending may be declining.

    3. What is more concerning for the economy – inflation, tariffs, other(s)? The continued uncertainty with trade be in China-US relationship or closely to home the US, Canada, Mexico trade relationships. These have all placed a measure of caution into the planning and have slowed growth. Another factor to be mindful of is Brexit. The American economy is part of a global economy and the effects of Britain – European Union relationship will impact the US economy. The continued uncertainty of Brexit has slowed the world growth index will affect our economy. Trade – as the US economy is part of a global economy – is the most concerning issue facing growth in 2019.

    4. What is the shape of the US Economy a year from now (2020)? To find out the specifics of the US economy and its global relationships as well as how the new Governor Pritziker administration will impact the businesses operating from Illinois please register for the SBA’s Straightforward Economic Outlook on Wednesday, February 27th to get the full, candid, insight.

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    World Economic Forum 2019

    Often when the Schaumburg Business Association categorizes the challenges of our economy, we focus on the local burdens impacting economic growth with these hinderances coalescing around workforce availability and cost of doing business. However, once a year our perspective shifts from the provincial to international affairs and economic trends with the discussions at the World Economic Forum at Davos 2019.

    Thanks to our partners at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) the SBA was able to keep up with discussions and insights that occurred during the World Economic Forum. At the close of 2018 there was much uncertainty on the long-term continued economic prosperity locally, nationally, and globally and the conferences at the World Economic Forum reflect that continued suspense. The following summary was drafted with the help of JLL to highlight the noteworthy concepts that emerged at Davos.

    • Political Indirection and Uncertainty – In May of 2018 the SBA started noting that the Nation’s politics were starting to impact local economic growth. The initiation of tariffs on foreign goods and corresponding trade war paused purchase orders for a time. This continued back-and-forth and the Federal Reserve’s inflationary measures have given increased concerned of a recession. Add the persistent questions around Brexit negotiation and the recently concluded (for three weeks at least) US Government shutdown there is a strong frustration from the private sector regarding the worlds leader’s inability to address the challenges of our time.
    • The 4th Industrial Revolution – The convenience and accessibility of technological advancement has significant impacts on the way cities and businesses flourish. Whether it be from artificial intelligence (AI) or the Internet of Things (IoT) businesses and cities are exploring effective ways to adopt these technologies to encourage and sustain economic growth. While the current landscape sees cities and businesses pursuing these technological adoptions independently the keynotes in Davos suggest that to harness the 4th Industrial Revolution to solve the problems not addressed above will require unique public-private partnerships.
    • The Evolution of Workspaces – The Schaumburg Business Association has discussed workforce and hiring nearly 75 times on our blog in the last year recognizing the stress that the current job markets have on local businesses. The World Economic Forum recognized that in the tight labor market companies are turning to creative real estate and workplaces to be more effective hire and retain quality talent. This discussion will continue to emerge as businesses recognize the value in a creative, open, space that influence collaboration and teamwork and its appeal to workers across generational boundaries.

    The World Economic Forum brings together political, business, and global leaders to influence the shape of economies and industries. The dialogues that occur in Davos provide international perspective on economic trends. These trends reinforce the data – both empirical and anecdotal – that the SBA tracks on a monthly basis. A new year brings new challenges, concerns, and opportunities and the World Economic Forum of 2019 espoused each. As we move into the second month of the year the SBA will keep our businesses versed in the latest local and global discussions impacting overall economic growth.

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    ZipRecruiter's 2018 Job Market Trends

    One of the defining economic themes of 2018 was the compacted job market. With total job openings outnumbering the total number of unemployed 2018 became noted record levels of unemployed across the Country – including Illinois.

    While mention of economic headwinds (tariffs, and inflation) deflating this economic swell have persisted since last Fall there has been little indication that hiring has capsized. 2019 will require Schaumburg businesses to strategically outsmart the competition to hire – and retain – the best talent will require adept use of previous market trends to be successful.

    Leveraging ZipRecruiter’s Job Market Trends that Defined 2018 Schaumburg businesses can gain the decisive advantage to outsmart the tight labor market and drive more revenue. The following represent a snapshot of the most relevant insights as they impact the Schaumburg economy and its ability to fill, and replace, positions.

    • Chicago Metro Finishes 10th on ZipRecruiter’s Opportunity Index -Normally, a top 10 finish would be worth celebrating and recognizing. This ZipRecruiter ranking is NOT that kind of distinction. The good news for Schaumburg businesses…there are nine other US Metros that have more jobs than applicants. The bad news, Schaumburg businesses are dealing with a labor market that features nearly 2 jobs per every applicant. With Illinois already experiencing record low unemployment this ZipRecruiter supports all anecdotal evidence of a tight labor market. 

    • Main Street’s Talent Exodus to Wall Street - 95% of the Schaumburg Business Association’s member businesses have employment have fewer than 100 employees and as the ZipRecruiter’s research indicates in this tight labor market the small, “mom-and-pop” (or Main Street) business are suffering the most. The data shows even under the record setting conditions job seekers are flocking to big businesses (or Wall Street to complete the analogy). This “flocking” is tracked through submitted applications favoring the large organization over the small, mom-and-pop, sized businesses across every industry.

    The ZipRecruiter Job Market Trends that Defined 2018 recapitulates a year of preponderance for job seekers – especially for the Schaumburg Business Association’s members. With a nearly 2:1 ratio of jobs to applicants and a workforce that is increasingly seeking out larger organizations for employment an already tight labor market has become pressurized. Unless there are considerable economic shifts hiring in 2019 will remain a stressful experience. You can find out how to secure that one applicant per every two jobs by attending the SBA’s upcoming Leadership Luncheon focused on Outsmarting the 2019 Tight Labor Market by registering here. The Schaumburg Business Association is a full service community and economic development organization able to connect your business with the workforce resources needed to succeed. 

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    2019 New Business Laws for Illinois

    Accompanying the fireworks and confetti that welcomed 2019 were hundreds of new Illinois laws that will a direct impact on the Schaumburg businesses. With legislation impacting Illinois’ agriculture, natural resources, labor, commerce, consumers, taxes, revenue, and transportation the policy implications from 2018 will be resolved over the next year.

    With legislation stretching across numerous industries and sectors the Schaumburg Business Association has tracked the most impingement business policies that took place on January 1st and with the help of partners - like - provided a synopsis of the act’s impact to our business community. The following are the newest policies and public acts effecting businesses in Schaumburg and Illinois:

    • Equal Pay Summary: Amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003. Provides that no employer may discriminate between employees by paying wages to an African-American employee at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to another employee who is not African-American for the same or substantially similar work on a job that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions.

    • Sexual Harassment Training: Provides that professions that have continuing education requirements must provide at least one hour of sexual harassment prevention training to be included for license renewals occurring on or after January 1, 2020.

    • Wage Payment Expenses: Requires employers to reimburse employees for their necessary costs incurred in order to fulfill their job responsibilities, including for "bring your own device" policies which require employees to use personal cell phones, tablets or computers for work purposes.

    • EDGE Tax Credit and Sexual Harassment: Requires a sexual harassment policy for all companies that make a bid under the state's procurement code and requires companies that claim EDGE credits to include their sexual harassment policy in their annual report to the State.

    • Industry Development Assistance: A local school district or community college may apply for DCEO grants for the acquisition of land, construction of facilities, and purchase of equipment, dedicated solely to the instruction of occupations in manufacturing.    

    • Commercial Driver Safety Test:  Allows truck tractors, semi-trailers, or property-carrying vehicles weighing 10,000 to 26,000 pounds to be safety tested every 12 months 
    • Income Tax Angel Investment Credit: DCEO initiative that is a trailer bill to their omnibus Angel Investment credit bill, SB 2012, which passed in spring of 2017. Revises definitions of "applicant" and "related member," and clarifies the utilization timeline for "set-aside" credits.

    The following capture just a portion of the business-related policies that took effect starting January 1st. As part of the Schaumburg Business Association’s effort to promote a strong business climate through advocacy and government affairs the SBA is committed educating our members on public policy agenda in Springfield. If you would like to discuss 2019’s new policies or meet with a state or federal elected official please contact the SBA and we would be happy to integrate your business with state policy.

    [1] Thank you to for providing the synopsis for policies 3- 10 


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    Schaumburg Recognized in 2018

    Throughout 2018 Schaumburg frequently made headlines for being recognized as a one of the best communities to live, work, and play in Illinois and in the United States. The most prominent recognition came from Money Magazine which honored Schaumburg as the 34th Best Place to Live in the United States – this ranking recognized the Schaumburg Business Association’s efforts to build (business) relationships.

     Additionally, the Schaumburg Business Association was able to identify 13 other national and state recognitions that related to Schaumburg’s economy, quality of life, and government as graded by independent third-party sources. The following ratings, rankings, and recognition were collected by the SBA during 2018:

    • Schaumburg ranks #7 on “Best Places to Live in Illinois 2018” (Areavibes, September 2018)
    • Schaumburg ranks 34th on “Best Places to Live in 2018” (Money Magazine, September 2018)
    • Schaumburg ranks 5th on “Best Illinois City for Jobs” (WalletHub, September 2018)
    • Schaumburg ranks 31st on “Best Small Cities to Start a Small Business” (Verizon, August 2018) 
    • Schaumburg ranks 28th on “Best Suburbs to Buy a House in Illinois” (Niche, July 2018)
    • Schaumburg ranks 18th on “Illinois’s Safest Cities” (, June 2018)
    • Schaumburg ranks #32 on “Best Places to Live in Illinois 2018” list (Areavibes, June 2018)
    • Schaumburg ranks #149 (out of 4,878) for “Best Suburbs for Millennials in America (Niche, June 2018)
    • Schaumburg ranks #37 on “2018 Best Places to Live in Illinois” (Niche, May 2018)
    • Schaumburg Regional Airport recognized as “2018 Airport of the Year Award” (Illinois Department of Transportation, May 2018)
    • Schaumburg ranks 7th “Best Suburbs for Millennial in Illinois (Niche, March 2018)
    • Schaumburg ranks 1st “Best Place to Live in Illinois” (Money Magazine, January 2018) 
    • Schaumburg ranks 34th on “Best Places to live in the United States” (Money Magazine, January 2018)

    As a fresh 2019 begins the Schaumburg Business Association is excited to continue to build on the national and state recognition achieved in 2018 and 2017 by promoting our businesses and developing the relationships, resources, community and economic climate needed to be recognized as THE Illinois community for living, working, and playing.

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    SBA's 2018 Economic Development Highlights

    Throughout 2018 the Schaumburg Business Association made a committed effort to the economic development and growth of the Schaumburg region. With a focus on broadening our relationships and adding value to our businesses the SBA was able to partner in the retention and expansion of Schaumburg’s workforce by over 300 jobs. As we transition into 2019, the SBA wanted to highlight some of the incredible accomplishments and feature the broader impact that the SBA had on local, state, and international commerce:

    • Joined the CORE IL Management Committee to provide direction and guidance for the State of Illinois’ Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) program

    • Established the Schaumburg Industry Council program to support businesses in manufacturing, technology, and corporate operations to understand the specific challenges to job growth

    • Completed the Federal Reserve Banking Systems Small Business Credit Survey to better understand the challenges for small business growth.
      • SBA will be receiving a customized Report of Findings from this survey data in 2019.

    • Boosted the reach and connectivity of the SBA’s online Jobs Board by linking it with over 75 regional workforce partners that are actively assisting the SBA in filling open positions

    • Attended the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) tradeshow and met with four (4) prospective businesses looking to place job investment in Schaumburg’s economy
      • Officially hosted one (1) prospect from IMTS on a two-day long site tour of the Schaumburg economy
    • Hosted the first annual Industry Appreciation Night at the Schaumburg Boomers game recognizing the economic impact of Schaumburg’s small businesses

    • Strengthened Schaumburg’s unique relationship with the Japanese Consul-General in August at Schaumburg Boomers game to emphasis the economic ties between Schaumburg and Japan

    • Welcomed United States Congressman Krishnamoorthi (Il-8th) on an update to the SBA membership on the policy successes of the 115th Congress including the successful passage of the Congressman’s skills-based education and training efforts.

    • Recognized through formal proclamation by Cook County Board of Commissioners for our efforts to strengthen the manufacturing sector of Schaumburg and Cook County

    • Primary planning organization for his excellency, Japanese Ambassador, Shinsuke Sugiyma, during his first official visit to the State of Illinois

     As we prepare for 2019, the Schaumburg Business Association is excited to continue our focus on the economic well being and position of Schaumburg. With plans to enhance the existing relationships and expand the programs that will facilitate job creation and a competitive business climate the SBA’s economic development program looks forward to even more highlights, successes and growth next year.

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    Conversation with Congressman Krishnamoorthi

    To better align the Schaumburg Business Association’s advocacy efforts with area elected officials to pursue the best business climate for our members the SBA staff met with Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (Il-8th) to better understand the new political landscape in Washington D.C. as it relates to the divided government and what policies would be pursed by the 116th Congress that will benefit the Schaumburg economy.

    During our 30-minute conversation with the Congressman the policy conversation ranged from transportation and infrastructure, healthcare, skills-based education, and entrepreneurship.

    • Transportation and Infrastructure: An area of hope for potential compromise between the two parties is transportation and infrastructure. With an aging system of roads, bridges, and airport services this policy issue has items that both parties should agree on. Reflecting on the 115th Congress, Krishnamoorthi feels that this should have been the first policy item addressed by President Trump’s administration when he took office in 2017. Ultimately, President Trump’s administration chose to address healthcare and tax reform during the first two-years of his presidency leaving an opportunity for transportation to be addressed in 2019.  

    As employer’s most prominent critique of Schaumburg continues to be connected mobility – specifically public transportation – a policy focus in the next Congress would be a welcomed advancement. Congressman Krishanmoorthi did explain the historical path that transportation legislation has followed and much centers on mutual investment from local and state governments as well. Transportation is often funded with fiscal contributions from state and local governments and any future transportation programs would consist of those historical partnership. Most likely outcome is a transportation bill that features an emphasis on public-private partnerships to provide the complete funding to address the nation’s transportation issues.

    • Skills-Based Education: As Schaumburg employers continue to struggle in filling open positions one federal solution has been enhancing career and technical education opportunities and funding. During the 115th Congress, Krishnamoorthi was one of the leading voices for skills-based education even passing the bipartisan H.R. 2353 Strengthening Career and Education Technical Education for the 21st Century. Included in the bipartisan package was on-the-job training in fields like cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare while also requiring educators to work with local businesses to ensure alignment of courses with in-demand jobs.

    With 17% of Schaumburg’s workforce in manufacturing related jobs one challenge facing the economy in 2019 is the exposure and alignment of manufacturing needs with middle and high school students. Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s success in modernizing, reauthorizing, and funding skills-based education was important for the economic future of Schaumburg there is still an opportunity to expand the economic reach of these programs. Congressman Krishnamoorthi believes that the H.R. 2353 was an important first step but would like to see skills-based learning expanded to included entrepreneurship within skills-based education. Providing the basic skills to enter the workforce is important but providing the means for the next generation to become entrepreneur and business leaders is important. This assessment is correct in that many of Schaumburg’s small businesses were started because of a skill separate from business management.

    The conversation with Congressman Krishnamoorthi provided the SBA a baseline on the policy pursuits expected to happen when Congress reconvenes in 2019. This ongoing relationship the SBA has developed with Congressman Krishnamoorthi allows for our organization to continue to be the advocate of our business community’s interest and work closely with our representative in Washington D.C. to create the most favorable business climate.

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    Economic Impact of New Americans

    As immigration continues to be at the center of the national discussion one of the important implications is the economic impact that immigrant workers have on the local economy. To provide empirical insight the New American Economy – a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state and local immigration policies to grow the economy – produced an economic impact study of New Americans in Chicago.

    By following the link you can read the full economic impact but the New American Economy did identify some noteworthy insights on migration origins, industries, and innovations produced by immigrants arriving from around the world. The Schaumburg Business Association synthesized some of the most relevant facts as it can relate to the Schaumburg economy.

    • Top Five Countries of Origin: 
    • Mexico – 44.5%
    • China – 6.4%  
    • Poland – 5.8%
    • Philippines – 3.6%
    • India – 3.5%

    The diversity of origin is reflected in the complexation of greater Chicagoland and especially in Schaumburg. Nearly 20% of Schaumburg’s residents are immigrants from the broad region of “Asia” which is reflected in the New American Economy data with China, Philippines and India all being in the top five origin destinations of immigrants arriving in Chicagoland.

    • Immigrant Labor Force Participation: 
    • Manufacturing – 48%
    • General Services – 35.8%
    • Accommodation and Recreation – 34.9%
    • Transportation and Warehouses – 29.6%

    With Illinois’ record low unemployment rate the critical challenge before employers in Schaumburg, and Chicagoland, is the ability to fill open positions to keep up with demand. The data provided by the New American Economy is beneficial to those industries that have a difficult time attracting domestic talent. Though manufacturing employs 17% of Schaumburg’s economy local firms still struggle to attract talent into their facility. The data available suggest that while manufacturing is not appealing to Americans it is a path for economic advancement for immigrants.

    • Immigrants Occupation Concentration: 
    • Cooks – 4.6%
    • Janitors and Building Cleaners – 4.0%
    • Maids and Housekeepers – 3.1%
    • Truck Drivers – 2.9%
    • Hand Movers – 2.1%
    • Production Workers – 2.0%

    Recognizing industry insight is important but more important is the type of occupations that immigrants are concentrating. The occupation concentration of immigrants is critical for Schaumburg’s service and hospitality. With 32 hotels operating in Schaumburg the data captured by the New American Economy emphasizes the importance that immigrants have on the operational success of hospitality in the Schaumburg region.

    Another observation is the impact that immigrant workers have on manufacturing. This report estimates that because of immigrants over 25,000 manufacturing jobs have been retained. Immigrants present a labor pool that is willing to work for cost effective wages that is not always available with domestic talent.

    The wide-ranging economic impact analysis by the New American Economy provides empirical insights into the impact that immigrants have on the Chicagoland economy. With this analysis looking at everything from taxes, DACA, entrepreneurship, household income, and much more it provides economic justification for immigration policy action. From the Schaumburg Business Association perspective this analysis demonstrates the impact that immigrant workers have on jobs within the economy. With much of Schaumburg’s workforce in manufacturing and hospitality sectors having an immigration policy that is sensible but allows for the continued economic growth is important for Schaumburg’s economic future.

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    Fudan University in Schaumburg

    At the end of November the Schaumburg Business Association, in partnership with State Representative Michelle Mussman’s office, hosted a research delegation from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. The research faculty was on a tour of America seeking to gain insights into America’s political and economic future.

    During the over 90-minute dialogue the conversation touched on a wide range of topical issues as it related to the US – China affairs. With a sophisticated understanding of American political, economic, and cultural values, and a curiosity to understand the grassroots perspective on US-China relations the faculty’s questions were captured to share with our members.

    State of American Economy and Economic Future: One of the immediate themes that the researchers sought to understand was the American economy and its short-and-long term prospects. With the perpetuating tariffs between the US and Chinese government the researchers were looking to understand the economic ramifications of these macro-policy decisions.

    • Economic Questions asked by Fudan University:
      • Will there be economic growth in 2020?
      • How is the auto industry? Housing market?
      • What is the Schaumburg perspective on immigration?
      • Why have America workers’ wages not increased?
      • Have American manufacturers benefited from the election of President Trump?
      • What issues will President Trump focus on if there is a recession   

    American Elections and Voters: After addressing the economic implications and realities of the tariffs Fudan’s researchers turned their attention to the American electoral process. This segment of the conversation covered a wide range of current and historical trends and norms as well as sought to understand the insights at a local, state, and national level.

    • Electoral Questions asked by Fudan University:
      • Can you explain President Trump’s base? 
      • Why do lower-and-middle class voter support Trump?
      • How does the new Democratic Majority in the House of Representatives impact the economy?
      • How will the Democrats work with President Trump?
      • Is Health care still the number one issue facing Americans?
      • In the future can Democrats win over more voters?
      • How do you think Obama being African American affected him being president?
      • Do you think the Electoral College is unfair?

    The Miscellaneous American Conversations: While much of the research questions focused on the dynamic between the economy and politics the researchers were aware of other national conversations taking place in America. The researcher sought to understand these national topics of interest and then connect their influence into their economic and political research:

    • Miscellaneous Questions asked by Fudan University:
      • What is the gender gap in America?
      • What is happening with gun control?
      • Are young people anxious? About the economy? About guns?
      • Impact of social media on society?
      • Is it making the United States more polarized?
      • Do Americans blame the Chinese?
      • Do Americans believe that the Chinese are stealing their jobs?

    Being able to leverage the insights and perspectives of the SBA’s members added tremendous value and insight for the researchers from Fudan University. With a focus on the economy the SBA, and our members experiences, provided the grassroots context of US businesses. Exchanges like this create a mutual understanding of the political, economic, and cultural values and raise the awareness of the Schaumburg business community within the world’s largest purchasing economy – China.

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    SBDC's Marketing Expert

    Small Business Advisor Interview

    Cheri Kretsinger began her career working for small market research firms and then was lucky enough to join an internet start-up. After business school, she spent several years in brand management with leading consumer packaged goods companies. She recently started her own marketing consulting firm to teach small businesses and start-ups how to adapt big company tools and best practices so they can more effectively market their business.

    What do you specialize in at the SBDC?

    My background is in brand management with consumer product companies, primarily for food and beverages. I can help clients who are interested in launching a food based business understand what it will take to bring their product to market. In addition to the commercialization process, I can assist with pricing and developing a marketing plan. Given my marketing experience, I can also advise various types of businesses on how they are branding their product or service and how they can position it in the marketplace.

    How does your experience benefit your clients?

    I think the initial benefit is helping clients to understand everything they should be thinking about to market their business. At first, most small business owners are just thinking about the product or service they want to offer. To be successful, it’s equally as important to think about who your ideal customer is going to be, what you’re going to tell them about your business, how you’re going to communicate with them, and where you’re going to do business with them. There’s actually quite a lot to think about.

    What’s a common misconception small business owners have about marketing?

    I think it’s that marketing is only about advertising. That’s really just a part of it. Marketing actually touches on all aspects of the business, such as R&D, finance, procurement, operations, IT, etc. Marketers typically aren’t experts in all business functions. They often rely on the expertise of others. But a marketer’s job is to manage all these functions so the business can successfully meet the needs of its customers. That is what small business owners do everyday. All small business owners are inherently marketers.

    Do you have a piece of advice for someone who is interested in improving their business practices?

    I always recommend starting with a strategic plan. And put it on paper. Not just in your head. Things get lost in there. Also, there is a lot of talk that businesses should try everything to see what sticks and then fail fast. This rarely works. Most of the time it just burns resources. It’s worth the time to think through a strategic plan. You can, and should, allow yourself the flexibility to test things, but a strategic plan will help you determine what are the right things to test. Lastly, avoid doing things just because you read five articles on the internet that told you to do it. Bounce those ideas against your strategic plan to see if it really makes sense for your business and your customers. If it doesn’t fit, let it go.

    Why do you like working with small business owners at the SBDC?

    They inspire me. Starting and managing a small business is hard. It’s physically and emotionally draining. I’ve worked for both small, start-up type businesses and large, global corporations. Managing a small business is much more difficult because you have such limited resources. Meeting clients who are truly excited about what they’re doing helps keep me going. When someone finishes a session, they walk out the door thanking me. It really should be the other way around.

    How should clients prepare to get the most out of your advising sessions?

    When scheduling an advising session, clients should include a short note that describes what they would like to discuss in the session. This is really helpful to advisors. It gives us a chance to prepare for the discussion so we can provide more actionable advice to business owners.

    To schedule an appointment with one of the SBDC business advisors or to get legal, HR and accounting help, please visit

    The Illinois SBDC at Harper College is funded through a partnership between DCEO, the Small Business Administration and Harper College.

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    LinkedIn's November Workforce Report

    Throughout 2018, the SBA has tracked LinkedIn Workforce Report and provided a local perspective and takeaways on the dataThe November Workforce Report reaffirms previous months (September 2018 and May 2018) insights and offers further insights into the best markets to attract the talent to fill open positions. The following is the SBA’s perspective on the LinkedIn’s November Workforce Report and how this regional data is reflective to the Schaumburg business.

    • Surprising Skill Surplus –
      • With each month’s Workforce Report, LinkedIn spotlights the top skills surpluses that exist in the Chicagoland labor market. Previously, this section has not received much commentary from the SBA as the skills have not matched the needs of Schaumburg businesses. However, the November Skills Surplus section contains a surprising skill that is in demand for Schaumburg’s economy. Manufacturing Operations is listed as a skills surplus with over 6,660 people in the labor poolThis is as surprising insight as manufacturing talent -of all kinds -is in critical demand. With much of Schaumburg’s manufacturing base turning away work because of the shortage of talent seeing this skill set have some much availability presents an unknown disconnect.
    •  Consistent Skill Shortages – 
      • The majority of skills shortages that LinkedIn is tracking continue to be “soft skills”. Most noticeably, Oral Communication has been the biggest skill shortage since the initial report in May. The lack of quality oral communication skills continues to be a sentiment reflected by Schaumburg’s corporate businesses and one of the primary reasons a candidate does not get hired. Much assertion is placed at the digital dependence of talent and its ability to corrupt traditional communication skills in the office place. This assertion may have some relevance as Time Management remains a top five (5) skill shortage which hiring officials cite as the second most prominent downfall to a candidate’s retention within a company.
    • Migration Patterns Confirmed – 
      • As job openings continue to be significantly higher than the total number of unemployed it becomes important to strategically place your employment brand in candidate rich markets. In September, LinkedIn listed the following markets as providing the most significant amount of in-bound migration to Chicagoland:
        • Urbana-Champagne, IL 
        • Wichita, KS 
        • Bloomington, IN 

    The November report confirms that Urbana-Champagne, Wichita, and Bloomington are the most viable markets to recruit and attract talent from. This insight is key as many employers presume that Chicago – with its proximity to Schaumburg – is the most viable market to attract talent. However, as LinkedIn has confirmed that these markets are the location businesses should d be focusing their employment branding on as they are accounting for the most net new additions to the workforce and have positive perception of Chicago already.

    As a final note on migration patterns, the other cities contributing the highest count of new migrations to Chicagoland are the following communities:

    • Bloomington-Normal, IL
    • Iowa City, IA
    • Lafayette, IN

    As noted in the September post, each of the top markets had a prominent university and including Bloomington-Norma, Iowa City, and Lafayette we see a that observation hold true. With Illinois State University, University of Iowa, and Purdue University all being based in these additional markets LinkdedIn’s data suggest that forming a relationship between Schaumburg and these universities can assist in the hiring approach. As the SBA continues to track these communities as the driving source for new migration, we will seek to develop relationships.

    LinkedIn’s November Workforce Report confirms trend that have been spotlighted throughout 2018 and also expands and creates new opportunities. Should your business want to discuss these insights and take advantage please reach out to the SBA for assistance.

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    American Worker Survey

    Throughout 2018 Prudential Financial, Inc has been surveying the American Worker on various personal, financial, educational, and community related issues to understand the perspective of the American worker.

    The 4th American Worker Survey conducted in September 2018 focuses on the relationship between businesses and the community in which they operate. The following is the SBA’s key takeaways from this survey and perspective on the data:

    • Financial considerations are the most important factor in deciding “Where to Live” 
    • As a nation the “cost of living” is the most important factor in determining where to live (63%). This number is considerably more significant than the factors coming in second and third in consideration.
    • The feedback from the Midwest is reflective of traditional Midwest values with the most important factors in choosing where to live being:
    • “It’s Where I Grew Up” (31%)
    • “Quality of Schools” (28%)

    These two responses – higher than other regions in the county – tracks with the SBA’s understanding of “why businesses are located in Schaumburg”. From the SBA’s economic research, the “quality of schools” is often one of the most important considerations for a business in locating/remaining in Schaumburg. The ability for a Schaumburg business to partner with educational institutions that produces “exceptional” talent means a competitive advantage in the businesses market place.

    • Characteristics of a Thriving Community – Low Crime 
    • American workers prioritize two characteristics of a thriving community above all others. The most important factors for a thriving community is a low crime/personal safety record (69%) and economic opportunity (63%). These datapoints match nicely with Schaumburg’s profile as the community was recognized in 2018 as:
    • Schaumburg ranks 18th on “Illinois’s Safest Cities” (, June 2018)
    • Schaumburg ranks 5th on “Best Illinois City for Jobs” (WalletHub, September 2018)
    • Schaumburg ranks #7 on “Best Places to Live in Illinois 2018” (Areavibes, September 2018)

    The Prudential American Worker Survey data is further evidence that Schaumburg has strongly positioned itself as an attractive destination for living and working.

    • Workers Want Community Involvement 
    • One key insight from the survey was that the American worker wants businesses (of all sizes) to play an active role in their community. “59% believe that the private sector should have a moderate-to-large role in helping communities thrive”. This data with the corresponding belief that “Small Businesses” and “Large Employers” are best suited to provide financing for a thriving community suggest that an employer should be visible in the community.
    • As the number of open positions surpasses the total number of unemployed this feedback indicates that for an employer to be successful in filling their jobs, they should have a local presence.
    • If your business is looking to give back to the community – to help it thrive - the SBA has an active and vibrant non-profit community that would love to discuss partnerships with your organization.

    The 4th edition of the American Worker Survey provides key insights into the needs and consideration of talent across the US and regionally. With job openings at record highs understanding the specific needs of talent in our area will assist Schaumburg and our businesses in better hiring and retaining the American worker.

    Check out full Area Vibes Article Here -

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    Cook County Referrendum Outcomes

    On Tuesday, November 6th the voters of Cook County voted on two important economic issues that will directly impact businesses operating in Cook County and Schaumburg. Thanks to the Chicago Tribune for providing this outcome overview on Minimum Wage and Sick Leave referendum items: 

    Sick leave - Question: Shall your municipality match the Cook County earned sick time law which allows for workers to earn up to 40 hours (5 days) of sick time a year to take care of their own health or a family member’s health?

    Cook County voters are in favor of their municipality matching the county sick time law. The measure stems from a county ordinance passed in 2016 that calls for employees to earn one hour of paid sick time for ever 40 hours worked. Nearly 86 percent of county voters were in favor of this referendum, according to the Cook County clerk’s office.

    Minimum wage - Question: Shall the minimum wage in your municipality match the $13 per hour Cook County minimum wage law for adults over the age of 18 by July 1, 2020, and be indexed to the consumer price index after that?

    About 80 percent of Cook County voters were in favor of the referendum. The county had passed an ordinance in 2016 that raised the minimum wage to $13 an hour, but municipalities were given the option to opt out.

    SBA Perspective - 

    The SBA's Board of Directors opposed the two ballot measures based on the adverse economic impact they will have on Schaumburg businesses. With Schaumburg's location on the boundaries of Cook County it is the SBA's belief that the neighboring counties of DuPage, Lake, McHenry, and Kane will benefit by the increased cost of doing business in Cook County. The SBA will continue to track and provide updates on public policy that directly impacts the growth of Schaumburg's economy.  

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    White House Council of Economic Advisers

    On October 29th the Schaumburg Business Association participated in a conference call with the White House Council of Economic Advisers to discuss the Illinois economy. The call was led by Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett to highlight the economic growth that Illinois has experienced in the past year including Illinois unemployment rate to 4.1% - its lowest rate on record.

    Touting Illinois’ growth as part of President Trump’s economic policies, Chairman Hassett noted many indicators including manufacturing employment increasing 3.7% since November of 2016 resulting in a total of 592,000 Illinoisan being employed by manufacturing. This growth is consistent with the trends occurring in Schaumburg with 15% of local manufacturers reporting challenges in hiring to fill positions.

    While manufacturing has reached its fastest year-over-year job growth and unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest rate on record factor contributing to these economic factors is the significant increase in the total loans and leases issued by community banks in Illinois. The Council of Economic Advisers view the activity of the community banking sector as positive indicator for the noticeable economic growth occurring in Illinois. The current rate of loans issued by community banks is at fastest rate of growth since 2006.

    The primary takeaway from the White House conference call on the Economic Accomplishments of the Trump Administration in Illinois is that Illinois is demonstrating strong economic growth supported by positive indicators including income growth which is decreasing the population living below the poverty line, overall manufacturing employment continuing to rise, and the community banking sector continuing to support economic growth through lending programs. The Schaumburg Business Association continues to track the trends impacting Schaumburg businesses and share the perspective of leaders at a local, state, and national level and how their policy pursuits are affecting the overall business climate of our region.

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    SBDC's Technology Expert

    As the SBDC’s technology expert, Jennie Johns assists clients with website, email service and other technology issues. She also runs the SBDC program that matches Harper College web programming students with small business owners who need help building a website. 

    What do you specialize in at the SBDC?

    I mainly work with clients on website development, including the functionality, design and user experience. When our clients are matched with a student developer, I oversee the project. We help clients through the entire process of designing and building current, impactful websites.

    How does your experience benefit your clients?

    I have over 20 years of programming experience in the web development field and almost 10 years of experience teaching website usability and programming. I understand the challenges that small business owners face when it comes to building and maintaining a website, and I can help them work through the creation, deployment and ongoing maintenance.


    What’s a common misconception small business owners have about web development?

    A lot of people think they can just hire someone to quickly build a website for them. They don’t realize how much time and effort will be needed from their end. Before you can even get started on designing and programming, you need to take time to think about the audience and develop meaningful content.

    Do you have a piece of advice for someone who is interested in building a website?

    Focus on your content. Copy should be short and easy to scan, but it also needs to be thoughtful and precise, and it should have a story-like quality.

    Why do you like working with small business owners at the SBDC?

    I love coming to work at the SBDC. It’s fun to meet new clients and hear about the unique and interesting businesses they are starting. Their hope and energy is inspiring, and it’s rewarding to help them fulfill their dreams. I feel very fortunate to be a consultant with the SBDC and to be able to provide this free service.

    How should clients prepare to get the most out of your advising sessions?

    Spend some time looking through other websites, including your competitors’ sites. Also, bring the URLs of sites you like and don’t like so we can get a sense for your design preferences. Also, bring a list of questions. Thinking through what you want to get of the session can make it more productive.

    To schedule an appointment with one of the SBDC business advisors or to get legal, HR and accounting help, please visit

    The Illinois SBDC at Harper College is funded through a partnership between DCEO, the Small Business Administration and Harper College.

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    SBDC's Technology Expert

    As the SBDC’s technology expert, Jennie Johns assists clients with website, email service and other technology issues. She also runs the SBDC program that matches Harper College web programming students with small business owners who need help building a website. 

    What do you specialize in at the SBDC?

    I mainly work with clients on website development, including the functionality, design and user experience. When our clients are matched with a student developer, I oversee the project. We help clients through the entire process of designing and building current, impactful websites.

    How does your experience benefit your clients?

    I have over 20 years of programming experience in the web development field and almost 10 years of experience teaching website usability and programming. I understand the challenges that small business owners face when it comes to building and maintaining a website, and I can help them work through the creation, deployment and ongoing maintenance.


    What’s a common misconception small business owners have about web development?

    A lot of people think they can just hire someone to quickly build a website for them. They don’t realize how much time and effort will be needed from their end. Before you can even get started on designing and programming, you need to take time to think about the audience and develop meaningful content.

    Do you have a piece of advice for someone who is interested in building a website?

    Focus on your content. Copy should be short and easy to scan, but it also needs to be thoughtful and precise, and it should have a story-like quality.

    Why do you like working with small business owners at the SBDC?

    I love coming to work at the SBDC. It’s fun to meet new clients and hear about the unique and interesting businesses they are starting. Their hope and energy is inspiring, and it’s rewarding to help them fulfill their dreams. I feel very fortunate to be a consultant with the SBDC and to be able to provide this free service.

    How should clients prepare to get the most out of your advising sessions?

    Spend some time looking through other websites, including your competitors’ sites. Also, bring the URLs of sites you like and don’t like so we can get a sense for your design preferences. Also, bring a list of questions. Thinking through what you want to get of the session can make it more productive.

    To schedule an appointment with one of the SBDC business advisors or to get legal, HR and accounting help, please visit

    The Illinois SBDC at Harper College is funded through a partnership between DCEO, the Small Business Administration and Harper College.

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    Schaumburg Manufacturing Month

    SCHAUMBURG, IL., Oct. 29, 2018 – The Schaumburg Business Association (SBA) celebrated Illinois Manufacturing Month by hosting Illinois Deputy Governor Leslie Munger on a Schaumburg Manufacturing Showcase tour highlighting the economic importance of manufacturing to Schaumburg and the need for workforce alignment to support further job creation.

    The Showcase included facility tours of Innovative Components, Sodick Inc., Felsomat USA, and Sandvik Coromant as well as included a roundtable discussion with regional workforce partners to emphasize the need to better communicate the opportunity that manufacturing careers have for young people.

    “Manufacturing employs 17% of Schaumburg’s workforce and is a significant employer for Cook County, and the State of Illinois and with this Showcase the SBA is able to educate the economic importance that manufacturing has on our economy and show our support for programs that will grow this important industry” said Kyle Schulz, Director of Economic Development for the Schaumburg Business Association.

    While 17% of Schaumburg’s current workforce employed by the over 225 Schaumburg manufacturing firms there is an opportunity for further employment of the talent pool existed for manufacturers. As noted throughout the Showcase the biggest challenge facing each of the manufacturers was attracting young talent into careers in manufacturing. Through the SBA’s economic development efforts, the issue of talent/labor is noted by Schaumburg manufacturers 15% of the time as their biggest challenge to future growth. Recognizing this need the SBA organized a roundtable with providers like the Golden Corridor Advance Manufacturing Partnership and the Manufacturing Career Internship Program to highlight how they are engaging young people and express the need for statewide leadership to ensure the increased awareness of manufacturing jobs.

    “As the leading economic development organization in the Northwest Suburbs the SBA has an important role in enhancing job creation and we recognize the need to better connect workforce with employers desperately seeking to fill openings. The roundtable discussion with Deputy Governor Munger is the SBA’s first step at addressing the access and alignment of workforce and economic development for the betterment of our businesses” noted Lisa Gilbert, President of the Schaumburg Business Association.

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    2018 Toast of Schaumburg

    The Schaumburg Business Association celebrated the successes and accomplishments of the business community with its annual Toast of Schaumburg by recognizing the connectivity of the businesses to the community and raising almost $18,000 for their scholarship fund, having 95% of the businesses there contributing.  

    “This year’s Toast of Schaumburg was not just a celebration, but a recognition of the impact that our businesses have through their volunteering, engagement, philanthropy and leadership. This year’s Toast was truly all about the collective partnerships that makes Schaumburg business community so great” said Lisa Gilbert, President of the Schaumburg Business Association.

    The Schaumburg Business Association recognized the impact of individuals and businesses this year by awarding five highly coveted awards including the Brian H. Burke Business of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Leader of the Year, for the first time the Laurie Stone Woman of the Year.  

    Congratulations to the winners of each:  

    Brian H. Burke Business of the Year Andigo Credit Union  


    Laurie Stone Woman of the Year Teresa Faidley, Schaumburg Bank and Trust


    Leader of the Year Katie Berganske Frank, Amcheck, an iSolved HCM Company


    Volunteer of the Year Scott Felgenhauer, Plaidypus, Inc.


    Rookie of the Year Michael Larson, Schaumburg Boomers.  


    “The Toast is not just about honoring the accomplishments of all 25 nominees and 5 scholarship recipients of this past year, but making sure we support the economic future of this community by raising funds for the SBA’s 501c3’s Charitable Foundation scholarship drive to ensure that more students can achieve higher education” said Gilbert.  

     “The proof is in the pudding, and when called on to support future workforce” Gilbert says “this type of response shows the collective impact the SBA can have on bettering this area and making Schaumburg a great place to live, work, play, and connect”.

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    Small Business Credit Survey

    The Schaumburg Business Association is partnering with the Federal Reserve to conduct a Small Business Credit Survey for both pre-start and existing businesses in Schaumburg. This survey is a platform through which small businesses can have a voice about their growth

    The Survey is designed to understand small business financing conditions and bring the current financial climate to the attention of service providers, lenders, and policy makers to address any challenges that are facing Schaumburg’s small businesses.

    With nearly 80% of the Schaumburg Business Association’s membership being a “small business” the SBA wants to make sure that our businesses have their perspective accounted for in this national effort.

    The survey highlights the experiences of small businesses and provides critical information that service providers, policymakers, and lenders use to improve programs for small business owners. The intelligence collected from the survey is being featured prominently in discussions about:

    By partnering with the Federal Reserve Banks, the SBA is seeking to contribute both to the national discussion and to understand the local challenges and programmatic needs of small business right here in Schaumburg.

    The results are shared with survey respondents and community partners that distribute the survey. Visit to view reports focused on Employer Firms, Disaster Affected Firms, and Hiring Difficulties, as well as reports from previous years.

    Further, with your participation, the SBA will receive a Schaumburg-specific report that we will use to address challenges expressed by our small businesses and leverage this information for our continued economic development efforts.

    This short survey will take approximately 9 minutes and will ask about business conditions, financing needs, and credit experiences. If you have any questions you can contact the SBA or you can participate by following the link.

  • Cook County Minimum Wage and Earned Sick Time referendums on the November 6

    SBA Opposes Cook County Referendum’s Press Release 


    Schaumburg, IL, October 4, 2018 – The Schaumburg Business Association’s Board of Director announced their opposition to the Cook County Minimum Wage and Earned Sick Time referendums on the November 6th ballot based on the adverse impact that it will have on Schaumburg’s businesses.

    “In 2017, when the Cook County Commissioners first attempted to increase the County’s minimum wage the Schaumburg Business Association surveyed our businesses and found significant evidence that an increase would negatively impact Schaumburg’s economy” said Lisa Gilbert, President of the Schaumburg Business Association.

    With Schaumburg’s location on the Western and Southern boundaries of Cook County, the Schaumburg Business Association’s work in 2017 revealed that over 60% of Schaumburg businesses surveyed would be affected by the mandated increases and business owners would address this increased cost of doing business by downsizing operations or relocating out of Cook County. The Schaumburg Business Association’s economic development insights reveal that the surrounding counties of Dupage, Lake, Kane, and McHenry are the intended destination – not Indiana or Wisconsin – for Schaumburg business to reduce their cost through relocation.

    “The progressive referendum that the Cook County Commissioners have brought forth is not in the best interest of the entire county” stated Mark Kolar, Chairman of the Schaumburg Business Association, “Adopting a county-wide increase of the minimum wage would have negative consequence on the parts of Cook County, like Schaumburg, that border neighboring counties that do not have the same cost of doing business.”

    The Schaumburg Business Association’s continued economic development efforts have identified that the cost of doing business in Cook County is the leading concern for Schaumburg executives with over a third of all conversations citing this as the primary challenge for further growth. The same executives express the sentiment that they are already paying above the proposed $13 minimum wage and that a mandated increase would have broader implications for hiring and retaining quality employees.

    “Any action on a minimum wage, and paid sick leave, increase should be taken up by the Illinois legislature – not by an individual county – to ensure a competitive balance for all Illinois communities” said Gilbert, “this referendum will diminish the economic attachment of Cook County, make it more expensive for Schaumburg businesses, and provide justification for any businesses looking relocate to a less expensive neighboring county”.

    About the Schaumburg Business Association

    The Schaumburg Business Association (SBA) is dedicated to our members' growth and prosperity. We advance business causes and are committed to helping our members maintain a competitive edge by providing them with outstanding programs, benefits and services. The Association was formed in 2001 to represent the needs of businesses within the Association. The SBA embodies the spirit of our business community that includes a dynamic blend of corporate, commercial, retail, service and industrial businesses in the largest suburban economic center in the State of Illinois.

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    September's LinkedIn Jobs Report

    In May of this year, the SBA featured the LinkedIn Jobs Report to profile the happenings of the Chicago MSA labor force as tracked by the professional networking website LinkedIn. Following a prosperous summer, the SBA is excited to provide our perspective on the September LinkedIn Jobs Report:

    • Top Skills Shortages – There has been a lot of focus about the skilled workers shortage happening in industries like manufacturing, distribution and logistics, and healthcare but one of the biggest challenges currently facing employers are the lack of candidates with quality “soft skills”.                                                        
    • Many of the SBA’s workforce development research finds that the biggest shortage in the workplace – especially with young professionals – are in the soft skills. These skills feature such competencies like “time management”, “verbal communication”, and “work-life responsibility”. Employers have the expectation that the workforce comes ready with these skill sets. The September Jobs Report from LinkedIn reinforces the SBA’s data and identifies that the biggest skills shortages in Chicago are as follows:                                                              
      • Oral Communication
      • People Management
      • Social Media
      • Time Management
      • Business Management
      • Leadership
    • Migration and Attraction of Talent – One consistent theme that Schaumburg firms discuss is competing for talent within the Chicago market. Many firms have developed a hiring strategy based on recruiting from around Chicagoland, but LinkedIn’s data suggest more robust geographies to be recruiting new talent from.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Migrant workers to Chicago are continuing to move from Urbana-Champaign, IL; Wichita, KS and Bloomington, IN. This data provides insightful knowledge for hiring as Urbana-Champaign continues to be the primary pipeline for talent. In the pursuit for young talent a key strategy and talent pool should be the University of Illinois. With nearly 45,000 students this nationally recognized university is producing world-class talent that wants to live in the Schaumburg area. Based on the May’s LinkedIn Workforce Report the SBA has begun the partnership process with University of Illinois system and will continue to cultivate this relationship for our businesses workforce needs.

    SBA Takeaways from LinkedIn Data – The September LinkedIn Jobs Report provides data for several assumptions from the Summer. The lack of overall hiring identified in Chicago from August 2018 was lower not because employers were not hiring, but rather hiring was lower because of the lack of qualified candidates. This lack of qualified candidates was quantified not by lacking certified skills needed for production but rather the soft skills needed for professionalism. 

    The SBA has been tracking the trend that “soft skills” are in demand and the LinkedIn data provides another data sources validation to our own empirical evidence. Finally, the talent recruitment should not be limited to the Chicagoland market. Schaumburg’s status as an international city provides opportunity to recruit nationally. Identifying the markets that are providing the most talent (Urbana-Champaign, IL; Wichita, KS; Bloomington, IN) should provide insight to firms looking for young talent to partner with the University of Illinois, Indiana University, and Wichita State University.

    The Schaumburg Business Association recognizes that workforce and talent are the biggest challenge towards further economic expansion and are working to connect the workforce ecosystem with your business. Please let the SBA know how we can leverage our network for your open positions.

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    SBDC's Sales Expert

    Dennis LaPorta has spent most of his career working in small, entrepreneurial businesses, so he understands the challenges and fears of small business owners—especially when it comes to sales. Dennis helps SBDC clients overcome those fears to develop successful sales campaigns. 

    What do you specialize in at the SBDC?

    I provide general business advice from a sales perspective. Using a coaching-style approach, I help clients fine tune their sales techniques. I also provide guidance on sales calls, sales messaging, sales strategy, consultative sales, sales presentations, prospecting and more.

    How does your experience benefit your clients?

    My background working in small businesses gives me a real understanding of how entrepreneurs think. Many small business owners have no prior sales experience, and they fear being seen as too pushy. I coach them to think differently about sales. I believe in consultative selling, and I show clients how to think of themselves as a trusted advisor who is helping customers make better buying decisions. It’s important to feel like you’re helping someone and not just trying to get a signature.

    What’s a common misconception small business owners have about sales?

    There are actually quite a few misconceptions about sales. The first is thinking that success in sales relies on having the best price. Most entrepreneurs don’t sufficiently evaluate their products, their customers or their competition, and they price their products too low. Having the lowest price is not as important as people think. Customers often have other reasons for seeking a product or service. Other misconceptions include:

    • Thinking that everyone is your customer. You need to understand your customer profile and focus your efforts on your target market.
    • Talking too much during the sales presentation. The most important job of the salesperson is to listen and hear what is most important to the customer. A sales presentation should be all about the customer. It should be 80 percent conversation and 20 percent presentation.
    • Assuming that objections are bad. Objections are actually a great way to sift through what is important to your customer.
    • Believing that truth trumps perception. Positioning and perception are very important.

    Do you have a piece of advice for someone who is interested in improving their sales techniques?

    There are three things that contribute to a really effective sales strategy.

    • Know your product or service inside and out. Be able to explain what makes it unique and special and how it will benefit your customer.
    • Develop a customer profile. Know who your customers are and why they would want your product.
    • Research your competition. Your need to understand how their products or services differ from yours and why you can better fill your customers’ needs.

    Why do you like working with small business owners at the SBDC?

    I enjoy learning about my clients’ many different products and services, and I like helping them understand that have very special products and services to offer. It’s very rewarding when clients begin to understand that when approached properly, customers will want to hear what they have to say.

    How should clients prepare to get the most out of your advising sessions?

    If nothing else, take time before our session to research your competition. We can begin to form a sales strategy with that information. Also, have specific expectations for the session. Bring a list of questions, and be ready to talk about experiences that relate to your struggles. Those details can help us formulate the discussion to be helpful.

    To schedule an appointment with one of the SBDC business advisors or to get legal, HR and accounting help, please visit

    The Illinois SBDC at Harper College is funded through a partnership between DCEO, the Small Business Administration and Harper College.

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    CORE IL Annual Report

    A key part to the Schaumburg Business Association’s economic development program is a local business outreach campaign known as Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E). This focus furnishes the SBA, and Village of Schaumburg, exclusive insights into the current trends, challenges, and opportunities occurring throughout the Schaumburg economy. The State of Illinois has a similar effort named CORE IL - is a strategic partnership of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and local organizations like the SBA.

    As much of the economic narrative on Illinois focuses on the lack of economic competitiveness the CORE IL Annual Report provides a grassroots perspective of the businesses that operate in Illinois and the strengths, weaknesses, and barriers of doing business from the Prairie State.

    To better understand the datapoints in the Annual Report the Schaumburg Business Association has identified three (3) noteworthy observations and provided our perspective on similarities, and differences, as they related to the SBA’s BR&E data.


    • CORE IL Identified “Strengths” – Economic development is a competitive practice with every state, county, and local municipality devoting resources to attracting new firms and creating new jobs. Many Schaumburg firms share that they have been approached by other states trying to recruit them to a state with a friendlier “business climate”.                                                                                                                                                                                                 However, the findings from CORE IL’s Annual Report provides data supporting a different conversation. One of the “strengths” of Illinois is the “business climate” (page 12) with almost 10% of the total respondent rate citing “business climate” as a key strength to the Illinois business community. Adding this “hard cost” with Illinois’ other advantages like “location” (especially for international firms), “quality of life”, and “workforce” suggest that Illinois is still a very desirable place for businesses to be located and create jobs.                                                                                    
    • CORE IL Identified “Weaknesses” – The most prevalent weakness identified from the Annual Report is not an issue isolated to Illinois, but rather a pandemic afflicting economies all over the country – and world.[ks1] The “Worker Supply” availability – of both skilled and nonskilled positions – accounted for nearly 20% of the total critique of Illinois. As documented by many organizations the workforce pipeline is a national issue, however, compared to our neighboring Midwest states, Illinois has a better regarded availability of talent. Additionally, with Illinois 4th best advantage being “Workforce/Labor Market” there is a recognition from executives that Illinois is has the programs needed to address the supply shortages.                                                                                              
    • CORE IL Strengths v. Weaknesses – Many of the strengths identified in the Annual Report are those that you would expect. Many of the weaknesses identified in the Annual Report are those that you would expect. The data point that is worth noting is the total number of respondents for strengths and for weaknesses.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             For the “Strengths” category there were 444 total responses compared to only 387 responses when discussing Illinois’ weaknesses. This difference of 57 is empirical evidence that the doom-and-gloom narrative that is so often perpetrated is not reflective by the firms working in Illinois. The Annual Report does identify weaknesses that should be discussed, and addressed, but it also highlights a portfolio of advantages from a grassroots level that are not highlighted frequently enough.

    The CORE IL Annual Report provides an important state-wide view of the economic environment. This information collected from communities across the state provides insight into alignment of workforce and economic development needs and lays the foundation to address the identified challenges. To read the full report please follow this link

  • Japanese Consul-General Returns to Schaumburg

    Schaumburg, Illinois – The Schaumburg Business Association welcomed The Honorable Naoki Ito, Consul General of Japan to the Midwest, back to Schaumburg as part of their continued economic development effort to generate wealth and sustainable prosperity for Schaumburg.

    Building on the Consul-General’s successful first visit of Schaumburg in July, 2018 the Schaumburg Business Association continued to strengthen the economic relationship between Japan and Schaumburg by hosting the Consul-General at the Schaumburg Boomers baseball game on Thursday night.

    “With one of the highest concentrations of Japanese firms in all of Illinois it is important that Schaumburg continues to showcase our numerous advantages for further Japanese investment and a key part in achieving that investment is a relationship with Consul-General Ito” said Lisa Gilbert, President of the Schaumburg Business Association.

    Consul-General Ito’s return trip to Schaumburg included watching the Schaumburg Boomers baseball game with over 50 business and civic leaders from around Illinois. In partnership with the State of Illinois, Intersect Illinois, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago, and the Village of Schaumburg the Schaumburg Business Association was able to reinforce the numerous types of cohesive partnerships that exist between the public-and-private sector in Schaumburg and Illinois.

    “The Schaumburg Business Association is appreciative of Consul-General Ito’s commitment to economic development and we honored by this opportunity to continue highlighting how our connected business community can benefit Japanese companies” said Mark Kolar, Chairman of the Schaumburg Business Association.

    The continued relationship with Consul-General Ito is part of the Schaumburg Business Association’s mission to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Schaumburg. With this key relationship with the Consul-General’s office the Schaumburg Business Association is proactively facilitating trade and investment into Schaumburg’s economy so that it can continue to be the second largest economic center in Illinois.

  • Schaumburg Business Association promotes Lisa Goranson Gilbert to President

    Schaumburg Business Association promotes Lisa Goranson Gilbert to President

    Schaumburg, Illinois—Lisa Gilbert officially takes the “Interim” qualifier off her title as of today. Having served in the role as President since May of this year, Gilbert now ascends to the role in her own right, and she has set a vigorous agenda for the continued growth and prosperity of the 800-company organization.

    The Schaumburg Business Association’s Board of Directors conducted an executive search to assure a thorough understanding of the competitive landscape. In the end, it was Gilbert’s wealth of technical knowledge and deep portfolio of experience that earned her the final nod.

    Beyond her five years of service to the SBA, her previous experience managing not-for-profit organizations is characterized by year-over-year growth and strong advocacy for members. Her experience prior to joining the SBA— nine years in roles progressing to the Director of Membership for the University Club of Chicago—was highlighted by the acquisition and retention of more than 3,400 members and annual growth averaging 10%. Gilbert has also worked with not-for-profit organizations as diverse as the Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre, the Swedish American Museum Center and the Metropolis Performing Arts Center.

    During her tenure as SBA’s Vice President of Membership, the organization has grown by more than 30%. The variety of programs offered by the various committees within the SBA has expanded significantly—a reflection of the thriving corporate environment in the greater Schaumburg area. Advocacy has blossomed during this time, as well, with efforts that have engaged agencies at local, national, and global levels.

    In addition to her formal training, a master’s degree in arts, entertainment & media management from Columbia College in Chicago, Gilbert credits her own entrepreneurial experience as crucial to her understanding of SBA members’ priorities. She is an owner of the Tuscan Market & Wine Shop in Arlington Heights, a wine bar, gastropub, and retailer that is also an SBA member.

    “I also think about my very first job, helping my father at his manufacturing firm,” Gilbert adds. “I was eight years old, but I could already appreciate his entrepreneurial spirit. I think about that strength every day; it leads me to have conversations with businesses of all sizes about how they do business and what a chamber such as the SBA can do as their advocate.”

    Gilbert has set an ambitious agenda for her first year as President, and the themes are clear: Connect member businesses of all sizes with one another, provide programming that is responsive to their evolving needs, and ensure that the local, regional, and national levels of government hear members’ concerns with an unequivocal voice.

    “The Schaumburg Business Association’s strength lies in its members,” Gilbert says. “We represent the second-largest economy in the state of Illinois and have the strength and stability our membership deserves. That is a testament to my predecessors, our staff, our Board of Directors and the Village of Schaumburg. Because we are strong and stable, we are also nimble enough to shape and mold our services—always improving, always staying relevant to our members as they grow and our membership grows.”

    The 2019 strategic plan will bring greater clarity to programing with regard to different market segments, business sizes, and levels of management represented in the SBA membership. “There will be new outlets and services for small businesses. There will be new channels for the leadership of larger corporations to connect. Decisionmakers will have even better, more direct access to one another. It’s certainly about generating leads and opportunities, but a greater emphasis will be brought to deeper collaborations,” Gilbert explains.

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    Harper's SBDC's Marketing Guru

    Shawn Smith has a creative mind and an entrepreneurial spirit. That combination has helped him succeed in designing and selling video games, toys, branded art, illustrations, large-format murals, sketchbooks and other products. It also makes him a great resource on marketing, branding, design, and production for SBDC clients. 


    What do you specialize in at the SBDC?

    I specialize in marketing, branding, advertising and general design, and I have experience working with a variety of clients. Regardless of the industry, the fundamentals of marketing, branding and design can be applied to any client.

    How does your experience benefit your clients?

    I understand that small business ownership requires wearing many hats. When that’s the case, marketing often falls through the cracks. I encourage clients to tell me their stories so I can better understand where they are struggling with marketing or branding. Then I use my experience to help them overcome those challenges.

    What’s a common misconception small business owners have about marketing and branding?

    A lot of people think that branding is just a logo. Or they don’t think about branding at all. I help clients understand that branding is a broad category and that marketing and branding are key elements of a long-term, sustainable business model. Another misconception is thinking that social media is easy. A lot of small business owners think something magical will happen if they get on Facebook or Instagram. They don’t realize they have to take time to develop content. Nothing is automatic.

    Do you have a piece of advice for someone who is interested in improving their marketing and branding?

    Focus on building a strong campaign and developing good content. Marketing is communicating effectively with customers. It’s a dialogue, not a one-way street. You need to be empathetic to the needs of your customers or your campaign will fall flat.

    Why do you like working with small business owners at the SBDC?

    When the opportunity to serve as an SBDC advisor came along, it was a no-brainer for me to take it. I received a lot of help from the SBDC when I started out as a business owner, and it’s incredibly gratifying to share what I’ve learned with fellow entrepreneurs. I love seeing my clients’ enthusiasm and passion for their businesses. They have an anything-is-possible optimism that is very inspiring. It’s so rewarding to help them tap into that entrepreneurial spirit to get really cool things done.

    How should clients prepare to get the most out of your advising sessions?

    Clients should know what they want to get out of the sessions. They also should understand that the work won’t be done for them. It’s up to the small business owner to do the homework and complete the action items. We provide guidance as advisors, but the client needs to have the drive to see things through.

    To schedule an appointment with one of the SBDC business advisors or to get legal, HR and accounting help, please visit

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    Fastest Growing Job Searches of 2017

    Throughout 2018 hiring and labor markets has been a consistent concern for Schaumburg’s employers. Regardless of industry, the theme of hiring in a tightening labor market has challenged the economic opportunities of Schaumburg’s businesses.

    These strained conditions have created an opportunity for first-time job seekers and those re-entering the workplace to be selective in the employment they seek. analyzed the top job searches from calendar year 2017 to understand what job seekers were looking for during the previous calendar year.

    The data provided an interesting insight for employers to understand. The following represent the top-searched jobs based on percent growth increase from 2016-to-2017:

    1. Mobile Home Park Manager
    2. Certified Pharmacy Technician
    3. Cashier Full Time
    4. Maintenance Person
    5. Catastrophe Adjuster
    6. Fulfillment Associate
    7. Cashier Part Time
    8. Big Data Developer
    9. Receptionist Full Time
    10. Budtender

    This list captures a divergence between wants and needs. The obvious takeaway from this list is that it is mostly representative of low-skilled positions that require very little qualifications. This correlation would make some level of sense as the current labor market conditions are appealing to first-time and re-entry laborers.

    Recognizing these two demographics have little recent work history positions that require low qualifications would appeal to people entering the workforce. Further, notes that these positions, while requiring little qualification, typically pay a higher way then retail work.

    The other noticeable trend identified in this top-10 list is the impact that Amazon is having on the job seeker. Regardless if it is Amazon’s search for a second headquarter operation or their ever-expanding fulfillment and distribution network and the announcement of those centers in a community Amazon is impacting the type of jobs people are looking for. Most notably in this phenomenon is the “Fulfillment Associate” position increasing 601% from 2016 to 2017. Furtherthe position of “Fulfillment Associate” continues in the trend of low qualifications positions.

     This data represents the largest percent increase in job searches from 2016 to 2017 but is NOT indicative of the employer’s needs. This does provide an interesting perspective on the state of the job seeker. While many of Schaumburg’s position require some form of higher education, or certification, this data indicates that job seekers are actively seeking jobs that pay a living wage but require little pre-existing qualifications. The trends and changes in the labor market will be a continued theme that the Schaumburg Business Association tracks as we move through the back-half of 2018.

  • Demographic Analysis Provided by CMAP

    The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) analyzed key demographic shifts in the Chicagoland region to provide direction for the formation of the On To 2050 plan – a comprehensive plan for the seven counties and 248 communities of the Chicagoland MSA.

    This demographic snap shot covers the four (4) main factors that are impacting our regional population trends. These trends include the slowing of population growth, an aging population, shifts in immigration patterns, and the increasing diversity in the region.

    The Schaumburg Business Association has reviewed these four trends and provided a synthesized review of each impact on the Schaumburg business community:

    “Recent population growth lags due behind peer regions”

    Compared to peer regions such as Las Angeles, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, Chicago lags behind in overall population growth. The slowing in overall population matches the slowing in economic growth being seen across the nation as well as Chicago’s peer communities. Suggested initiatives that could stabilize the region’s economic position are increased regional collaborations regarding economic development, as well as infrastructure investment.

    “Age trends in peer regions”

    Chicago is equal to its peers is regarding its aging population. The CMAP region and its peers have an ever-growing population proportion of 65 and over. However, an alarming trend is that Chicago’s growth rate amongst the 20-34 age bracket (typically referred to as Millennials) is falling behind peer regions. This trend is concerning as this demographic tends to favor the urban lifestyle and amenities that the Chicagoland offers. Both statistics greatly impact the future planning for the region, as the aging population and the 20-34 age bracket, both have different wants and needs for their communities.

    “Strong International immigration to the region over long term”

    Historically, the Chicago region has been a primary destination of international immigrants coming to North America. With slowing birth rates and an aging population Chicago and its peer communities need to rely on immigration to continue to support population growth. However, immigration has slowed down in recent years. One possible contributor to this decrease is the slow recovery from the recent recession. This is also expressed through the drop in the average median household income in the region, which has dropped by 9.5% between 1990 and 2014.

    “Increased Diversity”

    Since 1990 the diversity of the population has increased by 34%. Currently the second largest population after White residents is Hispanic residents. Other populations that have seen a large shift in growth are the Asian, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander populations. This shift in diversity will have a dynamic effect on planning in the region as these populations will most likely have different preferences and face different challenges than historical population make ups.

    Key Takeaways: 

    CMAP’s demographic data provides key insight into the future of the Chicagoland population and workforce. These insights should be considered as your business plans its HR strategy for the future.

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    SBDC Advisor Profile

    Anthony Baldassano always wanted to run his own business. So when the start-up he worked for dissolved, he decided to hang his shingle as the owner of a CPA practice. Having worked in public accounting with many small clients previously, he was well equipped to provide tax services, business coaching, and financial consulting services to small businesses. Now he also puts his extensive experience to good use providing financial and general business guidance to a wide range of SBDC clients. 


    What do you specialize in at the SBDC?

    I provide accounting and general business assistance. For example, I offer guidance on financing, raising capital, debt considerations, and choosing the best entity type. I also help clients make sure their business models make sense. We analyze the numbers but also take a macro approach.

    How does your experience benefit your clients?

    I’ve counseled many small businesses in a wide range of industries. I’ve helped many clients succeed, and I lean on that experience. The nuts and bolts that are needed to start a successful business don’t change.

    What’s a common misconception small business owners have about accounting and finance?

    A lot of small business owners think that if they just open a business, it will be successful. They don’t realize that having a great idea doesn’t mean you’re going to make money. Too often, they don’t think enough about start-up costs or how much cash they’re going to need in their registers. Another misconception is thinking that they can attract customers by selling their product or service for less than the competition. Unfortunately, that’s a recipe for disaster, because they attract price-sensitive customers who won’t stay loyal when the business needs to raise prices.

    Do you have a piece of advice for someone who is interested in improving their business practices?

    Think about becoming a specialist rather than a generalist. It can be helpful to pick a niche area of expertise. For example, a housecleaning business I counseled didn’t stand out in the marketplace until the owner decided to brand the company as environmentally friendly. After doing that, it was easier to market their services and charge a higher fee. I also advise clients to complete financial projections for the first, second and third years. You need to have an idea of how much it’s going to cost to run the business. Make sure you have a six-month cushion for operating expenses, and be prepared for sales to not be as robust as you thought they would be. The first year is the hardest, and you need to have enough resources to get through it.

    Why do you like working with small business owners at the SBDC?

    The SBDC is such an important resource for entrepreneurs. A lot of small business owners can’t afford to hire a CPA when they are just starting out, so we provide a great resource that clients really need. And it’s personally fulfilling to help clients become established and successful.

    How should clients prepare to get the most out of your advising sessions?

    Clients should bring profit-and-loss statements and any other financial documentation they have if their business is already operational. We can review those documents together to identify problems and areas to focus on for taking their business to the next level.

    To schedule an appointment with one of the SBDC business advisors or to get legal, HR and accounting help, please visit

  • Recent Dodd-Frank Reform

    At the end of May, Congress - in a bipartisan measure - passed the most significant reforms to the Dodd-Frank banking bill that was enacted in response to the 2008 Financial Crisis. 

    The intent of the reform was to ease the regulatory burden faced by community banks in their ability to lend to small businesses - which has seen a slight increase in demand as noted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Schaumburg Business Association. 

    To provide context on the potential implications this reform will have for Schaumburg's small businesses we asked Schaumburg Bank and Trust, a Wintrust Community Bank for their perspective: 

    Will Recent Dodd-Frank Rollback Impact Small Business?

    Congress recently came together in a bipartisan decision that could have an impact on community banks, passing a bill rolling back some of the regulations mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. The new bill would relieve thousands of banks, those with less than $250 billion in assets, from some of the regulations enacted by Dodd-Frank. It will also mean small and medium-size banks won’t have to undergo the stress tests required by Dodd-Frank intended to measure their ability to withstand another economic downturn.

    Easing the regulations, including freeing community banks from some reporting rules, would free up capital currently devoted to complying with the regulations. Proponents of the bill say that the cost of keeping up with the regulations associated with Dodd-Frank disproportionately affected smaller financial institutions.

    So, the question you want answered is: With some of the regulations eased, will the extra funds banks save go back to local businesses? It’s too soon to tell what impact the easing of these regulations will have on access to capital for small businesses. One thing is certain: this bill means the effected banks will now be operating in a friendlier regulatory environment.

  • The Beige Book

    The Federal Reserve produces The Beige Book, a publication examining the current economic conditions across 12 Federal Reserve Districts. It presents regional economic trends based on qualitative information collected from analyst within the district. With this information the Federal Reserve is able to characterize economic dynamics and identify trends in the economy – that may just be emerging in the market and that may not be apparent in the current economic data.

    The information in The Beige Book is gathered by bank reports and Branch directors, in-person and phone interviews conducted via questionnaire, community leaders, economists, market experts and a variety of other sources. This information tends to be anecdotal but supplements the data and analysis that is then used by Federal Reserve Districts.

    The Schaumburg Business Association (SBA) reviewed the contents of May’s Beige Book and has summarized the key observations that have a correlation, and impact, on the Schaumburg economy:

    Beige Book Observation: 

    Banking and Finance saw a slight increase in the demand for business loans. This was most likely driven from the growth in small business lending. This conclusion draws from the fact that the loans were primarily written for financing real estate and capital equipment.


    Dating back to the Fall of 2017 a consistent discussion item the SBA engaged in revolved around access to capital. These financing discussions were not limited to a particular industry, but small businesses in each sector were interested in tapping into new capital for their expansion. Much of the Schaumburg experience was centered around financing for capital equipment rather than real estate expansion. Financing for new equipment seems to have a correlation to the tight labor market and the inability to find qualified, and skilled, talent to fulfil orders.

    Beige Book Observation: 

    Manufacturing saw a moderate production in steel. This was most likely in response to the slowing of importing steel due to the new steel and aluminum tariffs. As would be expected, manufacturing saw the correlation between the increase in capital equipment loans, and the demand for heavy machinery.


    Schaumburg, and Chicagoland, is widely recognized as one of the leading regions for metal manufacturing in the United States. With a considerable concentration of machine manufacturing, Schaumburg’s manufacturing experienced a slight slow-down, or “cool-down” period, in orders and demand. This cooling was recognized to have taken place from the beginning of April through mid-May as the national implications of tariffs were sorted out. This unexpected uncertainty stalled many plans for capital expansion as there was a lack of confidence in the ability to payback the loan.

    Beige Book Observation: 

    Chicago, which is the 7th district, saw a moderate growth in economic activity. There was a strong increase in manufacturing, a moderate increase in employment, and there was a modest rise in in business and consumer spending. These trends are expected to continue at a moderate pace over the next 6-12 months.


    During the first-half of 2018, 72% of businesses cited increased business growth and sales increase. Up until early April there had been a strong demand for goods and services for many of Schaumburg’s industries, but economic uncertainty at a national, and international level, resulted in moderate economic growth during April and May. This sudden “cool-down” had an impact on hiring, planned business spending, and business expansions. Many of the business executives believed this moderate pace would be short-lived and sales would return to their pre-April numbers.

    SBA Review:

    While the findings of The Beige Book are not empirical they do offer an insight into the current trends happening in the Chicagoland market. The trends outlined in May’s Beige Book are comparable to the information, and perspectives, gathered by the SBA during the same period of time. Though recent economic outlook has been mired by uncertainty because of the potential implications of federal economic policy there has still a local demand for expansion. Discussions have centered around workforce hiring and capital equipment – even during the recent “cool-down”. There is a belief that the market will adjust and return to earlier 2018 outputs resulting in the need to commit to their expansion. These expansion opportunities have significant value for the members of the SBA as much of the need will center around accessing new lines of capital, improvements in HR, and new technologies. To read the full report please follow the link. If you have questions regarding the content and its similarities and potential impacts on Schaumburg please reach out to the Schaumburg Business Association for more information.

  • Social Media Use in 2018

    "A new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults finds that the social media landscape in early 2018 is defined by a mix of long-standing trends and newly emerging narratives." 

    The most heavily used social media platforms to date are Facebook and YouTube. However, young people are moving away from these historically big platforms, and favoring new comers such as Instagram and Snapchat. 

    Where do other major platforms such as LinkedIn, Pintrest and Twitter fall in line? Find out by reading the full article here.

  • LinkedIn Jobs Report – Chicago

    Over the past weekend LinkedIn – the online professional networking platform – published its first LinkedIn Workforce Report a new monthly report highlight the employment trends in the U.S. workforce. The following is captures the key findings from this report to give your business insight into the competitive workforce market that is Chicagoland.

    • Hiring was 22% higher in April 2018 v. April 2017
      • SBA’s Perspective – this reflects strongly on the feedback that the Schaumburg Business Association is collecting. Hiring across industries was up in April and many of the businesses seeking access to new talent partners
    • Chicago(land) is experiencing an abundance of workers in certain skill sets
      • SBA’s Perspective – the top three (3) skills in abundance in Greater Chicagoland were General Finance, Trading & Investment, and Corporate Finance which is reciprocated by Schaumburg businesses looking to fill these roles. Business Development positions ranks seventh (7) on the abundance supply but for Schaumburg businesses is a position that is NOT easily identified or available.
    • Migration is reflective of a national narrative
      • SBA’s Perspective – Chicagoland’s migration is reflective of the urban migration trend occurring nationally and internationally.  Greater Chicago area has gained the most workers from Urbana-Champaign, IL and Bloomington-Normal, IL. An unscientific correlation can be made that as University of Illinois and Illinois State University grads, and other professionals, seek greater employment opportunities they are moving to the more economically dense city of Chicago
    • Outbound migration not indictive of Greater Chicago/Illinois high taxes
      • SBA’s Perspective – A common narrative that is Chicago/Illinois high rate outbound migration is due to high taxes. However, LinkedIn’s data indicates a different story. Two of the top three cities that Chicago has lost the most workers two are Los Angeles, CA and San Francisco (Bay Area), CA. Either hub of California’s economy offers significantly higher cost of living and doing business. This data suggests a counter argument to the high tax repelling residents, and businesses, away.

    Comparatively, LinkedIn’s April Workforce Report mirrors many of the same datapoints as the Schaumburg Business Association’s empirical evidence. While there are some noticeable takeaways – including the geographical location of Outbound migration – much is the same. Should your business require any data support please reach out to the Schaumburg Business Association. As a full-service community and economic development organization we can provide you the necessary data to assist in any planning or decision-making process.

    To read the full LinkedIn Workforce Report please follow the link or to learn more please email the SBA!

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    Record Tourism for IL

    Visitors to Illinois hit an all-time high in 2017, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced today. Nearly 114 million people traveled to the state last year to “Enjoy Illinois” and give a $1.1 billion boost to the state’s economy.

    Last year’s visitor totals were 1.4% higher than 2016, which also was a record year. Travelers came from all over the world for business (17%) and pleasure (83%). In the past 10 years, travelers visiting Illinois increased by more than 22 million, and tourism has become one of the state’s most important industries. The Illinois tourism industry supported 335,500 jobs in 2017, an increase of 18,600 jobs since 2015.

    Visitors spent a whopping $39.5 billion in Illinois in 2017, according to the U.S. Travel Association. That’s an increase of $1.1 billion or 3 percent from 2016. Visitor outlays for goods and services generated $2.95 billion in state and local tax revenue, up $75 million from 2016. Tourist spending saves the average Illinois household over $1,300 in taxes each year.

    “Tourism is a critical part of our economy,” Rauner said. “There is so much to see and do in our state. It is gratifying to know that so many people come here each year to experience what we have to offer. My hat is off to DCEO and the Department of Tourism for getting the word out with the “Up for Amazing” campaign. It is paying off smartly for our businesses and our tax rolls.”

    Illinois Office of Tourism Director, Cory Jobe credits the record numbers to several successful integrated marketing campaigns including Illinois Tourism’s “Up for Amazing” advertising campaign that launched in March 2017 targeting 14 domestic and five international markets.

    “The spring/summer campaign was extremely successful with every dollar invested delivering nearly $9 in economic impact for our state,” said Jobe.

    Additional marketing campaigns focused on fall travel, promoting the Illinois Made program and attracting more LGBTQ travelers to the state. “By promoting authentic experiences across the state, we drive visitors deeper into Illinois, increasing visitor spending and generating more tax revenue for our communities,” added Jobe.

    New attractions help boost interest in traveling to Illinois. The recently opened Frank Lloyd Wright Trail is sure to attract crowds and this summer the Illinois Governor’s Mansion will re-open with a new focus on Illinois and history. The new venues will enhance the state’s tourism portfolio.

    Illinois Made, launched in 2016, spotlights the people, products and experiences unique to Illinois, inspiring travelers to explore off the beaten path destinations around the state. To learn more about Illinois Made and view video content and featured makers, visit

    Illinois Tourism’s LGBTQ “Amazing for All” digital campaign features the places and people that make Illinois amazing. To learn more about ‘Amazing for All’ visit

    Illinois Office of Tourism receives domestic visitor numbers from DK Shifflet and international visitor numbers from Tourism Economics. Visitor expenditures, tax revenue and jobs numbers come from U.S. Travel Association.

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    Schaumburg, GERMANY

    At the beginning of May the Schaumburg Business Association participated in a Schaumburg Sister Cities Association’s outbound exchange trip to Schaumburg, Germany. The two-week experience gave the SBA unique insight and perspective on the global business community and the shared challenges and concerns between the two Schaumburgs.

    Schaumburg, Germany is located Northern portion of Germany only 30-minute drive from Hannover – the State capitol. Made up of five large villages representing around 80,000 inhabitants Schaumburg, Germany’s economy is a mix of historical tourism, agriculture and manufacturing. While much of Schaumburg, Germany is rural, small town in contrast to Schaumburg, Illinois’ suburban, “edge city” the striking observation was that there were more similarities than differences.

    The intensive outbound exchange provided the SBA a unique understanding on the role of politics, government, and business and their difference and similarities compared to America. Below are the thoughts captured during the Sister Cities trip:

    • Concern with urban migration – Due to Schaumburg, Germany’s geographical proximity to Hanover and Hamburg the businesses face the same challenge of hiring and retaining talented young professionals. They compete against the appeal of a big city even when the cost of living is lower. Similarly, leaders are noticing a suburban migration as Millennials are starting their families – much like here in America.
    • Elusive soft skills – A common complaint between business executives in either Schaumburg is that young graduates lack the necessary business soft skills to be successful. The regular issue identified during the Outbound Exchange was the attachment to cell phones and a preference to work when it is convenient. As much as Schaumburg businesses experience this challenge it is not isolated to America it is a global generation challenge.
    • Skills gap and talent pipeline shortage – Business growth and sales continue to be strong and one challenge faced – across all industries – is the availability of trained, and interested, talent. Besides from dealing with an urban migration the businesses of Schaumburg, Germany struggle to create awareness of their positions and industries. Just like in Schaumburg, Illinois far too few students and parents are aware of rewarding careers available in the skills sector of the economy.
    • Apprehension of the economy’s future – While many of the businesses noted historical sales performance one underlying theme was consistent – uncertainty in the duration in this market. A combination of global trade doubt and shifting geopolitical relationships have given some business executives pause on their business planning. This includes abstaining from the purchase of major capital equipment and facility expansions. This hesitation has been recognized locally with many business leaders have cited a recent momentary slow-down as cause for this concern.

     Schaumburg, Illinois and Schaumburg, Germany share a common ancestry, culture, and based on the Schaumburg Sister Cities’s Outbound Exchange, similar outlooks on business. While there is noticeable difference that are unique to each location much of the insights gained during the trip were of a common variety that the Schaumburg Business Association tracks on a regular basis. Understanding that the local impediments to Schaumburg’s economy are not isolated but global is reassuring and confirms that the “grass is not always greener” and that these challenges are persistent regardless if your address is Schaumburg, Illinois or Schaumburg, Germany.

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    Generation Z Enters the Workforce

    Many of the workforce challenges the Schaumburg Business Association addresses center around the Millennial Generation. As the largest generation since the Baby Boomers this generation has been a workforce priority for businesses in all industries, but while the focus has been on Generation Y (the official classification for the Millennials) 61 million members of Generation Z have started entering the workforce.

    Generation Z – born between the late-1990s and early-2000s – is already larger then Generation X and have a very different value proposition when seeking employment then previous generations – including the challenging Millennials. To best position your organization for success in hiring this emerging workforce consider the following recommendations and approaches:

    • Generation Z is VERY technologically savvy. This generation has not only come of age with computer access but smart-phone access well. They are quickly able to learn new programs and platforms to improve your business.
    • The lack of soft skills continues. A constant challenge with the Millennial Generation is that they lack the necessary soft skills needed for the workplace, and this shortcoming will unfortunately persist with Generation Z.
    • Instant feedback expected. Having come of age with the instant gratification of social media Generation Z has the expectation, and the desire, for regular reviews. This generation expects access and connection to not only their peers but their superiors.
    • Culture matters a LOT. Simply placing a job advertisement will not attract the attention of Generation Z. Companies need to develop a marketing strategy for filling positions by highlighting the culture, environment, flexible schedules, paid time off, and other benefits. With their preference for social media Generation Z will seek out and read reviews on your company to determine if it is a firm they would like to work at.

    Generation Z emergence in the workforce presents an exciting opportunity for businesses to take advantage of an eager and technologically proficient workforce that can directly impact the bottom line of operations. However, like previous generations, Generation Z will require businesses to understand, change, and adapt to more effectively hire, retain, and train to these 61 million potential workers.

    For greater insight into Generation Z please follow the link to read the full article.

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    Schaumburg's Skill Gap Assessment

    As community’s around the country become more professional in their approach to economic development the marketing of incentives is not enough to entice growth. The recent Amazon HQ2 project set forth a series of broad parameters that included much more than the need for incentives. In response, Amazon received an astonishing 238 responses from state and local communities wanting to be considered for this project. That list was ultimately shortened to 20 regions – not specific communities – that could generate the labor force to support 50,000 jobs.

    Since the announcement of the 20 finalist regions earlier this year much of the attention has been on the potential of a gaudy incentive package, but the real analysis should focus on each region’s labor force and its existing skills gaps. According to Site Selection Group the number one trend in economic development for 2018 will be the “shortage of skilled labor”.  This skilled labor shortage is not limited to one industry or profession, but rather impartially impacts all sectors including software development, construction trades, and skilled manufacturing.

    With economic optimism and consumer confidence still strong the Schaumburg economy is continuing to see growth in sales and business development opportunities across all sectors. The concern for this growth is the availability of skilled workforce that can produce the economic generation to continue to meet current and future demand. In reviewing the SBA’s empirical data about the skills gap we find that adequate evidence that there is a skills gap in Schaumburg.

    The most significant skills gap identified is classified in the “skilled production labor” category – positions that require at a minimum of higher education including a certification that demonstrate advanced training in the subject – with 21% of respondents citing this type of talent gap existing in their industry or in the community. There are several typers of skilled production talent, as noted above, but in Schaumburg the main skills gap shortage is a result of Schaumburg’s economy being made up of 17% manufacturing.

    Schaumburg manufacturing industry is reflective of Chicagoland’s historical expertise in food processing and metals manufacturing. These two, very, diverse types of manufacturing have different needs from their skilled talent but one similarity that is needed is the electro-mechanical technician. An electro-mechanical technician combines the knowledge of mechanical technology (manufacturing machines) with electrical and electronic circuits. They operate, test, and maintain unmanned, automated, robotics. As American manufacturing turns to robotics and automation to increase global competitive position having a trained labor force that understand the operational requirements of the facility’s robots will only strengthen the economy.

    58% of executives faced with a skills labor challenge cite the need for electro-mechanical technicians. This skill set provides economic certainty. Besides being able to transfer this skill set across manufacturing sectors increasing the likelihood of consistent employment, but also a high-paying wage that’s median pay is over $55,000 per year. This type of skilled position coupled with the wages can continue to grow and expand the economy through indirect economic activity.

    While much of the attention around economic development continues to focus on incentives that perspective is shortsighted and limited. Modern economic development success has a correlation to communities that have addressed their industries skills gaps – and not the ones spending extravagant amounts of public dollars. While incentives sweeten the relationship between community and businesses the initial, and ultimately primary, relationship will be based on workforce. Recognizing that Schaumburg’s (and Chicagoland) manufacturing industries all need the valuable expertise of an electro-mechanical technician the SBA will be better to communicate with area workforce and higher education partners to address this particular shortage and generate a myriad of economic activity through this skills development.

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    2018 Best Suburbs for Millennials in Illinois

    The American workforce is in the middle of a demographic shift of its workforce. The “Baby Boomer” generation which has been the cornerstone of the labor force is retiring and their productivity is being replaced by the Millennial generation. Millennials, born between the early-1980s and the late-1990s, represent 80 million plus diverse, and highly educated, young professionals that have become the most sought after talent in the marketplace. With companies continuing to develop hiring strategies that attract Millennials based on factors that that Millennials value.

    Niche – an analytics platform providing comprehensive ratings and rankings – reviewed the key factors that are meaningful for Millennials, and young professionals, and found that Schaumburg ranked 7th best suburb in Illinois for MillennialsThis incredible distinction is the result of Schaumburg having numerous assets that are important in Niche’s evaluation including:

    • Access to Coffee Shops
    • Access to Bars and Restaurants
    • Crime and Safety Grade
    • Walkability Score
    • Cost of Living Grade

    These factors, plus others, are recognition of the incredible work, live, and play environment that Schaumburg has built and can offer to Millennials are seeking a balance between work, life, community and self-development. This is understanding of balance is crucial for suburbs that frequently believe they are unable to attract the attention of Millennials that are preoccupied with a more urban lifestyle. This balance along with the values of community, family, and creativity in their work are all offerings that Schaumburg can provide.

    Schaumburg’s high ranking on this study is even more impressive when you factor in that there is no direct transportation link from Schaumburg to downtown Chicago. Three of the communities that ranked higher on Niche’s ranking are directly connected to Chicago’s amenities through the Blue and Purple CTA lines. This connectivity provides additional appeal for Millennials that want to have access to downtown Chicago. While Schaumburg has a disjointed transportation system the fact that Schaumburg ranks in the top 10 of this study only reinforces the plentiful comforts, and conveniences, that Schaumburg offers from our coffee shops, restaurants, and economic opportunities.

    With access to millennial talent being one of the most frequent discussion points that the SBA engages in – across all industry sectors – validation from third-party organizations, like Niche, help to educate the business community and demonstrate that our community can compete with urban environments.

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    Schaumburg and the O'Hare Expansion

    The announcement that O’Hare International Airport will be undergoing an $8.5 billion-dollar expansion and rebuild has been lauded as a “game-changer” and “watershed moment” for Chicago’s economy but the economic potential of this expansion will not be limited to Chicago alone. The investment into O’Hare’s expansion will have considerable regional implications and directly impact Schaumburg’s economy and long-term economic prospects.

    By O’Hare adding 3 million new square feet of terminal space and 30-to-35 additional gates to attract and accommodate an additional 20 million passengers each year provides increased opportunity across all industry sectors in Schaumburg. From expanding a prominent North American corporate headquarters base to an increased number of visitors and tourist  shopping and eating in Schaumburg this expansion will not just benefit recreational travel but will link seemingly unrelated businesses by tying them to an affluent global market.

    Schaumburg’s status as Illinois’ 2nd largest economic center – behind only Chicago – has been realized because businesses recognize the advantage that Schaumburg’s location offers to their operation and planned growth. During the SBA’s BR&E surveys Location is primarily the first advantage that executives cite explaining their decision to be based in Schaumburg. Nearly 50 percent (46.6%) of all BR&E conversations since August 2017 have referenced Location as a key business benefit that Schaumburg provides.

    This emphasis on Location has to do with Schaumburg’s global connectedness and relationships with international markets. Schaumburg’s proximity to O’Hare International Airport is referenced directly in over 40% of the conversations that Location is discussed. With a significant concentration of international businesses, and destination attractions like the Woodfield Mall, the convenience of a 20-minute commute from Schaumburg to O’Hare is noteworthy consideration in the decision to operate, expand, shop, play, and live in Schaumburg.

    With O’Hare currently providing nearly 1,100 direct domestic flights and another 125 direct international flights each day air service has helped secure Schaumburg’s standing and connectivity in the global marketplace. As construction breaks ground the expansion of the existing airlines servicing Chicagoland will mean that Schaumburg can continue to emerge as an international destination for investment as executives, goods, shoppers, visitors and will be able to easily traverse the globe to continue expanding our economic presence.

    While Chicago may be considering this a “game-changer” Schaumburg should consider this the “take-off” to a more prosperous economic future – for the entire community!

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    Economic Outlook Summit - Recapped

    On March 8th the Schaumburg Business Association hosted its Economic Outlook Summit with the keynote presentation being provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. This comprehensive Summit highlighted the economic performance of 2017 and addressed the potential economic ramifications for 2018.

    The economic optimism that came in with 2018 was largely built on a “better than expected 2017” in which “everything went right” in the economy. Everything going right last year included unemployment continuing to fall, consumer confidence growing, and the overall World entering into an expansion. These factors, plus others, coupled with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was passed at the end of last year generated the optimistic forecast for 2018’s continued economic growth.

    While market confidence has bolstered the economy there are still cause nationally for caution with a tight labor market – both locally and nationally – rising interest rates, and concerning future economic factors are just a few of the reasons that economic optimism is being dampened in the long-run. In the Chicagoland metro those concerns are magnified as rampant out-migration and loss of gross income all factor significantly into the long-term economic health and viability of our region.

    To get a comprehensive understanding of the macro-level trends impact on Schaumburg’s Economic Outlook please follow the link to the complete forecast so that your business can plan and adjust accordingly to market place.

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    Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

    Harleys, Bourbon & Denim To view this article, Click Here
    Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
    Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist

    The US doesn't face "secular stagnation" caused by outside or uncontrollable forces, like foreigners (and bad trade deals), technology that steals jobs, or Unions that are too weak. Growth is slow because government has grown too big.

    In 2000, non-defense government spending was just 14.7% of GDP. President Bush's "compassionate conservatism" - followed by TARP, which paved the way for President Obama to create the biggest new entitlement program since the 1960s - reversed that course, and non-defense spending is now 17.6% of GDP. After the 2016 election, the pendulum started swinging in a different direction. President Trump deregulated and passed the most far-reaching tax reform since the 1980s.

    But spending has moved back in a Big Government direction, first with a "guns and butter" budget agreement, and now with the President's intention to impose across-the-board tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum.

    Politicians and lobbyists had their phones vibrating off the table last week, with calls from industries trying to influence the direction of spending and market interference. The swamp is filling up, not draining.

    We are fully aware that some countries either explicitly tax US imports or subsidize their own industries to gain advantage. And we fully understand the US is probably the most free trade country in the world. But that benefits US citizens. If someone is willing to sell us something cheaper than we can make it, why not let them?

    We should follow the lead of Ronald Reagan. Back in November 1982, with the unemployment rate at 10.8%, he said, "We're in the same boat with our trading partners. If one partner shoots a hole in the boat, does it make sense for the other one to shoot another hole in the boat? Some say, yes, and call that getting tough. Well, I call it stupid. We shouldn't be shooting holes; we should be working together to plug them up."

    Moreover, the announcement last week provided no exceptions from the tariffs. In other words, with regard to many of these countries, it's the US shooting the first hole in the boat!

    Ultimately, tariffs are taxes. They drive a wedge between willing producers and consumers and do nothing to promote economic growth or jobs. They also offset some of the benefits of the just-passed tax reform by lifting prices for goods that use steel and aluminum.

    There are more workers in steel and aluminum "using" industries in the US than there are at steel and aluminum producers. President Bush imposed the same kind of tariffs back in 2002, and then reversed course a year or so later.

    What we find most confusing is that President Trump is listening to his Trade Czar Peter Navarro about the supposed benefits of tariffs, rather than just letting his tax cut and deregulation work by themselves. If Reagan could to be patient with free market policies when unemployment was 10.8%, Trump should be too when unemployment is 4.1% and headed lower.

    The tariffs just announced do not fully offset, even remotely, the benefits of the tax cuts already passed. But with the EU threatening tariffs on Harleys, Bourbon, and Levi's, it's possible a trade war begins. Possible...not probable.

    We're not giving up on faster growth. Real GDP will likely grow 3%+ this year. But the long-term outlook for faster growth is threatened by spending and tariffs. Stay tuned.

    This information contains forward-looking statements about various economic trends and strategies. You are cautioned that such forward-looking statements are subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and actual results could be materially different. There are no guarantees associated with any forecast and the opinions stated here are subject to change at any time and are the opinion of the individual strategist. Data comes from the following sources: Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Federal Reserve Board, and Haver Analytics. Data is taken from sources generally believed to be reliable but no guarantee is given to its accuracy.

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    Schaumburg's Economic Conditions

    Studies indicate that 80% of net new job growth and capital investment for a community come from existing businesses which is why the Schaumburg Business Association prioritizes Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) as part of its economic development efforts.

    Building on last year’s BR&E success the SBA is continuing our proactive effort to track the trends and address the challenges facing the job creators in Schaumburg by engaging them on a regular basis. At the end of three months the trends continue to be in a positive and optimistic.

    The early response is that business growth and sales are at their highest level in nearly a decade with businesses – regardless of industry – citing that sales are even better than they were back before the financial crisis of 2008. These anecdotal sentiments are reflected in that 70% of businesses are experiencing increasing sales growth year over year.

    There are any number of reasons that could explain the cross-industry sales growth that is occurring but one factor that is noteworthy is the diverse markets in which Schaumburg businesses are selling their goods and services. Schaumburg’s position as the second-largest economic center in Illinois is evident as almost half (45.1%) of Schaumburg businesses identify their primary sales market as national. This type of national reach is not the norm for many communities – commonly a local sales market is the primary type of market – and has allowed the Schaumburg economy to grow, expand, and diversify.

    Being able to sell beyond a limited sales market allows for businesses to expand their opportunities and increase sales and this is another key takeaway that Schaumburg businesses reference is the numerous international markets. 12% of businesses located in Schaumburg cite their primary sales market as the international field. This international sales market is made up primarily of internationally-owned businesses that have a North American operation based in Schaumburg comprising most of the 12%, but from that percentage there is around three-to-four percent that are domestic businesses with a primary sales focus on international.

     With analyst still projecting a strong 2018 there is no reason to believe that Schaumburg’s businesses will not continue to experience sales increases that have defined the local economy since Summer 2017.

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    A STEAMy Event

    “There is a connection, hard to explain logically but easy to feel, between achievement in public life and progress in the arts. The age of Pericles was also the age of Phidias. The age of Lorenzo de Medici was also the age of Leonardo da Vinci, the age of Elizabeth also the age of Shakespeare,[1] " and in Schaumburg the success of the Building STEAM event has a correlation to the success of our economy. 

    In 2017 the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts hosted the inaugural Building STEAM event designed to enhance the concept of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) by including the creativity thinking of the arts to produce STEAM!

    Building STEAM connects students and professional artists with Schaumburg’s manufacturing companies that participate in the event by contributing scrap materials and parts that the artist use and transform into beautiful sculptures and works of art.

    Recognizing the impact that an event like Building STEAM has on every industry in our economy the SBA partnered with the Prairie Center for the Arts Foundation to further engage the number of participating manufacturers to increase the awareness and overall success of the event.

    In year two, Building STEAM saw a greater increase in the engagement and enthusiasm as 10 manufacturers participated by contributing enough materials for 11 sculptures to be created by the participating artist that directly highlighted the connection between the arts, creativity, design, and innovation. With the participation of the manufacturers, and the rest of the business community, the results supported the importance of the arts to an engaged public life.

    Building STEAM does not just promote the importance of art for an innovative and creative economy but it also highlights the economic impact that the arts have on the economy including generating over 111,000 full-time jobs and providing almost $500 million in state and local government revenue.[2] This type of economic impact coupled with the engagement with local high schools and colleges and the partnerships being created with local manufacturers is a valuable community and economic development program that the SBA was excited to be part of this great program that emphasizes the importance of art for a community economy. 

     [1] Lynch, Robert. “Arts & Economic Prosperity 5.” Arts Alliance Illinois, 2017

    [2] Kennedy, John F. Letter to Miss Theodate Johnson. Musical America, 13 Sept. 1960

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    Manufacturing Career Internship Program (MCIP)

    Nearly 17% of Schaumburg’s total workforce is employed by the manufacturing sector and this critical industry is experiencing notable business growth that is generating the need for new talent. To assist in securing the long-term viability of the manufacturing sector the SBA works to highlight the types of jobs, wages, and careers that manufacturing provides offers to aspiring professionals.

    During February the SBA partnered with our friends the Illinois workNet Center in getting local manufacturers involved with the Manufacturing Careers Internship Program (MCIP) – a comprehensive 12-week program designed to engage people 18-24 in a career in manufacturing.

    Since 2011, more than 200 companies have participated and over 450 interns have completed the MCIP. More than 70% of the interns are now employed or pursuing post-secondary education and training. More than 85% of those hired immediately after the internship have stayed with the company for longer than 6 months.

    To highlight the benefit of this unique program, the SBA’s relationship with the manufacturing community the SBA reached out to over 10 local manufacturers to let them know this beneficial program and we were able to secure five manufacturers to participate in this program.

    The five Schaumburg manufacturers will be part of a 4-week Boot Camp that leads directly to an 8-week paid internship. During the boot camp, interns will visit and tour the manufacturers facility, learn essential “work-readiness skills”, brush up on their math skills and gain OSHA and Lift Truck Driving Certifications. At the end of the boot camp, participating employers interview and select interns for an 8-week internship paid by the MCIP.

    Partnering with the Illinois workNet Center and bringing beneficial internship and workforce development programs to our members and local business is critical for our businesses to continue to grow.

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    Regional Travel Trends

    In its lead-up to ON TO 2050, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) published seven Snapshot Reports that offer brief, data-driven summaries of regional trends and current conditions in areas including demographic change, the regional economy, natural resources, and more.

    The ON TO 2050 Travel Trends snapshot examines data on existing and emerging travel behavior patterns in the region regarding mode share, vehicle use, travel time, and commuting patterns, highlighting the most significant findings that will inform the development of ON TO 2050.

     While getting to and from work is only one part of the region’s daily travel, commutes strongly influence the region’s transportation system. This analysis is an important part of understanding Chicago area travel trends and defining the transportation system’s overall capacity needs. One part of the report looks at “a day in the life” of the region’s transportation system. This includes commutes to work and school, as well as other trips. Click through the interactive graph to see how each type impacts the overall regional transportation system.

    According to CMAP’s Community Data Snapshot for the village, 84.4 of Schaumburg residents commute by driving alone compared to 72.6 percent of commuters who drive alone in the CMAP region. Read the Travel Trends Snapshot to learn more about what factors influence commute choices, what commute flows between suburban counties and into the City of Chicago look like, and to find out more about emerging modes of travel in the region, such as bike and ride share.

    The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning is the comprehensive planning organization for the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. The agency and its partners are developing ON TO 2050, a new comprehensive regional plan to help the seven counties and 284 communities of northeastern Illinois implement strategies that address transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment, and other quality of life issues. See for more information.

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    New Fed Chairman

    Jerome Powell is the new Chair of the Federal Reserve replacing Janet Yellen. We expect him to continue the dovish policies of Janet Yellen. A dovish policy refers to a looser, more accommodating policy with the goal of stimulating the economy. Powell has been one of the seven members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since 2012. He was on the board for the entirety of Janet Yellen’s term from 2014 to 2018.

    One of the major monetary tools of the Federal Reserve is to set the benchmark lending rate, also referred to as the federal funds rate. The benchmark lending rate is the interest rate depository institutions charge each other for overnight loans of funds. The current benchmark lending rate is in a target range of 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent. Currently, the futures market is forecasting approximately two .25 percent interest rate hikes for 2018. Since the peak of the market on January 26th the odds of a September and December hike have dropped. The market is expecting rates to rise at the March meeting with odds of a hike at 78%.

    On February 13th, Powell released his first public statement since replacing Yellen. His comments echoed previous comments from Yellen and gave the market the impression that he will continue the gradual process of normalizing interest rates. Here are some of the more important comments he said:

    • “The global economy is recovering strongly for the first time in a decade. We are in the process of gradually normalizing both interest rate policy and our balance sheet with a view to extending the recovery and sustaining the pursuit of our objectives."
    • "Monetary policy has continued to support a full recovery in labor markets and a return to our inflation target; we have made great progress in moving much closer to those statutory objectives."
    • "We will remain alert to any developing risks to financial stability."

    In September of 2017 Powell voted in favor of beginning the multi-year process of winding down the central bank’s $4.5 trillion portfolio. This vote with Yellen and previous comments have convinced the markets that he plans to continue the dovish policies of Yellen. The belief in Powell’s dovish stance explains why the chance of a September and December rate hike have dropped with the recent stock market correction. Some market participants view this as an extension of the Greenspan put. The Greenspan put, named after former chair Alan Greenspan, is the belief that the Federal Reserve will always step in to protect the markets by cutting rates and purchasing bonds to help money flow in to the stock market.

    In a June 2013 speech Powell said, “some volatility is unavoidable, and indeed is a necessary part of the process by which markets and the economy adjust to incoming information.” In the same speech he said “[i]f the performance of the economy is weaker, the Committee may delay before moderating purchases or even increase them. If the economy strengthens faster than the Committee anticipates, the pace of purchases may be moderated somewhat more quickly. The path of purchases is in no way predetermined; we will monitor economic data and adjust our purchases as appropriate.” These comments could just have easily been said by Janet Yellen. For most market participants these comments have been considered dovish and create the possibility of a Powell put for the market. With a Powell put the market expects a slowdown or a complete stop in the pace of rate hikes if the stock market has a large correction.

    Information presented is based upon good faith assumptions of rates of return, tax rates, portfolio composition and size, time horizon, required minimum distributions, and related criteria. Please be advised that such assumptions may be materially different than actual results and that there can be no assurance that such assumptions will remain valid given the dynamics of a client’s individual circumstances and changes in the equity and fixed income portions of the portfolio as well as turnover and tax basis. Also, please note that even small variances in assumptions can have a profound impact on actual results. This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as personalized investment advice. Please consult with your Virtue Asset Management representative concerning your specific circumstances.

    © 2018 Virtue Asset Management

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    Abrams Home Solutions Winter Special

    All SBA members receive a complimentary hour of organizing when a three hour organizing session is purchased. The session can be applied to organizing a room as well as organizing paper or time management/productivity coaching.

    Contact info:

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    Economic Outlook Survey


    In today’s dynamic economic landscape, making data-driven decisions is key to long-term business success. That’s why the Better Business Bureau, Schaumburg Business Association and JLL have come together to launch a timely survey of Suburban Chicago business owners’ economic outlook.

    Businesses are always trying to better understand their employees and competitive advantage, which helps inform critical decisions that drive sustainable growth. By sharing your observations with us, you’ll be contributing to a comprehensive report on the state of the suburbs. And in the spirit of collaboration, we’ll be sharing all data and general results back with participants and diving into the findings in March at a special SBA event.

    Take control of your company’s future.

  • Reflections from Davos and the World Economic Forum

    During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switerland our partners at Jones Lang LaSalle provided a running blog recapping the key conversations and observation that world leaders were having during the over 400 sessions. With the Forum now complete JLL has provided a recap below for you from Davos:

    One of the great attractions of Davos is the opportunity to hear at first-hand, often in a very informal way, what is occupying the thoughts of other business leaders.  One thing on the minds of many CEOs is how to better accommodate the beliefs and ambitions of the younger generation.  Those values and goals will find their way into influencing what big business actually does much faster than for previous generations.

    Competition for talent is forcing every organisation to reflect on its attractiveness as a future employer. And that goes far beyond providing an exciting product or service.  For example, one outcome is that many companies will work very hard to become carbon neutral as quickly as they can.  They will also push governments and local communities into providing first class infrastructure and scaling up their training and education systems for people of all ages.  Companies will invest substantially more effort into all aspects of diversity and inclusion.  The strong social case there is complemented by the economic case as most mature economies need to grow their available talent pool.

    What else can the private sector do?  Successful businesses will trend strongly towards making roles more flexible and better adapted to people’s preferred work and lifestyles at all ages.  That’s all a part of placing a positive human experience at the heart of the future of work, which is theme with which JLL opened the Davos week with at our panel discussion.  Accompanying all of this, the private sector needs to play a major part in ensuring that technology, artificial intelligence, big data and – yes – the robots all enhance work and society overall.  Business collectively has a vitally important, perhaps unprecedented, responsibility there and the case for all large companies to have a clearly defined sense of purpose grows ever stronger.

    Overall, reflecting on Davos week, we can take heart from the general mood of optimism and the clear sense that the global business community appears ready step up to its many responsibilities in helping to create a shared, successful and sustainable future.  That again is reinforced by the social and economic cases aligning. 

  • Schaumburg Recognized, Ranked and Rated

    Last September, Money Magazine recognized Schaumburg as the 9th “Best Place to Live” in the United States – an honor fitting for Schaumburg with its unrivaled offering of work, live, and play amenities – but were you aware of all the other recognition that independent, third-parties, validate Schaumburg with?

    The Schaumburg Business Association (SBA) actively tracks all the the recognition, rankings, and ratings Schaumburg is honored with to provide our business community with valuable independent data to assist in their business planning, sales & marketing, and provide further reason to be proud of our community. 

    Throughout 2017, Schaumburg collected numerous distinctions that validate this community as a place to live, work, and play. The following are some of the rankings that Schaumburg was recognized with:

    Schaumburg's 2017 Ratings and Rankings:

    As the business year continues through 2018 the SBA will continue to track and collect any independent, third-party, recognition, rankings, or ratings that promote Schaumburg as a community for workers and business alike. If your company would like the assistance of the SBA for data and research please reach out to Kyle Schulz for assistance.

  • Tax Cuts and Jobs Act


    President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA” or the “new law”) into law on December 22, 2017, and it makes wholesale revisions to the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”), affecting both individuals and businesses. The changes to the Code include modifications of income tax rates, deductions and credits, international corporate taxation, and many other tax rules. The new law will take effect on December 31, 2017, and, due to the Senate’s budget constraints, will expire after 2025; at that time, the Code will revert to the old law unless Congress elects to preserve the TCJA. Returns for the 2018 will be the first to apply these new rules.

    What follows is a summary of the new law’s revisions to the Code, and their effects on both individuals and entities. CLICK HERE to see the new tax brackets for 2018.


    The TCJA eliminates the personal exemption in favor of a higher standard deduction.


    The TCJA repeals the overall limitation on itemized deductions. Under old law, the total amount of otherwise allowable deductions was limited for certain upper-income taxpayers under § 68 of the Code.


    The new law temporarily increases the exemption amount and the exemption amount phase-out for the individual AMT to $70,300 ($109,400 for married couples filing jointly) and $500,000 ($1 million for married couples filing jointly) respectively. The exemption and phase-out are indexed for inflation. These changes take effect for the tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 and expire January 1, 2026.

    The corporate AMT is permanently repealed.


    The TCJA provides owners of pass-through entities (LLCs, S Corporations, general partnerships, and sole proprietorships) a 20% deduction on qualified business income. This deduction is limited to $315,000 for married couples filing a joint return and $157,500 for individual taxpayers operating a personal service business. For the purposes of this revision, “qualified business income” includes the net amount of qualified items of income, gain, deduction, and loss with respect to the individual’s qualified trade or business; these items must be effectively connected to the conduct of a trade or business within the US. “Qualified business income” does not include a shareholder’s reasonable compensation, guaranteed payments, or payments to a partner who is acting in a capacity other than partner.


    The new law limits the itemized deduction for SALT to $10,000, taking state and local property, sales, and income taxes into consideration. Alternatively, the TCJA continues to allow unlimited SALT deductions in carrying on a trade or business. Foreign real estate taxes do not apply to the deduction.


    The new law allows taxpayers to claim mortgage interest deductions on up to $750,000 in mortgage debt, which is down from $1,000,000 under old law. This change does not affect homeowners who already have a mortgage, and the old deduction limit will apply.

    Further, the new law suspends deductions on home equity loans until 2025.


    The “Kiddie Tax” applies to children under the age of nineteen (or twenty-four if the child is a student) whose net unearned income exceeds $2,100 in a taxable year. The new law splits this income into two parts, where the amount up to $2,100 is taxed at the child’s rate, and the amount exceeding $2,100 is taxed at the parents’ rate (see above tables for applicable rates).


    While the House’s version of the bill proposed to repeal the estate tax, the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act keeps the estate tax intact. The final law increases the lifetime estate and gift exclusion from $5,000,000 to $10,000,000 (this amount is adjusted for inflation, so while the exclusion was $5,490,000 in 2017, that amount would double to almost $11,000,000). This means that if a taxpayer’s taxable estate is less than or equal to $10,000,000, the estate would not incur any tax liability.


    Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions: Prior to the amendments imposed under the TCJA, miscellaneous itemized deductions could only be claimed to the extent the deductions exceeded 2% of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income. The new law, however, suspends all deductions that were previously affected by this limitation until 2025.

    Alimony: Under old law, alimony and separate maintenance payments were included in the recipient’s gross income and deductible by the payor. The new law amends this treatment by disallowing a deduction by the payor. This change applies to any divorce or separation agreement entered into after December 31, 2018.

    Retirement Accounts: The laws pertaining to the permitted contributions to retirement accounts (401(k)s, IRAs, and Roth IRAs) are largely untouched by the TCJA. However, the new law prevents the recharacterization of contributions to unwind a Roth IRA. For example, contributions to a traditional IRA that are later recharacterized to Roth contributions are not permitted. Alternatively, contributions to Roth IRAs can be recharacterized to traditional IRA contributions before the individual files his or her tax return.

    Limitations on Losses: Beginning December 31, 2017 through January 1, 2026, excess business losses incurred by a taxpayer other than a corporation will not be allowed, and will be considered part of the taxpayer’s net operating losses that can be carried forward. Excess business losses are the excess of aggregate deductions of the taxpayer attributable to the taxpayer’s trade or business over the sum of aggregate gross income or gain of the taxpayer plus a threshold amount; the threshold amount for a taxable year is $250,000, which is indexed for inflation. This provision will apply at the partner (partnership) or shareholder (S Corp.) level after the passive laws rules in § 469 of the Internal Revenue Code have been applied.

    Medical Expenses: The TCJA expands the deduction for unreimbursed medical expenses, reducing the threshold from 10% to 7.5% of adjusted gross income.

    Contributions to Public Charities: The percentage limit for cash contributions to public charities increases from 50% to 60%.

    Child Tax Credits: Married couples filing jointly earning up to $400,000 in gross income a permitted to claim $2,000 in credits per child, and $1,400 is refundable. For other taxpayers, the credit phases out after $200,000 in gross income.

    Casualty Losses: Taxpayers can only claim a deduction for casualty losses in presidentially declared disasters under the new law.

    Moving Expenses: The exclusion from gross income and wages for qualified moving expense reimbursements is suspended through 2025. This provision does not apply to members of the armed forces on active duty who move pursuant to a military order.

    Affordable Care Act Individual Mandate: The individual mandate imposed under the Affordable Care Act will be repealed starting in 2019, and those who do not choose to purchase a health insurance plan pursuant to the ACA will not incur penalties.


    § 179 Expensing for Depreciable Assets: The new law increases the maximum amount a taxpayer may expense under § 179 of the Code to $1 million, and increases the phase-out threshold amount to $2.5 million; the amounts are indexed for inflation for the taxable years beginning after 2018.

    The TCJA further expands the definition of § 179 property to include certain depreciable tangible property used predominantly to furnish lodging or in connection with furnishing lodging. The new law expands the definition of qualified real property eligible for § 179 expensing as well, allowing the following improvements to nonresidential real property placed in service after the date such property was first placed in service: roofs, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning property; fire protection and alarm systems; and security systems.  

    Net Operating Losses: The TCJA limits the deduction for net operating losses to 80% of taxable income (determined without regard to the deduction). Taxpayers may carry net operating losses forward indefinitely. The two-year carryback and special net operating loss carryback provisions are repealed.

    Certain Self-Created Property Not Treated as a Capital Asset: The new law amends § 1221(a)(3) of the Code, and excludes patents, inventions, models or designs (whether or not patented), and secrets formulas or processes (whether self-created or purchased) from the definition of “capital asset,” and the sale of these assets will not be considered a capital gain or loss.

    Like-Kind Exchanges: Like-kind exchanges falling under § 1031 of the Code are limited to exchanges of real property that is not held primarily for sale. The new law generally applies to exchanges completed after December 31, 2017; however, this provision does not apply if property was disposed of in the exchange prior to December 31, 2017 or if property was received prior to that date.

    Entertainment Expenses and Fringe Benefits: The TCJA disallows a deduction with respect to (1) an activity generally considered to be entertainment, amusement, or recreation; (2) membership dues with respect to any club organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purposes; or (3) a facility or portion thereof used in connection with any of the above items.

    Additionally, the new law disallows a deduction for expenses associated with providing any qualified transportation fringe to employees of the taxpayer, and except as necessary for ensuring the safety of an employee, any expense incurred for providing transportation (or any payment or reimbursement) for commuting between the employee’s residence and place of employment.

    Meals: For amounts incurred and paid between December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2025, the TCJA expands the 50% deduction limitation for employee meal expenses to those expenses associated with providing food and beverages to employees through an eating facility that meets requirements for de minimis fringes and for the convenience of the employer. The amounts incurred and paid after December 31, 2025 will not be deductible.

    Partnership Technical Terminations: The new law repeals the rule from § 708(b)(1) of the Code providing technical terminations of partnerships. The provision does not change the present-law rule of § 708(b)(1)(A) that a partnership is considered as terminated if no part of any business, financial operation, or venture of the partnership continues to be carried on by any of its partners in a partnership.

    Amortization of Research and Experimental Expenditures: The new law requires businesses to capitalize and amortize ratably over a five-year period amounts defined as specified research or experimental expenditures. Specified research or experimental expenditures that are attributable to research that is conducted outside the US must be capitalized ratably over a 15-year period.

    Year of Inclusion: The TCJA requires accrual-method taxpayers subject to the all-events test to recognize items of gross income for tax purposes in the year in which they recognize the income on their applicable financial statement. The new law provides an exception for taxpayers without an applicable or other IRS-specified financial statement.

    Compensation for Covered Employees: The TCJA revises the definition of a covered employee under § 162(m) of the Code to include both the principle executive officer and the principle financial officer, and reduces the number of other officers included to the three most highly compensated officers for the tax year. If the individual is a covered employee for any tax year after 2016, that individual will remain a covered employee for all future years. The new law also removes current exceptions for commissions and performance-based compensation. The new law does not apply to any remuneration under a written contract that was in effect on November 2, 2017, and that was not later modified in any material respect.


    Territorial Taxation System: The TCJA shifts to the territorial tax system, which imposes US tax on domestic income. This is opposed to the old, worldwide system, where the US taxed income earned from both foreign and domestic sources.

    Foreign-Source Income: The new law allows an exemption for certain foreign income by means of a 100% deduction for the foreign-source portion of dividends received from specified 10% owned foreign corporations by domestic corporations.

    Foreign Tax Credit: No foreign tax credit or deduction will be allowed for any taxes paid or accrued with respect to a dividend that qualifies for the deduction.

  • Schaumburg Business Association Ambassador Committee


    Rich Eisenhuth, Chairman of the Ambassador Committee

    As a mortgage broker/banker with HomeTrust Mortgage, I have the option of picking the best lender for your situation. I am not tied to one set of mortgage products, I can choose the best the market place has to offer. As I have built my business on repeat customers and referrals since 1991, my only goal is that you are completely satisfied with the end result.

    As the Chairman of the Ambassador Committee, I love helping members navigate the myriad of opportunities included in their SBA membership. Building ongoing relationships with them as their success with the SBA increases is such a great feeling!

    Kirsten FV Binder Kirsten runs Noon Key Productions, a marketing communications company focused on establishing and amplifying the thought leadership of our nation's brightest professionals. She and her team produce ebooks, case studies, white papers, articles, blog posts, web copy, and more. She also provides publishing consultation for aspiring writers and novelists. “I love being an ambassador because I’m encountering local professionals who’ve just made the decision to invest in the marketing of their companies. It’s an exciting time in the growth of any business—I am all in for helping people do that and do it well!”

    Char­lie Cates, M.S.

    Charlie is a mastery level Muscle Activation Techniques® Specialist (MATm), an MATRx® Full Body Specialist, a mastery level Resistance Training Specialist™ (RTSm), and a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

    Charlie attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College in 2010, where he played varsity basketball for four years. In 2016 he graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Master of Science degree in exercise science.

    A type-1 diabetic, he is the co-owner of Muscle Activation Schaumburg in Schaumburg, IL. He is an instructor for the Muscle Activation Techniques® program, introducing students of all different backgrounds to the MAT® process.

    Steve Jakubczak

    Steve Jakubczak has been a SBA member since 2009, and an Ambassador since 2014. His favorite thing about being an Ambassador is feeling the excitement and energy new members have when investing in their business and first joining the SBA.

    Steve’s company is a leader in helping small businesses grow their bottom line by helping them run better and grow faster. His clients utilize Insperity to minimize employer liability, reduce administrative burdens and contain costs. 

    Steve has over 17 years of experience working with individuals and businesses to help them achieve their goals and maximize results.

    Sarah Moreau

    Sarah Moreau is Director of Marketing at Harvest Media. She loves working with business owners and key decision makers who have a vision for the future and want to take their marketing strategy and business growth to the next level.

    Her favorite part of being an Ambassador is helping new members feel supported, informed and connected during their first year of membership. She also enjoys giving back and representing the SBA in our business community.

    Katie Berganske Frank

    Hello SBA Members! I have been an Ambassador for 6 years and a Board Member for 5 years. The company I represent is AmCheck and we are one of the largest privately held Payroll and Human Capital Management companies in the US. AmCheck has been dedicated members of the SBA for over 11 years serving the local community with a high level of service and commitment to our clients. We are very proud and appreciative of all the members who have trusted us to assist them with their payroll needs.

    I love being a part of the Schaumburg Business Association as it is truly one of the only places where you can breakdown the silos of such a large community and come together to network with other businesses, identify local resources, develop & learn and, as an added bonus, make lasting friendships along the way. There are lots of pieces of SBA that I love, but one of my favorites is Good Morning Schaumburg. I love the mix of people, the large attendance, the high-level speaker and the opportunity to showcase AmCheck.

    Steve Schmit 

    Steve joined Undo Identity Theft, Inc. in mid-2015 after a 35-year career in the Banking Industry. With his extensive background working with small business owners and consumers, it was a transparent transition into the identity theft protection industry. As a Certified Identity Protection Advisor (CIPA), he incorporates the knowledge of a nationally recognized program to work with businesses and individuals on identity theft awareness & protection. Through education and proven best practices, Undo Identity Theft, Inc. provides the security of knowing you're prepared to mitigate the crime of identity theft and the liability associated with this crime. Identity theft crime impacts both individual and business owners bottom line. Call Steve to protect your most valuable assets.

    Julie Cates 

    Julie is proud to serve in the SBA as an Ambassador and on the Board of Directors. She is an experienced, certified, and insured National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Personal Trainer and mastery level Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) Specialist (MATm). She is one of 88 certified mastery level Resistance Training Specialists™ (RTSm) in the world.

    Julie specializes in training new exercisers that have never exercised before. As a personal trainer, she is excellent at communicating the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of each and every exercise in an effective and understandable manner. She also often works with individuals with chronic illnesses, joint issues, and muscle issues.

    Julie graduated cum laude from the University of Florida. She earned her degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Physiology.

    In her free time, Julie loves to dance! Julie is still active in a dance company with yearly performances of tap, lyrical, jazz, and hip-hop.

    Jim Idstein

    I run the accounting department for Kayhan International, a mid-size office furniture dealership. My responsibilities include all the accounting functions, long term planning, payroll, banking and insurance relationships at Kayhan for the past 20 years.

    I am an original ambassador, the first chair of the Ambassador Committee. We are starting our 8th year and I take great pride in how successful we have been helping new members. During our first year, we worked on bringing back Coffee, Contacts & Contents and made it a successful Ambassador event. I have also served on the SBA Board of Directors (3 yrs.), Legislative Committee (8 yrs.) and Nominating Committee (2010).

    Kari-Ann Ryan

    At Mid-West Moving & Storage and Chicago Office Movers, Kari-Ann Ryan is the Corporate Brand Ambassador. As the master of visibility, she is responsible for all things Branding and Marketing related. Kari-Ann comes to MWM and COM with experiences in Marketing and Management for a multi-brand and multi-location company, for the service industry, and with nonprofit marketing event planning and fundraising experience. She is a very involved networker in the area and in her industry. She is a two-time past chair and consistent top fundraiser for the Northwest Suburban Walk To End Alzheimer’s. Kari-Ann is a founding Ambassador and past chair of the Ambassador Committee for the Schaumburg Business Association.

     “As an Ambassador since the inception of the committee, I have always loved the giving back aspect. I know a lot of people in the organization, and I continue to build new and lasting relationships. With this knowledge, I can help be a resource and a connector for my new members and existing ones as they tend to come back to me for help when needed. It has always been a fulfilling volunteer position in my eyes.”

    Jenny Abrams

    Jenny is a professional residential organizer and Accredited Staging Professional®. Jenny is the owner of Abrams Home Solutions and specializes in working with clients on developing and embracing new strategies for organization, coordinating residential moves and senior downsizing, and Staging homes to sell for top dollar. Jenny's favorite part about being an ambassador is welcoming new members and helping them to get involved to maximize their membership!

    Cindy Chabowski

    As a promotional products and decorated apparel distributor, I help companies get noticed by current and potential clients by providing them with items that will draw attention to them. I also supply them with branded clothing for a more professional look for their company. Anything that can be personalized, for any event personal or business related, Morton Suggestion can help.

    My favorite part about being an ambassador is being able to help others understand and get the most out of their membership with the SBA. It is awesome to be part of such a great group of people!

    Betsy Skibinski

    Betsy has been in the SBA Ambassador program since its inception and loves every minute of it. She sees the joy in taking her assigned new members under her wing to incorporate them into the SBA activities and member offerings.

    In her personal life, Betsy is a costume jewelry designer with her company, Betsy's One of a Kind. She specializes in designing jewelry to match ladies clothes and works out of a 1,000 sq. ft. studio with 2 million beads, a l6 ft. wall of 400 necklaces and 5 tables of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. She makes jewelry the old fashion way, one piece at a time!

    Kent Welch

    Kent was born in Spokane Washington and grew up in Crystal Lake IL after his father was transferred to Illinois. He attended grade school at St. Thomas Catholic grade school and South High School in Crystal Lake. He worked for his father’s business and assisted with growing the Kwik-Kopy Printing Franchise to the Top 100 franchises World Wide ranked at 87. After fourteen years of growing his father’s business, a lightning strike destroyed all their PC’s and servers leading to a catastrophic data loss. He received his calling into technology.

    Kent has grown IT Technology support companies ever since. HigherGround Managed Services is a premier Managed Services Support company located in Rolling Meadows Illinois. Offering flat-rate support remotely or on-site. We protect our clients from data loss through backup disaster recovery, threat protection, and cyber security. The companies we work with are 15-350 employees that value prompt service, and data security.

    Kevin Leighty, Management Analyst for the Village of Schaumburg

    Kevin serves as a Village liaison to Schaumburg’s business community. Involvement includes building and maintaining interpersonal relationships with business owners, property owners, real estate brokers, developers, Schaumburg Business Association members, and other Village stakeholders. Other responsibilities include assisting with business recruitment and retention efforts in cooperation with the village’s Economic Development Manager.

    Given that a large part of my job is devoted to building relationships with the business community, being an Ambassador gives numerous opportunities to do just that. What I enjoy the most about this is the SBA events which provide me with a more relaxed and informal forum for getting to know new and prospective business owners in Schaumburg.

    Roxanne Parikh

    I love being on the Ambassador team as it allows me it gives me such an amazing opportunity to meet people and be a giver in their lives. I get to be a match maker for businesses and individuals who don’t know they are looking for a special person. I am also SO EXCITED to help promote and use the businesses in the community where I live and work and that is so rewarding on multiple levels.

    Christina Yolich 
    Christina is the National Business Development Manager for Windy City Web Designs, a full service ad agency dedicated to making all clients successful online. Whether it's designing an award winning website or customizing a marketing plan, her drive and expertise in the industry has a proven track record.

    My favorite part of being an Ambassador starts at the very beginning when I'm assigned a new member. I meet with them in person, learn about their business, and together come of with a game plan on how to leverage their business within the SBA. New members have such great ambition and enthusiasm, it's truly an honor to be a part of the process of helping them succeed. In addition, the team of Ambassadors under the leadership of Rich has been an ongoing learning experience for me with a ton of fun sprinkled in!

    Thomas Anderson

    Tom is often referred as an expert networker. He is a highly regarded speaker and conducts workshops and seminars for business owners and executives on numerous business topics. As an AdviCoach Business Coach and Developer, he has over 35 years of executive experience spanning six industries, Tom is a proven and effective leader, creating extraordinary results through execution in manufacturing, distribution and service organizations.

    Tom served the Schaumburg Business Association on the Board and presently, as an Ambassador.  What he enjoys about being an Ambassador is being able to give back to the community and meeting wonderful SBA members in addition to helping the SBA onboard new members rapidly. 

  • Erika Gilchrist Enterprises

    Company: Erika Gilchrist Enterprises

    Owner: Erika Gilchrist - Assaulted as a little girl, sleeping in a van as a young adult, and living in a women’s shelter, Erika Gilchrist has earned the title of “The Unstoppable Woman.” She is regarded as one of the most energizing, engaging, and captivating speakers in the industry.

    As a published author of 11 books, and a 19 year veteran speaker, Ms. Gilchrist is an expert in personal development, leadership training, and conflict management. She’s been featured as one of the “15 Most Powerful Women on the South Side of Chicago,” Chicago Woman Magazine, CLTV, and Rolling Out Magazine.

    What We’re Doing: We’re hosting an expo for women entrepreneurs & business owners offering resources to help grow their business.

    How You Can Partner: If you a product or service that will assist entrepreneurs and business owners, then consider being a vendor and/or sponsor at the expo! []

    Expo Information: | Saturday, April 28th 2018 | Moraine Valley Community College 9000 College Parkway Palos Hills, IL | 10:30am – 4:00pm

    Panelists from Chicago Cubs, Nike, and more.

  • Recruiting and Retaining Manufacturing Workers

    Recruiting and Retaining Manufacturing Workers

    In the past few years, interest in manufacturing jobs has revived. However, the demand for experienced workers continues to increase without corresponding growth in the talent pool. Factors that complicate this issue include the number of skilled tradesmen retiring or leaving the profession and the lack of emphasis on skilled trades in middle and high school in favor of professions like information technology, law and medicine.

    As a Deloitte-Manufacturing Institute report noted, “Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs likely need to be filled. The skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled.” Other factors that manufacturers are facing include:

    Increasing competition

    Because of increased competition it’s more important than ever for manufacturers to pursue high-margin products — and speed-to-market is even more crucial. Add to that a more technologically advanced workplace and you can see why manufacturers have a constant need for labor, and a more diverse level of skill sets.

    The impact of technology 

    The IoT provides an enormous opportunity for manufacturers, because there is such a demand to make products “smart.” From cars to medical devices to consumer products, the marketplace is nearly limitless in terms of what consumers are looking for in terms of utility, connectivity and convenience.

    So what are manufacturers and their recruiting partners like Aerotek doing to help recruit and retain workers to keep the business running smoothly? Here are a few ways:

    Building a pipeline

    At Aerotek, we’re seeing great success with pursuing strategic partnerships with other organizations. We’ve worked with local economic development councils, regional colleges and trade groups like the National Tooling and Machining Association to develop and implement programs to help train manufacturing workers and prepare them for jobs in the industry with great success.

    Successful companies are addressing the talent shortage by creating apprenticeships and internships, promoting employees and paying them competitively — creating a culture of continuous improvement. And in the long-term, those are the businesses that receive the most referrals, further easing recruiting challenges and enabling them to attract the best talent.

    Apprenticeships increase the flow of talent 

    We’re also seeing a groundswell of support for apprenticeships, starting with the June announcement by the U.S. Labor Department that it will call for up to $200 million in new funding. There’s a huge opportunity for manufacturers to have a leadership role in utilizing apprenticeships to future-proof their hiring needs. The result is a real win-win situation that creates a pipeline to sustain workforce needs now and to come.

    Many companies are now targeting high school level students to expose them to all the benefits of a career in manufacturing, and to encourage them to look into a trade school or vocational school. The barrier to entry in manufacturing is relatively low with a baseline of fundamental skills, and the opportunity for growth, supervision and leadership opportunities is at an all-time high.

    Addressing the skills gap

    Most manufacturers agree that the number one priority is finding the top talent through a rigorous program of sourcing and screening candidates. Beyond that, they’re increasingly realizing the benefits of identifying candidates who may not have experience in the industry, but who have transferable skills, an exemplary work ethic or great potential, and training them on the job. That way, they’re doing the best job of preparing the employee for what success means in their organization.


    Retaining baby boom employees

    Although when to retire is a personal decision, I believe employers can ensure senior employees feel valued by acknowledging and taking advantage of their organizational knowledge and company-specific skillsets. That can be done through having them mentor less-experienced workers or asking them to create documentation on best practices.

    This ultimately helps the company to retain “tribal knowledge” and success factors that have been a direct result of these workers’ longevity and growth within these companies.

    If you’d like to learn more, please contact me at [email protected] or 630-645-3578.

    About Aerotek

    Our people are everything. For more than 30 years, Aerotek® Inc. has distinguished itself as a leader in recruiting, staffing and strategic outsourced solutions by having a deep understanding of the intersection of talent and business. As a strategic partner to more than 18,000 clients and 300,000 contract employees every year, Aerotek’s people-focused approach yields competitive advantage for its clients and rewarding careers for its contract employees. Headquartered in Hanover, Md., Aerotek operates a network of over 250 non-franchised offices with more than 6,000 internal employees dedicated to serving our customers. Aerotek is an Allegis Group company, the global leader in talent solutions. To learn more, visit


    About Aston Carter

    Aston Carter is a distinguished global provider of recruitment and staffing services to companies requiring highly specialized business professionals. We have an unrivaled commitment to delivering first class service to clients and business professionals across a variety of disciplines, including Accounting and Finance as well as Governance, Risk and Compliance. With more than 60 offices across Europe, Asia Pacific and North America, Aston Carter provides local, regional and global expertise to drive value and meet our customers’ unique needs. Aston Carter is a division of Aerotek. Aerotek is an Allegis Group company, a global leader in talent solutions.

  • Post Featured Image

    Schaumburg's Economic Snapshot

    Business Retention and Expansion Update - December 20th, 2017

    One of the Schaumburg Business Association’s five (5) pillars guiding the organizations efforts to expand economic vitality is economic development. At the center of the SBA’s economic development efforts is a proactive Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) effort aimed at tracking the changes in the Schaumburg economy.

    In 2017 the SBA had one of its most successful years engaging in a BRE effort because of the quantity and diversity of surveys collected from Schaumburg’s many industries.

    With over 60 surveys completed the SBA collected the most data from there BRE effort then in any other proceeding year. The diversity of the data collected came from a variety of industries based in Schaumburg.

    36% of the collected feedback coming from the “advanced manufacturing” sector with the other prominent sectors represented were “information technology” and “corporate headquarters”. By engaging in numerous surveys with a diverse collection of industries the SBA is able to track changes in the economy based on industry and periods of time.

    One of the key takeaways cited by Schaumburg businesses was 2017 was a strong year for business growth with 71% of all businesses experiencing increasing company sales. This data corresponds with many of the anecdotal comments that referenced record-sales during the first half of 2017 and a steady stream of business during the second half of this year.

    With a strong year of business growth and the anticipation of more growth in 2018 the primary concern is the identifying of workforce and supply chain partners to handle the expected growth. The SBA works collaboratively with numerous partners and businesses across the Chicagoland area to be a resource for relationship building for your businesses needs. If your business is in need of a supply chain or workforce assistance please contact the Schaumburg Business Association.

    For a more detailed insight into Schaumburg’s economy in 2017 and a projection of the changes in 2018 please keep a look-out for the Schaumburg Business Association’s Business Activity Report scheduled to be released in early 2018.

  • Hiring Financial Positions in a Tight Talent Market

    3 Key Strategies for Hiring Financial Positions in a Tight Talent Market

    Today’s Schaumburg employers face unique challenges in hiring, from rapid-fire technological advances to evolving government regulations and increased global competition. At the same time, they’re experiencing a record-low unemployment rate and a tight talent pool across skillsets.

    The finance and accounting industry is no exception. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national unemployment rate is 4.1 percent, but it’s much lower in a number of financial positions:

    Accountants/Auditors: 2 percent

    Accounts Payable/Receivable Clerks: 3 percent

    Financial Analysts: 2 percent

    Demographics are making hiring even more difficult in the Chicago metro area, as 20 percent of accountants/auditors are 55 or older, close to retirement.

    However, there are some key strategies employers can take to win the war for talent, even in these extreme circumstances.

    Avoid credential creep

    In a recent trend that’s been called “credential creep,” some employers have begun raising their minimum job requirements to higher levels than in the past. They’re requiring college degrees for positions formerly held by high school graduates and demanding experience for positions that once welcomed entry-level employees. Or they’re insisting that candidates have years of work history doing the same job in the same field to be considered.

    Given today’s tight talent pool, it’s a good idea to take a fresh look at where you draw the line between your “must-haves” and your “nice-to-haves” when you’re screening applicants for a new job. The distinction could be costing you valuable candidates.

    Recruit passive candidates

    According to a 2017 ADP Research Institute survey, 42 percent of currently employed workers who said they were not actively looking for a new job were nonetheless “open to the idea.” Their receptiveness to relevant openings creates a vast opportunity for companies seeking top talent. Beyond traditional job boards and other active talent strategies, employers need to look toward proactive candidate sourcing instead.

    Use employee referrals: Your current employees can be your best source of word-of-mouth referrals.

    Make your pitch outstanding: One of the most important steps in attracting top talent is having a clear pitch, or employee value proposition (EVP), explaining the benefits of your position to passive candidates.

    Promote your EVP: Recruiting passive candidates means that you need to create an environment where they’ll be more receptive to hearing about an open position or having a conversation with you. Ask open-ended questions about what a candidate would look for in a new job — it’s rare that even the happiest employees can’t name one or two things that could be improved.

    Be efficient: Avoid lengthy or repetitive steps in your recruitment process to ensure that the process isn’t discouraging to potential candidates.

    Know market-rate wages

    Employers need to quantify the return on investment for increasing wages, even in a competitive hiring market. Because of this, Aerotek compiles and provides third-party data such as local market analyses, per capita density reports, market-rate wage data and regional competitors’ pay scales, to ensure that our client companies can make an informed decision. By helping clients judge the true cost of low wages, we also provide support to human resources managers who need to make the case to their C-suite executives.

    Today’s talent-driven job market means that having a strategy is more valuable than ever. If you’d like to learn more, please contact me at [email protected] or 630-645-3578.

    About Aerotek

    Our people are everything. For more than 30 years, Aerotek® Inc. has distinguished itself as a leader in recruiting, staffing and strategic outsourced solutions by having a deep understanding of the intersection of talent and business. As a strategic partner to more than 18,000 clients and 300,000 contract employees every year, Aerotek’s people-focused approach yields competitive advantage for its clients and rewarding careers for its contract employees. Headquartered in Hanover, Md., Aerotek operates a network of over 250 non-franchised offices with more than 6,000 internal employees dedicated to serving our customers. Aerotek is an Allegis Group company, the global leader in talent solutions. To learn more, visit

    About Aston Carter

    Aston Carter is a distinguished global provider of recruitment and staffing services to companies requiring highly specialized business professionals. We have an unrivaled commitment to delivering first class service to clients and business professionals across a variety of disciplines, including Accounting and Finance as well as Governance, Risk and Compliance. With more than 60 offices across Europe, Asia Pacific and North America, Aston Carter provides local, regional and global expertise to drive value and meet our customers’ unique needs. Aston Carter is a division of Aerotek. Aerotek is an Allegis Group company, a global leader in talent solutions.

  • Member Blog Feature: Kiehl's

  • Member Blog Feature: Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC

    Congratulation to Mildred “Millie” V. Palmer of Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC for being selected as a 2017 honoree in the Business Ledger's 20th Annual Influential Women in Business awards program.

  • Member Blog Feature: Aurora Digital Group

    Member Blog Feature: Aurora Digital Group

    Aurora Digital Group has been helping small, medium and large companies maximize the return on their digital investments in E-Commerce, Big Data Analytics, Web & Social Media Marketing and Custom Software Development.

    We listen to our customers and within the framework of their business goals, identify their pain points and design a solution with a clear and measurable ROI. Our project managers have delivered on time and on budget to Manufacturing, Retail, Ecommerce, Healthcare and Supply Chain Logistics companies of all sizes. We work backwards from the desired end within the budget available to implement the best software and technologies for the optimal solution.

    Please contact our Mr. Jim Higgins to discuss how we can assist your business maximize its ROI from all IT investments. Call 847-373-2722 or send email to: [email protected]

  • Member Blog Feature: Lexern Law Group

    You believe you deserve a law firm that focuses on your needs, rather than on the firm’s bottom line. So do we. We strive to give the most practical and effective business and estate planning solutions. Along the way, we earn our clients' trust and build a lifetime relationship. It is amazing what happens when everything we do centers on you. Meet the law firm that is worthy of your business.

  • Member Blog Feature: Azerics Company

    Azerics Company is a company that provides architecture and services, which help customers to improve the performance of IT operations, optimize IT infrastructure, increase efficiency and effectiveness of business processes, and decreases costs by
    adopting new technologies.
    At Azerics, we are empowering your technology with our Architecture. Forget about complex and expensive solutions, now it is time for the Architecture.One Box includes all solutions, just activate technology which you need.It is simple and painless for your business.

    Our Core Services:
    Broadband Managed IP Network
    Innovative application security
    Network security services
    Hosted IP PBX, Unified Communications, Telepresence
    VoIP Cyber Security
    Disaster Recovery

  • Member Blog Feature: Azerics Company

    Azerics Company is a company that provides architecture and services, which help customers to improve the performance of IT operations, optimize IT infrastructure, increase efficiency and effectiveness of business processes, and decreases costs by
    adopting new technologies.
    At Azerics, we are empowering your technology with our Architecture. Forget about complex and expensive solutions, now it is time for the Architecture.One Box includes all solutions, just activate technology which you need.It is simple and painless for your business.

    Our Core Services:
    Broadband Managed IP Network
    Innovative application security
    Network security services
    Hosted IP PBX, Unified Communications, Telepresence
    VoIP Cyber Security
    Disaster Recovery

  • Member Blog Feature: Minuteman Press

    My Brother Brad and I run this location and have been since 2014, Millennials embracing entrepreneurship. We received customer service award from Corporate Minuteman and we were voted Best of the Fox for Printing and Signage. Visit our website:

  • Member Blog Feature: Heal Within Chiropractic


    Hi, My name is Dr. Desiree Lombos and our mission is to help transform lives of individuals and families in our community by providing excellent health care services through quality and affordable chiropractic care.
    "Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Our office is not only about addressing the pain and symptoms, we want to focus on the root cause of the problem and increase the body's ability to adapt to the daily stresses of the environment. This is achieved through excellent chiropractic care, proper movement, well balanced nutrition and a positive mental attitude. We believe that individuals should be able to do the things they love in life without any health problems getting in the way. We strive to have a positive and loving environment so that we can provide a comfortable yet professional environment for every patient that walks in. We work with every patient's need with affordable payment plans so that financial concerns will not get in the way to achieving the health that they deserve.

    Chiropractic Success Story

    I have had plenty of really good success stories but in my opinion, this is one of the best one because it is very personal to me. My sister has always had irregular monthly cycle so she always thought the she would have a difficulty when she finally wants to have a baby, because we just never know when she would ovulate. Little short side story, every time I would come home from break when I was in chiropractic school, I give her a chiropractic adjustment, and only then she would get her monthly cycle. I thought that was really interesting and knowing that, I was confident that she wouldn’t have a trouble conceiving. Late summer, she hasn’t gotten her cycle for 3 months after me adjusting her. They were also trying at that time but since she hasn’t gotten her period, they weren’t expecting much to happen. I thought it was weird that she hasn’t gotten her period yet after the adjustment because I know it works every time. Long and behold, she has been pregnant for 3 weeks when we found out in December. Since then, she has had an easy pregnancy and worked full time as a nurse until 3 weeks before giving birth. She then gave birth to a healthy baby boy, naturally, with relatively short labor of 7 hours and 1 hour push time considering her preeclampsia and first time pregnancy.

  • Blog Feature: SWITS, Ltd

    SWITS, Ltd. has been providing quality interpreting and translation services to businesses in Illinois and Wisconsin since 2002. Owned and operated by language professionals, SWITS is a small business based in southern Wisconsin. We are certain that we have a service to meet your language needs. Our interpreters can meet you at your location to interpret in various situations, such as employee safety training or benefits presentations, or we can connect you with an interpreter by phone or video, so you can discuss matters with your international clients and vendors with ease. We train all interpreters on how to interpret professionally, and we provide only nationally certified American Sign Language interpreters.

    SWITS provides written translation of various types of documents, including but not limited to, user and maintenance manuals, spec sheets and brochures, financial reports, and employee handbooks. Our translators are certified and have the subject matter expertise to translate industry-specific terms appropriately.

    Services are offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In addition to interpreting and translation, we provide training for interpreters and the providers who work with interpreters. The SWITS interpreter training course, Equal Footing for LEP Persons, was recently accredited by the Commission for Medical Interpreter Education. SWITS values the importance of the translation and interpreting professions, and training interpreters is one form of advancing the profession.

    Please visit our website at or call (262) 740-2590 for more information about how we can best serve you!

  • Blog Feature: The Illinois Fire Safety Alliance

    The Illinois Fire Safety Alliance - A Resource to Help Protect & Assist the Public

    The Illinois Fire Safety Alliance (IFSA) is a nonprofit organization that has been in existence since 1982 and is dedicated to statewide fire safety and burn prevention efforts as well as supporting survivors of burn injuries. The Mount Prospect-based group has a wide-variety of materials, tools, and supplies available to organizations across the state to help educate on how to prevent destructive fires, burn injuries, or worse. For those who have been adversely effected by a burn injury, the IFSA hosts various programs throughout the year to help support both children and adults in their recovery.

    With a volunteer board of 11 individuals and a full-time staff of three, the IFSA works diligently to produce fire safety and prevention pieces and distribute them throughout Illinois. These materials include informational pamphlets on home fire prevention and safety, bath thermometers to help reduce the chances of a scald injury to infants or the elderly, fact cards and PSA videos on the dangers of sparklers, booklets designed specifically for older adult safety, plus other resources to meet the needs of other high-risk groups. In the past six months, the IFSA has introduced three new educational pieces, including “The Benefits of Home Fire Sprinklers” pamphlet, “Fire Safety for People with Disabilities” booklet, and online trivia games for younger children to test their fire safety knowledge. The IFSA works closely with groups such as fire departments, associations, hospitals, schools, and assisted living facilities to help distribute material to their constituents at no cost.

    The Illinois Fire Safety Alliance is most well-known for its programs and services which support burn survivors that reside in the state. As a result of fundraising efforts and donations received throughout the year, these programs are available at no cost to the attendees. Camp “I Am Me,” the organization’s signature program, is a special and unforgettable one-week overnight camp experience for children and teenagers who have suffered injuries from burns. Since 1991, the IFSA has been providing this safe, non-judgmental environment for children to have the opportunity to build their self-esteem as they enjoy the various activities that make up their camp experience. The camp is available for those between the ages of 8-16 and on average, hosts 70 campers annually. Nearly 65 volunteers are at camp for the entire week, interacting with the campers and leading activities and special events. Camp “I Am Me” was the first camp (for burn survivors) to become accredited in the United States through the American Camp Association.

    The newest support program is the IFSA’s Family Day event, a one-day program for families who have a child that has been effected by a burn injury. In addition to educational presentations, the day allows for both children and adults to meet and network with others who have been through similar situations, all while enjoying family-friendly activities in a fun atmosphere. The program, which was introduced in 2015, is available for survivors between 0-12 years of age and their siblings and parents.

    The Young Adult Summit is a three-day retreat developed to prepare and assist attendees for the challenges ahead of them not only as burn survivors, but as young adults. The summit, which is available to 18-25 year olds, provides life skills and identifies struggles associated with burn injuries through scheduled workshops and activities that support personal growth, emotional healing, relationships, and self-image. The program also allows for a young adult exchange program with the IFSA’s “sister-summit,” a burn survivor foundation located in Burbank, California.

    Last is a scholarship program which allows survivors to participate in a four-day international conference, bringing together more than 900 burn survivors, their families, caregivers, and burn care professionals. The IFSA facilitates numerous “World Burn Congress Scholarships,” covering 100% of the conference, travel, and lodging costs for the scholarship recipient. The conference provides a forum for encouraging and facilitating the sharing of stories, providing support, and increasing knowledge of burn recovery. Through workshops, speakers, and peer-to-peer dialogue, professionals come to better understand the issues that impact the lives of burn survivors.

    To learn how the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance can support fire prevention efforts as well as to receive more information on burn survivor support services, visit the newly redesigned IFSA website,

  • Member Blog Feature: HPR Treatment Centers

    HPR Treatment Centers has just brought their revolutionary depression treatment TMS Therapy to Schaumburg. TMS is a non-invasive, medication-free, FDA cleared treatment that uses targeted magnetic energy to stimulate areas of the brain associated with depression. It is very well tolerated with few if any side effects, and has helped thousands of people achieve long lasting relief from depression. Call HPR Treatment Centers at 800-604-0208 or visit online at to get started on your TMS journey.

  • Blog Feature: Get Organized for the Holidays with Abrams Home Solutions

    Whether it be a celebratory event in one’s life, such as the birth of a baby or new job opportunity, or the challenge of chronic illness and passing, each life phase brings its own set of stress into the home and the opportunity to accept change. During these transitions, Abrams Home Solutions will work with clients on developing and embracing new strategies for organization, coordinating a move or downsize project, and helping to Stage® your home to sell. 

    Jenny Abrams is a professional residential organizer and Accredited Staging Professional®. Jenny is an active member of both the national and local chapter of NAPO, the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, as well as both the international and local chapter for Accredited Staging Professionals®. Jenny earned a certificate in residential organizing from NAPO. Additionally, Jenny has a background in medical social work.

    Abrams Home Solutions offers the following services: General residential organizing, moving/downsizing, home inventory, organizing for seniors, and home staging.

    In honor of small business day, Abrams Home Solutions if offering a complimentary hour of organizing when a three hour organizing session is booked prior to December 31, 2017.

    Thanks for your help!

    Have a great Wednesday!



  • Member Blog Feature: The Wine Cellar Outlet Schaumburg

    Introducing The Wine Cellar Outlet Schaumburg, Chicagoland’s newest wine store stocking a large selection of handcrafted premium wines at unbelievable prices. Everyday discounts up to 45% off are available on our Cellar Collection: top rated red and white wines, handcrafted at family-run vineyards all over the world.

    Stop in on Small Business Saturday to take advantage of our Holiday Savings Sale:

    40% off All Cellar Collection wines

    Choose from over 200 handcrafted Cellar Collection wines. Bottles reg. $10.99-$35.99.

  • Member Blog Feature: Check out our Black Friday – Cyber Monday Wellness Testing Deals on Food Sensitivity and Diet & Exercise DNA Tests!

    Save $75 on an Alcat 100 Food Sensitivity Test!
    Get notified when offer is live!
    Download Your Free Sample Report Today!

    Save $50 on a Diet and Exercise Test!
    Get notified when offer is live!|
    Download Your Free Sample Report Today!

    ARCpoint Labs of Schaumburg
    1375 Remington Rd, Suite A Schaumburg Illinois 60173
    Phone: (847) 306-6011

  • Member Blog Feature: Roti Mediterranean Grill

    We created Roti for a reason: To share our love of the Mediterranean’s delicious flavors and wholesome ingredients. What makes us special is our commitment to preparing and sharing Food That Loves You Back. This starts with bringing in high-quality, wholesome ingredients like grass-fed beef, organic chickpeas, and sustainable Atlantic Salmon. It continues with our passionate team preparing all of our Mediterranean-influenced sides, toppings and sauces by hand each and every day.

    Share our Food That Loves You Back with your family, friends, or coworkers with our many catering options! Place a catering order for Saturday, November 25th, 2018 and receive 10% off! Mention “SBA” when ordering and the credit will be applied.


    Ways to order:

    [email protected] 312-313-0038 877-664-7684

  • Member Blog Feature: Harvest Media

    Small Business Day makes us grateful. Harvest Media started as a one-person home office and has grown into a full-service creative agency with 5 employees. Our team provides graphic design, branding, website development, and digital marketing services. It’s a daily adventure, but a truly rewarding one!

    Being a part of Schaumburg’s business community has been an amazing experience for us, and we’ve had many opportunities to make valuable connections through the Schaumburg Business Association.

    We've cultivated our creative agency on a few simple ideas: think big, design smart, and provide a return on investment for our clients. We love providing exceptional graphic design and web marketing services to bring their brands to life.

    In October we launched our new website. Check it out!

  • Member Blog Feature: Charism Services

    The Holidays are approaching and many of you will be gathered with family. You will see the deterioration in your senior loved ones and may be surprised at the change. Now is the time to plan for the unexpected. Here are some things to look for.

    1. Self neglect - Poor hygiene, body odor, disheveled appearance, weight loss
    2. Mental status change - Does not remember family member names, gets lost getting to function, asks same questions repeatedly, tells same stories repeatedly, aggressive or irritable behavior
    3. Safety issues - Medication bottles unorganized, multiple bottles of same medication. bruising, notes has had falls, forgets to use walker or cane
    4. Physical status change -Incontinent of urine or stool, ambulation unsteady, unable to rise from sitting position safely, hanging on to walls as walks.

    Change is the critical thing to observe for. Do not allow the fear and pain to disable you. Procrastination and denial will not resolve the problems and only increases the stress and leads to crisis after crisis.

    Charism is your one stop shop to help with providing safety for the seniors in your family. 

    We want you to be family again. Turn the care giving and worry over to us. We deal with these challenges every day.

    Visit their website:

  • The SBA Works The Quality Show

    The Quality Show – Overview

    During the week of October 24th Schaumburg Business Association’s staff attended The Quality Show in Rosemont. This three (3) day trade-show focusing on quality control and process improvement for manufacturing provided the SBA a unique opportunity to network with businesses from around the world and create awareness of the numerous economic opportunities available in Schaumburg. Having made connections with over 65 businesses the SBA is proactively growing the Schaumburg economy.

    Throughout the three days the SBA connected with over 65 companies from around the world and had five (5) private sit-down meetings with businesses with a perspective interest in doing business from Schaumburg. The focus of the SBA through the three days was to demonstrate the cost of doing business advantages that Schaumburg offers including a highly-educated workforce, to a strong cluster of North American Headquarter operations to our desirable location to O’Hare International Airport and Chicago.

    As a result of attending The Quality Show the SBA is currently working with four (4) companies that we met to provide additional information on the advantages of doing business from Schaumburg. The SBA is cultivating these relationships by demonstrating the thorough understanding we have our business community, the over 100 events per year, and other advantages that have made Schaumburg the second largest economy in Illinois. By engaging in business development efforts, the SBA will continue to foster a strong business community and create opportunities for our members to experience greater growth and prosperity.

  • SBA's Business Retention and Expansion Update

    Business Retention and Expansion – November 9th, 2017

    As part of the SBA’s continued mission to be the leader of economic growth and prosperity the SBA has launched a proactive Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) program to further engage and support the Schaumburg business community.

    The purpose of the SBA’s BR&E effort is to provide continual support to our corporate partners so that we can better understand, and address, the challenges that face our business community's growth and prosperity.

    Since the implementation of this program earlier this Fall the SBA has completed over 60 BR&E conversations with executives from a wide-range of industries. These conversations focus on understanding each company’s specific opportunities for increased growth and the challenges preventing that prosperity from occurring. The SBA processes this information and works with our members and partners to implement programs and services that will facilitate that growth.

    While much of the perception for doing business in Illinois centers around business closures and relocations, the aggregated findings from the SBA’s conversations are offering a different story:

    • 61% of businesses cite a strong sales and business growth in 2017 and a promising outlook for 2018. With a successful 2017 comes planning for the future – 54% of companies – are in various stages of expansion of their facility and workforce. This narrative runs in opposition to the frequent stories of businesses leaving Illinois, and while some parts of Illinois have struggled to retain industry, Schaumburg has several factors contributing to our economic growth.

    • Schaumburg’s location is a key advantage that businesses identify when discussing their operation. The strategic proximity of being conveniently located to O’Hare International Airport, the robust infrastructure anchored by the completion of I-90, and an outstanding quality of life are all factors contributing to an expanding workforce across multiple industries.

    While much of the early feedback suggest growth, there are clusters of challenges that are limiting the opportunity for the full growth that is discussed during these conversations. The most pressing challenge facing Schaumburg industry is workforce development and readiness. One advantage to being located in Schaumburg, and the greater Chicagoland area, is the numerous workforce partners that offer a variety of beneficial services. The SBA recognizes the difficulty in identifying the right partner for each individual business’ challenge and works to facilitate the correct introduction that will provide the right service to each business unique challenge of hiring, retaining, or training their workforce.

    By adopting a proactive BR&E strategy, the SBA will be able to recognize the economic issues that constrain growth and prosperity sooner and work to mitigate these issues. The SBA is capable of partnering with your business on any impediment to your growth from utilities, workforce, transportation, marketing, development and any other unique challenge that you face. For assistance, or to take part in the SBA’s BR&E program, please reach out to Kyle Schulz.

  • Jones Lang LaSalle's Recap/Blog from the Commercial Real Estate Summit

    Culture commandments from Google, Paylocity, ABT and Andigo


    “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” –Peter Drucker

    As the nature of work continues to change dramatically, the technology available to us, services we offer our employees and the spaces we create are evolving as well. A focus on experiences is driving the future of workplace culture, which was the topic of conversation last week at the Schaumburg Business Association’s Commercial Real Estate Summit – The Future of Work.

    Our own Senior Vice President Mark Kolar and National Workplace Consulting lead Ed Nolan hosted a panel of workplace experts from both established and rapidly growing buzzworthy brands: Google HR Business Manager Jacky Schiestel; Paylocity VP of Human Resources Jay Schedler; ABT Electronics Co-President Mike Abt; and Andigo COO Jean Theis. Enjoy their culture commandments as inspiration to make bold changes in your own workplace.

    JLL’s Adam Pines and Mark Kolar; ABT’s Mike Abt; Andigo’s Jean Theis; Paylocity’s Jay Schedler; JLL’s Ed Nolan; SBA’s Kaili Harding; and Google’s Jacky Schiestel

    Just say yes

    ABT doesn’t have an employee manual, but for more than 80 years and three generations, the founding family has been instilling a culture of “yes.” Employees quickly learn to take on any reasonable request from a customer, which infuses the store with positive energy and optimism.

    This yes mentality is further amplified by ABT’s flat organizational structure. Mike Abt and his three brothers are easily accessible to employees and have created an environment where every one of the company’s near 1,500 team members feels heard. Any cultural issues raised are acted on immediately, individuality is celebrated and employees are pushed to work in the space and be a part of the culture daily.

    It takes a village

    After nearly 80 years, Andigo is now at 110 employees and one of the largest not-for-profit credit unions in Illinois. In the midst of a massive name change and headquarters change, the company keeps returning to the idea of a family that cares about one another. Everyone’s opinions count and it will take a collective effort to come up with the next big idea.

    These values prompted a crowdsourcing strategy when designing Andigo’s new headquarters. Employees were surveyed about the biggest things on their mind, which ranged from natural light to conference rooms to collaboration spaces. With its new space, Andigo hopes to inspire big ideas, continuously improving its operations and member experience.

    Connect across space, and states

    Four years ago, Paylocity had 600 employees. Now it’s at 2,500 and growing significantly, with nine facilities in the U.S. As the company builds out 300,000 square feet at Schaumburg Towers, it’s focused on creating connection and collision with “me space” (your cubicle or work station), “we space” (group meetings) and “our space” (all company).

    People like working at Paylocity because they trust leadership, it’s a fun environment and there is a culture of openness and collaboration. The company has leaned into tech to reinforce this connection. It has a “follow the talent” strategy, with 850 employees working from home across 46 states who maintain strong digital tethers to Paylocity offices.

    Put fantastic people in cool spaces

    It’s clear at Google that each employee owns the company culture. Take pets. Bringing dogs to work is part of Google culture, so the company made sure it was written into its new Fulton Market lease. That inspired an employee-organized pet parade for their first Halloween in the new space.

    Culture is about hiring and space at Google. They prioritize playful, creative space and hire “dimensional” employees that in addition to the right skill set, bring a piece of themselves and their diversity into the company fabric. Good things happen with great people and rich experiences in an amazing, collaborative space. And you can’t forget free breakfast and lunch, an old L car on the roof and a secret speakeasy.

    Keep bringing it back to the mission

    As all of these companies experience growth, in some cases exponentially, it has proven critical to remain authentic and true to their original purpose. For Google, now almost 1,000-strong in Chicago, it comes back to products that inspire and motivate. It’s about instilling employee pride in how Google is changing the world.

    For Paylocity, the growth has spurred learning and development efforts, which include everything from job shadowing to tuition reimbursement to internal promotion. And it’s key for employee retention. If Millennials don’t feel like they are moving up or have more to learn, they will look for opportunities elsewhere.

    Create a feedback loop

    Just like the body’s immune system is used to regulate and tweak performance, culture can serve the same purpose for an organization. Employees are the first line of defense at Andigo, and leadership of small changes like naming conference rooms (a meeting in Solitary Confinement, anyone?) empowers them to be diligent stewards of their culture.

    It’s as simple as responding to a passionate fisherman working at ABT, allowing him to add fish to the retention pond and following up with an employee fishing derby at the company picnic. Listen and let things happen. Google embraces the vulnerability of asking for feedback, with surveys on everything they do. Paylocity promotes two-way communication constantly but also knows when to sign off, giving employees volunteer time off for passion projects.

    Consult an expert

    You could keep yourself pretty busy not working with all of these exciting new amenities. Savvy companies are engaging JLL to ensure their workspaces contribute to a progressive business strategy. An office environment influences productivity, attraction and engagement of staff, and reflects the brand decisions that ultimately impact a company’s bottom line.

    Make your workplace a breeding ground for building a high-performance culture. Sign up to see the latest on the Future of Work and download our full study, a visionary look at the changing world of work.

  • November Events Not to Miss!


    Business After Hours 
    Hosted at OHI
    Thursday, November 2
    Experience OHI's beautiful showroom while networking with business professionals over appetizers & drinks.

    Women in Business
    Presented by Schaumburg Bank and Trust
    Thursday, November 9
    Learn how to become the CMO of BRAND YOU, generate more referrals & increase your SWAY!

    Good Morning Schaumburg
    Presented by Amita Health
    Tuesday, November 14
    Featuring a presentation from Kam Buckner, who most recently served as the Cubs' manager of governmental and neighborhood relations.

    Technology Summit
    Wednesday, November 15
    9:00-10:00am Keynote Speaker - Special Agent Bixby, FBI
    10:15-11:00am Three Breakout Sessions to choose from
                                   Breakout 1: Superior Group presents "The Evolution of LinkedIn"
                                   Breakout 2:  WAC presents
                                   "Maximum Efficiency with the Right Software"
                                   Breakout 3:    "FaceBook Live Strategies"
    11:00-12:00pm Lunch Break by Tasty Catering
    12:00-1:00pm Keynote Speaker:  Kenneth Bouche, Hillard Heinz
    1:15-2:00pm  Four Breakout Sessions to choose from
                                   Breakout 1:"Utilizing Google to grow your business"
                                   Breakout 2:"Your Organization's Hacking Cyber Vulnerability"    
                                   Breakout 3:"3D Printing and Next Generation"
                                   Breakout 4:Microsoft presents
                                  “Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Humans and Machines."
    2:00-3:00pm Open Networking  

    SBA's first ever Technology Summit includes: keynote speaker Special Agent Bixby from the FBI, keynote speaker Kenneth Bouche from Hillard Heinz, various breakout sessions, and open networking. The event will cover a wide variety of technology related topics that can be applied to all industries and business professionals.

    Coffee, Contacts & Content- Non-Profit Edition
    Location Change: Schaumburg Township Library 
    Presented by Argosy University
    Thursday, November 30
    Network & learn about the non-profits in the SBA.

    Business After Hours 
    Hosted at The Clubhouse
    Thursday, November 30
    Enjoy appetizers, drinks, and 2 hours of open networking/relationship building.

  • And the 2017 Toast of Schaumburg Winners Are ....

    Brian H. Burke Business of the Year

    Brian H. Burke Business of the Year Recognizes and honors an SBA member who has most exemplified the five pillars of the association during the year; Relationships, Economic Development, Resource, Advocacy, and Community.

    AmCheck - Payroll HR Benefits

    Links Technology Solutions, Inc.

    Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel

    And the winner is .. AmCheck - Payroll HR Benefits

    Leader of the Year

    Leader of the Year Community leader and business champion who exemplifies qualities of visionary leadership and effective communication skills which foster strong business relationships, community involvement, and achievements within the business community.

    Carlos Madinya - Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Schaumburg

    Matt Hancock – Andigo

    Kevin Bruning - Bruning & Associates, PC

    And the winner is .. Carlos Madinya - Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Schaumburg

    Volunteer of the Year

    Volunteer of the Year An SBA member (individual) who has put their voluntary time, effort and dedication into the Schaumburg Business Association.

    Richard Eisenhuth - HomeTrust Mortgage

    Christina Yolich - Windy City Web Designs

    Cindy Chabowski - Morton Suggestion Company

    Kari-Ann Ryan - Midwest Moving and Storage, Inc./ Chicago Office Movers, Inc.

    James Harvey - James Harvey Photography

    And the winner is .. Richard Eisenhuth - HomeTrust Mortgage


    Rookie of the Year

    Rookie of the Year An individual or company that has ‘jumped’ into being involved and participated in SBA activities in their 1st year of membership.

    Schaumburg Jaycees

    Abrams Home Solutions

    ADP, LLC

    Itasca Bank & Trust Co.

    Imagineering Studios, Inc.

    And the winner is .. Itasca Bank & Trust Co.

  • Chuy’s Tex-Mex Opens in Schaumburg

    Chuy’s Tex-Mex Opens in Schaumburg 

    After a successful Warrenville debut, the Austin-based restaurant continues its Chicago area expansion to Schaumburg


    Schaumburg, Ill (October 12, 2017) – Chuy’s – the Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant known for its made-from-scratch dishes and fun-loving, eclectic atmosphere – will open its second Chicagoland location on October 17, 2017 at 1701 E. Golf Road in Schaumburg, Ill. Chuy’s recently opened its first area restaurant in Warrenville, and is scheduled to open a third location in Orland Park by early 2018.

    “We’re very excited to call Schaumburg our newest home, and introduce everyone to Chuy’s unique, made-from-scratch approach to Tex-Mex,” said Larry Vanni, local owner/operator of Chuy’s Schaumburg. “In the short time since Chuy’s has been part of the Chicagoland food scene, we’ve received such a great response. We’re looking forward to opening in Schaumburg and continuing to spread our passion for fresh food and great service to this community.”

    Enlighten Your Taste Buds 

    For more than 35 years, Chuy’s has been proud of its made-from-scratch Tex-Mex using only the freshest ingredients. Its dishes showcase family recipes found in South Texas, New Mexico and Mexican border towns, and the restaurant’s “Fresh Never Frozen” commitment to food is found throughout the menu:

    · Homemade tortillas start as a bag of flour every morning and are rolled all day on a traditional comal proudly displayed in the dining room. 

    · Fresh chicken is roasted all day long, and the white meat is pulled by hand before filling

    customer favorites, including “Big As Yo’ Face” Burritos and Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom Enchiladas. 

    · World famous guacamole is made from scratch in small batches during the day with only the ripest avocados, regardless of season or cost. 

    · Ten handcrafted signature sauces are homemade daily and range from the mild Tomatillo to a spicy Hatch Green Chile. To bring customers the best flavors possible, Chuy’s partners with green chile farmers in Hatch, New Mexico, the world’s best green chile growing area. Kitchen operators travel to these fields every August when green chiles are harvested to ensure that Chuy’s brings back the most flavorful crops.

    “Customers will quickly pick up on the fact that all of our food is made from scratch. They’ll taste the difference and know it is fresh,” said Vanni.

    And, freshness does not stop in the kitchen. Chuy’s famous margaritas are made with fresh-squeezed lime juice. The New Mexican Martini is made with El Jimador Silver tequila that has been infused for 24 hours with roasted Hatch green chiles. Plus, all Texas Martinis are made to order, hand shaken and served with Chuy’s signature olives that are hand-stuffed daily with fresh jalapeños.

    Experience Fun and Family-Friendly Dining Like Never Before 

    The atmosphere at Chuy’s is just as vibrant as the menu. Talented and fun-loving staff, combined with unique design elements found only at Chuy’s, make each visit unforgettable. Some of the restaurant’s signature décor items include a custom Elvis Shrine, the La Chihuahua Bar featuring framed pictures of local dogs, a “school” of hand-carved wooden fish, and a hubcap-covered ceiling.

    “Each location has a unique look and feel, and also follows our motto, ‘If you've seen one Chuy's, you've seen one Chuy's,’” said Vanni.

    Commitment to the Community

    Chuy’s believes in giving back to the community. Each Chuy's restaurant partners with a local charity that serves a vital role in that area and conducts various fundraising and volunteer efforts throughout the year.

    For the Schaumburg grand opening, Chuy’s partnered with the Woodfield Area Children’s Organization (WACO), an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving disadvantaged children in Chicago’s northwest and western suburbs since 1979. WACO is dedicated to creating positive childhood memories, and providing basic needs and educational support for children living at or below poverty level. A full 97 cents of every dollar raised goes to help the kids.

    “We want to extend a big WACO thank you to Chuy’s Schaumburg for volunteering to help us raise funds for local children in need,” said Geri McCall-Barrath, president, Woodfield Area Children’s Organization. “We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our sponsors, and we’re thrilled to be working with one of the newest members of the local business community. Welcome to the neighborhood!”

    Chuy’s Schaumburg will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. On weekdays, the restaurant will also feature daily drink specials and a Fully-Loaded Nacho Car, a free build-your-own nacho station that includes complimentary chips, salsa, queso, ground sirloin and more, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

    For ongoing updates on the upcoming opening and special events and giveaways, visit the Chuy’s Schaumburg Facebook page.

    # # #


    About Chuy’s

    Founded in 1982 in Austin, Texas, Chuy's serves authentic Tex-Mex food in an eclectic atmosphere full of color and personality. The menu offers family recipes from south Texas, New Mexico and Mexican border towns, all made to order from the freshest ingredients. Chuy's has the reputation as the most fun and friendly spot to eat real Tex-Mex at a great price. For more information, visit www.chuy’

  • PR Magazine Featuring in the Exchange of Schaumburg and Namerikawa

    Schaumburg's Sister City from Japan, Namerikawa visted the SBA on Friday, August 19. Their visit was featured in a Japan local PR Magazine.

    View magazine:

  • 2017 Toast of Schaumburg Nominees

    Brian H. Burke Business of the Year
    Brian H. Burke Business of the Year Recognizes and honors an SBA member who has most exemplified the five pillars of the association during the year; Relationships, Economic Development, Resource, Advocacy, and Community.

    AmCheck - Payroll HR Benefits
    Links Technology Solutions, Inc.
    Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel

    Leader of the Year
    Leader of the Year Community leader and business champion who exemplifies qualities of visionary leadership and effective communication skills which foster strong business relationships, community involvement, and achievements within the business community.

    Carlos Madinya - Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Schaumburg
    Matt Hancock – Andigo 
    Kevin Bruning - Bruning & Associates, PC

    Volunteer of the Year
    Volunteer of the Year An SBA member (individual) who has put their voluntary time, effort and dedication into the Schaumburg Business Association.

    Richard Eisenhuth - HomeTrust Mortgage
    Christina Yolich - Windy City Web Designs
    Cindy Chabowski - Morton Suggestion Company
    Kari-Ann Ryan - Midwest Moving and Storage, Inc./ Chicago Office Movers, Inc.
    James Harvey - James Harvey Photography

    Rookie of the Year
    Rookie of the Year An individual or company that has ‘jumped’ into being involved and participated in SBA activities in their 1st year of membership.

    Schaumburg Jaycees
    Abrams Home Solutions
    ADP, LLC
    Itasca Bank & Trust Co.
    Imagineering Studios, Inc.



    Nellie Lopez, Motion PR

    (312) 670-8950 







    Funds raised will go towards goal of reducing breast cancer deaths


    SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (Sept. 27, 2017) – Woodfield Mall continues its engagement with Susan G. Komen® this October, encouraging employees, retailers and shoppers to participate in activities and contribute to the achievement of Komen’s bold goal of reducing current U.S. breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.

    “Our shoppers, retailers and employees have demonstrated their support and commitment to Susan G. Komen over the last two years by participating in all of our fundraising activities,” said Kurt Webb, General Manager, Woodfield Mall. “We look forward to another successful campaign this year and are focused on fighting a disease that affects so many in our community.”

    “We’re honored to continue our partnership with Woodfield Mall and inspired by their dedication in raising funds and awareness in the fight against breast cancer,” said Christina Alford, SVP of Development at Susan G. Komen. “The generosity of Simon is making an incredible impact on the lives of countless women and men and we look forward to what this partnership will bring in the year ahead.”

    Visitors to Woodfield Mall will notice the pink theme carried out at the Guest Services booth and staff will be honoring National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by donning pink accessories. Other planned activities include:

    Discount Card Program: $10 Discount Cards will be sold providing 15% or 25% off one item at 50 participating retailers, including bareMinerals, C.D. Peacock, Coach, The Disney Store, Fabletics, francesca’s, Timberland, Tommy Bahama and Vera Bradley. All proceeds from the sale of Discount Cards go to Susan G. Komen.

    Gift Cards: Simon is offering a Susan G. Komen Visa® Simon Giftcard. For every Gift Card purchased, Simon will donate $1 towards Susan G. Komen.** 


    More Than Pink Hero Wall: An opportunity for survivors and their families to visually articulate their strength during their fight against breast cancer. Shoppers may purchase a sticker for a $1 donation and post the sticker on the More Than Pink Hero Wall. All proceeds will benefit Susan G. Komen.

    Hero Photo Opportunity:  An ‘I Am More Than Pink’ backdrop will be used as a photo selfie station during the month of October. All will be encouraged to use the hashtag #morethanpink.

    **The Visa Simon Giftcard® can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted in the U.S. and cannot be used at ATMs or redeemed for cash. The Visa Simon Giftcard® is issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. For more information about the Visa Simon Giftcard®, including Card Terms and Conditions and (if applicable) fees, visit or Simon Guest Services.  


    About Woodfield Mall

    Woodfield Mall, one of the largest shopping destinations in the United States, provides Chicago area residents and visitors with a distinctive collection of nearly 300 retail stores. The mega mall showcases five major anchors, including Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Nordstrom, JCPenney and Sears, plus popular stores Altar’d State, Anthropologie, Apple, Arhaus, AIX Armani Exchange, BOSS, COACH, Columbia Sportswear, Michael Kors, Lacoste, lululemon, SIX:02, Timberland, Tommy Bahama, Tumi, White House/Black Market and Zara. Shoppers enjoy a delicious array of dining and entertainment options such as Uncle Julio's, Texas de Brazil, The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang’s and Kinfork BBQ & Tap. Woodfield Mall, at 5 Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois, is located about 25 miles from downtown Chicago and in close proximity to O’Hare International Airport. Mall hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

    About Simon

    Simon is a global leader in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations and an S&P 100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE:SPG). Our properties across North America, Europe, and Asia provide community gathering places for millions of people every day and generate billions in annual sales. For more information, visit

    About Susan G. Komen

    Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside of the federal government while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $956 million in research and provided more than $2.1 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. That promise has become Komen’s promise to all people facing breast cancer. Visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at



  • How You Can Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

    Dear SBA members,

    The SBA has received an amazing outreach from the membership for information on how our members can give back to the victims of hurricane Harvey. We have been touched by the concern and wanted to make sure that everyone knew how they can help. There are many great charities and organizations that are organizing rescue and relief efforts.

    • You can donate Red Cross and their relief efforts by visiting or by texting “Harvey” to 90999.
    • Global Giving Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund has set a $2 Million dollar donation goal. You can help reach this goal by visiting
    • United Way Houston Chapter is accepting donations at
    • Donate to the SPCA of Texas to help them coordinate pet evacuations at
    • GOFUNDME is grouping Harvey related causes at
    • The Salvation Army is collecting donations at, by telephone at (800)752-2769, or by texting “STORM” to 51555.
    • Jewish Federation Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at

    Hurricane Harvey is one of the worst weather events in American history. We encourage everyone to help in any way they can.

    Thank you,

    Kaili Harding


  • Simon Youth Foundation Announces Scholarship Program as Part of Simon Supports Education Initiative

    August 25, 2017

    Media Contact: Nellie Lopez, Motion PR

    [email protected]; (312) 670-8950

    Simon Youth Foundation Announces Scholarship Program as Part of Simon Supports Education Initiative

    SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – Since the inception of Simon Youth Foundation in 1998, shoppers at Simon Malls, Mills, and Premium Outlets have been among SYF’s most ardent supporters, contributing millions of dollars to support the Foundation’s mission to provide support for students at risk of dropping out of high school. As a thank you to these loyal supporters, SYF is proud to once again help a graduating senior living near Woodfield Mall take the next step on their educational journey.

    Each year, Simon Youth Community Scholarships are awarded in every community across the country that is home to a Simon Mall, Mills, or Premium Outlets center. The application period has begun and ends on February 15, 2018. Students can apply online by visiting

    Any student who will be graduating in the class of 2018 and lives in the designated community surrounding a Simon property is eligible. Applicants can check their eligibility by entering their ZIP code at Recipients will receive up to $1,500 toward tuition and other educational expenses at an accredited college, university, vocational or technical school.

    The SYF community scholarship program is one facet of the Simon Supports Education initiative, launched earlier this spring at all Simon properties. As part of this initiative, visitors at Simon centers can now purchase SYF Simon VISA gift cards, redeemable wherever VISA is accepted. One dollar from the sale of each bright orange, SYF-branded card will go directly to support SYF and its mission.

    “The support of Simon and its generous shoppers has been instrumental in the growth and overall impact of Simon Youth Foundation,” said Dr. J. Michael Durnil, SYF President and CEO. “Providing this scholarship to deserving students in communities that Simon calls home is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for their continued support.”

    In addition to the community scholarships, 11 regional awards called “Awards of Excellence” will be given to top candidates. The regions eligible are Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Miami, New York, Orange County (CA), Orlando, and Seattle/Tacoma. Additionally, one Award of Excellence will be awarded to an applicant from a Simon Premium Outlet. Students from these areas will have the opportunity to receive a $10,000 award ($2,500 for up to four years).

    In 2017, the Simon Youth Foundation awarded $1.6 million to 335 students nationwide.

    “The importance of pursuing education—both high school and beyond—cannot be overstated, and we feel passionately that financial constraints should never be the reason that a promising student is unable to achieve their dreams,” said Durnil. “We are proud to partner with Woodfield Mall to help a Schaumburg-area student take their next steps in life.”

    The 2018 SYF Community Scholarship recipients will be selected by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS), a third-party administrator. Students are selected based on a variety of criteria, including financial need, academic performance, leadership skills and participation in school and community activities. Those students who are the first in their family to pursue a post secondary education will also be given close consideration.

    Recipients will be notified of their awards in May 2018.

    About SYF 

    SYF is a national non-profit that partners with public school districts to open dropout recovery academies inside Simon shopping malls. The organization now has 30 Simon Youth Academies in 12 states. In the organization’s 19-year history, nearly 16,000 students have earned their diploma and more than $17 million in scholarships have been awarded. Visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@simon_youth), or Instagram (@simonyouthfoundation).

  • Motorola Solutions Campus Redevelopment Proposal

    A developer is aiming to transform Schaumburg's former Motorola Solutions campus into a self-contained community of offices, homes, stores, restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues whose land area would rival that of the Chicago Loop.

    Bob Burk, managing partner of UrbanStreet Group LLC, sees the project as an early part of the second chapter in the story of Chicago's suburbs.

    "The suburbs have never really had to evolve before," the Inverness resident said. "They're really not that old."

    But Motorola Solutions' relocation of its headquarters to Chicago -- downsizing its Schaumburg presence to a still respectable 1,600 employees -- provided the impetus to adapt what passing motorists had seen as predominantly a big lawn into something much more active.

    Schaumburg officials are equally enthusiastic about the opportunity, hiring their own team of consultants to weigh the potential of the site as well as UrbanStreet Group's specific proposal.

    But they recognize it as an opportunity that came with an upfront cost.

    "It's not a great day when your largest employer tells you they're leaving. I won't sugarcoat it," Schaumburg Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said. "But then you plan."

    Indeed, with corporate giants such as McDonald's Corp. and United Airlines that sunk roots in the suburbs during the 20th century now pulling them out in the 21st, affected communities are looking for ways to repurpose great swathes of land that was long spoken for. Such ideas as the ones UrbanStreet Group is implementing in Schaumburg are in great demand.

    "The concepts are transferable," Burk said. "We're not the first to do this. I wish I were that smart."

    Still, the size, location and existing redevelopment of the Schaumburg site makes the potential of the newly dubbed "Veridian" development unique, Burk said.

    At 322 acres -- of which UrbanStreet Group owns 225 -- the former campus is only slightly smaller than the defined area of the Loop. And while some corporations acquired more out-of-the-way locations, Motorola Solutions' old headquarters borders the I-90 tollway just minutes west of O'Hare Airport, with easy access via a new interchange at Meacham Road that just opened.

    Furthermore, with Zurich North America's new headquarters in the southeast corner of the site and Motorola Solutions having renovated a building it's leasing back from a new owner, there are already about 4,600 potential daytime customers for service businesses interested in locating there, Burk said.

    And the existing office space represents only about a third of the potential 3.3 million square feet village consultants see as suitable for the site.

    Representatives of Zurich North America and Motorola Solutions said their firms already are looking forward to having some new neighbors.

    "We are excited to see the campus evolve to be repurposed by the developer," said Motorola Solutions spokeswoman Natalie Brown. "We also are eager to see the property add value back to the community and expect our employees will welcome any new goods and services."

    Dennis Kerrigan, chief legal officer for Zurich North America, said his firm didn't buy its site with expectations of the adjacent land staying empty.

    "We decided to build our North American headquarters in Schaumburg as part of our commitment to providing the best possible working environment for our employees and in recognition of the area's impressive potential," he said. "We are pleased that the village and developer of the former Motorola property are making progress toward achieving that potential, and we sincerely appreciate their thoughtful approach thus far."

    Article published in Daily Herald July 30, 2017 written by Eric Peterson.

  • 2017 Scholarship Recipients

    For Immediate Release
    Monday, July 10, 2017

    2017 Scholarship Recipients 

    The Schaumburg Business Association awards two scholarships of $2,500 to high school students graduating in 2017 with goals to pursue a business related degree in college. This year’s scholarships have been awarded to Gianfranco Torres and Lydia Schiller.

    Gianfranco Torres immigrated to the United States when he was very young in hopes for a better future and more opportunities. While in high school, Gianfranco became very passionate to help others in need. He has been in charge of organizations that help give back to the community. Gianfranco desired his interest for business in his Business Incubator class. His next stop this fall is Champaign, Illinois where he will attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Gianfranco will be double majoring in International Business Management and Political Science. His future plans are to attend law school to help underrepresented people gain a voice. Gianfranco would also like to work as an attorney for activist non-profit organizations.

    Lydia Schiller has lived in the Northwest Suburbs her entire life. She was homeschooled until fourth grade. Lydia then finished up schooling through high school in a homeschool-hybrid program called the Classical Consortium. While attending school, Lydia worked at Chick-fil-A in Schaumburg. She has learned many professional skills and had many leadership experiences through working at Chick-fil-A. Lydia plans on attending Harper College in the fall and working part time at Chick-fil-A. At Harper, she will be receiving an Associates of Arts degree. Lydia will also be participating in volleyball and Harper’s Honor Program. Her future plans include attending a four year college, attending law school, and eventually practicing law.

    Gianfranco and Lydia will be recognized at Toast of Schaumburg on October 20. The Toast of Schaumburg is an evening of celebration, philanthropy, and recognition of SBA members.


    Brittany Street
    [email protected]
    1501 E. Woodfield Road, Suite 115N, Schaumburg, IL 60173
    (847) 413-1010




  • Newly Hired Director of Economic Development

    For Immediate Release
    Monday, July 10, 2017


    Newly Hired Director of Economic Development 

    The Schaumburg Business Association is proud to announce that Kyle Schulz as the newest member of the team. Schulz has been hired as the Director of Economic Development. In this position, working closely with the Village of Schaumburg, Schulz will be focusing on the development and growth of the business community in Schaumburg.

    Schulz joins the SBA team having spent the last 10 years in the economic development industry. Schulz brings a diverse set of national economic development experiences to the position including a being a project manager for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity where he oversaw multiple statewide initiatives and as a digital consultant working with economic development organizations around the country to implement progressive digital marketing strategies.

    Schulz has spent the last five years working in economic development in the Austin, Texas area where he developed a recognized business retention and expansion program that identified over $2 million in workforce grant funding, developed an award-winning crowdfunding portal, and served as the lead business recruiter for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce where he worked to attract national and international companies firms to the greater Austin area by directing a series of on-going trade mission trips that brought small, medium and Fortune 500 companies to the 15-city economic development partnership of greater Austin.

    The SBA members and staff are very excited to have Kyle on board.

    Brittany Street
    [email protected]
    1501 E. Woodfield Road, Suite 115N, Schaumburg, IL 60173
    (847) 413-1010


  • Ladies Golf Raffle Winners

    You have until next Wednesday to claim your prize! 

    6) 10 Pack of Yoga Classes                                 Winner:6616446

    8) Schaumburg Boomers Basket                         Winner:3868798

    14) 1 Night Stay at Hyatt House                           Winner:2367568
    & Gift Card to Cheesecake Factory

    17) Gift Basket from Morton's Steakhouse           Winner:6616436

    18) Wine & Cheese Basket                                   Winner:9855774

    23) Massage w/ initial evaluation                          Winner:6616729

  • Ladies Golf Raffle Winners

    You have until next Wednesday to claim your prize! 

    6) 10 Pack of Yoga Classes                                Winner:6616446

    8) Schaumburg Boomers Basket                        Winner:3868798

    14) 1 Night Stay at Hyatt House                         Winner:2367568
    & Gift Card to Cheesecake Factory

    17) Gift Basket from Morton's Steakhouse         Winner:6616436

    18) Wine & Cheese Basket                                 Winner:9855774

    23) Massage w/ initial evaluation                         Winner:6616729

  • Accepting Nominations for the Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards Event

  • Membership Recap!

    The Schaumburg Business Association is stronger than ever with your support. With over 725 businesses and 3,000 active individuals in the SBA, we are committed to supporting and growing our business community.

    Introduce 3 new businesses who join the Schaumburg Business Association by year end and YOUR dues will be waived for the upcoming year. 

    Application and dues breakdown can be found here or have your candidate complete the application online.

    •    The new member must list you as the referring member on the application

    •    Applicable for membership dues billed for upcoming year

    Thank you to those members who have already shared the benefits of membership and have grown their networks within the Schaumburg Business Association by referring new members.    

    As a reminder to all members, benefits included complimentary with membership–

    - Mailing labels to every current SBA member (725+ companies)

    - Inclusion in weekly Member News email sent to 3,000 individuals

        ( which is complimentary to contribute to every 6 weeks, resulting in 21,000 impressions)

    - A detailed online profile on the SBA website which has appox. 2,000 daily views

       (new members receive 253,000 impressions within the first three months of membership)

    - Printed in Daily Herald as the newest addition to the Schaumburg Business Association (results in 253,000 impressions)

    - An ambassador will be assigned to you to show you the ropes and introduce you to the right members you need to meet

    - 20 Business After Hours a year

    - 6 new member orientations

    - Inclusion in the annual Business Resource Guide distributed to 8,000 businesses

    -  SBA window decal & membership plaque

    -  Numerous sponsorship opportunities only available to SBA members

  • Upcoming June Events

    Business After Hours
    Two hours of open networking, appetizers, drinks & relationship building. Gather around their outdoor fire pit, rival friends in a game of bocce, or lace up the bowling shoes.

    Business After Hours 
    Fairfield Inn & Suites
    Tuesday, June 20
    Unwind after work with two hours of appetizers, drinks, and networking.

    New Member Orientation
    Presented by The Lint King
    Breakfast provided by Chick-fil-A
    Wednesday, June 21
    Meet the SBA staff and learn how to maximize your membership

    Coffee, Contacts & Content
    Presented by Argosy University
    Breakfast provided by IHOP
    Thursday, June 22
    5 Step Formula for Explosive Business Growth

    Multi-Chamber Networking Event
    Thursday, June 22
    Hosted at Rivers Casino
    The Schaumburg Business Association is partnering with the Des Plaines Chamber, Hoffman Estates Chamber, Mount Prospect Chamber, Niles Chamber and Rolling Meadows Chamber for a night of networking at The Cube Entertainment Bar at Rivers Casino!

  • Golf Classic Winning Raffle Tickets

    You have one week to claim your winning prize. 

    Raffle #ItemWinning #Raffle #ItemWinning #
    1Wine tasting for 10 at Lynfred Winery199851820Wine & Cheese Basket items from That’s Caring donated by Tasty Catering6615802
    2Gift Card to Pilot Pete's & 4 Atcher Island Passes from the Schaumburg Park District.199918121Magnum Donation from Cooper’s Hawk3540744
    3Round of Golf for a foursome from Schaumburg Golf Club199938622Tasting & Tour for 10 from RAM3539592
    4Annual fitness membership from Schaumburg Park District3541108231 Night Stay Wingate by Wyndham and $75 at Tokio Pub3540786
    54 Atcher Island Passes from Schaumburg Park District & Gift Card to Kuma's Corner354091324Over Night Stay at Hampton Inn & Suites & Gift Card to Weber Grill1998456
    64 Water Works Passes from Schaumburg Park District & Kuma's Corner Gift Card199851125Day at the Races Package @ Arlington Race Track6615314
    74 Water Works Passes from Schaumburg Park District & Gift Card to Lou Malnatis661525226Gift Basket from Morton’s Steakhouse1999157
    81 Night Stay at the Abbey Resort199890027One Grand Tower of delicious brownies and cookies from Gail’s Brownies3540592
    91 Night Stay at Hyatt House & Gift Card to Cheescake Factory6615225281 Night Stay at the Radisson & Gift Card to Wildfire1999132
    104th of July Tailgating Cooler from CP Apparel985576629Bath & Body Basket from Crabtree & Evenlyn1999105
    1150 wings with three signature sauces and an autographed Chicago Steel hockey puck by #14 Jack Gessert199840330Chick-fil-A Basket. Includes free entrees and sides6615236
    12Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres on June 19 in the Upper Box Infield from Porte Brown.199933731Drive a Lexus RX 350 for an entire weekend9855714
    13Assortment of Wine From Tribune Direct Marketing354149532Consolation & One Hour Home or Office Organizing from Organizing with You3540540
    14Gift Card to Joe’s Crab Shack and Gift Basket6615329334 Kane County Cougars Tickets for 2017 Season3541224
    15Overnight Stay at Sonesta & 4 Tickets to Laugh Out Loud Show354060334Wine & Cheese Basket items from That’s Caring from Tasty Catering1999158
    16Ultimate Grilling Basket from Weber Grill199900635The Ultimate Workout Basket1999422
    17ARHOLMA armless chair, seat cushion & back cushion and a SAMSÖ umbrella from IKEA354145836Granite City Package3541385
    18ARHOLMA 2 seat sofa with cushions & coffee table from IKEA354137337$50 to Ala Carte Entertainment3541284
    19$100 Gift Card to Shaw’s Crab985573938$50 to Ala Carte Entertainment1999101
    39Boat Cruise for 40 People from Ala Carte Entertainment3541405
  • 2017 Golf Classic Raffle Items

    Item #

    1. Wine tasting for 10 at Lynfred Winery 

    2. $20 Gift Card to Pilot Pete's & 4 Atcher Island Passes from the Schaumburg Park District. 

    3. Round of Golf for a foursome from Schaumburg Golf Club

    4. One annual fitness membership from Schaumburg Park District

    5. 4 Atcher Island Passes from Schaumburg Park District and $25 Gift Card to Kuma's Corner

    6. 4 Water Works Passes from Schaumburg Park District & $25 Kuma's Corner Gift Card

    7. 4 Water Works Passes from Schaumburg Park District and $25 Gift Card to Lou Malnatis

    8. One Night Stay at the Abbey Resort

    9. One Night Stay at Hyatt House and $50 Gift Card to Cheescake Factory

    10. Fourth of July Tailgating Cooler from CP Apparel

    11. Spots Package! Includes 50 wings with three signature sauces and an autographed Chicago Steel hockey puck by #14 Jack Gessert

    12. Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres on June 19 in the Upper Box Infield from Porte Brown.

    13. Assortment of Wine From Tribune Direct Marketing

    14. Gift Card to Joe’s Crab Shack and Gift Basket

    15. Overnight Stay at Sonesta and 4 Tickets to a Laugh Out Loud Show

    16. Ultimate Grilling Basket from Weber Grill. Includes brushes, gloves, seasonings, a gift card, and grilling class for two.

    17. ARHOLMA armless chair, seat cushion & back cushion and a SAMSÖ umbrella from IKEA

    18. ARHOLMA 2 seat sofa with cushions and coffee table from IKEA

    19. $100 Gift Card to Shaw’s Crab

    20. Wine & Cheese Basket with Cabernet Sauvignon, party crackers, cheese and items from That’s Caring donated by Tasty Catering

    21. Magnum Donation from Cooper’s Hawk. Includes Magnum bottle of Meritage Wine, 3-Month Wine Club Membership, and a wine tasting for 2

    22. Tasting & Tour for 10 from RAM

    23. One Night Stay at Wingate by Wyndham and $75 off at Tokio Pub

    24. Over Night Stay at Hampton Inn & Suites and $50 Gift Card to Weber Grill

    25. Day at the Races Package from Arlington Race Track

    26. Gift Basket from Morton’s Steakhouse

    27. One Grand Tower of delicious brownies and cookies from Gail’s Brownies

    28. Over Night Stay at the Radisson & $100 Gift Card to Wildfire

    29. Bath & Body Basket from Crabtree & Evenlyn

    30. $50 Chick-fil-A Basket. Includes free entrees and sides

    31. Drive a Lexus RX 350 for an entire weekend

    32. Consolation & One Hour Home or Office Organizing from Organizing with You

    33. Four Kane County Cougars Tickets for 2017 Season

    34. Wine & Cheese Basket. Includes Chardonnay, party crackers, cheese, and items from That’s Caring from Tasty Catering

    35. The Ultimate Workout Basket. Includes workout belt, glass water bottle, and weighted jump rope

    36. Granite City Package. Includes a growler, appetizer, tour, and flight for you and three guests.

    37. $50 Gift Card to Morettis form Ala Carte Entertainment

    38. $50 Gift Card to Chandler's Chop House from Ala Carte Entertainment

    39. Boat Cruise for 40 People from Ala Carte Entertainment

    40. Gift Basket from Schaumburg Business Builders

  • Check out Jones Lang LaSalle's Spotlight on Schaumburg

    Jones Lang LaSalle was one of our sponsors for this past April's Commercial Real Estate Summit. They posted an awesome write up on their LinkedIn explaining the highlights from the presentation. Click the link below to read more!

  • Congrats Divine Signs & Graphics on the Emerald Award!

    Signworld is an organization of 300+ sign companies that are located throughout the United States. Every year, Signworld holds their Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each year, Signworld recognizes their highest achievers in regards to customer service, and levels of attainment. At this year’s convention, Divine Signs was Awarded the Emerald Award. Out of the 300+ sign companies in attendance, only 2 companies were awarded the Emerald Award, and Divine Signs was proud to be one of them. Congratulations Divine Signs & Graphics!

  • April Events

    Business After Hours
    Hosted at Rieke Office Interiors
    Thursday, April 6
    Enjoy appetizers, drinks, and 2 hours of open networking/relationship building

    New Member Orientation 
    Presented by The Lint King
    Schaumburg Corporate Center Conference Room C
    Wednesday, April 19
    Learn how to maximize your membership
    Breakfast provided by Chick-fil-A

    Leadership Luncheon
    Presented by Divine Signs & Graphics
    Schaumburg Corporate Center Conference Room C
    Wednesday, April 19
    Play an interactive game on the importance of IT Security from Links Technology
    Lunch provided by Toasty Cheese

    Commercial Real Estate Summit 
    Presented by JLL & Andigo
    Co-sponsored by The Village of Schaumburg
    Wednesday, April 26
    2017 Economic Forecast

    Coffee, Contacts & Content
    Presented by Argosy University
    Location Change: Schaumburg Library
    Thursday, April 27
    Speed Networking Edition
    Breakfast provided by IHOP

    In partnership with The Chicagoland Business Leadership Netowork & Argosy University

    Neurodiversity in the Workplace
    Thursday, April 27
    Schaumburg Corporate Center Rooms A&B
    Learn more about what it means to recruit, hire and retain qualified candidates with neurological disabilities.

    Download the monthly calendar

  • Meet the Minimalists

    How to Start a Successful Blog Today—this essay has helped countless folks start their own successful websites, and Joshua & Ryan appreciate the opportunity to continue giving back and helping others realize their entrepreneurial dreams.

  • Child's Voice Celebrated Their 21st Birthday!

    Child’s Voice celebrated 21 years in February! Did you see their latest video? Child's Voice students (all of whom have hearing loss!) are singing "Happy Birthday" to Child's Voice!

  • Upcoming March Events

    Business After Hours 
    Hosted at IHOP
    Tomorrow, March 2
    Networking, appetizers, and cocktails plus tastings from Saugatuck Brewing Company

    Good Morning Schaumburg
    Presented by Argosy University
    Chandler's Chophouse
    Tuesday, March 14
    Meet the Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus. They are the stars of the #1 Indie documentary in 2016, Minimalism.
    Limited tickets available

    Manufacturers' Summit 
    Presented by Weiss & Company LLP
    Harper College
    Wednesday, March 15
    Reshoring the Top Line
    15% of job growth in the U.S. can result from reshoring alone. Learn from the reshoring expert, Harry Moser, what exactly is going on with this process.
    Only 2 display tables remain

    Coffee, Contacts & Content
    Presented by Argosy University
    New York Life
    Thursday, March 23
    Communicating Through Effective Emails

  • Sangita Kasturi Featured on TedTalk

    Sangita on TED Talk! Topic:To Change Perceptions of Women, We Must Change Perceptions of Men

  • CD One Price Cleaners Press Release

  • Member Appreciation Week

    All events offered will be at the Schaumburg Business Association (unless otherwise noted).  

    Click on the event title to be taken to the event page to learn more about each day. 

  • 2017 Board of Directors Press Release

    For Immediate Release
    February 8, 2017 

    Newly Elected 2017 SBA Board of Directors

    The Schaumburg Business Association is run by six staff members and 36 members on the Board of Directors. The SBA Board of Directors is made up of a handful of Fortune 500 companies as well as small to medium-sized business owners and/or senior-level executives. These dedicated members work with the staff to provide guidance, stability and contribute immensely to the Schaumburg Business Association’s success.

    All directors are elected for a two-year term by the Executive Committee. A director may serve a maximum of six (6) consecutive years on the board.

    Newly-elected Directors in 2017:
    Brian McCue - District Manager, Walgreen Co.
    Carlos Madinya - Director of Sales & Marketing, Hampton Inn & Suites
    Scott Kay - Store Manager, IKEA
    Dave Behnke - Director of Finance, Better Business Bureau

    Current Directors Elected for Another Term:
    Mike Alagna - President, Alagna Consulting
    Mark Kolar - Senior Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle
    Tony LaFrenere - Executive Director, Schaumburg Park District
    Jaci Kator- Immediate Past Chairperson, AT&T
    Kaili Harding - President, Schaumburg Business Association
    Matt Frank - Economic Development Coordinator, Village of Schaumburg
    Daryl Saylor - Owner/Operator, Chick-fil-A
    Ben Olson - Owner/ Creative Director, 3 Monkey & Aardvark Studios
    Katie Berganske - Director of Sales & Marketing, AmCheck
    Laura J. Brown - Chief Advancement Officer, Harper College
    Jim Burke - COO and Multi-department VP, Links Technology Solutions, Inc.
    Roxanne Parikh - Physician Service Manager, AMITA Health
    Teresa Faidley - Senior Vice President, Schaumburg Bank & Trust
    Susan Fleming - Senior Vice President, MarketingOptumRx
    Allen Gabe - Owner, Allen Gabe Law, P.C.
    Genevra Knight - Partner, Porte Brown, LLC
    Julie Koelzer - Vice President, Tenant Advisors
    Heather Lloyd - Director of Marketing and Business Development, Woodfield Mall
    Dave Parulo – President, Meet Chicago Northwest
    Pete Rosengren - Director of Digital Sales, Daily Herald
    Seema Taneja - Assistant Vice President, Zurich North America
    Zach Youngblood - Financial Advisor, COUNTRY Financial

    Brittany Street
    [email protected]
    1501 E. Woodfield Road, Suite 115N, Schaumburg, IL 60173
    (847) 413-1010


  • February Events

  • Savour Raffle Ticket Winners

    Claim your raffle prices!

    Winning ticket numbers:
    Item 5- 3867283
    Item 17-4780841
    Item 9-4780420

    Stop by the SBA office today until 3pm or next week Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm.
    Call our office: (847) 413-1010

  • Sangita Kasturi Featured in Forbes Magazine

    Sangita Kasturi, the CEO of Action Inclusion, was featured in Forbes Magazine. Click here to view the article. 

  • Emily J Imes, of DSP Insurance Services, Certified as Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist

  • A Message from Tribune Direct Marketing about Gail's Brownies

    We wanted to share with you what a pleasure it was in working with Gail’s Brownies, another SBA member, in providing holiday gift packages to our clients. Here are just a few of the many comments we received from our customers. “You truly outdid years past with the fantastic choice this year. The brownies and cookies Tribune Direct sent were amazing!” “Those brownies and cookies were unbelievable. I am glad I had a few before I brought the box home as they disappeared on me.” This is just one of the ways we're leveraging our membership with the SBA. Mary Jo, Tribune Direct's Executive Assistant stated, "Gail and Jack were terrific to work with. If I needed to know if something was delivered, it wasn’t a problem getting the tracking numbers. Follow up was seamless and professional." Thank you for making our customers happy this holiday season!

  • January Events

    Good Morning Schaumburg

    Presented by Village of Schaumburg

    Tuesday, January 10

    Chandler’s Banquets


    Join us for a presentation from Mayor Al Larson followed by a panel discussion with representatives from Sunstar, Zurich, Woodfield Mall and Meet Chicago Northwest.


    Business After Hours

    Tuesday, January 17

    Hosted by Schaumburg Toyota


    Unwind after work with drinks, appetizers and networking. 


    Leadership Luncheon

    Presented by Divine Signs & Graphics

    Wednesday, January 18

    Schaumburg Corporate Center


    Learn the importance of digital marketing and how it affects your company, presented by 2060 Digital.

    Lunch provided by Toasty Cheese


    Coffee, Contacts & Content 

    Presented by Argosy University

    Thursday, January 26

    New York Life


    Join us for a presentation on Medical Cannabis in the Illinois Workplace. This presentation will include National, Federal, and State details as well as case studies, employer/employee FAQ's and model policy advice.

    Breakfast provided by IHOP


    Ribbon Cuttings 

    224 Massage | Friday, January 6 | Noon

    18/8 Fine Men's Salon | Thursday, January 12 | 11am

  • Sharp Business System's Open House

    Jess & Meghan visited Sharp Business System's Open House. They took a tour of the facility and got the inside scoop on new equipment including a giant interactive touch screen and mega boards. 

  • Upcoming Events!

    Schaumburg Young Professionals 

    Thursday, December 8 

    Held at Hampton Inn & Suites Schaumburg 

    Food donated by ZEAL


    $15 to attend

    Join other young professionals for appetizers, networking, drinks, and a chance to win a free weekend getaway at the hotel.


    Annual Holiday Good Morning Schaumburg

    Tuesday, December 13

    Presented by Woodfield Mall

    Held at Chicago Improv Schaumburg


    Member $25 | Guest $35

    Start your morning off laughing with a Live Comedy Show, breakfast buffet, networking, recap of 2016, and an announcement of the 2017 Board of Directors. 


  • President Kaili Harding Spoke at Vera Bradley

    President Kaili Harding spoke this morning with women about self-empowerment and what changes we can make in our lives to become the best version of ourselves.

  • Schaumburg Business Association

  • Daily Herald Article about Kouzina

    The Daily Herald published an article about Heide Revelis, Owner of Kouzina, and how she spruced up the Greek restaurant but kept a similar menu. Click Here to read the article.

  • Mayor Larson & Kaili Harding Talk About Toast of Schaumburg

  • All-Volunteer Organization Receives Largest Donation to Date

    Woodfield Area Children’s Organization Receives Largest Ever Donation

    September 15 was a landmark day for the Woodfield Area Children’s Organization. WACO received its largest single donation in its 38-year history. Identiti Resources presented a check for more than $30K after holding its annual Larry Sicher Golf Outing in memory of the company’s founder.

    WACO, an all-volunteer organization, will use the gift to fund its various programs including the annual Christmas Shopping Tours where the organization takes around 500 disadvantaged preschoolers shopping for themselves and their families, and Learning Beyond the Classroom where the group funds field trips for poverty-level children in order to give them educational opportunities they might not otherwise have.

    “We were thrilled to be able to raise this much money for such a worthwhile cause,” said Identiti Gives Committee chairperson Lisa Weiss. “The committee put in a lot of time and effort, but the result was so worth it,” added Fawne Sparks, co-chair.

    “WACO cannot thank Identiti Resources and its Identiti Gives Committee enough. We started three new initiatives this year and had no idea how we were going to fund them,” said WACO President, Geri McCall-Barrath. “This donation is going to make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of suburban children we try to help. Now that we have the money, we need to find the volunteers to help us implement the programs. But that’s a great problem to have,” she added.

    For information on how you can get involved visit WACO’s website at or call McCall-Barrath at (630) 999-1270.

  • Trivedi Hospitality's Job Fair is Tomorrow!

    Can't make the job fair? Trivedi Hospitality is having two more job fairs:
    -Oct. 14th 10am-2pm @ Comfort Inn in Des Plaines
    -Oct 19th 10am-1pm @ Harper College 

  • Congrats Kaili for Receiving the Best Under 40 Award!

    Congratulations to our President, Kaili Harding, on receiving the Best Under 40 Award! Kaili was one of twelve men and women to receive this award. The recipients of the Best Under 40 Award are individuals who are role models and leaders in their community and field. Kaili will be receiving the award on November 17th.

    Kaili joined the Schaumburg Business Association as President with one overriding philosophy: ensuring that the SBA's activities remain acutely focused on its members and allowing those members to guide the initiatives of the SBA in order to promote and fulfill the interests of the members. 

    Kaili has earned a reputation as a dedicated professional who cares about the business community that she works in, and she takes great pride in the connections that are facilitated by and through the Schaumburg Business Association. 

  • President Kaili Harding Speaking at Roosevelt University

    Kaili Harding, President of Schaumburg Business Association, attended Roosevelt University's luncheon last Thursday, September 29th. The luncheon was in honor of Roosevelt University celebrating 20 years. Kaili spoke about Roosevelt University's accomplishments and success to the Schaumburg community. 

  • Kevin Bruning on the Power of Networking! 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes

    Many entrepreneurs and business professionals do not understand just how valuable networking and community outreach is for their business. Kevin Bruning of Bruning & Associates, P.C. speaks on the topic at the 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes Breakfast hosted by the Northwest Herald and sponsored in part by the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce. A true advocate for the power of networking, Kevin speaks about his own personal experiences joining professional organizations and how dramatically that impacted his business goals. Kevin Bruning, now a managing partner of his own firm Bruning & Associates, P.C. which he established in January of 2000, credits networking and organizations like the Schaumburg Business Association for that dream becoming a reality. Mr. Bruning is an experienced trial attorney with an extensive background in many areas of law. At Bruning & Associates, Kevin enjoys the privilege of practicing with a dynamic team of experienced attorneys who provide individualized attention to each client. Each member of the firm brings unique and specialized training to the practice ensuring quality representation for the personal and business needs of those they help. An avid and involved Rotarian, Kevin has been a part of Crystal Lake Rotary since 1996, holding many offices including President, Vice President and various chairperson positions. Additionally, Kevin has been a member of the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Schaumburg Business Association, and has sat on the McHenry County Youth Service Bureau Board of Directors.

  • J. Krug & Associates, Inc. Included in IIABA's Best Practices Study

  • Press Release- Art Fuzd

  • October Events

    Time: 4:30pm
    Join us in welcoming Midwest Performance to Schaumburg 

    Time: 5-7pm.
    Enjoy appetizers, drinks, and networking with business professionals. 

    October 11: Good Morning Schaumburg 
    Time: 7:30-9am
    Tim Smithe of Walter E. Smithe will be presenting on how he shepherded his Ad team
    to boost the Smithe name form relative obscurity into a household name. 

    October 12: Commercial Real Estate Summit Presented by Andigo & JLL 
    Time: 11:30am-1pm.
    JLL & UrbanStreet Group will discuss hot topic developments such as the
    Motorola campus and Zurich's recently vacated space. 

     October 18: Business After Hours at Dave & Buster's 
    Time: 5-7pm.
    Enjoy appetizers, drinks, and networking with business professionals.

    October 19: New Member Orientation Presented by Amcheck 
    Time: 8-9am.
    Learn how to maximize your membership with us and all that is available in membership.

    October 19: Leadership Lunch Presented by Divine Signs & Graphics
    Time: 11:30am-1pm.
    Jim Klein with Principal of Acrobat Marketing Solutions will explain four hard skills required for successful business development
    & four soft skills which create the largest obstacles.

     October 20: Andigo Ribbon Cutting's
    Time: 10am-noon.
    Formally known as MECU, help us welcome Andigo to Schaumburg. 

    October 21: Toast of Schaumburg Presented by Links Technology Inc. 
    Time: 6pm-midnight.
    This award dinner evening of celebration, philanthropy, and recognition of SBA members. 

     October 27: Coffee & Contacts Presented by Kappel & Apple
    Time: 7:30-9:30am.
    Master your LinkedIn Profile-Tips & Tricks to Stand Out from the Crowd.


    October 27: Manufacturers' Summit Presented by 
    Elk Grove Village, Village of Hoffman Estates, & Village of Schaumburg 
    Time: 3:30-7pm.
    Economic Development in the Golden Corridor.

  • Member Testimony Credits SBA for Business Growth

    "I wanted to let you know about my experience with the SBA, and specifically the marketing power of the SBA. Since joining the association in 2012, I have regularly attended various events to meet members, exchange contacts, and build my network. I have found that the members are receptive to new people, and are eager to do business with fellow members. This past year I decided to take advantage of the partnership meeting opportunity. I met with members of the SBA staff who help to custom create a powerful marketing strategy. They listened to my goals for the year, and pointed me to strategic opportunities so that I could receive the most impact from my free member benefits, plus premium benefits, that were much cheaper than your typical marketing opportunities through other media platforms.

    I purchased a grouping of display tables at the monthly Good Morning Schaumburg event, took advantage of the free submissions in member news, and purchased additional submission opportunities, and member spotlight sections on the website for maximum visibility. Guess what? It worked! I’ve gotten a new level of notoriety, often at networking events fellow members jokingly ask for my autograph, and say The Lint King is an SBA celebrity! It’s always a pleasure to work with other SBA members, and they have been great word of mouth referrals for me. In 2017, I’m taking my involvement to the next level. I’ve signed on to be the presenting sponsor of the New Member Orientation series.

    If you want my advice on how to utilize your membership I would say it’s a 3-step process: 1. Get involved by going to events or getting on a committee. 2. Take advantage of the free member-news blasts. 3. Ask the SBA for a free partnership meeting to make a marketing strategy for your business. I’ll see you at an event soon."

    -Paul Meyers, The Lint King, Inc.

  • Volunteers Needed for Northern Illinois Food Bank

  • Congratulations to Joe Micallef on Winning the Outstanding Service to Entrepreneurs Award!

  • The Wine Cellar Group's Ribbon Cutting is Next Week

    July 20, 2016 The Wine Cellar Group
    (708) 921-2222



    Partnering with the Schaumburg Business Association

    SCHAUMBURG (July 20, 2016) – 72% of Americans base their wine preference off of higher prices, The Wine Cellar Outlet strives to redirect customers wine choice to quality, handcrafted wines at affordable prices. The Wine Cellar Outlet Schaumburg will celebrate an official ribbon cutting followed by its first ever complimentary wine tasting on Thursday, August 4th at 5:00pm. Guests are invited to taste delicious hand selected wines from the Outlet’s Cellar Collection at no cost. They will be able to mingle with friends while enjoying fine wines at phenomenal prices - all paired perfectly with light appetizers and music during this exciting event.


    The Wine Cellar Outlet specializes in high-quality handcrafted wines from around the world at everyday low prices. They are committed to discovering new, exceptional wines and offer them at an exceptional value. The Wine Cellar Outlet’s Cellar Collection includes a wide selection of over 100 different types of wine, which are divided into three levels: Cellar Select, Cellar Premium and Cellar Ultra. Customers can mix and match six or more bottles from this Cellar Collection and enjoy over 25% off market prices. Aside from their selection of high-quality wines, their dedicated team strives to provide excellent recommendations to fit each customer’s specific preference.


    The Wine Cellar Outlet carries an ever changing assortment of handcrafted boutique-style wines from smaller family-run wineries. They are committed to maintain close relationships with vineyards allowing the highest quality wines to be offered at the most affordable prices. Customers are able to discover new, top of the line wines with every visit. Since the first store opened in 2011, The Wine Cellar Group’s goal remains simple: give customers the opportunity to Uncork something new, for less.

    * * * * * C A L E N D A R O F E V E N T S * * * * *

    WHO: The Wine Cellar Outlet Schaumburg in partnership with the Schaumburg Business Association will host an opening ribbon cutting celebration and it’s first ever complimentary wine tasting.

    WHAT: Guests will be among the first to taste boutique, handcrafted wines from The Wine Cellar Outlet Schaumburg’s Cellar Collection. Light snacks and exclusive tasting specials will be available.

    WHEN:  Thursday, August 4, 2016

    5:00pm to 7:00pm

    WHERE: The Wine Cellar Outlet Schaumburg

    1422 East Algonquin Road

    Schaumburg, IL 60173

    COST:  Complimentary

    RSVP: For more information and to RSVP please call (224) 801-6677 or visit

  • Exclusive 100.3 Radio Advertising Packages

  • Remaining Winning Raffle Numbers from 2016 Golf Classic

    Thank you to everyone that participated in yesterday's 2016 Annual Golf Classic! Below are the remaining winning raffle numbers. Please call the office at (847) 413-1010 to claim your item within 1 week.


    See you next year!

  • Kouzina Greek Kitchen & Bar is Finally Open!

    For weeks now, the Schaumburg Business Association has been getting many phone calls from the community asking when Kouzina Greek Kitchen & Bar is opening! One of our own SBA’s own, Dave Yurko, went to Kouzina and gave this review:

    “Since Kouzina joined the SBA I’ve had visions of lamb chops dancing in my head! Then the biggest news to date came at the end of June, that they had opened, albeit in soft opening mode. My obsession was uncontrollable so on Saturday, July 2nd I went there solo for dinner. The saganaki, Colorado Lamb Chops, and martini I had were stellar! The buzz in the restaurant was exciting as the staff and management were busy working out the details preparing for their Grand Opening & Open House now scheduled for Tuesday, 7/12/16. My server was clearly excited to move through the soft opening and very much looking forward to the Grand Opening. I’ll be there and have already begun telling friends to do the same. Would it be wrong to have lamb chops every other day? I hope not!”

    Kouzina Greek Kitchen & Bar has been a family owned restaurant for over 40 years.  Their goal at Kouzina is to put a contemporary twist on traditional Greek cuisine. At Kouzina families can enjoy a home cooked meal and quality time together. The general manager, Chris, says there are many dishes that can be prepared so many different ways, and one of the most popular is lamb.  Like Dave, many people are praising Kouzina’s lamb.  A patron can get lamb chops, braised lamb, lamb artichokes, and lamb fricasee with wild greens and a creamy sauce.  Some of Chris’ favorite items on the menu are the grilled octopus appetizer and saganaki (flaming cheese). Another popular appetizer offered at Kouzina is the spinach pie. Kouzina also has many desserts like Baklava, Galakto Boruko, and rice pudding. These desserts are perfect to share with your family.  Kouzina Greek Kitchen & Bar is extremely excited to have their ribbon cutting and grand opening is tomorrow July 12th at 5pm with grand opening celebrations taking place till 10pm that evening.

  • Our own, Carol Fiandalo, is CFO of the Year!


    We are extremely excited to announce that one of our own Schaumburg Business Association’s staff members, Carol Fiandalo, has been selected as CFO of the year! The mission of the CFO Awards is to honor top financial executives who contribute to the success of the region’s economic growth and stability. Carol’s contributions to the SBA’s overall growth, commitment to good ethics, effective reporting and involvement in the community is why she is being honored as CFO of the Year.

    Carol Fiandalo earned a degree in Finance from Northern Illinois University in 1997. Carol started her career in finance with Arthur Anderson, then was hired by Kimball Hill Homes before joining the SBA. Carol now touts nearly 2 decades in professional account and finance management, and HR skills. Carol was drawn to accounting and finance because of her love for numbers, details, and analytics that the field of work brings. Congratulations Carol!

  • Kaili Harding, SBA President travels to the US Global Leadership Coalition in Washington DC

    Last week, June 13 and 14, I traveled to Washington DC, to participate once again in the US Global Leadership Coalition to represent our members. I know many of our members are familiar with the work of the USGLC, as 3 of our board members also serve alongside me in the Advisory Committee. IT was three years ago at the urging of SBA member Zurich N.A. that the SBA became involved in the USGLC. Since that time, we have been able to steer our federal legislators to make decisions that directly help the economy in Illinois. The USGLC website has, any statistics broken down to see just how impactful the work that they are doing globally is affecting our businesses here in Illinois. Check out their website here:

  • 2016 Business Retention and Expansion Survey

    The Schaumburg Business Association has teamed up with The Organizational Effectiveness Consulting Center at Roosevelt University, to analyze the current business environment of Schaumburg. The assessment tool being used is the Business Retention and Expansion Survey (BRE), which can be completed online. Your participation is crucial and will benefit the economic vitality of Schaumburg. 

    We are looking for participation from senior executives to ensure data collected is an accurate representation of your business and its future plans.

    We understand the importance of your time and have designed our survey to be as quick and concise as possible. All that is needed is 15 minutes of your time to complete this online survey. Your participation is vital and will benefit Schaumburg’s economy and community as a whole.

    Click here to get started >>>>

    The Schaumburg Business Association’s Business Retention and Expansion project objectives include:

    • Identifying the needs, concerns, and opportunities of existing Schaumburg Businesses in order for local action to be taken, in response to the businesses’ needs.

    • Learn of the future plans of the area’s local businesses with respect to expansion, relocation, and retention and assess where assistance can be provided.

    • Compare this year’s results to last year’s to identify if efforts are producing positive results and where effort needs to be focused.
    • Demonstrate Schaumburg’s pro-business attitude and develop an effective means of communication with local businesses.

    Key findings from last year’s project include:

    • Growth: 53% of Businesses report organizational growth to be the greatest achievement in the last 5 years. No company reported a product declining and 57% report the primary product has growth potential. 90% of companies have introduced a new product or service in the last 5 years. 85% of companies report overall sales were increasing.

    • Expansion: 44% report an increase in merger, acquisition, and divestiture activity, 29% report buyout activities to be stable, and only 2% of companies report a decrease.

    • 40% of companies report low or no turnover and 25% reported turnover due to growth opportunities.
  • Congratulations Sunstar Americas on your EDIE Award

    The Illinois Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the Illinois Economic Development Association (IEDA) to present the 8th annual Economic Development in Illinois awards – the Edies! 

    The Edies honor those who imagine, design, invest, build and bring jobs, growth and prosperity to Illinois communities.

    Sunstar Americas used $55 million in private investment and $2.5 million in public investment to build a new, 302,000 square foot manufacturing facility which will be the Sunstar America's North American Headquarters.  This project created nearly 250 construction jobs, and added 30 jobs to the headquarters' 300 jobs that were moved from Sunstar's Previous Chicago location. With Sunstar's investment, vacant land became a major landmark in Schaumburg which will generate more than $1 million in property tax income for the village, in addition to revenue generated as people from all over the world visit the headquarters.  Sunstar Americas, Inc. is a member of the globally-trusted Sunstar group of companies that manufacturers and markets under the GUM*, Butler* and GuIdor* brands. its been in operation since 1932.  Sunstar Americas currently has seven facilities in five countries.  It also  manufactures health and beauty items as well as motorcycle parts.    

    To learn more about the EDIE awards, click here

  • SBA Member Credited for Saving Client's Life

    Paul Meyers, The Lint King, had an unusual exchange with a new client that lead to him saving her life.

    It was May 9th when Meyers went to his new client's house to clean her dryer vents and she answered the door expressing no knowledge of who he was. After he explained the appointment they had scheduled for that morning and showed his badge revealing his company logo, she let him in and continued to act strange. She began repeating that she didn't know what was happening and felt scared after Meyers asked if she was okay. He then asked her if she knew anyone in the area that could come to check on her.

    Meyers left reluctantly still unsure if she was okay. The client called him not ten minutes after he left, confused as to why he had still not arrived for their morning appointment. He explained their previous exchange, to which she expressed feeling confused and scared. This is when Meyers called the Bartlett police who sent an ambulance immediately. She ended up spending four days in the hospital and attributes her recovery to Paul Meyers’ actions.

    She later thanked him by refusing to accept a discount on Meyers service and giving him freshly baked cookies which she baked while he cleaned her vents.(How's that for motivation?)

    Article written by Scott Footer

    Learn more about The Lint King by clicking here.

  • Are You Aware of BEC Scams?

    CEO Email Fraud: How to Combat a Whale of a Problem

    To: Smith, Christopher ([email protected])
    From: Johnson, Thomas ([email protected])
    Date: April 29, 2015, 11:36 a.m.
    Subject: Time-sensitive transfer of funds

    Chris, I’m in China but need your quick action on this. We’re building our industry relationships here and Gōngjiàng Company requesting a transfer of funds on a time-sensitive acquisition. The lawyers will be in touch. Get this done today. Tom

    Vincent Voci
    Policy Manager, National Security and Emergency Preparedness

    Who has seen an email like this come across his or her inbox? This is an example of a business email compromise (BEC). Like most things the government names, it sounds incredibly boring and bureaucratic. But according to the FBI, criminals across the globe stole nearly $1.2 billion from more than 7,000 victim companies since 2013 using scams like this.

    These types of scams are known as CEO fraud or whaling attacks.

    Victims of CEO fraud are both small and large businesses, and money has been sent to Hong Kong, China, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Nigeria, Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.

    In two notable whaling incidents last year, online wire-transfer provider Xoom was the victim of a January attack to the tune of $31 million, and networking firm Ubiquity reported in August a $47 million loss. In most cases, the scammers request wire transfers that lend legitimacy to the fraud, generally in the $50,000 to $100,000 range.
    Typically, criminals hijack the email account of a company executive and then send email instructions to a staff member directing him or her to wire large sums of money to foreign accounts.

    What makes these crimes successful is their level of sophistication. Fraudsters combine research readily available on the Internet and insider information to target individual victims. Instead of crafting mass emails from a Nigerian crown prince awarding you and only you $10,000, these criminals’ methods are extremely sophisticated and target an organization’s relationships, activities, interests, travel, and purchasing plans.

    Take the example here. The author of this email tailors the message to Chris, not Christopher, and signs the email Tom, not Thomas, demonstrating that he knows the nicknames of his victims. Also, the scammers in this case know that the example company has overseas interests and perhaps are following the CEO’s travel via twitter and Facebook. So they have timed their scam to coincide with the executive’s foreign travel.

    Finally, there’s the look-alike domain name (that is everything after the @ symbol in an email address). As with most email attacks, thieves will change one letter or number in a target company’s domain name and send messages from that look-alike address.

    What to do if you are the victim:

    If you are the victim of a BEC scam and act within 24–48 hours, there is a good chance you’ll get your money back.

    Step one: Contact your financial institution and the financial institution receiving the transfer.
    Step two: Contact your local FBI or U.S. Secret Service field office.
    Step three: If your financial loss is under $100,000, then file a report through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

    How to raise your defenses:
    1. Create an intrusion detection system (IDS) to flag emails with extensions that are similar to your domain (substituting the number 1 for the letter “L”).
    2. Train employees to scrutinize all email requests for transfer of funds.
    3. Trust but verify. Use a two-factor authentication to confirm transfer of funds. Verify the customer and bank information using previously known phone numbers and contacts.

  • 2016 Ladies Golf Outing Absolute Blast

    The 2016 Ladies Golf Outing could not have turned out better! The golf gods sure presented the ladies with a fun filled day of beautiful weather, hysterical caddies, shirtless models, great food, and cold beverages.

    The day started out with hole sponsors being transported to their respective holes. In the midst of all the transportation were caddies souping up their carts in hope of a ladies foursome claiming their services for the day. Balloons and streamers were getting attached to carts and beverages were being stocked up. Meanwhile, this was all when it was only 65 degrees out. Everyone was preparing for the hot day with sunglasses, hats, and suntan lotion!


    One of the most exciting parts of the day had to have been the caddie auction. 9 caddies were being auctioned and each caddie had a theme which left everyone in the rooms laughing hysterically. There were caddies dressed in all different types of attire from Batman to players from the Schaumburg Boomers baseball team. Needless to say, the ladies were thoroughly enjoying themselves as they had the opportunity to bid on the man that would accompany them throughout the day.

    Once lunch and the caddie auction was over there was a sense of urgency that the ladies and caddies were ready to hit the links. Everyone filed out of the ballroom and was on their way to their first hole of the day. In no time everyone was on the course enjoying a beverage, making new connections, and golfing in the 80 degree weather. (That didn't stop Batman from lurking the course)

    As part of the fun on the course, there were 3 different contests that the golfers had a chance to win at. One was the longest drive, another was the straightest drive and the third was the longest putt. While the main focus of the day is to enjoy yourself with friends, adding contests makes for some competitive fun. It gives golfers the opportunity to give each other some motivation and work together.

    4:30 rolled around and just about all the golfers had finished. The sponsors were all done packing up there things and heading back for cocktail hour. The sun might have drained plenty of the golfers but it didn't stop some of the ladies from enjoying another drink while they relaxed their legs.

    All in all, it was another fantastic year for the Ladies Golf Outing. Fortunately, if you missed out, the SBA Golf Classic coming up on July 13. If you haven't already registered or would like to secure a spot as a hole sponsor don't hesitate to give the office a call (847) 413-1010. This will be another event where tickets are sold rapidly!

    For more photos of the event click here

  • Katy Garcia Earns Volunteer of the Year Award

    Katy Garcia has a business model for Riccardo's Ristorante in Schaumburg, which she owns with her husband, Waldo, its head chef: give away as much as you can. That's the case whether it's Scout troops, the Schaumburg Police Department, Schaumburg Township district 54 Foundation board, or students with disabilities served by Ups for DownS in Schaumburg.

    Each of these organizations have held fundraisers at Riccardo's, or off site, stocked with donated food from the restaurant. Katy also developed a training session for students with disabilities, which she holds at the restaurant, in pizza making. "I do it as an esteem-building exercise," Garcia says. "And while we're work I talk to them about jobs in restaurants."

    This past month Kat was named Schaumburg Adult volunteer of the Year award winner for all of her efforts to support, and feed, groups in Schaumburg. She was selected out of a group of 15 adults who were nominated in the community.

    Katy's leadership has proven that the go-to place is Riccardo's whenever there is a need for help. "I came from a challenged childhood, so from an early age on I decided I wanted to be a better person," Katy says, "and help as many people as I could. It's a nice way to live."

    Congratulations Katy on earning a well respected award!

  • MECU Recommits to Northwest Suburban Schaumburg

    JLL today announced that MECU has signed a long-term lease for 28,000 square feet at Schaumburg Corporate Center, located at 1501 Woodfield Road, Schaumburg, Illinois. MECU will use the space for its headquarters operations and operate a bank branch on the first floor.

    “Schaumburg has been our home for more than 40 years and all of us at MECU are delighted that it will remain our home for many years to come,” said MECU President and CEO Mike Murphy. “We’re deeply committed to the people and business community of Schaumburg and can’t imagine a better place to continue the growth and success of our member-owned organization.”

    MECU will be moving 110 employees from its space on Motorola Solutions’ former campus into Schaumburg Corporate Center in the fourth quarter of 2016. The not-for-profit will build out a more modernized, functional space to meet the changing needs of its employees and better compete in today’s business climate.

    JLL Senior Vice President Mark Kolar and Vice President Jim Rose represented MECU, and Brent Jacob of John Hancock Real Estate represented the landlord.

    “MECU is expanding into a flexible, collaborative space to better support its growing membership,” said Kolar. “Schaumburg Corporate Center offers increased operational efficiency and proximity to Schaumburg’s vibrant workforce.”

    About MECU
    MECU is a not-for-profit, member-owned credit union whose principal mission is to improve the financial lives of its members. MECU embraces a 75-year tradition of doing the right thing for members—a practice that goes beyond offering the finest financial products and services. MECU’s core principle of “Putting you first” reflects an unwavering commitment to demonstrate uncommon courtesy, respect and integrity in each interaction with every member. For more information, visit

    About JLL
    JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. A Fortune 500 company with annual fee revenue of $5.2 billion and gross revenue of $6.0 billion, JLL has more than 230 corporate offices, operates in more than 80 countries and has a global workforce of more than 60,000.  On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 4.0 billion square feet, or 372 million square meters, and completed $138 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2015. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $56.4 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

    Contact: Marissa Oberlander
    Phone: +1 312 228 3170
    Email: [email protected]

  • SBA President Becomes Principal for the Day

    As a mom of two kids, ages 8 and 9, I am frequently in and out of their elementary school.  Last month, I was approached by School District U-46 about participating in their annual Principal for a Day program as one of the many business leaders and elected officials they typically ask to represent this program. Interested in finding out more about how our local schools are run, specifically early education schools, I jumped at the opportunity.

    My school for the day was Timber Trails in Hoffman Estates, a newer elementary school in the district.  U-46 has the distinction of being the 2nd largest district in the state, second to Chicago Public School District. Timber Trails happens to be a dual-language school where students Kindergarten through 6th grade learn in both English, and Spanish. Having taken courses in Spanish during college, I was interested in seeing just how proficient I would still be in the language, I considered comparing myself to the first and second graders skill level. It turns out that I have retained very little Spanish language skills, which I realized as I entered the building, headed to the principal’s office, and overheard tiny students interacting with each other in Spanish and communicating with a door mom in English.

    My office for the day was the principal’s office, a place I never expected to inhabit (even for a day) and my counterpart was the real Principal, Dr. Elisa Biancalana. Her career path from teacher to principal was impressive, and it was evident she really has a passion for her job. She also puts a lot of miles on her shoes, as she showed me how her job largely encompasses interacting with the students and instructors inside and outside the 2-story school. She also seemed to know all the students’ names and interests, as she easily interacted with the students gathered in the office for the morning announcement and pledge of allegiance. Those students were members of the Communications Club, who come in to do morning announcements and say the pledge on a daily basis. I, too, was given a task of announcing an inspiring poem for Teacher Appreciation Week.

    Post announcements, we bounded down the hall to the kindergarten room, which was our first stop for the day. The kindergarteners were already involved with their first lesson for the day, which was a music class taught by a volunteer, a mom who was a music teacher prior to having children. Because the kindergarten program at Timber Trails is only half of the day, the students wouldn’t typically have music instruction as the cost wouldn’t be covered. So, that volunteer-lead weekly class gives these students enrichment opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. I joined in with the class and had a blast seeing their sweet smiles as we waived rhythm ribbons.

    Next it was time for the annual Fourth Grade Parade of States, which was the culmination of a lesson series those fourth graders had been working on. The parade was perceived with the same anticipation as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but with much more order and with each student sitting in crisscross-applesauce positions.  Each fourth grader pulled their tiny state dioramas down the upper and lower hallways to applause.


    My next duty was to reach out to the first and second graders who had gathered for a Mother’s Day story and I was handed a selection of books to choose from.  I selected a story of a mother who works each day at a diner, saving tip change, to buy a cozy upholstered chair that the mother could read her daughter stories from.  The story also included morals of neighborhood support, overcoming adversity and thriving in situations that are less than ideal.  The students were excellent listeners who asked astute questions on the story and also about my life.

    One third grade class invited me to help select the “brain break” activity from a program the school uses called Go Noodle, a curriculum-based web series for teachers to use when students need a break in the classroom. Our brain break was a Kids Bop follow along style dance video to the popular song “Cheerleader”. I left winded, and was relieved that our next stop was at the library for a story and Mother’s Day craft with the librarian.

    Principal Biancalana took me to the upper level classrooms where the fifth grade classrooms were busy holding court, literally. The fifth graders were working on their persuasive writing stills by writing persuasive arguments in a mock trial of story book characters. This day’s trial was based on Peter Pan. We waked in as Tinkerbell was giving her testimony followed by a lost boy, Plaintiff Captain Hook, and finally the defendant, Peter. The teacher, serving as the judge, urged her jury to deliberate, not based on their presumptions or prior knowledge, but on the structured testimony. Through giggles, it was determined that Peter Pan was not guilty in the maiming of Captain Hooks arm, which lead to his need for his famous hook. Justice delivered!

    Our last stop of the day was a question and answer session for the sixth grade, which at this point in the day was studying social studies. The day’s lesson was about Federal Government. The teacher, having read my bio, asked the principal if I would be a guest in his class to talk about my experience as a former congressional staff member and grass-roots lobbyist in DC. The kids had each prepared questions that I answered one by one. They were a charming group that clearly had an interest in our government beyond the text book lessons.

    As the morning came to a close I learned two important lessons. First, if I ever shadow a principal again I will wear flats. Second, a principal’s job is incredibly challenging while tandemly rewarding, especially as the role was seen through the eyes of Dr. Elisa Biancalana. I observed her easily handle a playground injury, guide students to their lunch room in Spanish, treat her faculty to a PTO arranged Teacher Appreciation luncheon and answer all of my questions on running a crayon colored facility of hundreds of students and faculty. I don’t think I’ve missed my calling as a teacher or principal, but I now have a clearer picture into the day to day life of those who truly shape and foster young people and prepare us to become the professionals we choose to be.


  • BaseZero Knows No Limit

    It's not every day that your website gets mentioned on "Adobe Muse Site of the Day." However, sba member BaseZero is fortunate enough to have had that happen recently. 

    If you haven't heard of BaseZero I would highly recommend taking a look at their website. BaseZero is a company that understand the importance of originality just as authenticity is to you. As founder James Speers puts its, "BaseZero is the why of why we exist." Everything they accomplish deals with using their best creative tools and ideas. They are essentially a branding agency that takes care of everything from print and infographics, to video and social media, to voice-overs the web.

    BaseZero started up 16 years ago and has been with the sba for 3 years. For 16 years they have been committed to meeting the needs of a small company with big needs or a big company with an overextended marketing department. "We genuinely care about how our clients represent themselves," said Speers. "We'd like to see every business be successfull." BaseZero makes sure your website, vehicles, magazines, and trade shows will be remembered. 

    As if BaseZero's talent doesn't strike you enough, if you've never been to BaseZero you must check out his life size Iron Man suit. Speers created the suit as a competition between him and some friends to see who could build one by the time Halloween came around. It's safe to say Speers didn't hold back. If you're lucky you'll catch Iron Man out and about in the Schaumburg community one day. 



  • SBA Member Sunstar Among Edie Award Winners

    We are pleased to announce that SunStar has been awarded the annual Economic Development in Illinois Awards, known as the Edies. SunStar Americas used $55 million in private investment and $3.5 million in public investment to build a 302,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and North American headquarters in Schaumburg. 

    “We are proud to recognize five outstanding economic development projects that were completed in 2015,” Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois chamber, said. “Economic development is key to Illinois’ continued growth and recovery, and these companies are making a difference. The Edies honor those who imagine, design, invest and build in Illinois, and by doing so bring jobs, growth and prosperity to our communities.”

    SunStar has been sticking to their values since day one. Hiroo Kaneda, former CEO of SunStar Americas, embodied what SunStar's mission was all about. His mission was to "always strive to help people everywhere achieve better health and enhance their quality of life." After Kaneda's passing, his son Yishihiro knew by keeping that mission alive they would have to build on the business strengths they have cultivated over the last 80 years. 

    Their goal is to broaden the global business success and and operate as one highly respected global team. The first step towards making that happen was establishing their global headquarters for management in Etoy, Switzerland.

    SunStar's future looks very bright. They know that, to define their future they must continue to meet the needs and expectations of various global consumers. When new business opportunities arise they won't hesitate to jump on them and by acting on a local level and global scale they will innovate new technologies, provide the highest product quality, and support social responsibility initiatives around the world.

    Congratulations SunStar Americas!


  • May Events

    Brace yourselves. The warm weather is coming! This should give you all the more reason to come out and attend some of May's great events.

    Follow the link to register for the event.

    The first event of May is Business After Hours which is occurring today, May 5, at Granite City. There are over 100 guests already registered. The Business After Hours typically reach that 100 attendee mark as the summer months come around so be sure to register ahead of time! Come enjoy drinks and appetizers while networking with those you have yet to meet.

    Location: Granite City - 801 Plaza Drive, Schaumburg

    Tuesday, May 10 is Good Morning Schaumburg. Ever heard of the Walter E. Smithe brothers? Of course you have! Tim Smithe is a two-time Emmy AwardTM winner, an international speaker, a TV commercial writer/producer, a prominent Chicago business consultant, media host, and live event promoter. You don't want to miss out on this one!

    Location: Chandler's - 401 N. Roselle Road, Schaumburg Ballroom: Augusta

    The following day, Wednesday May 11, is the Legislative Affairs Forum. Speaker details to be announced.

    Location: Chandler's 401 N. Roselle Road, Schaumburg Ballroom: Augusta 

    On Thursday, May 12 is Demystifying the Millennial Workforce. With millennials officially taking over the baby boomers as America's largest generation we are inclined to find ways attract, engage and retain millennials to your suburban workforce. This is the perfect event to understand how to do so!

    Location: 1501 E. Woodfield Road, Atrium

    Have you ever network scrambled before? Friday, May 13 is the Network Scramble Lunch.  This unique event revolves around a progressive luncheon at Shaw's Crab House and is a networking opportunity to meet individuals from growth oriented businesses who want to hear more about your business as well as share information about their business.

    Location: Shaw's Crab House - 1900 East Woodfield Road, Schaumburg

    If you haven't been to Weber Grill you'll definitely want to come to the Tuesday, May 17 Business After Hours. You don't want to miss out on their amazing appetizers and drinks! There are 100 guests already registered which means great networking opportunities.

    Location: Weber Grill - 1010 N. Meacham Road, Schaumburg 

    If you haven't already signed up for the Ladies Golf Outing, unfortunately it is SOLD OUT. This event has been a huge hit over the past couple years so we're very excited it's right around the corner. 

    Location: Schaumburg Golf Club - 401 N. Roselle Road

    This month's Coffee & Contacts will be a little different. We will be engaging in speed networking! It's a great way to start your morning by getting the juices flowing and meeting new people. The event will be held at Schaumburg Township District Library.

    Location: Schaumburg Township District Library - 130 N. Roselle Road, Schaumburg

    And the last event of the month is SBA Women In Business. The event is still relatively new but had a great turnout the first time! Danielle Eisenach with CDH will be explaining the Work-Life Integration: 6 Steps to Reclaiming Your Life. This is an interactive workshop that you shouldn't miss!

    Location: Maggiano's Little Italy - 1901 East Woodfield Road

    Throughout the month there will also be 3 Ribbon Cuttings. We encourage our members to attend. It's a great way to welcome new members into the community and also meet some new faces.

    BISHOP DIEHL & LEE, LTD. - 1475 East Woodfield Road Suite 800, Schaumburg
    Friday, May 6 - 9:00 - 10:00am

    World Financial Group - 321 W. Dundee Road, 60089 Buffalo Grove 
    Thursday 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

    Bob's Furniture - 16 E. Golf Road Suite B, Schaumburg
    9:30 - 10:00 am

  • Rosengren Named Vice President

    Daily Herald's former Advertising Director, Pete Rosengren, has officially been named Vice President. Pete has come a long way since working at the Daily Herald. He started as an intern in 1999 and has served in various jobs in the advertising department.

    Pete is one of five executives that have been promoted to vice president by The Paddock Publications Inc. board of directors.

    "By naming these managers as vice presdients, the board has determined that they possess the knowledge and skill to help lead the company," said Douglas K. Ray, Paddock chariman, CEO and publisher. 

    Congratulations, Pete! Best of luck to you on a new chapter!



  • MotherG Named One of Illinois’ Best Places to Work

    CHICAGO, April 21, 2016 – MotherG, an IT managed service provider, is pleased to announce it has been named one of the 2016 Best Places to Work in Illinois in acknowledgement of its success in providing an exceptional work environment for its employees.

    “Best Places to Work in Illinois" project is a statewide program managed by Best Companies Group. This awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Illinois, benefiting the state's economy, workforce and businesses.

    Best Companies Group conducts independent surveys of both employers and employees. The surveys are analyzed and categorized in eight core focus areas including leadership and planning; corporate culture; relationship with supervisors, and career development.

    “Leadership at MotherG offers innovative team building, social activities and career development programs,” says Armita Ayrempour, marketing manager, who has worked for MotherG for four years. “But one of I things I appreciate most is knowing that our voices are being heard. If we have a suggestion or an issue, we can talk about it to any member of management or other team member and it will be addressed.”

    “Some of our best ideas come from our employees. They feel engaged and take pride in our work. As a result, we have a happy workplace and very low turnover,” says CEO Dave Davenport. “We believe that if we have a sound, solid team of good professionals reflects in our work with clients. Love your team. Take care of them. Then you’ll succeed.”

    The Best Places to Work in Illinois awards program began in 2006 and is promoted by The Daily Herald Business Ledger in partnership with the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC), the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, MRA-The Management Association, the Small Business Advocacy Council, the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group.

    MotherG will be recognized and honored at the Best Places to Work in Illinois awards ceremony coordinated by The Daily Herald Business Ledger on May 26 and will be profiled in a special publication on June 27. The final rankings will be announced at the event and announced on the Business Ledger website ( For more information on the Best Places to Work in Illinois program, visit

    About MotherG
    MotherG leads the industry by making small and mid-sized business clients happy with excellent technology. It provides IT managed services for thousands of computers and servers across metro Chicago. MotherG has perfected its Light-Switch Technology, a proprietary IT platform that functions as reliably as flipping a light switch, a model which delivers the highest value in managed services.

  • Don't miss the May 10 Good Morning Schaumburg

    You may know Tim Smithe as one of the 3 brothers of Walter E. Smithe furniture, but Tim Smithe is a power player in Chicago. His personal “contact list” includes the top players in business, politics, sports and media. He is a two-time Emmy AwardTM winner, an international speaker, a TV commercial writer/producer, a prominent Chicago business consultant, media host, and live event promoter. Based in Chicago, Tim travels the world to speak on a wide variety of topics.

    View full details and reserve your spot TODAY here. 


  • Meet SBA Member JLL Chicago

    The SBA is proud to have JLL Chicago as a member of the association. They are a great representation of a company that understands the value of their clients. Chicago is JLL's world headquarters and JLL has been in Chicago for over 20 years. JLL is a financial and professional services firm that specializes in commercial real estate services and investment management which runs across 230 corporate offices worldwide. 

    Whether you're an investor or occupier of space, JLL is committed to helping you understand the ins and outs of commercial real estate in a constantly changing world. They have been on the rise in their industry which sets them apart from other companies. "We currently have an excellent full service platform that provides a tremendous amount of resources to our clients. The focus is to continue to improve and modify this platform to meet our client's changing business needs," said Mark Kolar, Senior Vice President of JLL.

    This year, JLL was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute for the ninth consecutive year. They are one of US Fortune 500 companies and have about 53,000 employees including professional and support staff. 

    On why JLL has earned such great credibility, Kolar says, "JLL's focus is on providing the best possible service and solutions to its clients. We're not necessarily focused on being the biggest real estate firm. We're focused on providing the best service."

    JLL is devoted to establishing high-quality relationships with who they engage and the communities they operate in. They are focused on linking their business and sustainability strategies to promote the goal of creating long-term value for the shareholders, clients, employees, and the global community. In doing so, these efforts help their clients manage their real estate more effectively and efficiently.

    The SBA would like to recognize JLL for their dedication to Schaumburg and the business community.


  • Economy Not As Bad As We think

    There are many questions nowadays revolving around whether or not we're heading in the right direction with the economy. While the stock market isn't having the greatest start to 2016, several arguments show otherwise as to why things are possibly looking up.

    During our latest Commercial Real Estate Summit, Rick Mattoon, senior Economist from the Federal Reserve bank of Chicago, touched on both sides of the argument of whether or not our economy is heading in the right direction. Some of the themes Rick touched on were pockets of strengths and weaknesses, struggling to get faster growth, where aggregate demand will come from, and clashing world monetary policy.

    Here is a look at a presentation Rick put together a presentation to show how our economy is in many ways close to normal. 

    From the statistics provided we can see that, as an overall nation, our economy is slowly getting better. Illinois on the other hand, will always be a little tougher when it comes to growing consistently with other states because of our slow growth rate.

    For Illinois, it comes down to a more rules based approach. We must implement better fiscal rules such as all funds reporting, multi-year budgeting, identifying one-time revenues, adequate reserves.

    Until next time, we'll leave you with this economist joke!

    A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same job.

    The interviewer calls in the mathematician and asks "What do two plus two equal?" The mathematician replies "Four." The interviewer asks "Four, exactly?" The mathematician looks at the interviewer incredulously and says "Yes, four, exactly."

    Then the interviewer calls in the accountant and asks the same question "What do two plus two equal?" The accountant says "On average, four - give or take ten percent, but on average, four."

    Then the interviewer calls in the economist and poses the same question "What do two plus two equal?" The economist gets up, locks the door, closes the shade, sits down next to the interviewer and says, "What do you want it to equal"?


  • Good Morning Schaumburg Hosts Experts in Travel & Hospitality

    Another Good Morning Schaumburg is in the books! The sun was shining this morning and it wasn't below 30 degrees so we were already off to a great start. Conveniently, this weather corresponds to the presentation from our panel of experts. As the warmer months are around the corner the community is looking to get out and find fun activities to stay occupied.

    Dave Parulo with Meet Chicago Northwest and Lisa Timbo with Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center provided some awesome information on travel and hospitality as well as local hotels, restaurants, excursions and International travel companies. 

    One of the reoccurring issues we have in America is employees not taking advantage of their paid time off. This effects everything from the economy to the employee's success.

    Did you know that there are 429 million days of unused leave annually? You might wonder how this has any effect economically. All of these unused days accounts for $52 billion benefits forfeited by employees annually and $224 billion accrued vacation liability across the private sector.

    While not taking advantage of your PTO has an effect economically, it also affects your overall happiness, health, performance, and productivity. Take a look at some of these great places to check out in the area with family and friends! View

    There are many places in the area that are easily accessible but it can be a little more tough when road tripping. You might run into issues with places to go on the way to or near your destination, what you need to pack based on travel plans, or if you can bring your furry friend along. Fortunately, Lisa was able to give some insight as well as a list of great apps for anyone ready to hit the road.

    Take a look at these 7 apps that will help simplify your travel plans and why having a staycation at the Renaissance Schaumburg might be your next best idea! View 

    Safe travels!

  • April Events

    Greetings everyone! Take a look at our April events and don't hesitate to come out and  make the most of your membership.

    The next event we have coming up is Business After Hours at Level 257 on Thursday, April 7. There are over 100 registered attendees which means this is an event you don't want to miss. Level 257 is always a blast, especially when there are a plethora of people to network with!

    Location: Level 257 - 2 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg

    Tuesday, April 12 is Good Morning Schaumburg. Summer is right around the corner which means travel and hospitality will be on the rise. Attendees will get to hear from a panel of experts that will educate them on the benefits of travel and destination choice. Speakers will include Lisa Timbo, General Manager of the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center and Dave Parulo, President of Meet Chicago Northwest.

    Location: Chandler's - 401 N. Roselle Road, Schaumburg Ballrom: Augusta

    It's that time of year again for the Commercial Real Estate Summit. The event will be held at Maggiano's Little Italy on Thursday, April 14. Hear from Jones Lang LaSalle and Rick Mattoon, a senior Economist from the Federal Reserve bank of Chicago as they break down the changes in the global market and how they impact the local market around you.

    Location: Maggiano's Little Italy - 1901 E. Woodfield Road, Schaumburg

    On April 20 we have 2 events. The first one is a New Member Orientation where attendees will hear about programs, events, committees, and networking groups as well as learning how to make the most of their membership. The second event is the Leadership Luncheon. Lunch will be provided by the delicious Toasty Cheese while we learn how to avoid the damage of identity theft and fraud to you and your business. Speakers will include George Vroustouris from Undo Identity Theft and Brian Davidson from CDH. Both events will be held at the same location.

    Location: Schaumburg Corporate Center - 1501 E. Woodfield Road, Schaumburg

    Last but not least we have Coffee & Contacs at the end of the month on Thursday, April 28. Norman Duckhill of Wells Fargo will be giving some fantastic insight on "The 10 Secrets of Successful Salespeople". Norman is the author of Simple Simon Sales-“Prospecting and Selling to Business Owners” touted as the street smart sales bible, is packed with sales tips, techniques and invaluable advice to put your sales game over the top.

    Location: New York Life 20 N. Martingale Road Suite 400, Schaumburg

    Ribbon Cuttings: 
    IHOP - April 15 - 9:00am
    Fastsigns - April 22 - 3:00pm
    IKEA - April 29 - 10:00am

  • Help us Celebrate Vera Bradley's Opening

    - First Store to Feature New Logo and Innovative Store Design -
    Avrielle Gallipoli
    Lividini & Co.
    [email protected]

    Schaumburg, IL – (NASDAQ: VRA) Vera Bradley, iconic accessories brand for the modern woman, announced today the opening of its 111th full line retail location in Schaumburg, Illinois at Woodfield Mall on April 1, 2016. The new 2,100 square-foot store will carry the complete Vera Bradley collection, including handbags, luggage and other travel items, accessories, eyewear, jewelry, fragrance, and so much more.

    “We are delighted to open a new Vera Bradley store in Schaumburg,” said Robert Wallstrom, CEO of Vera Bradley. “We look forward to showcasing our iconic collections and our signature customer experience in our beautiful new Woodfield Mall store. With its well-edited roster of contemporary and fashion stores and its draw to both local customers and tourists, Woodfield Mall is the ideal location for Vera Bradley. We hope
    our many loyal Vera Bradley customers will love the store and that new customers will discover all that we have to offer.”

    The Woodfield Mall location is the first Vera Bradley store to debut its newly redesigned logo and store concept. The store design stands true to Vera Bradley’s brand aesthetic, featuring signature design elements married with new architectural details to infuse the brand’s heritage in a modern way.

    The celebration of Vera Bradley’s new store will begin with a VIP Cocktail Event in the store on Thursday, March 31st from 5-8PM. The Honorable Al Larson, Mayor of Schaumburg, will join representatives of Vera Bradley to officially cut the ribbon at a ceremony in front of the store at 9:45 AM local time on Friday, April 1.

    For more updates on Vera Bradley and their new Schaumburg, Illinois store location, follow us at @VeraBradley on Twitter and Instagram.

  • Our 2016 Scholarship application is now available

    The Schaumburg Business Association (SBA) awards scholarships of $2,500 to high school students graduating with goals to pursue a business related degree in college, and to adults looking to further their careers through further education in advanced manufacturing related fields.

    SBA Charitable Foundation

  • SBA President Kaili Harding Earns Outstanding Award

    Please join the Illinois Jaycees in congratulating Kaili Benefield Harding for being recognized as a 2016 Outstanding Young Person of Illinois.

    The Outstanding Young Person (TOYP) program annually recognizes young people throughout Illinois who excel intheir chosen fields, endeavors and show a great commitment to their respective communities.

    Kaili was recognized in the category of Personal improvement and/or accomplishment. She is President of theSchaumburg Business Association, a professional speaker, philanthropist and pageant titlist.

    During her tenure as President of the Schaumburg Business Association, membership and event attendance hasincreased. In 2015, she was named Ms. Illinois Galaxy. She also earned the crown of Mrs. Illinois America in 2005and went to compete at the Mrs. America Pageant. In 2014, she embarked on a professional speaking career givingpresentations to local and national organizations. Kaili also serves as an executive committee member for theAmerican Diabetes Association and assists many other charitable organizations.

    The Illinois Jaycees will honor Kaili along with other honorees on May 14th, 2016 at an awards banquet being held atthe Wyndham Springfield-City Centre. The program will include a video highlighting her accomplishments, a plaquepresentation and opportunity for her to address the audience. If you would like to attend the banquet, tickets can bepurchased at

    The Outstanding Young Persons Awards program is generously supported by friends and employers of our awardwinners, local Jaycee organizations, Illinois businesses and the Illinois Jaycees Charitable Foundation. Pleaseconsider offering congratulations to Kaili by purchasing space in the banquet program. Print deadline is April 1, 2016.

    This donation to the Illinois Jaycees Charitable Foundation is tax deductible. More information can be found

    Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you.

    Heather Ulrich and Joanne Rinaldo
    Illinois Jaycees TOYP Program Co-Chairs
    [email protected]

  • New - Health and Wellness Networking Group

    Starting next month, the SBA will be starting a bi-monthly networking groups for Health and Wellness providers which will be called the: Health and Wellness Alliance. An Open House for all interested has been set up on Monday, April 11 at 8am.


  • Inside The Mind of World Series Winning Team Player Jim Mecir

    Today's Good Morning Schaumburg left attendees with a little strut in their step. The speakers this time around were Jim Mecir and Ellen Schnur. 

    Jim Mecir is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who happens to have a club foot. For those of you who don't know what a club foot is, it's when your foot is twisted so that the sole cannot be placed flat on the ground. This didn't keep Jim from helping the 1996 New York Yankees win a World Series! Jim was also a team player in the World Series winning "Moneyball" movie. 

    Ellen, whose background in business and training helped her discover the amazing real-world business applications of improvisation after studying at Second City and iO. Together, Jim and Ellen combine lessons on success from the stage and the mound for businesses and organizations.

    Whether we know it or not, part of communicating with others is being able to understand how to interact act with a certain individual. Everyone's personality is different and if we can mirror someone as we interact with them it will make for a much better relationship.

    Activity time! Jim and Ellen had everyone in the room stop eating their breakfast to get up and find a partner. What they had us do next was similar to improv. Each person was to tell their "Oscar winning story" to their partner. After both stories were told they were to find 2 other partners and then repeat their partner's story to the 2 new partners. It really put your partner in the hot spot to see if they were actually paying attention. 

    Another exercise Jim and Ellen came up with was to find a new partner and take turns saying one sentence to each other. The trick, you had to start your sentence with the last word of your partner's sentence. This made for an interesting, not quite intellectual, conversation.

    Having attendees move around and get their brains working was a great way to start the morning. But there was more to it than that. Committing to activities like this helps you think on your feet in difficult circumstances and create stronger connections. 

    For instance, the first exercise when one person had to tell their partner's Oscar winning story to 2 other people helped people understand that, whether it be a sports team or business setting, having each other backs is the key to success. We feel good about ourselves when a friend or colleague is tooting our horn for us. As Ellen brought up, we must remember the Platinum Rule. The Platinum Rule isn't treating others how you would like to be treated but treating others how they would like to be treated.

    The final exercise involved splitting the room up in two halves. One half of the room was a confident attitude, the other half was not so confident. The next step was walking around and interacting with others. Needless to say, it was interesting to see how easy it is to change your attitude and become what you think which was the purpose of this exercise. Whether you're happy or not, by putting a smile on your face you're immediately changing your attitude. This is the same as propping your shoulders a little further back and sticking your chest out. By doing so, you're sending signals to your brain that say, "hey, I am in fact a confident person."

    So what did attendees gain from all of this? Besides being fortunate enough to be in the same room as a World Series pitcher...We must perceive change as fuel, not fear. Letting yourself be affected by what the other person said, and letting that inform your response, instead of waiting for your turn to talk can be the difference between gaining an okay relationship and a great relationship. Next time you need a pick me up try simply changing your body language or mindset and watch your attitude change as well as the people around you.


  • Welcome Our Newest Members

  • Creative Group, Inc. Ribbon Cutting

    We were excited to assist Creative Group, Inc. with their official opening this morning over at 200 N Martingale. It was a wonderful atmosphere as over 40 people were in attendance to get the ball rolling. 

    Creative Group is a company that designs programs and experiences which helps people reach their full potential. They like to call it, Thrivability. 

    It all started in 1970 when a small boutique in Wisconsin created one of the first incentive programs for a wholesale food distributor. Sales incentives in the 70's became popular which meant a big change in company growth. The first customer they ran into wanted to build a large warehouse but needed to increase their sales so that they could purchase the space. This is when Creative Group changed the game. They created their initial incentive program which allowed winners an all expense-free trip to a convention in Chicago.

    By changing people's behaviors and understanding their main business needs they were able to turn a simple business idea into an amazing 150+ employee company across 4 locations. They have stayed true to their roots which has been a group of caring people inspiring others to thrive and achieve their greatest potential.



  • March Events

    We have 4 great events this month, and one ribbon cutting! We're kicking March off with a Business After Hours at Roosevelt University this Thursday, March 3. Blue Plate Catering of Chicago will be serving drinks and hearty appetizers all while members have the opportunity to network and meet with representatives from every college including the deans and some faculty. 

    Location: The event will be held in the atrium of the building. Just walk in the front door and all activities will be held right behind the check in desk. Parking is in front and sides of the building. Everyone should enter the door by the torch which is the front entrance of the circle drive. Address is: 1400 N. Roosevelt Road, Schaumburg-directly across from Ikea.

    Tuesday, March 8 is our monthly Good Morning Schaumburg which you definitely don't want to miss. Find out what Jim Mecir, World Series winning “Moneyball” team player, who pitched in the Major Leagues for 10 years despite being born with a club foot, learned about leadership, building teams, overcoming adversity and performing in the most difficult circumstances. Jim joins forces with Ellen Schnur, whose background in business and training helped her discover the amazing real-world business applications of improvisation after studying at Second City and iO. 

    Location: Chandler's 401 N Roselle Rd, Schaumburg

    We also have an event which had been postponed but we're excited to bring it back! The Schaumburg Young Professionals will have a speed networking event where attendees will meet the SBA's future leaders, CEO's, Board of Directors, and entrepreneur's. If you've been speed dating, it's similar but way more productive! You'll meet everyone in the room in a very intentional and strategic way.

    Location: Level 257- 2 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg

    The last event of the month is Coffee & Contacts. David Ratkovich from ETS Intelligence will discuss "Mobile Security". Curious to know how you can protect your smartphones, tablets, laptops and other portable computing devices, and the networks they connect to, from threats and vulnerabilities associated with wireless computing? Then you'll really want to tap into the mind of David Ratkovich.


    Location: New York Life- 20 North Martingale Rd. Suite 400, Schaumburg

    The Ribbon Cutting will take place at Creative Group, Inc. There's nothing better than coming out to support the official opening of a member to make them feel a part of the community!


    Location:  200 N. Martingale 6th floor, Schaumburg

    We hope to see as many of our members at the events as possible. Supporting each other at events as well as networking will benefit each individual which will can only lead to a growth in the community.




  • Maximize Your Membership

    As a member of the SBA you have the opportunity to maximize your membership by utilizing some of the marketing opportunities we have to offer. Below are the list of opportunities and how they work.

    Membership Dues
    Refer 3 new members who join the SBA by the end of 2016 and your dues will be waived for the upcoming year. Membership details here.

    The SBA is now offering Automatic Renewal for membership dues. Complete the form here, and receive 10% off your upcoming membership dues.

    Member Spotlight $90 for the week or 4 weeks for $300

    250 words with an image on the top, premier space of the weekly Member News email sent to over 2,600 individuals. Also, the Member Spotlight on the home page of the SBA website for the same week. Submission in the weekly Member news email is complimentary every 6 weeks. To submit additional news, a $25 will be charged each week.

    EBlast $250

    Send out a special email with only your information to all members from the SBA

    Mailing Labels

    First set complimentary, additional are $150

    New Member Orientation Sponsor $200

    Sponsorship includes logo placement on the event page, invitations and podium time at the event. Sponsors are able to provide handouts and giveaways to each attendee as well. Each orientation averages 50 attendees.

    Schaumburg Young Professionals $500

    Sponsorship includes logo placement on the event page, invitations and podium time at the event. Sponsor can provide information to each attendee. Each quarterly event welcomes 50-75 attendees.

    Manufacturers Summit

    Presenting sponsor: Waitlist available

    Supporting sponsor: $1,000, display table, logo in program and Eblast, 10 tickets Display Table: $500, display table, logo in program, 2 tickets.

    If you would like to utilize one of these marketing opportunities please send an email to [email protected] or give us a call. (847) 413-1010

    Also, take a look at some of the great events coming up through March!
    Follow the link to register.

    March 3       - Business After Hours
    March 7       - Ribbon Cutting-Creative Group, Inc.
    March 8       - Good Morning Schaumburg
    March 9       - Schaumburg Professionals
    March 16     - Commercial Real Estate Summit
    March 24     - Coffee & Contacts


  • Manufacturer's Summit Recap

    This past Thursday's Manufacturer's Summit was fantastic! It was a very productive vent which went in depth on ways we can be proactive and creative with training, recruitment, and marketing. We were fortuante enough to hear from 6 wonderful speakers, all from different companies.

    The speakers:

    • Dr. Ken Ender, President - Harper College
    • David Seckman, Presdient/CEO - Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA)
    • Aaron Wiegel, President - Wiegel Tool Works, Inc.
    • Jim Carr, President - Carr Machine & Tool, Inc.
    • Julie Poulos, Vice President - Red Caffeine Marketing + Technology
    • Elena valentine, CEO/Co Founder - Skill Scout, Inc.

    In case you weren't able to attend, below are the PowerPoint presentation which cover some of the content from the Summit.

    Presentation 2
    Presentation 3

    Mark your calendars for the next Summit, June 16!


  • Roosevelt University Elects New President

    This month's Good Morning Schaumburg was reassuring for the community. Dr. Ali Malekzadeh, newly elected President at Roosevelt University, provided some encouragement when talking about the future of the school. 

    Dr. Malekzadeh was previously the dean of the College of Business Administration at Kansas State University. He brings with him 17 years of experience as he was also dean of business at Xavier as well St. Cloud State University. 

    It wasn't hard to tell that Dr. Malekzadeh is passionate about the success of Roosevelt University. He brought with him many stories that he hopes resonate with the attendees. One story Dr. Malekzadeh brought up was about a class he was teaching called entrepreneurship.

    It was the day of a test, 5 weeks in, and a student motioned for Dr. Malekzadeh to come by him as he had a question. The student says, "what does this word mean", referring to the word "entrepreneurship". Sadly, the class was 5 weeks in and the student didn't know the word which happened to be the name of the class!

    Dr. Malekzadeh brought this up after being asked about the success rate of Schaumburg High School students getting their degree. Even though the number was just above 90%, Dr. Malekzadeh went on to say that, as a country, we need to stop making excuses. Nowadays, it seems that we are more concerned about students passing than actually learning.

    While it may seem minimal, considering we have 90% of students earning their high school degree, that doesn't mean they go on to earn their college degree. There are many concerns that get in the way such as family issues, budget, etc. 

    Understandably, Dr. Malekzadeh's concerns can't be fixed in the span of a year but the important part is that he has a vision. Hearing him talk about his strategies and the growth of Roosevelt University and Schaumburg as a whole is uplifting. It will be exciting to see Dr. Malekzadeh continue his new position as President of Roosevelt University.






  • Savour: A Food & Drink Experience

    This past Thursday over 900 people and 20+ vendors packed the Schaumburg Corporate Center for Savour: A Food & Drink Experience. The event comes once a year and has proven itself as one of the best throughout the year.

    The event began at 5:00 p.m. with most of the crowd coming in a big rush around 5:30. After that it was all good food, good music, and good people! To add to the fun, SBA member The Wow Factor brought a giant lite brite which had people eager to get their photos taken in front of. 

    With the combination of food and drink available from the vendors one can only imagine that everyone left very satisfied after all of the indulging. One attendee said, "I loved it. As a new member of the SBA, I found everyone very friendly and the wine and the food were amazing."

    The night went on and the only thing left to take care of was the raffle. There were definitely some happy raffle winners as they took home anything from gift baskets to Chicago Wolves tickets.  Attendees had been having such a great time that eventually it was time to start maneuvering people out. 

    As it may seem, if you weren't able to attend this year then next year is a must! We only hope to make the event bigger and better by taking into account all the feedback we've received.



  • CDH Celebrating 20 years

    CDH Media Contact
    Julie Baron

    CDH Grows with Investments in People, Services and Markets

    Itasca, IL –CDH, a privately held national accounting and business consulting services firm with international expertise, is celebrating its 20-year anniversary and steadgrowth. With plans for national growth, CDH is strategically adding new talent and investing in key services and markets.

    Today, CDH employs 72 people across three locations -- its headquarters in Itasca and its offices in Chicago and Milwaukee. In the last three months, the firm has added 22 new people to its professional team. Most recent talent was added through CDH’s merger with Heath Corporation where its entire staff, including the CEO Tom Hood, joined CDH. This merger enabled the firm to expand its presence in the Milwaukee market and increase its service offering with the addition of Executive Focus services. CDH clients benefit from Executive Focus services with continuous improvement and operational and financial growth.

    “Our steady growth has enabled us to attract and retain talented professionals,” saidKoh Fujimoto, CDH President and Managing Principal. “We will continue to create opportunities for our people so they may achieve their dreams.”

    As a new provider of Intacct’s flexible cloud based financial accounting software, CDH will consult, implement and support the financial management and accounting system that meets the evolving needs of tech-savvy CFO’s. Developed for a wide variety of industries, Intacct supports applications for core accounting, time and expenses, revenue management, project accounting, order and billing, purchasing, global consolidations, multi-currency management, and financial reporting.

    CDH’s marketing strategy and implementation support services are available to professional service firms looking to be more proactive and increase their bottom line. CDH’s custom training solutions include manager communications, branding, sales, LinkedIn, and teambuilding.

    Offering a full range of strategic solutions fromtax, assurance, accounting and advisory to hands-on business consulting in information technology, human resources, training and marketing, CDH provides services to privately held companies in vertical markets includingprofessional services, manufacturing & distribution, and construction.

    About CDH

    CDH isa national accounting and business consulting services firm leading with significant international expertise. Offering a full range of strategic solutions fromtax, assurance, accounting and advisory to hands-on business consulting in information technology, human resources, training and marketing, CDH delivers exceptional talent and experience to meet the unique and multifaceted needs of foreign businesses with U.S. operations. CDH also provides solutions to individuals and foreign expatriates with international transaction issues.CDH clients includeprivately held companies in vertical markets includingprofessional services, manufacturing & distribution, and construction. CDH is a proud member of Moore Stephens International. Visit


  • Superhuman Memory

    Wednesday's Leadership Luncheon was one to remember, no pun intended! SBA members packed in a conference room which needed extra seating for the 40+ attendees. If you were there you already had the feel that this was one you wouldn't want to miss.

    Freedom Personal Development national speaker, Robb Zbierski, spoke about how the sky is the limit when discovering our memory power. Many of us might think to ourselves that we "just have bad memory," when really the problem lies within our willingness to learn. Basically, it's a matter of training our brains to become better at remembering certain things.

    Much of what Robb talked about had a lot to do with instant recall memory and reading smart, two things many of us can relate to. I'm sure plenty of us can agree that we've met multiple people and instantly forgot their name. Or, we'd like the ability to read quicker and retain that information. Fortunately, Robb was more than happy to give us some helpful tips that would increase both of these.

    Without going into too much detail, when it comes to meeting someone for the first time, we need to slow down and listen. We tend to get worked up because we're always thinking about what we're going to say to that person. This doesn't benefit you or the person you're trying to get to know. Second, repeat their name upon greeting them. It wouldn't hurt to say it a couple more times throughout conversation as it helps to store that name in a mental filing cabinet. 

    Which brings us to the second focus of the day, reading smart. I can vouch for Robb. The simple trick of using a note card and placing it above the line your reading while moving it down at a comfortable pace helps remarkably. We had done an exercise where Robb told us to read at a normal pace until he said stop. Then, he had us do it again but with the note card trick. Everyone increased their word per minute speed, as expected. By using the note card to cover the previous line you read you're focusing your brain on what you have to read next. 

    After completing this task it only made me think of what our brains can really achieve. As Robb said, "memory is trained or untrained." This is when we went on to another task of sporadically calling out things such as purple rain, summer, for, Blackhawks, etc. Robb, the funny guy that he is, told us to remember the list of 15 forward and backward. As expected, no one could do it. A good 15 minutes went by which is when Robb impressed everyone by confidently listing all 15 things forward and backward, 

    Of course, everyone was in awe. The thing is, this is something we are all capable of doing. One of the things that sets us back from expanding our memory is stress. Robb had given us a time table to remember the list which puts stress on our brains. If we can train our brains to manage that stress and keep learning memory techniques we, too, can be the ones impressing others. 



  • Good Morning Schaumburg Recap

    Despite the frigid weather this morning, Good Morning Schaumburg brought in almost 200 attendees! Not to mention, we were fortunate enough to kick off 2016 by having Mayor Al Larson as the special guest speaker.

    Among Mayor Larson were 3 panelists that answered questions about what to expect in 2016. Panelists were Matt Frank (Village of Schaumburg), Lisa Timbo (Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel), and Karyn Robles (Village of Schaumburg). Much of what was asked dealt a lot with roadway and bikeway projects because, as we all know, there's only two seasons in the Chicago land, winter and construction. Ha! Not really, but it sure seems like it.

    So, what did we learn from the panelists?

    Roadway projects

    • The I-90 corridor project aims to work through winter as they prepare for bridge beam installation as well as new pavement.
    • Pavement reconstruction of Woodfield Road from Meacham Road to Martingale Road.
    • Pavement rehabilitation of Salem Drive between Golf Road and Bode Road.

    Bikeway projects

    • Golf Road bike path- a bituminous side path will be constructed along the north side of the road
    • Completing gaps for bike paths along Higgins Road 


    We also heard from Lisa Timbo that the Renaissance Convention Center will undergo renovations. There will be 2 phases to the renovations. The first phase which will take 2-3 months consists of carpet replacement in the meeting rooms and banquet space as well as renovation of the Winter Garden Cafe. Phase two will take longer as it consists of renovating all guest rooms, suites, elevators, corridors and a remodel of the club lounge.

    While many renovations are being taken care of be sure to keep an eye out for other changes, amidst the construction of course. The Zurich office towers may see some new faces after relocation and Motorola Solutions will be subdividing and selling its location by Meacham and Algonquin Roads.


    As Schaumburg gets the ball rolling for 2016 we're excited to see the progress. But as for now, stay warm and be sure to sign up for the awesome events we have coming up!

    Savour: A Food & Drink Experience

    Business After Hours

    Leadership Luncheon

    Manufacturers' Summit

  • Victor Construction Joins BOMA Suburban Chicago

    Contact: Brian Moline - Modus Marketing Group

    Phone: 708-837-3989

    Email: [email protected]


    January 5, 2016 - Schaumburg, IL - Victor Construction is proud to announce that they were recently named as the newest associate member of BOMA Suburban Chicago. BOMA's (Building Owners and Managers Association) mission is "To advance a vibrant commercial real estate industry through advocacy, influence and knowledge".

    "After what seems like a life-time of waiting, Victor Construction is proud to announce that our company has recently joined BOMA Suburban Chicago. We are thrilled to be a part of this great organization," said Zak Schuttler, Vice President.

    About BOMA Suburban Chicago
    BOMA/Suburban Chicago serves real estate professionals working in the commercial real estate industry through effective leadership, advocacy, education, professional development, and the analysis of information affecting the industry today and in the future.

    The Building Owners and Managers Association of Suburban Chicago has served the commercial office industry for over forty years. Founded in December 1970, BOMA/Suburban Chicago actively and responsibly represents and promotes the interests of the industry through effective leadership and advocacy; through the collection, analysis and dissemination of information; and through professional development.

    About Victor Construction
    From its headquarters in Schaumburg, IL, Victor Construction specializes in retail, commercial and industrial building and remodeling. The Victor team collectively has over 100 years of construction experience. Victor Construction is a proud member of the following: International Facilities Management Association, Schaumburg Business Association, Rolling Meadows Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Green Building Council, the Association of Industrial Real Estate Brokers and BOMA Suburban Chicago. For more information, visit

    Victor Construction 1701 E. Woodfield Road, Suite 430 Schaumburg, IL 60173 Phone: (847) 392-6900



  • CDH Merges With Heath Corporation

    Media Contact:

    Julie Baron
    PR for CDH

    CDH Merges with Heath Corporation

    Itasca, IL – CDH, a growing national accounting and business consulting services firm with international expertise, is proud to announce its recent merger with Heath Corporation, effectiveDecember 1, 2015. The Milwaukee based Heath Corporation will continue to serve existing and new clients out of their current location, operating under the CDH name.

    CDH has been serving privately held companies nationwide since 1996. The firm provides traditional services such as tax and audit, as well as many non-traditional consulting services including HR consulting, IT, marketing and training services for manufacturing and distribution, professional services, construction and non-profits. The firm currently has offices in Itasca and Chicago with plans for national expansion.

    Heath will be joining the CDH family providing “Executive Focus” services under the existing v-Focus service line. Known for their financial and operational business insights and continuous improvement expertise, Heath helps businesses identify key performance metrics, engaging all executive departments for increased contribution to improve operational and financial results. Heath serves companies representing a wide variety of industries with an emphasis on manufacturing in the Milwaukee and Chicago metro areas.

    “Heath sought to merge with an accounting and consulting firm to expand the services we offer and better serve our clients,” said Tom Hood, Heath CEO. “Merging with CDH is a good fit for both our clients and our employees.”

    “The culture of both firms is highly compatible, with similar client service delivery models and core values,” said Koh Fujimoto, CDH president and managing principal. “The merger brings together two well established and reputable firms, creating a unique alternative for clients who value building lasting relationships and service.”
    # # #

    About CDH

    CDH is a national accounting and business consulting services firm leading with significant international expertise. Offering a full range of strategic solutions from tax, assurance, accounting and advisory to hands-on business consulting in information technology, human resources, training and marketing, CDH delivers exceptional talent and experience to meet the unique and multifaceted needs of foreign businesses with U.S. operations. CDH also provides solutions to individuals and foreign expatriates with international transaction issues. CDH clients include privately held companies in vertical markets including professional services, manufacturing & distribution, and construction. CDH is a proud member of Moore Stephens International.

  • Bring On 2016

    In the blink of an eye 2015 is behind us. The new year is right around the corner but let us not forget that 2015 has definitely been a year to remember. The Toast of Schaumburg topped off the year by impressing everyone involved with the amazing violinists, colorful lighting, great music, and delicious food. While we sort of knew what to expect, the event ended up blowing the roof off.

    Of course none of this could have been possible without the members of the SBA. The venue was fantastic, which we thank the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel for as well as members who were able to provide all of the great auction items. 

    As the Holidays approach and 2015 comes to a close, we are ecstatic to say that we've reached 600 members! It has been quite the journey getting to this point, and a lot of hard work has gone into making sure our members are making the most out of their membership. It truly makes us happy seeing our members connect with each other and help one another grow.

    With that being said, the new year will officially start on January 4th at the SBA as the office is closed from Christmas day until then. BUT, don't let that stop you from preregistering for any upcoming events! 

    So far we have 6 events in January, 2 of which are ribbon cuttings held at Evolutions Restorative Health and Argosy University. The other 4 are definitely events that should be signed up for earlier than later! We have Good Morning Schaumburg on Jan 12 which Mayor Al Larson will be speaking at, Business After Hours at Stahelin Properties on Jan 19, and Leadership Luncheon which is one you don't want to miss! Robb Zbierski from Freedom personal Development will be guest speaking about discovering our memory power and reading smart. And to close out January is a Coffee & Contacts at New York Life on Jan 28.

    We are all excited for the new year to start and can't wait to hit the ground running! Thank you to everyone for a wonderful year.

    Happy holidays and see you all next year!


  • Best Martini in the 'Burbs Challenge

    This past Monday marked the annual "Best Martini in the 'Burbs Challenge". The event is sponsored by the Daily Herald and cosponsored by the SBA. 

    It was a great turnout with over 130 attendees who all seemed to be enjoying themselves over exceptionally delicious martinis and great music. Although the event was held at a venue not quite as similar to last year's Old Crow Smokehouse, nonetheless it was great choice. Drink Nightclub did a fantastic job hosting the event by having multiple bartenders and hostesses tending to the enthusiastic crowd. 

    Attendees also had the opportunity to enter a raffle for some great prizes. Prizes were a 42" Smart TV, sky box tickets to a Chicago Wolves game, and a gift certificate for Chicago Prime Italian to name a few. 

    And we can't forget about the challenge itself! 12 bartenders from the Schaumburg area were put to the ultimate test. Each bartender was on the clock putting together what they hoped would become the winner of best martini in the 'burbs. Determining the winner were 5 judges, one of which was President of the SBA, Kaili Harding!

    While all of the judges commended the bartenders for their delicious work, we all know there can only be one winner. The winner of the 2015 Best Martini in the 'Burbs Challenge is Moretti's "The Pear Tree" with Chicago Prime Italian earning the fan favorite. 

    All in all, the event turned out as expected. We couldn't have done it without the help of Daily Herald, Drink Nightclub staff, 'burbs bartender contestants, restaurant's staff providing tasty samples, and of course the attendees. Thank you to everyone!

  • Thanksgiving Provided For Local Families

    Contact: Sarah Olesen
    DEA Nation
    [email protected]
    On Behalf of DEA Nation and Local Partners
    SCHAUMBURG, IL - November 24th, 2015 - Over 150 local residents gathering in the dining hall of Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club in Hoffman Estates had something extra to be thankful for this year.

    Thanks to an incredible donation from Smart Sinus and Allergy of Schaumburg and Windsor’s Lift Body Center, DEA Nation was able to partner with the Hoffman Estates Park District and put on a Thanksgiving feast for local families to celebrate the holiday season.

    A full Thanksgiving feast, complete with turkey, gravy and most importantly pie, was prepared by the country club and served to the families by over 30 volunteers. Among the volunteers was Illinois House Representative from the 44th district, Fred Crespo and 56th district Representative Candidate Jillian Bernas.

    The next DEA Nation event will be a Christmas Dinner on Tuesday, December 15th at the Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club in Hoffman Estates. For more information on the event please e-mail us at: [email protected]

    DEA Nation would like to extend a ‘Thank You’ to all of their sponsors and supporters for this event: Smart Sinus and Allergy of Schaumburg, Windsor’s Lift Body Center, Hoffman Estates Park District, Schaumburg Park District, Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club in Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg Business Association, Robb Davidson Photography, Illinois House Representative from the 44th district Fred Crespo, and 56th district Representative Candidate Jillian Bernas.

    DEA Nation is a non-profit organization which primarily specializes in mentorship and financial aid opportunities for youth, grades K-12. Financial aid is based on national standard and distributed to those who apply and qualify. For more information visit our website: or e-mail us to see how you can contribute to your community at [email protected]

  • Manufacturer's Summit

    Despite the crummy weather, the final Manufacturer's Summit of the year turned out great! We decided to go a different route and have the summit at Mazak Corporation. Mazak is a manufacturing company with multiple locations across the globe. 

    The event ended up bringing in just over 100 attendees. Among the attendees were 3 speakers: Mr. Kevin Bates, Regional General Manager of Mazak Corporation, Mr. Dennis Thompson, Director of Workforce Development (DMDII), and Dr. Lars Aldinger, Executive Vice President of Manufacturing at Wittenstein. Throughout the presentation, each speaker touched on different subjects pertaining to what industrial production will look like in the future. 

    Interestingly enough, much of what was talked about during the presentation is eerily similar to the science fiction film, Terminator. As brought up in the presentation, "Skynet" is becoming a reality. So, pack up your things, find a bunker in the middle of nowhere and prepare for robots to take over the world! 

    All kidding aside, with the idea of "Smart Factory" it seems that manufacturing is heading in the right direction. Increased Efficiency will continue to help make a bigger name for manufacturing just in time for the younger generations to hop aboard the manufacturing workforce.

    Manufacturer's Summit Presentation





  • Did you know you have a public XFINITY WiFi Hotspot at your house?

    When Comcast introduced their latest and greatest home modems, about this time last year, they included the XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot.  This is an unsecured free public access point at your house, available to anyone nearby, searching for an XFINITY Hotspot. 

    Read more at Undo Identity Theft

  • Commercial Real Estate Summit

    JLL & SBA Presentation Follow-Up Email

    Recently JLL and the Schaumburg Business Association partnered on a study focusing on how employees/employers view Schaumburg’s commercial office inventory and how the area amenities impact companies’ ability to attract and retain top talent.

    A more detailed review of the study can be found by clicking on the following link (Presentation); however, on a high level, the following was found:

    1. Over the past 10 years, Schaumburg has had a stable and expanding work force with the large amount of area amenities aiding in hiring and retention
    2. Across all age groups, commuting times and transportation options were of high concern to all those surveyed
    3. The aging inventory of buildings and lack of building amenities are issues on the forefront of people’s minds.

    Anyone interested in discussing this survey or issues related to your specific company needs, please feel free to reach out to the JLL team of Mark Kolar or Gregg Raus.

  • Holidays Are Quickly Approaching

    Lauren Fyke
    GPR | Goodman Public Relations
    (954) 446-0809
    [email protected] 


    Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Extra Festive Holiday Hours Offer Shoppers Convenience and Exclusive Opportunities to Save

    SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (November 16, 2015) – The holiday season is already underway at Woodfield Mall, one of the largest shopping destinations in the United States. Shoppers will soon take advantage of 28 hours of non-stop shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, as well as extra festive hours throughout the month of December and more savings with a variety of sales and promotional offers from assorted retailers.

    Shoppers will gobble-up the deals as Woodfield Mall extends its hours for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The mall will open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 26 and will remain open until 10 p.m. on Black Friday, November 27, giving early bird shoppers a head start for this year’s holiday season. Extended hours will continue throughout the holiday shopping season (for a complete list of extra festive holiday hours, please see visit

    According to the National Retail Federation, sales in November and December are expected to increase a solid 3.7 percent to $630.7 billion — significantly higher than the 10-year average of 2.5 percent. The 2014 holiday season rang up a hefty $616.1 billion in U.S. sales, 4 percent more than the previous year.

    “Woodfield Mall is ready to welcome families to benefit from our extended shopping hours and great sales from nationally recognized and locally owned retailers,” said David Gott, general manager at Woodfield Mall. “We are encouraged by the national retail projections and look forward to shoppers taking advantage of our popular selection of stores as they complete their holiday gift list.”

    Woodfield Mall is home to a diverse mix of nearly 300 stores. Recognized retailers include Abercrombie & Fitch, A|X Armani Exchange, Anthropologie, Apple, BOSS Hugo Boss, Build-A-Bear Workshop (new prototype store opening soon), Coach, Columbia Sportswear, Godiva, H&M, Janie and Jack, LEGO Store, Macy’s, Michael Kors, Microsoft, Nordstrom, rue21, Sephora, Tumi and White House/Black Market, as well as the recently opened ivivva athletica, Flight 23 at Footaction, Fly Zone at Kids Foot Locker, Timberland and Zara, as well as the first-in-state locations for Altar’d State and SIX:02. For those looking to take a break from shopping, Woodfield Mall offers dining and entertainment options, such as The Cheesecake Factory, The Improv Comedy Club, Level 257, Rainforest Cafe, Stir Crazy and Texas de Brazil.

    About Woodfield Mall
    Woodfield Mall, one of the largest shopping destinations in the United States, provides Chicago area residents and visitors with a distinctive collection of nearly 300 retail stores. The mega mall showcases five major anchors, including Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Nordstrom, JCPenney and Sears, plus popular stores Michael Kors, COACH, Apple, White House/Black Market, BOSS Hugo Boss, Anthropologie, Tumi, Lacoste, Arhaus, AIX Armani Exchange, lululemon athletica and Columbia Sportswear. Shoppers enjoy a delicious array of dining and entertainment options such as Texas de Brazil, The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang’s and Stir Crazy. Woodfield Mall, at 5 Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois, is located about 25 miles from downtown Chicago and in close proximity to O’Hare International Airport. Regular mall hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. For additional information, please contact Woodfield Mall at (847) 330-1537 or visit Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @WoodfieldMall and on Instagram @WoodfieldMall.

    About Simon
    Simon is a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management and development and a S&P100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE:SPG). Our industry-leading retail properties and investments across North America, Europe and Asia provide shopping experiences for millions of consumers every day and generate billions in annual retail sales. For more information, visit

    # # #

    Celebrate the sights, sounds and sales of the holiday season at Woodfield Mall. Shoppers can enjoy special deals, extended hours and seasonal sales through December 26.

  • DEA Nation's Mission A Success

    Contact: Sarah Olesen
    DEA Nation
    [email protected]

    SCHAUMBURG, IL - October, 31st, 2015 - DEA Nation experienced two firsts this past weekend: Their first ever fundraiser event and the first ever indoor grass volleyball tournament.
    DEA Nation organized an indoor grass 3v3 volleyball tournament with both an adult and junior division on October 31s. The Halloween tournament was held at the Schaumburg Sports Center on their indoor turf fields. Over 80 volleyball players ranging in skill from professional athletes to recreational players played across 12 custom volleyball courts. The tournament was held to raise funds to help support DEA’s mission to scholarship children from financially stressed families into social, academic, and athletic programs.
    “I loved the tournament. I really enjoyed how it did not revolve around the weather. The grip was amazing on the field,” said Kyle Overby of team Funk #49, the winners of the Men’s Open division.
    Women’s Open player, Gina Lang said: “I had a great time and it's for a great cause. The facility is big enough that you really could make this a huge tournament and a big attraction!”
    The direct result of this event will be a Thanksgiving dinner for 180 financially stressed families on November 24th.
    DEA Nation is a non-profit organization which primarily specializes in mentorship and financial aid opportunities for youth, grades K-12. Financial aid is based on national standards and distributed to those who apply and qualify. For more information visit our website: or e-mail us to see how you can contribute to your community at [email protected]
    DEA Nation would like to extend a ‘thank you’ to all of their sponsors and supporters for this event: Schaumburg Business Association, Eastern Illinois University Bachelor of General Studies Program,, Harvest Media, TGM Communities, AmCheck, D1 Volleyball Club, and Sky High Volleyball

  • Post Meridian Meets With SBA President

    SBA member Post Meridian has recently met up with Kaili Harding to put together a video highlighting Kaili's Influential Woman in Business Award. 

     Kaili Harding, President of the Schaumburg Business Association, was announced as one of 18 individuals who will be honored at the 18th Annual Influential Women in Business Awards Recognition Event hosted by the Business Ledger on November 5 at the Danada House in Wheaton, IL. The award is given to women who have excelled in executive level positions, as well as civic and personal arenas. Harding, who has been with the SBA since June of 2012, is grateful to be recognized. “It was such an honor when the announcement was made, I have followed the careers of many of the women who were previous honorees, and to now be included in that circle, if such a humbling, yet exciting experience” said Harding.

    With 2016 quickly approaching Harding is eager to see what the New Year has in store. It doesn’t look like she’ll be letting off the gas pedal anytime soon. Congrats, Kaili!





  • Smart Sinus and Allergy & Windsor's Lift Body Center Officially Open

    Smart Sinus & Allergy

    In the U.S. alone Sinus and Allergy issues plague 31 million Americans nation wide and$1 billion each year is spenton over the counter medications totreat it. Here at Smart Sinus & Allergy clinicwe are one of the veryfewclinics in the Chicagoland area that focus on bothENT issues. For our Sinus patients we offer a minimal invasive procedure in office called balloon sinuplasty that will result in minimal downtime and maximal comfort while providing comparable if not better overall results than primitive sinus surgeries that may end up with significant discomfort, bleeding, and crusting afterwards.

    For our Allergy patients we doevaluation for seasonal allergies including asthma in our Schaumburg clinic via a skin or blood test. Our specialized allergytreatment, "Smart Drops", are a great alternative for people who have been prescribed allergy shots but do no have the time to go to the doctor's office on a regular basis. Smart Drops, also known in medical circles as sub-lingualimmunotherapy, are simply self administered drops taken by mouth in the comforts of your home which are more effective and safer than allergy shots.


    Windsor's Lift Body Center

    Here at Windsor’s Lift Body Center, we offer a wide variety of cosmetic procedures for the face and the body. When you visit us, we will customize a package just for you, to help you achieve your goals.

    Our team is here for you and we are committed to be the most trusted brand in cosmetic services throughout North America and beyond; utilizing our highly skilled physicians, the latest technological innovations, and unparalleled customer service.


  • Salata Ribbon Cutting

    At Salata, guests can create customized salads or wraps from their choice of fresh, healthy ingredients – including a variety of lettuce, vegetables, beans, fruits, cheeses, seeds, nuts, house-made dressings and more. Salads and wraps are assembled and tossed by staff and sold for a set price rather than by weight. Chicken and seafood can be added for a small additional charge. Diners can also purchase freshly prepared soups, fresh-baked breads and desserts.With a commitment to the dietary concerns of its guests, all Salata is certified gluten-free and the staff is trained to handle food allergies or dietary restrictions.

    Ribbon Cutting details

  • Muscle Activation Schaumburg Ribbon Cutting Oct. 22

    Muscle Activation Schaumburg exists to help their clients exercise for life. This group of highly skilled exercise professionals serve the community through leading educational seminars for their colleagues and community members, as well as by providing customized exercise for their clients during one-on-one training sessions.

    Muscle Activation Schaumburg offers a welcoming and intimate environment, creating an exercise experience that is unmatched anywhere else in the Northwest Suburbs. Muscle Activation Schaumburg is also the Chicago-area hub for Muscle Activation Techniques™, a systematic approach to identifying and addressing muscular imbalances and compensations.

    With extensive backgrounds in physics, mechanics, physiology, biochemistry, and anatomy, the exercise professionals at Muscle Activation Schaumburg strive to create custom-fit exercise for their clients that is not only appropriately challenging for them in the short term, but is also safe enough for them to continue to do for the long term. Their ultimate goal is to educate and help their clients be able to exercise for the rest of their life.

    Ribbon cutting details

  • Smart Factory Industry Forum

    Last Friday The German American Chamber of Commerce held a Smart Factory Forum which brought in around 200 attendees. Amongst the 200 attendees were seven industry leading panelists at the Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) as well as three keynote speakers. Attendees were able to receive some insight on solutions regarding adaptation in manufacturing during two separate panel discussions. The first panel discussion was Digitalization: What does this mean for the Manufacturing of Tomorrow? Speakers for the first panel were Dan Hartman from UI Labs, Bob Magnetto from Bosch Software Innovations, Sean Mulherrin from EPLAN Electric P8, and Mark R. Beckmann from Microsoft. Speakers for the second panel included Mohamed Abuali from FORCAM, Wolfgang Rubrecht from Siemens, and Dr. Lars Aldinger from WITTENSTEIN. And keynote speakers were Chairman of the Executive Board of SmartFactoryKL, Prof. Dr. Detlef Zuhlke, Senior Vice President and Division Director of HANNOVER MESSE, Marc Siemering, and Executive Director of DMDII, Dr. Dean Bartles.
    The event wouldn’t have been complete without the help of numerous key partners. To find out more about the key partners or read more about the speakers click here.









  • How Harper College Is Making a Big Name For Themselves

    The White House recently announced Harper College will receive $2.5 million to support Apprenticeships on Demand, a new initiative that aims to integrate technical instruction and on-the-job learning to train workers in high-growth and high-demand fields including insurance, IT and manufacturing. The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a total of $175 million to 46 applicants including Harper through its American Apprenticeship grant competition, the single largest investment to date to expand U.S. apprenticeships. Recipients have pledged to train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices over the next five years. According to the White House, apprenticeships are a proven training strategy for workers to learn the skills that employers need for American businesses to grow and thrive in a competitive global environment. Harper was the only college in Illinois to be selected. In its grant application, Harper pointed out that its new partnership with global insurance provider Zurich is especially innovative. The program, which will foster the next generation of underwriters and claims professionals, will emulate the longtime successful dual education model in Switzerland. Apprentices will be paid employees of Zurich and earn academic credit and industry certifications along the way. The first cohort begins in January. “It's great to see an important program gain the financial support necessary to make it a success," said Brian Little, head of Human Resources at Zurich North America. “We're looking forward to continuing our work with Harper College to inspire young people to take on new challenges and develop core business competencies in the insurance industry.” Maria Coons, Vice President of Workforce and Strategic Alliances at Harper, said more apprenticeships will be established over time. An IT security apprenticeship, for instance, is being developed as part of the grant. The funding will also help fund the college’s new manufacturing apprenticeship program, which launched last month. Harper’s efforts will also benefit from a second recipient of the federal grant competition. The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Education Foundation was awarded $3.9 million to fund the Illinois Advanced Apprenticeship Consortium, which includes the German American Chamber of Commerce Midwest and Harper College. Applications are currently being accepted for the insurance apprenticeship. Learn more at

    Insurance provider ranks Harper’s campus among safest in U.S.
    Harper College ranks among the safest college campuses in the U.S., according to a recently released report by The national online insurance marketplace conducted a study and determined Harper had the 21st safest campus out of more than 400 college campuses surveyed. Analysts considered data in a 2013 FBI report on the violent and property crimes. The report also took into account the walkability scores of each city in which a campus resides. Harper’s ranking benefited from an absence of violent crime and a low incidence of property crime. The study looked at institutions that are in accordance with the Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities receiving federal funding to share information about crime on campus and their efforts to improve campus safety. The full report can be viewed at

    Bestselling Latino authors to visit during Hispanic Heritage Month
    Harper College will welcome bestselling Latino authors Luís Alberto Urreaand Juana Bordas to campus Tuesday, Oct. 6, for a pair of free events celebrating culture and community. Born in Tijuana, Mexico, to a Mexican father and American mother, Urrea has always mined his dual-culture life to explore love, loss and triumph through his writing. A Pulitzer Prize-nominated author and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, Urrea will share his experiences at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center on the College’s main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. His appearance is part of the Indian Trails Public Library’s Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a partnership with Harper and District 214. Urrea wrote “Into the Beautiful North,” the library’s selection for its community read. Another event will feature Bordas, who tours the country discussing what it means to “lead with salsa,” and how Latino leadership is inclusive, people-centered, action-oriented and global. Her lecture, which will focus on how Latino leaders have advanced their communities and how young leaders can continue Hispanic progress, will begin at 7 p.m. at the Building J Theatre. Bordas’ humble beginnings instilled in her a desire to give back and help other Latinos find their place in society. She emigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua on a banana boat and learned leadership from the determination and sacrifice shown by her hardworking parents. Bordas became the first in her family to go to college, after which she joined the Peace Corps and began a career committed to advancing communities of color. She is the author of “The Power of Latino Leadership: Culture, Inclusion, and Contribution” and “Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age.” Admission to both events is free, but tickets are required. Call 847.925.6100 for more information, or visit or
    Caption: Juana Bordas
    Caption: Luís Alberto Urrea

    Harper Observatory
    Experience the wonder of the universe and the excitement of discovery at the Karl G. Henize Observatory on Harper’s main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Not only can you observe objects near and far, but volunteers provide interpretation of what you're seeing. Viewings at the Observatory are every other Saturday night from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 10, Oct. 24, Nov. 7 and Nov. 21. Observatory events are free and open to the community. For more information, visit

    Amie M. Granger
    Community Relations Manager
    Harper College
    1200 West Algonquin Rd
    Palatine, IL 60067-7398
    847.925.6028 (fax)
    [email protected]

  • Schaumburg Dental Studio Ribbon Cutting

    The professionals at Schaumburg Dental Studio are devoted to creating beautiful smiles and confident patients. By providing unparalleled dental care and uncompromising customer service in the Chicagoland area, they bring a smile to their patients’ faces every day and improve their community through their involvement with Dentistry From the Heart, an event that sponsors free dental care for those in need.

    In the SDS office, they passionately believe that an individual’s oral health does not simply mean the state of their teeth and gums. Your smile is the first thing people notice about you, and SDS wants to make sure that you are comfortable and confident with your Hollywood smile. They offer a comprehensive range of dental and orthodontic services, including CEREC digital crowns, veneers, Invisalign, whitening, oral cancer exams, and sleep apnea treatment make sure you look and feel your best. Whether you need substantial treatment at a rate you can afford, or a family dentist who you can trust with the oral health of your loved ones, Schaumburg Dental Studio will have you smiling for years to come.



  • Argosy Goes Above and Beyond

    Media Contact
    Ryan C. Smith
    Media Relations Specialist
    714.620.0914 | [email protected]


    Argosy University, Schaumburg scholarships available for students who are first in family to attend college as well as those who complete their community college education

    SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Sept. 15, 2015 — Argosy University, Schaumburg is pleased to announce two new scholarship offerings designed to assist community college graduates in completing their bachelor’s degrees affordably.

    The First-In-Family Scholarship and the Community College Scholarship were created to offer eligible students the opportunity to reduce the cost of education as they move forward in their education in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

    “We want to help recognize the hard work and achievements for students who are either the first in their family to attend college or for whom an associate degree at a community college is a stepping stone to continued education,” said Leon Kelley, campus director for Argosy University, Schaumburg. “We are pleased to offer these students financial assistance to help them achieve their educational goals.”

    The First-In-Family Scholarship is designed to assist first-generation college students in earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree at Argosy University, Schaumburg. This scholarship is equivalent to a tuition reduction of $185 per credit hour. The Community College Scholarship recognizes an applicant to the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program at Argosy University, Schaumburg who has completed an associate’s degree at a community college in the Chicagoland area. This scholarship is equivalent to a tuition reduction of $185 per credit hour.

    For more detailed information about the eligibility requirements and to request an application please contact an Admissions Representative or the Student Financial Services Department at (847) 969-4900 or via email at [email protected]

    About Argosy University, Schaumburg
    Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: Argosy University, 333 City Boulevard West, Suite 1810, Orange, CA 92868 © 2015 Argosy University. All rights reserved. Our email address is [email protected]

    See for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, federal salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    The First-In-Family Scholarship can be applied to the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program and the Community College Scholarship applies to the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program at Argosy University, Schaumburg.

  • Manufacturers Open House

    Who: Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA), Innovative Components, Inc., American Foundry Society, Sandvik Coromant Company
    What: Manufacturer’s Open House
    When: October 2, 2015
    Where: Schaumburg
    Why: National Manufacturing Day

    As big as manufacturing in Schaumburg has become, there’s no better way to take advantage of National Manufacturing Day than to attend one of the open houses located in Schaumburg. The events will host students, customers, vendors and local businesses in the community. Attendees will have the opportunity to go on facility tours and experience how the company operates.

    Below is a little bit of information about the companies as well as event details.

    Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA) was formed with the philosophy that 8 small manufacturing companies could better themselves through association with each other. Since then, TMA has evolved into Illinois’ Premier Manufacturing Association, with over 1,000 precision manufacturing and supplier members that are bettering the industry through association. TMA is a non-profit association that is committed to recognizing manufacturers as value-added producers of goods and services, and creators of high quality jobs for Illinois citizens.

    Click here for event details

    Innovative Components, Inc. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of plastic knobs, handles, and quick-release hardware. The company has a large selection of standard parts, couples with strong capabilities for custom manufacturing. Main products include clamping knobs and handles, instrument and control knobs, and a wide range of metal and plastic quick release hardware such as spring loaded pins, wire lock pins, detent pins, positive locking pins, lynch pins, plungers, and latches.

    Click here for event details

    American Foundry Society (AFS) is a non-profit association serving members of the metalcasting industry both in the United States and abroad. Through various resources, AFS provides members with advocacy coordination and efforts in Washington, D.C., ongoing technical education through its Institute, as well as the transfer of innovative research and technology to the industry.

    Click here for event details

    Sandvik Coromant Company is the world’s leading manufacturer of Carbide Cutting Tools for today’s industry. Our Schaumburg, IL location provides industrial training on the use of modern cutting tools with both class room training and live CNC metal cutting machine demonstrations. We also provide Research and Development on new products and application processing for productivity improvements on customer components. We are a strong supporter and sponsor of the local GCAMP association and local schools.

    Click here for event details


  • Porte Brown's John Lancaster Earns CCIFP Designation

    Elk Grove Village, IL, September 9, 2015—Porte Brown LLC,, a Chicagoland accounting firm providing accounting, audit, tax, technology and wealth management services, announces John Lancaster, CPA, has recently earned his CCIFP (Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional) designation. According to the Institute of Certified Construction Industry Financial Professionals, the CCIFP designation is “the only construction financial management certification accredited by the American National Standards Institute.”

    Lancaster’s newly earned certification increases Porte Brown’s total number of CCIFP certified professionals to five. Porte Brown’s sizeable contingent of CCIFP professionals places it on an elite level of CPA firms that can provide specialized accounting and financial management services to the construction industry. Currently, there are over 900 CCIFPs in the United States and of that only 28 are located in Illinois.

    According to Russell Wilson, CPA, CCIFP and Partner at the Chicago area accounting firm, “We’re proud of the time and effort John has put into achieving one of the highest levels of certification for accountants in the construction industry. It’s a level of industry‐specific expertise the average accounting firm simply can’t provide.”

    Wilson adds, “With over 150 construction clients at Porte Brown, it’s important our staff has the specialized training necessary to provide the highest standard of accounting services in the construction industry. The CCIFP certification enables us to provide additional guidance in areas such as project management, safety issues, human resources, IT, and legal issues related to the construction industry.”

    About Porte Brown 

    Porte Brown LLC is a full service accounting and consulting firm headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village, Illinois. For more than 65 years, Porte Brown has focused on providing the highest level of service to individuals, businesses and organizations throughout the region. In addition to the traditional accounting services such as tax planning and preparation, audit, business valuations, and retirement plan administration, Porte Brown also provides strategic consulting and leading-edge technology implementation for clients in cloud and non-cloud environments. Wealth management services provided by Porte Brown Wealth Management LLC.*

    *Securities offered through 1st Global Capital Corp., Member FINRA, SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through 1st Global Advisors, Inc. Insurance services offered through 1st Global Insurance Services, Inc.

    Porte Brown serves accounting and consulting clients from offices in Illinois, Indiana, Texas and Oregon. For more information, visit or call 847-956-1040

  • Fulton Market Renovation

    The Schaumburg Business Association is pleased to say that one of our members, Victor Construction, was part of a renovation process at Fulton Market in Chicago. Victor Construction partnered with Convexity Properties to reboot two new commercial spaces in the area.

    Overseeing the renovations, Victor Construction had the pleasure of including all new HVAC systems, plumbing and gas piping installation and all needed upgrades to the electrical systems, as well as repairs to the 100 year old plus structural system.

    The space, located at 857 W. Fulton Market, was originally a ground floor warehouse. It is now leased into two separate restaurant tenant spaces. This will add to the artful living that Fulton Market aims for. Way to be, Victor Construction!

  • 5 Ways to Build a Successful Nonprofit Chamber

    SBA’s very own Kaili Harding wrote a great article published in the Daily Herald Business Ledger’s Guide to Philanthropy about building a successful nonprofit chamber. She broke it down into 5 ways she feels has helped the SBA become the organization it is today. These are her 5 methods which have helped the Schaumburg Business Association reach our level of success.

    Essential to any business, communication is key to strengthening relationships within the organization. Focus first on finding the best way to connect internally which will, in return, create strong external communication amongst members. This way, they’ll feel like they are an integral part of the mission.

    Know your financials. Understanding where your team is financially could be the difference between maintaining your business and losing it which is why business should consider doing a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis refers to determining strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats to the organization. Once a SWOT analysis is done, your organization has a better idea of what areas need more focus.

    Anyone running an organization or business of any type needs to know where every penny is going at any given time. With that being said, if your company has been consistent with its promises, then asking for a payment isn’t the worst thing in the world. This transparency shows a “we’re all in this together mentality.”

    Having a positive environment is important for keeping the morale high within the organization. Since people feed off negativity it’s a must to build a team that works. A team that works is a team that is interdependent with cross training. This means employees have an idea of each other’s duties so that no one feels left alone in their job.

    Finally, the anchor of the process. Gathering fanatical believers. You can’t expect to be successful if you don’t have a team who believes in the mission. The goal is to encourage others to believe, believe deeply enough that you take it upon yourself to get others to believe as you do.

    These 5 ways to build a successful nonprofit chamber are surefire if your organization has the desire to succeed.

    Full article on page 18. Click here.



  • Leadership Luncheon


    Recap: Dr. Write enlightens us on human development.

    Our Leadership Luncheon was held this past Wednesday and turned out fantastic! A big thanks to Toasty Cheese - Mobile Eatery for a delicious lunch and to Divine Signs and Graphics, Inc.for sponsoring this event.

    A sold out room of SBA members had the privilege of hearing Dr. Bob Wright touch on one of the SBA’s main objectives, fostering meaningful relationships.Dr. Wright explained how in order for us to build relationships we must first build our lives. The kicker is that it’s all about surrounding yourself with who you want to become. Anytime we approach a new relationship we have to put forth the extra effort in order to gain anything. As Dr. Wright said, “Anytime we’re not speaking with meaning, we’re throwing away our value.” This refers to being conscious of someone else’s social and emotional intelligence so that we’re more likely to gain something out of the encounter.


  • Our 2015 Scholarship Recipient - Magalene Lightning Johnson

  • BNC Quality AutoBody Recognized As Certified Collision Care Provider by Major Automakers

    BNC Quality Auto Body, an SBA member and local business is now part of the exclusive advanced capable repair network of Certified Collision Care Provider.™ The shops that receive the Certification include only best-in-class collision repair businesses that have passed a rigorous inspection and evaluation process essential to help ensure a proper and safe repair of the new generation of advanced vehicles.


  • Argosy University Offers Community Service Scholarship for Fellow SBA Members

    For complete eligibility requirements, contact Rich Aguilera, Associate Director Finanicial Services at (847) 969-4912 or via email at [email protected]. Alternatively, contact Nicole Farr, Area Director of Student Financial Services at (847) 969-4954 or via email at [email protected].

    Download the scholarship application here



  • Level 257 at Woodfield Mall

    Level 257 is an elegant and unique place to eat, drink and socialize.  257 conjures a level beyond the infamous PAC-MAN ‘kill screen’. It’s unexplored territory.  And it’s the brainchild of the great, playful and audacious minds at Namco USA Inc. While the company is known for arcade games, Level 257 is the anti-arcade. It is all about the next level of socialization. And yes, there are video games – both classic and new – that add to the ambiance.

  • HandsOn Suburban Chicago: Meeting Community Needs


  • Technology and Manufacturing Association

    TMA was formed with the philosophy that 8 small manufacturing companies could better themselves through association with each other. Since then, TMA has evolved into Illinois’ Premier Manufacturing Association, with over 1,000 precision manufacturing and supplier members that are bettering the industry through association.

    TMA is a non-profit association that is committed to recognizing manufacturers as value-added producers of goods and services, and creators of high quality jobs for Illinois citizens.

    They have partnered with the Schaumburg Business Association to assist with developing our quarterly Manufacturing Summits.  To learn more about these upcoming summit's, contact Dave Yurko at [email protected] 


  • Schaumburg Business Association's 2015 Scholarship Application

    The Schaumburg Business Association awards scholarships of $2,500 to high school students graduating in 2015 with goals to pursue a business related degree in college, and to adults looking to further their careers through further education in advanced manufacturing related fields.


     View and download the full application here.  

  • An Overview of Chicago's NW Suburbs in Japanese

    Compliments of Meet Chicago Northwest

  • SBA Honored with Business Excellence Award

    “The SBA is thrilled and honored to be part of the distinguished list of award recipients. It is very exciting to have the recognition for our work, and it is further encouragement to continue to operate to exceed the expectations of our members. I also want to thank Jackie Camacho-Ruiz and the team at JJR Marketing for their nomination.”
    -Kaili Harding, President of the Schaumburg Business Association

    4300 Commerce Court – Lisle, IL 60532 (630-955-3593)

    Press Release February 11, 2014
    2015 AABE Recipients Named

         Twenty-three (23) suburban based companies and business organizations have been selected as honorees of the 25th Annual Awards for Business Excellence (AABEs). The AABEs are presented in recognition of business achievement, growth and community involvement. Honorees this year were selected in 11 categories of competition.

         The award recipients will be recognized at a reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, 2014, at the Medinah Banquets in Addison. The keynote speaker will be Dr. William Carroll, President, Benedictine University.

         The recipient companies and organizations will be profiled in a special publication of the Daily Herald Business Ledger published on April 13, 2015. To view your invitation to attend, click here.

    By category, the 2015 recipients are:

    Small Companies
    American Combustion Service, Inc., Mokena
    American Vending Sales, Elk Grove Village
    JJR Marketing, Naperville
    Red Caffeine Marketing & Technology, Lombard

    Mid-sized Company
    Nuestro Queso, Rosemont

    Large Company
    Raging Waves Waterpark, Yorkville
    SWC Technology Partners, Oak Brook

    Business Association / Economic Development

    Schaumburg Business Association, Schaumburg

    Educational Institution / Entity or Program
    Symbol Training Institute, Addison

    Entertainment / Hospitality
    Jazz Perspectives, Aurora
    Glen Prairie, Glen Ellyn

    Family Business
    Alliance Disaster Kleenup, Wheeling
    Bales Mold Service, Inc. Downers Grove

    Innovation in Business
    Hodgson Consulting & Solutions, Buffalo Grove
    Wheaton Park District, Wheaton

    Belden Universal, Broadview

    Minority Owned Business
    Cruz Investments & Wealth Management, Aurora
    Solutions Cleaning Services, Roselle

    Notable Not-for-Profit Organizations
    Achieving Independence and Mobility Center, Downers Grove
    Freedom Golf Association, Burr Ridge
    HOPE Fair Housing Center, West Chicago
    Kids Matter, Naperville

    Divine Consign, Oak Park

         Focus Capital Advisors, Northern Illinois University MBA Program and B. Gunther & Co.are Presenting Sponsors. Corporate Sponsor is Leaderboard Tournament Systems. .

         Marketing Partners are the Valley Industrial Association (VIA), the Construction Industries Service Corporation (CISCO),the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce (QCAACC) and the Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC).

         Cost to attend the reception is $55 per person or a corporate rate of $250 for 10. Registrations are taken online at

         For additional information call about the awards program call Jim Elsener, Mgr. of Business Development, at 630-955-3593 or contact via e-mail at: [email protected].

         The Daily Herald Business Ledger is the leading provider of business news and information about businesses and the economy in suburban Chicago. The Business Ledger is a sister publication to the Daily Herald and part of the Paddock Publications family.

  • New Chairman's message

    Each year as a new chairman takes the helm we look to build on success and improve areas of need that we have learned from the previous year. In 2014, chairman Scott Stone and president Kaili Harding lead the SBA to one of the most successful years we have ever had. That comes with significant effort from an all volunteer board of directors, outstanding staff, and a membership base that is second to none. We strive to continue that momentum with a concerted effort to make sure our membership has the best and most impactful experiences to develop the right relationships they need to grow and expand their business. 

    View full message here.


  • Mayor Al Larson Presents at Good Morning Schaumburg

    Mayor Al Larson presents at our January Good Morning Schaumburg to a crowd of 200 at Chandler's.  Good Morning Schaumburg is a monthly event charged with strengthening the business community in the region.   

  • Congratulations to SBA's Toast of Schaumburg nominee's and winners (view full list here)

    Congratulations to all nominee's and winners (in bold) of the Toast of Schaumburg and the SBA for 2014

    Business of the Year Award
    Weber Grill
    Porte Brown
    Am Check

    Volunteer of the Year
    Michele Henry
    Jon Heller
    Courtney Turner

    Leadership of the Year
    Zach Youngblood
    Theresa Faidley
    Jeff Miller

    Ambassador of the Year
    Katie Berganske Frank
    Betsy Skibinski
    Rebecca Schoenberg

    Member of the Year
    Jim Idstein
    Heather Lloyd
    Curtis Newborn

    Rookie of the Year Award
    The Time Line Media
    Dunamis Magazine
    Mc Grath Acura Downers Grove

  • R.J. Augustine & Associates: Who We Are


    R.J. Augustine & Associates Ltd. CPAs was developed from the ground up by one man, Richard Augustine, a little over 35 years ago. The RJA story began with tax return parties in friends and families homes. Eventually, it turned into an office with one room and one secretary. RJA now employs 18 professionals, providing services ranging from tax management, accounting, audit, and financial planning. Richard expanded the company based upon one sole purpose: to better serve those in the community. When asked how to describe RJA, Rich didn’t hesitate to emphasize being attached to the hips of each and every client. What separates RJA from most CPA firms is that it feels like home. The smaller employee size leaves room for clients to be more than just a number and a tax return. Being a client of RJA is simply a place people can rely on and be themselves. Everyone has a dream for their business and RJA can make sure that all of your taxes and accounting stay in-line with those dreams. Take a peek into the first R.J. Augustine & Associates firm video!


  • Speaking of Schaumburg Mayor Larson and SBA President, Kaili Harding



  • Toast of Schaumburg Nominations

    We are accepting nominations through the end of August for the following categories: 

    · Brian H. Burke Business of the Year Award

    · Volunteer of the Year Award

    · Leadership of the Year Award

    · Ambassador of the Year Award

    · Member of the Year Award

    · Rookie of the Year Award

    Nominations are accepted for current SBA members. Full details and nomination form can be found here.

  • Ricky B's at Woodfield Mall

    The newest restaurant located in Woodfield Mall is the upscale, yet approachable Ricky B’s.  SBA President Kaili Harding recently had the pleasure to meet and dine with the team at Ricky B’s as they joined the Association.  The owners of Ricky B’s are masters of the culinary and hospitality world, they also own and manage the Chicago Chop House, and Nashville’s acclaimed Stockyard Steak House, as well as several hotels around the country.   

    Ricky B’s is located between the Sears and Macy’s wings at Woodfield Mall, and can be easily access through a private entrance outside the mall.  Their menu is diverse, featuring salads, sandwiches, a variety of easily shared appetizers, and of course burgers.  Kaili had The Green Dream Burger which featured hand sliced avocado, crispy peppercorn bacon, poblano corn relish, arugula pesto mayo, and smoked gouda, with a side of sweet potato fries that were cooked to perfection.  She also tried their Ricky’s Bombinis which are fresh homemade doughnut balls served with a trio of dipping sauces.  Ricky B’s is certainly the type of restaurant your business lunch would benefit from, a sharply appointed dining area featuring enough light to take notes, music that’s turned down enough to talk over, and service that’s astute enough to take orders when you aren’t in the middle of the deal.  All in all, this is exactly the type of “burger joint” Schaumburg’s business professionals have been waiting for.

  • Kaili Harding speaks about the Sports Challenge

  • US-ASEAN Business Council luncheon

    The Village of Schaumburg hosted a delegation from the US-ASEAN Business Council on May 7th to discuss opportunities in Schaumburg and Southeast Asia. Schaumburg was honored that Ambassadors from Brunei, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as well as officials from Indonesia, Vietnam and the East-West Council were able to join Mayor Larson and the Schaumburg Business Association for lunch. The group then visited with Motorola to strengthen business ties. The ASEAN Economic Community includes ten Southeast Asian countries that represent one of the largest economic markets in the world. Almost $100 billion of US goods and services exports go to ASEAN making it the 4th largest trade partner. Illinois exports $4 billion to ASEAN countries.

  • The power of partnerships

    The power of partnerships

  • Chef Vince's Zeal Resturant


    The SBA staff recently visited with Chef Vince at Zeal Restaurant.  

    Chef Vince’s ZEAL (680 Mall Drive) is Schaumburg’s newest family owned restaurant and the latest culinary endeavor from Chef Vincent Pecora. This upscale yet casual space offers eclectic continental cuisine with unique Italian and Latin infused dishes passed down through Chef Vince’s family for generations. 

    Chef Vince has been in the restaurant business since 1983, and he opened his first restaurant, Poppa Clemenza, in the Northwest suburbs in 1990. His new spot Zeal, by definition, best describes how Chef Vince feels about cooking and sharing his passion with others. ZEAL offers a lunch, dinner, carryout, delivery and late night menu of unique tapas/appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers and more. Menu options include vegetarian/vegan, gluten free and a children’s menu.

    ZEAL’s specialty is their carefully crafted pizzas, $12 - $20, including “Build Your Own” Thin Crusts, specialty pizzas like The Bootie Pizza that was served on Air Force One from 1996 – 2000; and Pizza Frittas, invented in Scotland in the 1970s, made popular in Naples, Italy, and happily introduced to Chicagoland by Chef Vince. Pizza Frittas features a “fried and baked” crust bursting with the freshest, prime ingredients.

    The extensive dinner menu features Chef Vince’s Italian favorites including his Homemade Gnocchi, $15; Stuffed Melrose Peppers, $10; and Baked Clams $14. The ZEAL Seafood Tower includes Split King Crab Legs, Jumbo Shrimp; Cherry Stone Clams, Ahi Tuna and Lobster Meat, $65 for half portion, $95 for full portion. Half plate entrée options range from Veal Tortellacci Bolognese, $15; Oversized Stuffed Meatballs over Palenta $12 to Tenderloin Tornados with Potatoes Bravis $16. Family style entrées encourage sharing, such as the ZEAL Jambalaya, $40 or the Tomahawk Steak $60.

    The generally upbeat atmosphere also includes live music on stage three nights a week. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

    ZEAL is the perfect venue for special events and weddings. They offer a private/corporate dining area that fits up to 85 people. They also have property available for private Sunday banquets with room for up to 220 people.

    Enjoy your meals “Al Fresco” on the new outdoor patio.

    Reservations accepted by calling 847-995-0188. For more information visit

    Monday - Thursday: 11:00 a.m. - Midnight
    Friday: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 a.m.
    Saturday: 4:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.

  • Kaili Harding's recent radio interview

    Leslie Harris of Chicago's WCKG AM 1530 speaks with Kaili Harding, SBA President about life for early German immigrants in the area, why golf is more fun for the ladies, and how you can dine like a President in Schaumburg.

    View full details here -

  • Meet one of Schaumburg's oldest manufacturers


    SBA President, Kaili Harding, recently visited with PM Mold, SBA member, and Center for Economic Development investor. PM Mold is one of Schaumburg oldest manufacturers, as they have been in business in Schaumburg since 1974, and is a 2nd generation owned, family run business. PM Mold is a manufacturer of plastic injection tooling. They also make steel molds for plastic injection companies throughout the US, and abroad. The company runs with a core value of treating employees like family, and making sure that their employees keep their own families as a priority.

    The company also is all about innovation, making sure to keep the latest machines and robotics running for maximum efficiency and quality. PM Mold is a leader in their industry, which has won them numerous trade awards over the years, and also won many clients in the aerospace, automotive industries, and many national and foreign defense contracts. They make a diverse line of products, and they specialize in being able to manufacture small quantities of products as efficiently as the largest orders that they receive, while still saving their clients money.

    PM Mold is dedicated to growing in Schaumburg, and is preparing for the future through their membership in the SBA. Just a few years ago PM Mold president Larry Hauck was introduced to Bob Socha, North American President of MTA, a fellow SBA member, through the Center for Economic Development, they realized there was synergy between their two companies, and now PM Mold is a supplier to MTA.

    The SBA would like to recognize PM Mold for their dedication to Schaumburg, the business community, and to keeping business local.

  • Mayor Al Larson's presentation of Schaumburg; past, present and future

    Presented at the Schaumburg Business Association’s January Good Morning Schaumburg

  • Searching for the Next CED Director

    We are currently searching for the next CED director.  Please click here to view the job description.
  • Pinewood Derby

    SBA 2013 Pinewood Derby from The Timeline Media on Vimeo.

  • Linked Local Network Community Radio Show with Marie Lazzara

    Listen to internet radio with LinkedLocalNetwork on BlogTalkRadio

  • Panchero's Mexican Grill Grand Opening

    Pancheros Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. from The Timeline Media on Vimeo.

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