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MAY / JUNE 2015


Volume 22 | Issue 3


20 than


Upcoming Marketing Bootcamp, p. 5 this issue is sponsored by Windsor of Savoy

Permit No. 29 Champaign, IL


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




Ribbon Cutting photos, p. 7-8 Chamber Golf Outing right around the corner, p. 13


Shepard spoke to over 85 members of the local business community about a variety of topics including: how to keep employees from unnecessarily challenging you with just five perfectly polite, but powerful words; the one strategy you MUST know to fix bad attitudes; two simple things that actually motivate people more than money, plus more. Members who attended the short and intenstive seminar also earned PHR/SPHR/GPHR continuing education credits by the HR Certification Institute. The IDOT Listening Tour kicked off in Champaign with the local business community. Over 135 business leaders attended the event, which was held at the Hilton Garden Inn. The panel and attendees discussed local infrastructure needs. Thank you, Habeeb Habeeb, for sponsoring.

Jack Penning, consultant to the University of Illinois, was in town to speak about the progress made by the task force for the U of I Willard Airport. Penning discussed the new branding for the airport - FLY Champaign Urbana - and what plans are in the works. He spoke to members about the changing management structure, as well as the strategic plan for the airport. More than 60 members attended the breakfast.

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

FY15 TOP INVESTORS TOP INVESTORS GOLD Busey Carle SILVER BankChampaign, N.A. First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign BRONZE A & R Mechanical Contractors Amdocs Christie Clinic Heartland Bank & Trust Kraft Foods, Inc. McGladrey Midland States Bank Presence Covenant Medical Center

CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO LauraW@champaigncounty.org Karly Combest Director of Member Relations & Programming KarlyC@champaigncounty.org Samantha Hendon Marketing & PR Director SamanthaH@champaigncounty.org Garret Hill Public Policy Director GarretH@champaigncounty.org

CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE Illini Radio Group - MIX 94.5, WIXY 100.3, Rewind 92.5, WYXY Classic 99.1, True Oldies 97.9, Extra 92.1, Hits 99.7 Stevie Jay Broadcasting - Q96-96.1FM, US105.9, Sunny 95.3 & ESPN 93.5 WCIA-TV / WCIX-49 PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE


Mike DeLorenzo

University of Illinois

Stephen Flynn Sleep Inn

Perry Greene

Stone Creek Golf Club

NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS, Classic Hits 107.9 WKIO

Cindy Guthrie


Tabatha Helm

Awards, Ltd. Carmike 13 Crystal Entertainment Dish Passionate Cuisine Hyatt Place LongHorn Steakhouse Thomas, Mamer & Haughey TrophyTime W.K. Cooper II Asset Management Corporation

Lynette Lykins Director of First Impressions LynetteL@champaigncounty.org Mary Murphy Events & Programs Coordinator MaryM@champaigncounty.org



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

Susan Jepsen

Reynolds Towing Service, Inc.

Kurt Lenschow State Farm

Chuck McReaken

Rod Roberts

Chair, Thunderstruck Design

Jim Lyons

First Vice Chair, Birkey’s Farm Store

Becky Von Holten

TSM Ventures, Inc.

Second Vice Chair, Midland States Bank

Dennis Riggs

Beth Auterman

FIX-IT, Sidney Dairy Barn

Three Degrees of Change Chris Shroyer Busey DSC Logistics

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Michael Wozniak

Past Chair, Livingston, Barger, Brandt & Schroeder

Laura Weis

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

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

R Realistic about who you are TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 2015 | 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Kathrine Wright | Roundtable

E Establishing a strong company image TUESDAY, JUNE 9, 2015 | 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Rod Roberts | Thunderstruck Design

A Allocating marketing dollars most effectively to reach your target TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2015 | 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Kathryn Smith | DCC Marketing

C Conveying your company’s story


Does the local community know about your business? Are you happy with how your company is perceived? What does your logo and branding say about your company? What marketing platforms are available? How do you begin the media buying process? What can you afford? Does your company have an online presence?

Harnessing the power of digital marketing

Feel overwhelmed? Don’t! Register for the chamber’s marketing boot camp and get answers to these questions.

TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2015 | 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Jennifer Hendricks-Kaufmann | Carle

TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2015 | 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Corey Buttry | U of I Extension

The cost of the entire series is $139 for members and $189 for non-members. Breakfast items included at each session.


0 0 5

y d a e r l a cards ! d e s a h Purc

500 Commerce Cards have been purchased and are out in the community! This means 500 more people guaranteed to shop local. Participating merchants found to the right and on our website. If you are a member and not accepting the Commerce Card -- why not?? You are missing out on business through your door. It’s simple. See the tutorial on our website or buy your Commerce Gift Card by calling 217.359.1791, stopping by the office or visiting our website.

Where the elite of academic excellence convenes, where families reminisce and celebrate memories, where companies cultivate ideas.

1900 South First Street | Champaign, IL 61820 p 217 819 5000 | www.StayAtTheI.com


WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between March 7 and May 5, 2015 Action Jackson Comics

123 W. Main St., Ste. 103 Urbana, IL 61801 217.328.4005 www.actionjacksoncomics.com Comic Book Dealers-Retail Action Jackson Comics is a retail comic book store with the latest comic books, graphic novels and comic book supplies located in Urbana. They take pride in helping people “Discover Your Alter Ego.” The store has an excellent selection of allage comics and graphic novels. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter. “Discover Your Alter Ego”.

At Home Team, Keller Williams

that customer service is their number one priority and that their expertise is unsurpassed. But Janice Vidovic does not just entice clients with words, she delivers outstanding service that is always in the best interest of the client, doing whatever it takes to fulfill the dreams of the home buyer, seller, or investor and to make the process enjoyable and worry-free.

First Bank at the Crossing 2911 Crossing Ct. Champaign, IL 61822 217.866.0356 www.firstbanktrust.com Banks

2441 Village Green Pl. Champaign, IL 61822 217.344.9998 Real Estate Agents, Brokers & Independent Contractors

Justina Uchenna-Amadi, CPA

Clients and colleagues of Janice Vidovic enthusiastically praise her honesty and character, service above and beyond the expected, and her highest standards of professionalism. Any real estate agent will tell you that they are the best,

Justina Uchenna-Amadi, CPA is a growing accounting firm that recently moved from Danville to Champaign, Illinois, providing accounting and tax services that includes business consulting, bookkeeping, payroll, and tax planning services.

Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries, Inc. held a ribbon cutting on March 27, 2015, to celebrate the grand opening of their new location in Savoy.

2105 N. Dunlap Ave., Ste. 2B Champaign, IL 61820 217.351.2625 Accountants-Certified Public & Public

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt kicked off their grand opening weekend with a ribbon cutting on April 9, 2015. They are located on Green Street in Champaign.

Justina Uchenna-Amadi, CPA serves the needs of individuals, small to mid-sized businesses, and nonprofit organizations, providing meaningful accounting information to enable clients make the right business decisions. Justina Uchenna-Amadi, CPA, specializes in understanding the needs of its clients, and strives to meet them by serving each client with personal attention, high professional standards and integrity, as well as assisting with financial planning that that enables clients to achieve their business goals and maximize profits. Aspen Creek of Tolono held a ribbon cutting on April 15, 2015 to celebrate their grand opening.

Jet’s Pizza celebrated the grand opening of their second location with a ribbon cutting on April 21, 2015. The second location is on Springfield Avenue.

Synergy Home Care held a ribbon cutting on April 30, 2015 to celebrate the grand opening of their new location in the Shoppes of Knollwood.

Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries, Inc. 1201 Savoy Plaza Ln. Savoy, IL 61874 217.836.3663 www.llgi.org Clothes-Consignment & Resale

Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries operates 14 retail stores/donation centers and several Career Centers across its 37 county territory in central Illinois and employs more than 400 individuals. In Champaign County, Goodwill operates two donated goods thrift stores in Champaign and Savoy as well as LaBelle Boutique in Urbana. Their mission to empower people with employment barriers to become selfsufficient through the power of work is at the heart of what they do.

Illinois American Water celebrated the completion of renovations and opening of their new facility in Urbana on May 5, 2015 with a ribbon cutting.

PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE Local units of government are beginning to take shape in and around Champaign County. Last week Champaign Unit 4 School Board of Education and the City of Champaign held their official swearing in of their new government officials. As discussed in last months Commerce Connection, Champaign County’s Business Empowered PAC was heavily involved in both races for school board and Champaign Mayor by endorsing candidates who are good for businesses. For the Champaign Unit 4 School Board of Education, Business Empowered PAC endorsed Amy Armstrong, Chris Kloeppel, and Kathy Shannon all earned their respected positions on the board. Furthermore, shortly after being sworn in as school board members, Kloeppel was elected school board president, Armstrong was elected school board vice president and Shannon was elected school board secretary. The new school board leadership has already reached out to the Chamber’s board of directors for their input on the future of the school district. Congratulations to all the school board members and we look forward to working with them. The City of Champaign has also elected a new mayor. Business Empowered PAC endorsed Deborah Frank Feinen won by a resounding margin in a deep field of qualified candidates. Before and after being sworn into office, Mayor Feinen has been attending Chamber functions and committee meetings to engage our membership about the future of Champaign. Congratulations to Mayor Feinen. Now that the election is over, it is time to begin drafting sound policy for the community. The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce has been very active lobbying our elected officials and government agencies. Last month we hosted new Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn as part of a “Listening Tour” across the state. Champaign County was the Secretary’s first stop. The event was well attended showing our unified support for infrastructure in the county. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce and Central Illinois Regional Chamber Legislative Effort (CIRCLE) hosted their lobby days last month. During these events business leaders heard from and met with state leaders such as Governor Bruce Rauner, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Comptroller Leslie Munger, Senate Majority Leader John Cullteron, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno,

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Secretary Jim Schultz and many more elected officials and department heads. It is very valuable for our state officials to hear from locals and for Champaign County to be a continued unified voice. This week, the Champaign County First Committee, a partnership with the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation and the Chamber is in Washington DC. The local delegation will be meeting with Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk and Congressmen Rodney Davis and John Shimkus, along with representatives from the Department of Transportation, the Surface Transportation Board and businesses located in Washington DC bringing a unified effort to our nation’s capitol. Local mayors, city officials and private business owners will discuss the needs here in Champaign County to bring federal dollars to much needed infrastructure projects. The Chamber has much work to do in the summer months leading into the fall where once again discussions will start about campaigns and budgets for the next fiscal year. If your have any questions, concerns or wish to get involved, please contact us Garret Hill at GarretH@champaigncounty.org.

a Champ aign County Cha

mber of Commerce pro


Every Wednesday throughout the summer, you have the opportunity to receive 20% off* your total food purchase! Visit www.c hampaigncounty.org or the chamber’s Facebook page each week to find out the participating businesses. Want to drive customers into your place of business? Sign up to accept the coupon today! Contact Megan at marketing@champaigncounty.org or call 217.359.1791. *Excluding alcohol. Regular menu prices only. Contact specific business for details. Must present thisc coupon. One coupon per person per meal.

Athletico Physical Therapy has combined with Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers to provide patient-centered physical therapy at over 330 locations in 8 states. Accelerated Champaign-Urbana North 217-355-1961 champaign.clinic@acceleratedrehab.com Athletico Champaign-Urbana South 217-352-3330 urbana@athletico.com

Golf Today at Lake of the Woods 18-Hole Course • FootGolf • 9-Hole Par 3 • Clubhouse Rental

Lake of the Woods Golf Course 405 N Lake of the Woods Road, Mahomet, IL www.golfthelake.com • (217)586-2183

Tackling Peak and Off Seasons Exploring ‘seasonal’ businesses in Champaign County Written by: Megan Vasiliadis for the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

To some, the idea of being a seasonal business owner sounds like a dream. It may appear that they work hard for two or three months at a time while business booms, and then just breeze through the rest of the year with a big chunk of change with not a worry in the world until the next peak-season. However, most people don’t realize the extensive amount of vigorous planning all year round, financial discipline and endless marketing and communication to keep a seasonal business running successfully. With the summer months approaching, several Champaign County businesses are preparing for their peak-seasons. This includes hiring and training new staff, increasing inventory and budget planning. At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK©, a local moving franchise, the busy moving season runs from May till August. Rene Shunk, an owner of the franchise, said she prepares for the busy season by training crew members several weeks prior to the anticipated rushes. In addition to hiring year round employees, the company hosts a “Career Move Month” during the spring hiring season to encourage applicants and celebrate the many career opportunities the company offers. “It is important to anticipate your busy season and hire and train early so that your team has the necessary training to be confident in their ability to serve your customers,” Shunk said. When it comes to business plans, Shunk recommends planning for all sorts of issues that might come up during the year. She said it is important to be ready for emergencies of all kinds, because anything could happen at any point during the year. “It is important to plan for the whole year, incorporating the natural cycles into your budget and business plan,” Shunk said. “Be sure to anticipate the unexpected, such as blizzards, heat waves and ice storms which may further impact your natural business cycles.”

Regardless of the season, some Champaign County frozen treat shops try to get creative with their products to keep cash flow high. For the self-serve frozen yogurt store TCBY (The Country’s Best Yogurt), froyo cravings tend to slow down from November through March. Todd Thorstenson, owner of TCBY, said it is important that his business remains successful in order to continue running year-round. As a result, he keeps brand awareness high by implementing new marketing strategies with customers. Thorstenson recently added color changing spoons to his merchandise and found that the customers loved them so much, they save them to reuse at home. “It’s sometimes the little things that makes a customer smile and keeps them coming back for more,” Thorstenson said. Thorstenson also said even during colder months, the demand for frozen yogurt still exists. To keep customers coming back for more, TCBY caters other events as much as possible all year long. “Not only does this help with sales but always keeps brand awareness higher during the winter,” Thorstenson said. “It’s never too cold to enjoy frozen yogurt.”

Follow your business plan, tweak it as needed and set a yearly plan in motion to help with each new year.

After 51 years of serving ice cream to Champaign County, the Sidney Dairy Barn has developed successful tactics to benefit cash flow during the store closing from October to April. At the end of the peak-season, the store offers hand-packed quarts of ice cream for champaigncounty.org/ 11

last minute sales. Christina West, manager, said their “flavors of the week” strategy has also been successful in keeping the company’s ice cream offerings new and exciting for customers. “You need a solid business plan before you even start a venture, and the planning does not stop,” West said. “Follow your business plan, tweak it as needed and set a yearly plan in motion to help with each new year.” Once the peak-season rush is over, most business owners dread the anticipated slump season because of the stressful planning that lies ahead. But some experts say there are several year-round strategies to combat the off-season blues. According to a business blog by Brianne Shelley of blog.hubspot.com, a great way for business owners to better their business is to ask customers to review the company’s service as the busy season winds down. By gathering customer stories and testimonials, off-season emails, blog posts and social media updates will create a relatable and personal marketing atmosphere. “For extra boost, ask customers to submit pictures and videos from their experiences with your business,” Shelley said in her blog. “The more raw and interesting content you can get from your customers, the better your off-season marketing campaigns will be.” The Sholem Aquatic Center, a division of the Champaign Park District, utilizes social media presence as much as possible while the pool is closed. Chelsea Norton, marketing manager, said the pool promotes an exclusive Cyber Monday Pool Pass sale every year by posting snow covered pool tops on social media. “We do not want to tease summer weather too much, you know how Illinois winters can be,” Norton said.

R U O T E ME : S T R E P EX Champaign Park District Chelsea Norton Marketing Manager 706 Kenwood Rd. Champaign, IL 61821 www.champaignparkdistrict.com 217.398.2550

“However, it can be fun to connect with our customers on Facebook and Twitter even during the off-season— we miss them.” Shelley also added that just because customers can’t utilize exclusive services during the off-season, business owners should still offer alternative information and opportunities to customers. By doing so, this will generate hype for next season. At the Lake of the Woods Golf Course, golf lovers can still stay sharp during the off season by teeing off with real balls on famous courses around the world through the 2-Tru-Golf Simulators. Dave Huber, Head Pro at Lake of the Woods Golf Course, said these simulators offer practice modes and competitive league games for anyone wanting some tee time during the cooler months. “The golf business is very dynamic with constantly changing duties and responsibilities,” Huber said. “I do everything from building maintenance, to radio programs and several different hats in between, which keeps the job fresh and challenging.” As the busy seasons come and go with peak-season businesses, so do the employees. Since the most common seasonal employees include high school and college students, it tends to be a frequent challenge keeping the temporary employees motivated throughout the months. According to Forbes.com article by Kevin Kruse, 70 percent of the variance in engagement and motivation from seasonal employees is tied to the influence that the manager has on the environment. Kruse suggests splitting up training sessions so that information is digested at a slower and more comprehendible pace. As a result, important information will stick longer

Lake of the Woods Golf Course Dave Huber Head Pro 405 N Lake of the Woods Rd., Mahomet. IL 61853 www.golfthelake.com 217.586.2183

TCBY Todd Thorstenson Owner 1731 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61821 tcbychampaign@gmail.com 217.607.5090

Sidney Dairy Barn Christina West Manager 311 W. Main St. Sidney, IL 61877 www.sidneydairybarn.com 217.688.3700

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Rene Shunk Owner 47 E. Kenyon Rd. Champaign, IL 61820 www.twomen.com 217.398.2636

with employees in order to deliver quality customer service. “To succeed with the recruiting, retention and engagement of seasonal workers, leaders need to appropriately value this segment of their team and realize how critical they are to the success of the entire business,” Kruse said in his article. “When valued appropriately, the resources and attention can be applied to make seasonal workers a competitive advantage.” At the Lake of the Woods Golf course, Huber said staff fluctuates from two to five people in the winter months and up to 20 seasonal employees in the summer. “Each year we have a good number of returning seasonal employees, which helps with the spring crush of activities,” Huber said. “Since we are in the ‘quality of life’ business, people should feel better when they leave here than when they arrived.” At the Sholem Aquatic Center, there’s rarely an issue with re-hiring past seasonal employees. Norton said the staff is always dedicated to swim safety and great customer service.

70 percent of the variance in engagement and motivation from seasonal employees is tied to the influence that the manager has on the environment.

“Our lifeguards get recognized by Ellis & Associates, experts in international aquatic safety each year with Gold and Platinum Awards,” Sholem said. For the Sidney Dairy Barn, high demand snuck up earlier than usual for ice cream this year. West said even though she isn’t sure what to expect this season, she is confident in her staff’s ability to perform. “I place a high standard on quality control and the staff understands it and executes it well,” West said. “We have great employees and they work hard.” From constant tweaking of business and budget strategies, to hiring new seasonal employees each year, business owners who have peak-seasons and off-seasons face many obstacles throughout the year. But with a little self-discipline and a supportive staff, any season can be a successful one.

The road to loyalty.

Experienced bankers inspire trust and loyalty. And your loyalty helps us serve you better.







MEMBER ACCOLADES & WARNING: The Better Business Bureau is warning of an email campaign announcing that local businesses have ‘won’ the 2015 Best of [insert city name] award for their industry. Supposed winners are then encouraged to pay $149 or more to claim their award and receive a personalized plaque. This scheme is using multiple websites including [city].dalhousa.net, awardsystem. net and [city].awardsystem.org. Each site appeared nearly identical when replacing the city with Peoria, Bloomington or Galesburg. This is a vanity award scheme where businesses are not winning based on merit, but for the sole intent of purchasing the plaque or certificate for an inflated price. The website claims this award program is run annually to recognize the best in the industry for, “exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category.” For more information, please visit our website - www.champaigncounty.org. Darrold Kennedy, a financial adviser for Edward Jones, has become a limited partner in The Jones Financial Cos., the holding company for Edward Jones. The financial services firm recently expanded the partnership to include over 20,000 limited partners. They employ almost 40,000 associates. Coldwell Banker Commercial Devonshire Realty (CBCDR) has earned the 2014 Commercial Elite award which is bestowed upon the top 15 Coldwell Banker Commercial® affiliated companies globally. This marks the 10th year the office has earned this distinguished award. CBCDR was also ranked the number one franchisee in the state of Illinois for 2014. Congratulations to Chamber member Steve Hillard of HL Precision Manufacturing for being chosen for Parkland College Foundation’s Cozad Entrepreneur of the Year. Faith in Action of Champaign County is an interfaith caregiver program funded through Presence Covenant Medical Center where volunteers provide practical assistance for seniors with long-term health needs. Their goal is to help seniors stay independent and in their own homes for as long as possible. They are currently in the process of recruiting volunteers for their program. As a volunteer, you can choose your area of interest with flexibility to fit your schedule. Volunteers can choose from providing transportation to medical appointments, or grocery shopping, friendly home visiting, office assistance, telephone reassurance calls, errands, some yard work seasonally. Faith in Action of Champaign County serves seniors who are 55+. They hold volunteer orientations on the first and third Tuesday of every month 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. at their office at the County Plaza Building 102 E. Main St., Urbana, IL. To register for an orientation, please call Bevin Page at 217.337.2778. First Mid-Illinois Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FMBH) has been selected as a recipient of the Raymond James Community Bankers Cup for 2014. The award recognizes

& NEWS the top 10 percent exchange traded community banks who demonstrate superior financial performance. First Mid was ranked 21 among the 306 community banks considered for their performance and stability. The award is based on metrics that include nonperforming assets to loans and real estate owned, five-year average core deposit percentage, net interest margin, efficiency ratio, return on average assets and return on average tangible common equity. Meyer Capel has added Colby Hathaway to their team. He is an associate attorney, focusing in the area of family law, for the company and received his law degree from Northern Illinois University in 2012. Spherion Staffing Services, a local recruiting, staffing and workforce solutions provider backed by the resources of a $2 billion global workforce leader, announced that Cindy Somers, franchise owner of the Champaign, Decatur and Charleston offices, is the recipient of the 2015 Spherion Clerical Sales Growth award. The Clerical Sales Growth award is given to the Spherion franchise owner who achieves the greatest degree of sales growth in the clerical skills sector. Somers also received this award in 2014. “Cindy’s continuous drive and dedication have afforded her much success in clerical sales growth,” said Sandy Mazur, Spherion president. “We are proud of her accomplishments and

it’s evident that Cindy is motivated to provide service excellence to our clients and our candidates.” Benefit Planning Consultants, has been named one of the Best Places to Work in Illinois 2015. Hickory Point Bank announced that Kip McDaniel has been named Mortgage Loan Originator, for the Champaign-Urbana area. “Kip is a great addition to our mortgage team in the Champaign-Urbana area,” said Dan Marker, Vice President, Mortgage Lending. “His strong work ethic and banking experience will be valuable for customers looking for residential loan solutions.” Mr. McDaniel will be located at Hickory Point Bank, 202 W. Park Avenue, Champaign, IL 61820. Hilton Garden Inn was presented with a Community Service Award from the Illinois Park and Recreation Association and the Illinois Association of Park Districts at the Champaign Park District annual event. Have news to share with the local business community? Tell us about it and get featured in the Chamber’s next Commerce Connection. Send an email with your news to Samantha Hendon, SamanthaH@champaigncounty. org or submit the news via our website: http:// champaigncounty.org/membership/member_accolades. aspx

Imagine a new porch, pool and patio. We’ll be there every step of the way. You’re more than ready to own a home. With Busey’s free pre-qualifications, you can search for the perfect house knowing all of your options. We promise to help find the financing that’s best for you—whether you’re just starting out, tired of renting or upgrading to your dream home.

Busey. Your Dream. Our Promise.

busey.com 217.365.4500

Cham ber Sto re 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. Target the local business community. Two lists are available for purchase:


Long list (approx. 2,500 names and businesses): $175 Short list (approx. 1,000 names and businesses): $125

Recently redesigned, our electronic newsletter is sent to more than 2,200 businesses and businesspeople in Champaign County each week. Sponsor an e-Connection and get your business seen by thousands.

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

Header sponsorship (one wk.): $100


Email Blast Advertisement Do you have a new product, service or information you would like to share with our entire Chamber membership list? Take advantage of this exclusive offer to send broadcast emails to our entire 4,100+ email list.

Website Marketing With over 7,000 visits/month to the Chamber website, this is where you want to be. Market your business to locals and those looking to move and/or visit here. Want more information? Contact Samantha Hendon at SamanthaH@champaigncounty. org.

Email Blast Advertisement: $500 Contact Samantha Hendon for more information, SamanthaH@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

Commerce Connection

This is a bi-monthly publication that is distributed to over 2,500 businesses and businesspeople in Champaign County. Content varies, but is always relevant to local business. There are a variety of ad sizes available. Ads start at only $90. Ask about the exclusive cover package that allows your business to gain exposure before the reader even opens the publication. Contact Samantha Hendon for more information, SamanthaH@ champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

Email Footer Sponsorship


Contact Samantha Hendon for more information, SamanthaH@ champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

Event Sponsorship

From monthly First Friday Coffee and Business After Hours to our annual Golf Outing, the Chamber hosts a number of events each month. By sponsoring a Chamber event, your business obtains great exposure not only at the event itself, but also within all promotional materials (emails, mailings, e-newsletters, Commerce Connection, website, etc.). We have numerous opportunities throughout the year, here’s what’s coming up: Chamber Golf Outing: Title Sponsorship (1) - $3,500; Golf Ball Sponsor (1) - $750; Hole Sponsorship (5): $300; Contest Holes - $325; Additional sponsorship information for events such as Business Success and Solutions Seminars is available upon request. Contact Mary Murphy at MaryM@champaigncounty.org or call 217.359.1791 with any event sponsorship inquiries.

For a great price, place an ad in every email that is sent out of the Chamber office. That’s an average of over 12,000 emails per week. The best part? Link the footer wherever you would like.

Online Business Directory Enhancements

Footer (one wk.): $75 (Add footer to the e-Connection for an additional $50.)

Basic upgrade: $40/year

Contact Samantha for details at, SamanthaH@champaigncounty. org or 217.359.1791.

Enhance your listing on the Chamber’s online business directory. The directory gets hundreds of thousands of views each day--turn your standard (complimentary) listing into an eye-catching, search engine optimized advertisement. Value upgrade: $60/year

Deluxe upgrade: $90/year

Contact Samantha Hendon for more information, SamanthaH@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

Complimentary services: rental of laptop computer, conference space and LCD projector; Certificate of Origin; Notary service; information, assistance and resources.


calendar of events

Fast Facts

5.2% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in

Connect @ Lunch

Are You R.E.A.C.H.ing?

Business After Hours

Tuesday, June 16 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

35 business licenses applied for in Champaign

Writing a Business Plan

an event hosted by ECI SCORE


Come Wine With Us

1,392,679 rides were taken on CUMTD in

Monday, May 18 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. El Toro Bravo Mexican Restaurant 2561 W. Springfield Ave., Champaign Thursday, May 21 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Attie’s Bar & Grill 2600 S. Stone Creek Blvd., Urbana

Are You R.E.A.C.H.ing? Realistic about who you are

Tuesday, June 2 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Chamber Golf Outing

Thursday, June 4 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Stone Creek Golf Club 2600 S. Stone Creek Blvd., Urbana

First Friday Coffee

Friday, June 5 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Commerce Bank 1015 W. Windsor Rd., Champaign

Financing a Small Business an event hosted by ECI SCORE Saturday, June 6 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Are You R.E.A.C.H.ing? Establishing a strong company image

Tuesday, June 9 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Starting a Small Business

an event hosted by ECI SCORE Thursday, June 11 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Allocating marketing dollars most effectively to reach your target

Thursday, June 18 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Thursday, June 18 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Birkey’s Farm Store 2202 S. High Cross Rd., Urbana

Are You R.E.A.C.H.ing?

Conveying your company’s story

Tuesday, June 23 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Are You R.E.A.C.H.ing? Harnessing the power of digital marketing

Tuesday, June 30 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

February 2015

County in April 2015

March 2015 U of I Flash Index for Illinois

April 2015

6,384 visits to the Chamber’s page, champaigncounty.org in April 2015

7,517 average amount of referrals PER DAY the

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Online Business Directory received via search engines and online sources in April 2015.

2014 The year that the Champaign County

Chamber of Commerce was named the Illinois Outstanding Chamber of the Year

Business After Hours

Thursday, July 16 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Parkland College 2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign

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

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Profile for Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

Commerce Connection May/June 2015  

This issue focuses on businesses that thrive in summer and experience peak and non-peak season. Need advice? Take it from our experts. You'l...

Commerce Connection May/June 2015  

This issue focuses on businesses that thrive in summer and experience peak and non-peak season. Need advice? Take it from our experts. You'l...