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years

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C O M M E R C E

Volume 20 | Number 5

CONNECTION A PUBLICATION OF THE CHAMPAIGN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Permit No. 29 Champaign, IL

PAID

Presorted Standard US Postage

C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s

t ru s t e d

b u s i n e s s - to - b u s i n e s s

p u b l i c at i o n

for

more

DECEMBER 2013

We’re changing! Look inside on pages 14 and 15 to see what’s new.


Since 1865.

Our Customers

Say it Best!

Banking Solutions at First Mid:

When we were ready to operate a second business, we called Mitch. We had worked

with him and First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust on our first business venture, and knew it was a good partnership.

- Mark & Traci Logue, Owners of Goldy's Bar and Grill on South Mattis in Champaign. Pictured above with Darlene Johnson and Mitch Swim (right) from First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust.

Big enough to provide the services you want.

Small enough to care about you!

O Traditional Banking O Commercial Services - Treasury Management - Commercial & SBA Loans - Accounts Receivable Financing

O Trust & Wealth Management O Retirement Planning O Ag Services O Insurance

Champaign County banking centers: Champaign • 2229 South Neil • 359-9837 Champaign • 913 West Marketview (inside Rural King) • 378-8023 Urbana • 601 South Vine • 367-8451 Mahomet • 502 East Oak • 586-3450 For a complete list of First Mid locations, visit us online.

FIRSTMID.COM

Member FDIC • Equal Opportunity Lender

TOP 200

SUPERIOR

TOP 20 ILLINOIS

BANKS

OOOOO

guaranty

COMMUNIT Y - AMERICAN BANKER

R A T I N G - BAUER FINANCIAL

vSBAv L E N D E R - IL DISTRICT OFFICE

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Insurance services are not deposits or obligations of the bank, are not insured by the FDIC or any governmental agency, and are not guaranteed.

*SBA Top 20 rankings are determined by loan volume only and do not constitute or imply an SBA endorsement.


MEMBER VIEWPOINTS

BIGGEST

What has been the accomplishment for your business in 2013?

That our $5 charity buffets are a HUGE success and we have been able to feed 1000s of people great food and $1000s of dollars have been raised to support local charities. - Kelly Jo Lamb, Owner, Piato We’ve welcomed over 100 new customers already this year (in addition to 700+ current customers). We’ve introduced a new single cup coffee service in partnership with Columbia Street Roastery. We’re rolling out our new Janitorial Plus program, which will allow customers to save money and time by sourcing more product through a single source. - Tonya Horn, President, Rogards Office Plus The month of October marks the 25th Anniversary of Ramshaw Real Estate. Starting as a 40-apartment property management company, the company has grown to a market leader in real estate acquisitions, development, and sales. Please join us this year in celebrating 25 years! - Jessica Wright, Marketing Director, Ramshaw Real Estate Our biggest accomplishment this year was to add two daily contracts to our business. We have partnered with Judah Christian Schools and Circle of Friends Adult Day Care to provide them with lunch on a daily basis and this has allowed us to add two new full time positions. - Colleen Hatton, Owner, Dish Passionate Cuisine FlipSwitch has grown month to month and has formed many strategic partnerships that have allowed us to provide additional products and services to small business owners. We’re thrilled that we have carved out a niche in various parts of the U.S. and have been able to provide small businesses with high quality, affordable marketing solutions. - Dan Peterson/Craig Loschen, Owners, FlipSwitch Serving more customers “The World’s Best Ice Cream” this season than ever before! - Christina West, Manager, Sidney Dairy Barn

From us to you, thank you. We appreciate your continued support of our events and programs. Congratulations on all your success this past year! We wish you the best in the year to come.


303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809 www.champaigncounty.org

FY14 TOP INVESTORS TOP INVESTORS Gold Busey Carle University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign

Bronze A&R Mechanical Contractors Amdocs BankChampaign, N.A. Christie Clinic First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust Kraft Foods, Inc. Presence Covenant Medical Center Supervalu Inc. Champaign Distribution Center University of Illinois Employees Credit Union IN-KIND CONTRIBUTORS President’s Circle Illini Radio Group - MIX 94.5, WIXY 100.3, 92.5 The Chief, WYXY Classic 99.1, True Oldies 97.9, Extra 92.1, HITS 99.7 NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS, Classic Hits 107.9 WKIO Stevie Jay Broadcasting - Q 96.1, COUNTRY 105.9, Sunny 95.3, Connect FM 93.5 & 95.3, ESPN Radio 93.5 WCIA-TV/WCIX 49 Business Circle Fox 27 Illinois/WCCU-TV Shatterglass Studios WICD ABC NewsChannel 15 150 PERCENT CLUB Carmike 13 W.K. Cooper II Asset Management Corporation Hyatt Place

CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO LauraW@champaigncounty.org

Lynette Lykins Director of First Impressions LynetteL@champaigncounty.org

Karly Combest Event & Programs Director KarlyC@champaigncounty.org

Samantha Mathis Marketing & PR Director SamanthaM@champaigncounty.org

Caryn Isenhower Accounts Receivable & Office Administrator Caryni@champaigncounty.org

Ryan Roth Public Policy Director RyanR@champaigncounty.org

Michelle Luna Membership Sales Director MichelleL@champaigncounty.org

Christopher Sheppard Membership Development Director ChristopherS@champaigncounty.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS BOARD OFFICERS Joe Alexander

YG Financial

Mark Ballard

Kurt Lenschow

Mike Billimack

Jim Lyons

Birkey’s Farm Store

Rod Roberts First Vice Chair, Thunderstruck Design

Mike Brown

Dennis Riggs

Beth Auterman

Diane Ruedi

Tabatha Helm

University of Illinois

F.E. Moran Security Solutions

Stephen Flynn

Chris Shroyer

Laura Weis

BankChampaign, N.A.

Carle

Presence Covenant Medical Center

Mike DeLorenzo

Attie’s Bar & Grill

State Farm

FIX-IT, Sidney Dairy Barn

Busey

Perry Greene

Michael Wozniak

Chair, Livingston, Barger, Brandt & Schroeder

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Past Chair, Advanced Filtration Systems, Inc.

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

Stone Creek Golf Club

Cindy Guthrie

All information contained within this publication is property of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and cannot be reproduced without prior expressed or written consent. This publication contains paid advertising; the opinions expressed in those advertisements do not reflect the views of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce. For advertising information, contact the Chamber at 217.359.1791.

FINANCIAL SERVICES Provided by CliftonLarsonAllen


to all of you who “Came on Down” to the 2013 Chamber Annual Meeting With 275 members in attendance, the 2013 Chamber Annual Meeting was quite the success. The event was held on Friday, October 4 from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign. Thank you to our mid-level sponsors: McGladrey, Regency Apartments and Ramshaw Real Estate. The table sponsors and member businesses who donated prizes for the program:

THANK YOU TO OUR TABLE SPONSORS

The 2013 Small Business of the Year Award was presented to The Roofing Dog. To see the press release with remarks from Cory Swanson, visit our website, www. champaigncounty.org. Jim Goss of The Atkins Group was given the 2013 Chamber Champion Award. The Big Game Show provided an interactive and entertaining program for members. Based out of Atlanta, GA, they travel around the country providing game show entertainment to various gatherings.

BankChampaign, N.A. Busey Bank Central Illinois Bank Christie Clinic Commerce Bank The Snyder Companies First Financial Bank First-Mid Illinois Bank & Trust FOX27, CW23 & ABC15 Hilton Garden Inn Martin, Hood, Friese & Associates, LLC Midland States Bank Mortgage Services The Atkins Group Carle

DONATIONS/PRIZES PROVIDED BY:

Michelle’s Bridal and Tuxedo Stone Creek Golf Club Modern Nails Buffalo Wild Wings Rod Sickler’s Salon and Spa JT Walker’s BJ Grand Salon and Spa Noodles & Co. Meatheads Market Place Shopping Center Pekara Fighting Illini Energy TCBY Hickory River Danville Gardens City Girl Yogurt The Salon House Cassel Home Comfort Heating and Cooling

champaigncounty.org/

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Mobile payments made easy! We promise to give you the assistance you need to keep your business successful and nimble. With easy and secure mobile payments, Mobile Accept allows you to review transactions, gain detailed reporting and void or cancel a transaction anywhere you do business.

Busey. Your Dream. Our Promise.

busey.com 217.365.4500

Member FDIC


WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between July 20, 2013 and November 8, 2013 Ambit Energy

524 W. High St. Farmer City, IL 61842 309.825.3970 www.antbrta.energygoldrush.com

American Red Cross Mid-Illinois Chapter 404 Ginger Bend Dr. Champaign, IL 61822-3500 217.351.5861 www.redcross.org

Champaign Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram 1906 Moreland Blvd. Champaign, IL 61822 217.352.4273 www.champaignchryslerdodgejeep.com

At Champaign Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Champaign, IL, they are excited to put their customers in the driver’s seat. Allow them to demonstrate their commitment to exceptional customer service. Browse their new and pre-owned inventories, and don’t forget to view their latest specials and promotions. If you can’t find your dream vehicle, simply complete the online CarFinder form and they will begin the search for you. Champaign Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram’s sales staff is here to answer any questions related to inventory, service, parts, financing and more.

Carl Meyer

cmeyer@parkland.edu Individual Members

Cassel Home Comfort Heating & Cooling 202 N. East St. Mahomet, IL 61853 217.352.2800 www.casselhomecomfort.com

According to both Consumer Reports and The Comfort Institute, the most important part of shopping for a new indoor comfort system is to pick the right contractor. Cassel Home Comfort Heating & Cooling is committed to being the best HVA/C contractor choice in Central Illinois in both value and customer service. Don’t risk getting a new system that won’t keep you comfortable, won’t save you much if anything on your monthly utility bills, or even fail after only a few years.

Disc Replay

2012 N. Prospect Ave. Champaign, IL 61822 217.607.0890 www.discreplay.com At Disc Replay stores, they buy, sell and trade used DVD and blu-ray movies, used electronics, used compact discs, used video games, video game systems, and video game accessories. Everything they sell is guaranteed to play like new. Their stores are stocked with tens of thousands of used media items, and they pride themselves on having a huge selection and great prices. If you’ve got stuff you want to sell, they will buy. No appointment necessary and the process does not take long. Each Disc Replay store is independently owned and operated.

Dr. G’s BrainWorks, The Brain Fitness Store & More

The Salon House held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening on September 16.

114 Lincoln Square Urbana, IL 61801 217.607.2427 www.drgsbrainworks.com

Dr. G’s BrainWorks is a store solely focused on brain

champaigncounty.org/

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fitness, brain stimulation and cognitive development for all ages. The store carries games of strategy, trivia, language, mathematics, memory, plus games to help develop fine and gross motor skills and much more. There is a large selection of products for levels from preschool to adult. Special screening, training and coaching services will also be available in the near future. Founder and CEO is Dr. William Gingold of Urbana. Gingold has a 50-year career as a psychologist and gerontologist. He is an author, researcher, clinician and director of numerous boards and institutes on learning and aging.

Envision Innovation

33 W. Higgins Rd., Ste. 500 South Barrington, IL 60010 224.520.8155 www.envision-innovation.com Their Mission: Building Better Relationships Strengthening Community. Envision Innovation was created to help businesses, churches, schools and families learn effective ways to strengthen relationships for immediate results and a lasting effect. Living in a world of constant tension, they will help bring clarity, expand your vision, and provide tools for success.

Flowers by Kristine

918 W. Washington Champaign, IL 61821 708.508.5601 www.flowersbykristine.com Whether the event is intimate or extravagant, trendy or traditional, elegant or whimsical. Flowers by Kristine will work with customers to customize their event. Their floral design expertise will allow the event to reflect your style and personality as well as fulfill your individual needs. Based out of Champaign County, they also provide their services to Danville, Kankakee, Bloomington, Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

Gire Roofing

712 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.4000 www.gireroofing.com

Hyatt Place

217 N. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.531.2800

F N B Mortgage Solutions 1710 S. Neil St., Ste. 3 Champaign, IL 61820 217.607.1737 www.fishernational.com

Fisher National Bank 102 E. Division Fisher, IL 61843 217.897.1136 www.fishernational.com

Fisher National Bank 1501 E. Oak St. Mahomet, IL 61853 217.586.1136 www.fishernational.com

Bouffant Salon held a ribbon cutting to celebrate their grand opening on September 23, 2013.

Fira Boutique

700 S. Gregory St., Ste. E Urbana, IL 61801 217.390.7524 www.firaboutique.com Fira specializes in fashion forward, yet affordable clothing and accessories to fit every unique lady’s style. At Fira, their goal is to create a personalized shopping experience in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. Fira hand selects each piece to set itself apart in providing the best selection and quality.

On October 9, 2013, Champion Ice held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of their new location.


Regency Apartments held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of their new location on October 16, 2013.

On October 24, 2013, Fira Boutique held a ribbon cutting to celebrate their grand opening.

Illini Home Buyers

801 S. Poplar St. Urbana, IL 61802 217.954.0253 www.illinihomebuyers.com

Inman & Fitzgibbons

201 W. Springfield Ave., Ste. 1002 Champaign, IL 61820 217.689.2411 www.inmanfitzgibbons.com

Keller Williams celebrated the grand opening of their new location on Monday, September 23, 2013 with a ribbon cutting.

Illinois Army National Guard 109 E. Park St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.299.6381 www.nationalguard.com

On October 30, 2013, Bud’s Tree Care held a ribbon cutting to celebrate their grand opening.

The law firm of Inman & Fitzgibbons, Ltd., in Chicago and Champaign, Illinois, has been providing legal services in the areas of Workers’ Compensation and General Liability Defense since its formation in 1990. Inman & Fitzgibbons has the goal of delivering the highest quality services in a timely and cost-effective manner. Client service is the firm’s first priority.

Miller Construction 1207 Fieldstone Dr. Savoy, IL 61874 217.552.7677

On October 30, 2013, Carmike 13 held a ribbon cutting to celebrate their grand opening.


Out of the BOX Consulting

2530 N. 1450 E. Rd. Piper City, IL 60959 217.781.1587 www.johnmaxwellgroup.com/lesleyking

Papa D’s

401 E. Green St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.344.4600 adonato384@gmail.com

Pawn King

1004 W. University Ave. Urbana, IL 61801 217.384.6000 www.pawnkingshop.com Pawn King specializes in small term loans to get you from paycheck to paycheck, paying top dollar for merchandise. Pawn King accepts electronics, firearms, gold & silver, tools and many more items as collateral in their MO, IL and IA pawn shops. They realize that in an emergency, you need cash now. At Pawn King, their friendly staff will research your item to ensure maximum cash in your pocket. Pawn King pays cash on the spot. No vouchers, no checks, no gift cards. At Pawn King the customer is king.

Shaw’s Premier Painting

1003 S. Barker Rd. Champaign, IL 61822 217.722.1085 www.shawspremierpainting.com

Sitara Indian Restaurant and Lounge 114 S. Race St. Urbana, IL 61801 217.344.6440 sitaraindian@yahoo.com

Steigmann Law

1807 Woodfield Dr. Savoy, IL 61874 217.351.5818 www.steigmannlaw.com

Stephens Underground Solutions

302 E. Anthony Dr. Urbana, IL 61802 217.202.3385 www.stephensundergroundsolutions.com Stephens Underground Solutions has a vision for the future and for their customers. The new technology of pipe bursting helps reach this vision by utilizing a less invasive method, which means less mess on the job site and less cost to their customers. Customer service is a priority as well. They strive to serve

their customers to the best of their ability to insure quality work and customer satisfaction. Stephens Underground Solutions aims to make a difference in the business world with great service.

Twice the Ice

1104 N. Prospect Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.343.7248 The ice house is a 24-hour, convenient, on-demand ice destination, which sells fresh ice at a great price. It provides 16 lbs. bagged or 20 lbs. bulk ice for $2.00. Bulk purchases of ice require no plastic bags that so often end up adding to our landfills. Filtered water can be purchased in quantities of 1 gallon (.25), 3 gallons (.65) or 5 gallons ($1.00). Their filtered water allows customers to reuse water containers, cutting back on plastic containers that are thrown away. Twice The Ice is located on the corner of Prospect & Bradley in the parking lot of Premier Sound & Design.

United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln 1776 E. Washington St. Urbana, IL 61802 217.819.3439 ucpll@ucpll.org www.ucpll.org Social Service Organizations


NRF Forecasts Marginal Sales Gains This Holiday Season P r es s Re l e a se d i st r i bu t e d by t he Na t i onal Ret ai l Feder a t i on B et h a ny A r o n h a l t a n d Ka t hy Gr anni s | www. nrf. com

NRF Forecasts Marginal Sales Gains This Holiday Season NRF expects sales in the months of November and December to marginally increase 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion, over 2012’s actual 3.5 percent holiday season sales growth. The forecast is higher than the 10-year average holiday sales growth of 3.3 percent. “Our forecast is a realistic look at where we are right now in this economy – balancing continued uncertainty in Washington and an economy that has been teetering on incremental growth for years,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Overall, retailers are optimistic for the 2013 holiday season, hoping political debates over government spending and the debt ceiling do not erase any economic progress we’ve already made.” On the recent government shutdown and NRF’s holiday outlook, “Our forecast is also somewhat hinging on Congress and the Administration’s actions over the next 45 days; without action, we face the potential of losing the faith Americans have in their leaders, and the pursuant decrease in consumer confidence.” Economic variables including positive growth in

the U.S. housing marketing and the increased consumer appetite to buy larger-ticket items give retailers reason to be cautiously optimistic for solid holiday season gains. However, much remains up in the air, including fiscal concerns around the debt ceiling and government funding, income growth and even policies and actions surrounding foreign affairs, all of which could impact holiday sales. According to NRF, the holiday season can account for anywhere from 20-40 percent of a retailer’s annual sales, and accounts for approximately 20 percent of total industry annual sales. “The economy continues to expand, albeit at an unspectacular pace,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “In order for consumers to turn out this holiday season, we need to see steady improvements in income and job growth, as well as an agreement from Washington that puts the economic recovery first. Our forecast leaves room for improvement, while at the same time provides a very realistic look at the state of the American consumer and their confidence in our economy.” NRF’s holiday sales forecast is based on an economic model using several indicators including consumer confidence, consumer credit, disposable personal income, and previous monthly retail sales releases. It includes the nonchampaigncounty.org/

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store category (direct-to-consumer, kiosks and online sales.) For historic sales information visit NRF’s Holiday Headquarters and the Retail Insight Center.

Shop.org Forecasts Online Sales to Grow Between 13-15% This Holiday Season Shop.org today released its 2013 online holiday sales forecast, expecting sales in November and December to grow between 13-15 percent over last holiday season to as much as $82 billion.** Shop.org calculates sales based on government data including consumer confidence, consumer credit, disposable personal income, and previous monthly retail sales releases. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that final Q4 2012 (October – December) e-commerce sales increased 15.5 percent. “Online and mobile continue to be a leading area of growth for retailers. In this economy savvy, cost-conscious consumers go to the web to do their research and get the best bang for their buck,” continued Shay. “In addition to researching what their peers are saying online about products and gifts this holiday season, consumers will use the buy online pick-up in store option, retailers’ apps and mobile websites to find something special for their loved ones.”

NRF Forecasts Seasonal Employment to Grow Between 720,000 and 780,000 According to NRF, retailers are expected to hire between 720,000 and 780,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, in line with the actual 720,500 they hired in 2012, which was a 13 percent yearover-year increase from 2011. “Retailers will add hundreds of thousands of valuable jobs to the economy this holiday season, including extra staff for their distribution centers, store managers, e-commerce and mobile positions and helpful staff associates,” said Shay. “Teenagers, college students and adults love working in retail during the holidays, especially with the perks of employee discounts and being the first to see what’s added to store shelves. Additionally, as we’ve heard from several companies, these holiday positions offer thousands of people the opportunity to turn seasonal employment into a long-term dynamic and thriving career opportunity.”

BY THE NUMBERS 3.9%

Percentage NRF expects holiday retail sales to increase in 2013.

$738

Amount the average holiday shopper will Spend on gifts and seasonal items.

720,000+ 13-15%

Number of seasonal workers retailers are expected to hire this year. Percentage Shop.org expects online holiday sales to grow in 2013.

* NRF defines “holiday sales” as retail industry sales in the months of November and December. Retail industry sales include most traditional retail categories including non-store, auto parts and accessories stores, discounters, department stores, grocery stores, and specialty stores, and exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations, and restaurants. ** Shop.org measures electronic sales as a component of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s “non-store” category, which includes sales from kiosks, direct to consumer and mobile. As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf. com.

From commercial properties to residential projects, F.E. Moran, Inc. Fire Protection has the experience and expertise to perform on time and under budget.

24-Hour Emergency Service Installation, Inspection and Repair Offices in Champaign, Carterville and Griffith, IN also DBA Prevention Fire Protection in Morton, IL 3001 Research Road Suite A • Champaign, IL 61822 Phone (217) 356-0700 • Fax (217) 356-0777

www.femoranfp.com


Tis’ the Season for Holiday Scams

BBB Press Release | November 25, 2013

chases and lose track of your wallet. Know where your credit and debit cards are at all times and cover the keypad when entering your pin number while purchasing items or getting money from the ATM. Keep gifts hidden in your trunk if you must drop them off during your shopping.

The holidays are a happy time for food, family, and friendship, but they are also a time for fraud. Consumers can fall into any number of traps over the holidays and become victim to identity thieves, hackers and deceptive merchants online. Better Business Bureau advises holiday shoppers and donors to be on the lookout for five common scams this season:

BOGUS CHARITABLE PLEAS

SCAM SHOPPING SITES ONLINE

• BBB Advice: You’re encouraged to research a charity with the BBB Wise Giving Alliance before you give to see if the charity meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.

We’re all looking for a great deal online, but some sites offer electronics or luxury goods at prices that are too good to be true. Every holiday season BBB hears from holiday shoppers who paid for a supposedly great deal online, but received nothing in return. • BBB advice: When shopping on sites that aren’t household names, check the business out with the BBB before you buy. FINDING THE SEASON’S HOTTEST TOYS AND GADGETS ONLINE Every year, holiday shoppers fight over the “must have” toy or gadget of the season. When the item is sold out in stores, you can often find it online through sites like Craigslist or eBay-for a much steeper price. The problem is that some sellers will take your money and run. • BBB Advice: If you are going to shop on sites like Craigslist, shop local and make sure you conduct the transaction in person-never wire money as payment. Make sure that if you are going to meet someone to finalize a purchase, you meet in a public place where you won’t be putting yourself in danger. • When purchasing items on auctions like eBay, be sure to research the seller extensively by reviewing their eBay rating and feedback provided by previous shoppers. Beware of anyone that tries to lure you off of an eBay auction page to transact a purchase one-on-one, and always listen to your doubts if the deal doesn’t sound legit. You should never be asked to wire money or pay through a Green Dot Money Pak. IDENTITY THEFT AT THE MALL While you’re struggling at the mall with bags of presents, identity thieves see an opportunity to steal your wallet and debit or credit card numbers. • BBB Advice: Don’t let yourself get bogged down in pur-

The holidays are a time of giving which creates a great opportunity for scammers to solicit donations to line their own pockets. Also beware of solicitations from charities that don’t necessarily deliver on their promises or are ill-equipped to carry through on their plans.

PHISHING EMAILS Phishing emails are a common way for hackers to get at your personal information or break into your computer. Common phishing e-mails around the holidays include e-cards and messages pretending to be from companies like UPS or FedEx with links to package tracking information. • BBB Advice: Don’t click on any links or open any attachments to e-mails until you have confirmed that they are not malicious. Emails that show they are from a friend or family member without naming a specific person that you know usually indicate you’re being targeted with a phishing scam. • Also be on the watch for email addresses that don’t match up, typos and grammatical mistakes, which are common red flags of a malicious phishing email. Also beware of unsolicited emails from companies with which you have no association. Make sure you have current antivirus software and that all security patches have been installed on the computer. For more advice on being a savvy consumer this holiday season, you can visit BBB online at www.bbb.org/us/consumer-tips-holiday/ ABOUT BBB: For 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2012, consumers turned to BBB more than 100 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at www.bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 114 local, independent BBBs across the United States and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.


WHAT HAS CHANGED... THE CHAMBER BRAND: The previous Champaign County Chamber of Commerce logo was reaching its fifteenth year anniversary. The current business community in Champaign County is drastically different than what is was in the early 2000s. The Chamber is actively working to create an environment that is welcoming to and encourages business, and ultimately facilitates the growth of member businesses. As the premier business association in the area, the brand generated by our organization should appeal to the modern business environment. We believe the new brand does just that. So you might be wondering the meaning of this new look.... The Colors: These vibrant colors demonstrate our energy and passion to provide members with the resources they need most. The fresh visual aspects of this new brand reflects the vibrancy of the area business community.

The C: The solid swoosh that creates two C’s within the same stroke is meant to convey the solidarity of the chamber and its members. Together, we are stronger. The two C’s also represent the population the chamber serves, Champaign County.

The Font: The updated font communicates a stronger presence for the organization. The bold style exhibits our willingness to make statements in the Champaign County business community and provide our members with the voice they rightfully deserve.

E C I O V e h t e r a WE . S S E N I S for BU


AND WHY IT CHANGED. THE WEBSITE: An online presence is a must. On average, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce website gets more than 170 visits each day. And more than 70 percent of the website visitors are new. With numbers like that, Chamber members and community members deserve a fully functional, easy to navigate website. We are excited to say champaigncounty. org is both. Our newly designed, built from scratch website now offers exciting features like online bill pay and member spotlights, as well as interactive content including social media integration and webinars.

GO SEE FOR YOURSELF! www.champaigncounty.org champaigncounty.org/

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MEMBERSHIP NEWS First Mid-Illinois Bancshares, Inc. (First Mid) announced that its Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, William S. Rowland, will retire from his position effective December 31, 2013. First Mid also announced that Joseph R. Dively will become the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer upon Rowland’s retirement. Rowland’s decision to retire will bring to a close a remarkable career of nearly 25 years of continuous service to First Mid and its stockholders. During that time, Rowland oversaw a remarkable period of growth and expansion for the Central Illinois-based company. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ MidAmerica Chapter has awarded Shatterglass Studios of Champaign-Urbana for an Emmy award in the Interstitial category for their retrospective documentary of the 14th Annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival. The winning production is a 10-minute film documenting the beloved festival, which took place April 25 to April 29, 2012, and focuses on the experience of attendees, both newcomers and devoted fans, many of whom have attended every year. The film also examines the unique experience of the festival through the eyes of special guests. The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) recently announced that Presence Covenant Medical Center has been accredited for an additional three years for its Rehabilitation Services program. The accreditation also includes two specialty areas of rehabilitation: amputation and stroke.“By pursuing and achieving a three-year re-accreditation, we have demonstrated that we meet international standards for quality,” said Molly Nicholson, Chief Nurse Executive for Presence Covenant Medical Center. “This reaccreditation is really confirmation of the dedication our staff shows to our patients each and every day.” The Parkland College Foundation named Linda Myette as its new executive director, the foundation’s board announced. She took her place at the organization’s helm on September 3. More than 17 years of healthcare and higher education fundraising and 20 years as an educator and administrator in higher education support Myette’s new role as the leader of Parkland’s philanthropic team and a member of the college’s executive team. She will direct the Alumni and Fundraising programs, designed to connect alumni and the community to the college and secure current and planned gifts that support Parkland’s programs, projects, and scholarships. Heartland Bank and Trust Company proudly announces the promotion of Reid Walder to Commercial Loan Officer for the Champaign-Urbana area. He will concentrate on developing new business account relationships and servicing commercial and agricultural loans and deposits in the local market. Hickory Point Bank is pleased to welcome Sherry Hingtgen to our Hickory Point Bank team in Champaign,

GREAT THINGS will happen here.

Anchored by the Carle Heart and Vascular Institute, the new Carle Tower features 136 private patient rooms and a comfortable healing environment. Just one more way we’re helping you BE GREAT. For more information visit carle.org

announced Dan Marker, Vice President and Sales Manager last month. “One of the top mortgage lenders in the area, Sherry brings her dedication, integrity and a wealth of experience to our customers. I am delighted to have her join us on the Hickory Point Bank team,” commented Marker. McGladrey LLP, the leading U.S. provider of assurance, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market, has promoted Christine Wiegel to the role of assurance senior associate. She is based in the firm’s Champaign office. Fighting Illini Energy, The Official Electricity Partner of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, is excited to announce our newest hire: Ginny McDade. Fighting Illini Energy has already saved Chamber members over $1 million on their electricity costs. When you sign your business up with Fighting Illini Energy, your account generates a monthly donation to University of Illinois Athletics and to the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce. If you are interested in learning more about how Ginny and Fighting Illini Energy can save your business money, contact her at 217.417.6461 or ginnym@konaenergy.com. Do you have news to share with the Champaign County business community? Tell us about it and get featured in the Chamber’s next Commerce Connection. Send an email with your news to Samantha Mathis, SamanthaM@ champaigncounty.org.


PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE 2013 has been an active year for public policy at the Chamber. Chamber staff and volunteers were busy advocating at all levels of government and providing the most upto-date information available to members. The Chamber hosted Mr. Jonathan Ingram from the Illinois Policy Institute and Amanda Kozar from Governor Quinn’s Office to discuss the Affordable Care Act. In the Spring, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce along with the Central Illinois Regional Chamber Legislative Efforts (CIRCLE) formed an ad hoc group throughout Central Illinois to oppose a minimum wage increase proposed by Senator Kimberly Lightford. The legislation failed to get out of committee, but is still an issue we are monitoring. In May, Chamber members traveled to Washington D.C. as part of Champaign County First’s annual trip to discuss the importance of Willard Airport on our economy; increased passenger rail service along the I-57 corridor; federal funds to extend and develop North Lincoln Avenue; and public-private partnership for high speed rail. The day after returning from D.C., staff and members traveled to Springfield for the CIRCLE lobby day to discuss reforming worker’s compensation laws, opposition to a minimum wage hike, solving the pension problem, and paying off the backlog of past-due bills. In spite of Chamber efforts, late May and early June resulted in a sales tax increase by the City of Champaign. The City of Urbana followed suit introducing an increase in late August, but due to the efforts of the Chamber and members, a final vote was delayed until late September. Urbana also introduced legislation increasing registration fees on residential rental properties that was later approved in late October. The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is the only business organization in Champaign County that advocates for a better business climate. If you would like more information about these issues or being involved in the Chamber’s political advocacy, contact Public Policy Director Ryan Roth at ryanr@champaigncounty.org.

champaigncounty.org/

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s s e n i s u B In Your We care about you -- our members. To learn more about you; how we can help; and to better promote our members to other members, the Chamber ambassadors and staff have been touring your businesses. The tours have been both interesting and informative, and we are looking forward to more in the future.

Orange & Blue Distributing Company, which can trace its local origins to 1898 (with a bit of a break for Prohibition), was recently purchased by Effingham-based Koerner Distributor, Inc. During the recent In Your Business tour of Orange & Blue, it was discovered that they served a five-county area. But their parent company now serves 52 counties in Central and Southern Illinois. All employees have been retained with the change of ownership, and they have plans to hire a few more employees to increase growth. They have a fleet of nine delivery trucks, which helps them in their 1.1 million case equivalents sold annually (that is the same as almost 160,000 kegs a year).

Having opened for business in 1865 (1907 in their current location), Jos. Kuhn & Co. has been a staple of Champaign longer than the University of Illinois has (1867). They take pride in their service, noting that every customer is measured to provide them with the best fitting clothes available. They have an extensive array of clothing available in-store, and they can also special order just about anything a man would need. Whenever possible they try to bring in items that are made in the USA, but regardless of where it is made, they strive to only offer the best quality clothing. Santa Claus will be in the store this holiday season, available for family photographs. champaigncounty.org/

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Business at Flooring Surfaces, Inc. started in 1988 (with the current owners taking possession in 1994) mainly as an importer of ceramic tiles from Europe. As the wholesale business grew, they built a 12,000 sq. ft. location that acted mainly as a warehouse with a small showroom. In 2004, they expanded their current location, doubling its size and opening their much larger showroom to the public. They offer tile, laminates, hardwood, carpeting, and about any other surface you can put on a floor. As an importer, they have relationships with many factories, enabling them to be able to offer their own brands of tile and luxury vinyl planks, custom work and fast turnaround. They have developed solid relationships with local businesses over the years, such that when these businesses have expanded outside of Champaign County, they continue to use Flooring Surfaces as their flooring resource.

Frasca International, Inc. has been building flight simulators in Urbana since 1958. From an operation out of Rudy Frasca’s garage, to providing simulators to organizations in over 70 countries, they are still very much a family business, with three generations all working together. Over 200 people are employed by Frasca International, many of them engineers and software designers that attended University of Illinois or Parkland College. They are the largest provider of flight simulators to flight schools and universities in the United States, and over half of their business is done internationally.

Silver Mine Subs franchisee John Wilder, who started with the company as a delivery driver in 1996, shared the history of the company (started by two U of I grads) and showed how their operation works. With a Campus location, they are working to make the rest of the area familiar with their freshly made sandwiches. With a delivery area that encompasses much of Champaign, Urbana and Savoy, next semester they will be increasing their existing hours (7:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.) to around-the-clock delivery. Besides their subs (with bread baked fresh every four hours), they offer wraps, salads and breakfast burritos that John says “are honestly the best around.” Silver Mine Subs also caters for conferences and meetings.


The new Hyatt Place Champaign/Urbana location is still currently under construction. However, Chamber staff and ambassadors had the opportunity to take a hard hat tour to see the progress. Hyatt Place was designed with today’s multitasking travelers in mind, providing free Wi-Fi everywhere, swiveling 42” flat screen HDTVs, and free morning Kitchen Skillet served to guests featuring hot breakfast items, fresh fruit and more. There will be practical amenities, stylish design, forward-thinking technology and purposeful service. You can visit their website at champaign.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

Sun Singer Wine & Spirits is family-owned and operated and serves Champaign and Central Illinois. It was founded in May 1999, as a wine store and gourmet shop in Monticello, IL where it operated for five years. Its current Champaign location opened in November 2003. Sun Singer combines the concepts of wine bar café, gourmet deli and retail. Chamber staff and ambassadors toured Sun Singer and had the opportunity to learn about the history of the business. One of the many interesting things learned while on the tour was how hard the Sun Singer staff works to provided products to their customers that come from other local businesses. For more information about Sun Singer, visit www.sunsingerwines.com.

Since opening in the basement of the Robeson building in downtown Champaign ten years ago, Bob Devlin and his staff at Omni Prosthetics & Orthotics have relied on superior customer service to grow their business to what it is today. What was originally just a staff of two (Bob and his wife, Jocelin) in a small office, has now grown to a staff of 11 in a beautiful 6,000 sq. ft. location at the corner of Vine and Illinois in Urbana. They use only the finest materials, all manufactured in the U.S., U.K., Iceland or Germany, and with their in-house lab, they are able to custom-fit each item to insure the greatest comfort and mobility for their patients. Bob says they take the time to get to know each and every one of their patients, and it is this patient-driven focus that often sets them apart in their industry. Omni (which is Latin for “all”) is growing, as they have a new location in Mattoon to bring their services closer to many of their clients. The Urbana location can be reached at 344-6664, or visit their website, www.omniprosthetics.com, for additional information.


THANK YOU! Business Emergency Relief Grant Program Brought to you by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois With the help of the Champaign County business community, the Chamber’s Business Emergency Relief Grant Program has raised $16,537. The program was established last month to help businesses impacted by the storm get back on their feet after the tragic tornado tore through Champaign County. If your business was affected by tornado, there is help and the application process is stress-free for those that need the grant funds. To be eligible to receive the funds, simply fill out a one page application, which is available here. Affected businesses will be able to use the funds for building materials; labor costs associated with rebuilding; direct costs related to operation of their business; replacing inventory; payroll; paying bills; new equipment such as computers, printers, office supplies, etc.; and, any other approved uses on a case-by-case basis. *Application review has begun and monies will be allocated as available. Thank you to the following members and individuals that generously donated to these efforts. Together we are capable of so much and the outcome of this Emergency Relief Grant Program demonstrates that. Altamont Company Anonymous (3) The Atkins Group Attorney’s Title Guaranty Fund Awards Ltd. BankChampaign, N.A. Elizabeth Barstead Virginia M. Bradford Busey Bank CDC Paper & Janitor Supply Clark Dietz, Inc. Randy Dahl Dixon Graphics

John & Lois Elder ESS Clean Fertilizer Dealer Supply Mary Fisher-Lee Flooring Surfaces Avijit Ghosh & Sara McLafferty Richard Grabher Randall & Theresa Green Paul Hausladen Health Services Consultants Lesley King John Knoblett Lynette Lykins

Matzner Clinic of Chiropractic Timothy Montague Edward & Carolyn Ogen Rogards John & Belinda Shackleford Sidney Dairy Barn Lott & SuAnn Thomas M. Thomson Thunderstruck Design United Fuel Co. Laura & John Weis Richard West Gretchen Wieshuber

Donations are still being accepted if you are interested. For more information about how to help, visit www.champaigncounty.org. The Chamber is here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions. We can be reached at 217.359.1791 or by email at LauraW@champaigncounty.org. champaigncounty.org/

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Chamber Store Mailing Labels

An exclusive benefit of Chamber membership, we sell mailing labels containing the names and addresses of Chamber member businesses for the purpose of member-to-member communication. Two lists are available for purchase: Long list (approx. 2,500 names and businesses).................................. $175 Short list (approx. 1,000 names and businesses)..................................$125

Commerce Connection Advertisement The Commerce Connection is a bi-monthly publication that gets sent out to more than 3,000 businesses and businesspeople in Champaign County. Content always relevant to local business, the publication is fullcolor, full-gloss and all around awesome. Ads start at only $90. Contact Samantha Mathis for more information, SamanthaM@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

Website Sponsorship

Contact Caryn Isenhower to place your order, Caryni@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

E-Connection

Recently redesigned, our electronic newsletter gets sent out to more than 4,000 businesses and businesspeople in Champaign County each week. Sponsor an e-Connection and get your business seen by THOUSANDS. Header sponsorship (one week)............................................................$100 Header sponsorship (four consecutive weeks).................................$360 Contact Samantha Mathis for more information, SamanthaM@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

Email footer sponsorship

For only $75, your business can place a banner on every email that gets sent out of the Chamber office. That’s an average of over 12,000 emails per week. You can’t get better (or cheaper) exposure! Email footer (one week).................................................................................$75 Add email footer to the Chamber’s e-Connection..........Additional $50 Contact Samantha Mathis for more information, SamanthaM@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

New! Email Blast Advertisement

Do you have a new product, service or information you would like to share with our entire Chamber membership list? We are now offering an exclusive offer to send broadcast emails to our entire 4,200+ email list. Contact Samantha Mathis for more information, SamanthaM@ champaigncounty.org. Email Blast Advertisement .....................................................................$500

The Chamber redesign of our website is complete. There are multiple opportunities for businesses to sponsor pages, host banners and showcase themselves on the Chamber site. If you would like more information, please contact Samantha Mathis at SamanthaM@ champaigncounty.org.

Online Business Directory Enhancements

Enhance your listing on the Chamber’s online business directory. The directory gets hundreds of THOUSANDS of hits each day--turn your standard (free) listing into an eye-catching, search engine optimized advertisement. Contact Samantha Mathis for more information, SamanthaM@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791. Basic upgrade...................................................................................................$40 Value upgrade..................................................................................................$60 Deluxe upgrade...............................................................................................$90

Event Sponsorship

From First Friday Coffee to our annual Golf Outing, the Chamber hosts a number of events each month! By sponsoring a Chamber event, your business gets great exposure not only at the event itself but also within all our promotional materials (emails, mailings, e-newsletters, Commerce Connection, website, etc...). We have numerous opportunities throughout the year, here’s what’s coming up: Breakfast Series sponsorship (includes table of 8)........$1000 Golf Outing sponsorship........................................................$3500 Additional sponsorship information for events such as the Annual Meeting, Business Success Seminars and the ATHENA Award Ceremony is available upon request. Contact Karly Combest at KarlyC@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791 with any event sponsorship inquiries.

Some things you get free:

LAPTOP COMPUTER

RENTAL

LCD ROOM CONFERENCE

PROJECTOR

RENTAL

RENTAL

ORIGIN &

INFO

S E R V I C E

ASSISTANCE

CERTIFICATE OF

NOTARY

- - A N D - -

For more information on any of these services, contact the Chamber at 217.359.1791. Services are available free to all Chamber members.


calendar of events Business After Hours

Connect @ Lunch

Thursday, December 12, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage at Jupiter’s at the Crossing 2511Village Green Pl., Champaign

2014

Monday, December 16, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. LongHorn Steakhouse 2101 N. Prospect, Champaign

ATHENA and YOUNG PROFESSIONAL AWARDS nominations due WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18 by 5:00 p.m. nomination forms are available on our website www.champaigncounty.org

Champaign’s Signature Event

Women of Distinction

For 22 years, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois has recognized outstanding women for their contributions to the community and their service as role models for young women. This event will honor passionate and inspiring women in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion counties.

Fast Facts

8.3% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in August 2013

29 business licenses applied for in Champaign County in November 2013

106.5 November 2013 Flash Economic Index for Champaign County

1,534,201 rides were taken on CUMTD in October 2013

5,264 visits to the Chamber’s page, champaigncounty.org in November 2013

29,643 average amount of referrals PER DAY the

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Online Business Directory received via search engines and online sources in October 2013.

Mark your calendars for the 23rd annual

Women of Distinction celebration, honoring outstanding women leaders in our community. Do you know a Woman of Distinction? Visit getyourgirlpower.org/special-events and nominate her today! Nomination deadline is January 31, 2014.

Tickets $50/person

EVENT INFORMATION Wednesday

All proceeds to benefit Girl Scouts of Central Illinois.

April 23, 2014

Contact Jennifer Ewan at jewan@girlscouts-gsci.org or (217) 233-0476 for reservations or more information.

Hilton Garden Inn, Champaign 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809 www.champaigncounty.org


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Commerce Connection, December 2013  

The launch of the Chamber's new look! Details about our new website and brand. Recap of the 2013 Annual Meeting, many In Your Business Tours...

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