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years

SPRING 2013

C O M M E R C E

CONNECTION A PUBLICATION OF THE CHAMPAIGN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Minimum Wage Hike?

The Chamber speaks out Viewpoints, p. 3 Regional businesses react, p. 19

schmooza palooza BUSINESS EXPO Booth registration details, p. 7

How to work a trade show

Secrets to working an expo, p. 15

PAID

Presorted Standard US Postage

C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s

2013

Permit No. 29 Champaign, IL

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Volume 20 | Number 2

Photo courtesy Benjamin Lapid Photography


The Illinois General Assembly will likely consider legislation this session to raise Illinois’ minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.50 an hour. At $10.50 an hour, it would make Illinois’ minimum wage the highest in the country. As part of this legislation, all previous exemptions (employees under the age 18; overtime exemptions for the ag industry; tip wages for restaurants and training wages) will all be on the table for review. We surveyed our members to find out what they thought. Do you support raising the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.50 an hour?

YES

[24 responses - 12.3%]

NO

[166 responses - 85.1%]

APATHETIC

[5 responses - 2.6%]

How would an increase in the minimum wage impact your business?

It would not impact my business 19.7% Increase in prices 50.7% Reduction in staff 48.1% Wage creep (increase in all salaries due to increase in minimum wage to avoid compression in wage ranges) 44% Other 21.8%

MEMBER VIEWPOINTS “Why can’t Illinois’ political leadership see that their actions have led Illinois to be one of the least business friendly AND most financially unstable states in the country? Look at states like Indiana and Wisconsin that have implemented more friendly business initiatives and their states are much better off for it - less unemployment, less strain on government and a better economic outlook. From a demographic standpoint, nearly all of our customers are salaried professionals or long term hourly employees who would see no increase to their salary from a minimum wage increase. Their salaries stay the same, our rates go up, less people use our business, more of our employees get laid off or never hired in the first place.” Dan Shunk TWO MEN AND A TRUCK/Central Illinois “As a restaurant owner, an increase on minimum wage affects my business across the board. We helped to create 10 full-time jobs and 15 part-time jobs over the last few years. We employee many high school and college students as well as people with no more than a high school education. Increasing the minimum wage makes me have to pay all my hourly parttime employees more, which in turn means I have to raise the hourly-wage or salary of my full-time employees, who are more qualified and are being paid around or slightly more than what the new minimum wage would be. Those employees will not continue to take on more responsibility if the people working 10-20 hours a week are making almost the same as them. This will force me to hire less people as well as raise costs for all our customers in order to be able to offset the increase in payroll..” Justin Taylor JT Walker’s Restaurant $ Brewery “We have over 400 employees and continue to grow our business. It takes employees at all wage levels for us to succeed. We have been very successful over the years of bringing in entry level positions and growing these employees into valuable contributors to the organization and our customers. Raising the minimum wage will discourage us from hiring students and those just out of school. While we don’t hire that many people at minimum wage, more concerning is the overall wage creep we will see if the minimum wage is increased. It would encourage us to find ways to do more with fewer people and to not provide as many opportunities to younger individuals with little or no experience.” Mike Hedge Birkey’s Farm Store, Inc.

(continued on pg.20)

Transportation is a major part of the Chamber’s Legislative Agenda. Willard Airport currently under scrutiny, the Chamber asked members how they use local travel so we can consider next potential steps for a long range transportation plan. How often do your employees use air service for business travel annually? Not at all 20.1% 1 to 5 times 41.3% 6 to 10 times 12.8% 11 to 20 times 6.7% 21 to 40 times 6.1% 40+ times 12.2% Of the number of times air service is used for business travel, what percentage of that travel originates at CMI? 0-10% 58.1% 11-30% 10.0% 31-50% 10.0%

51-74% 10.6% 75%+ 8.3% Annually, how often does your company use air service to bring associates, clients, etc. into Champaign County? Not at all 49.7% 1 to 5 times 28.4% 6 to 10 times 9.4% 11 to 20 times 4.4% 21 to 40 times 3.3% 40+ times 3.3% Of the number of times your company flies people into Champaign County, what

percentage of those flights land at CMI? 0-10% 59.2% 11-30% 4.4% 31-50% 5.0% 51-74% 7.2% 75%+ 8.9% What is the most important factor in determining your travel arrangements? Cost of ticket 64.2% Flight times 39.2% Parking considerations 9% Connection availability 18.7% Other 7.9%


FY13 TOP INVESTORS TOP INVESTORS Gold Busey Carle Presence Health Silver BPC, Inc. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

303 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 www.champaigncounty.org 217.359.1791

CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO LauraW@champaigncounty.org Karly Combest Event & Programs Manager KarlyC@champaigncounty.org Caryn Isenhower Accounts Receivable & Office Administrator CarynI@champaigncounty.org Nikolle Keeney Marketing & PR Manager NikolleK@champaigncounty.org Michelle Luna Membership & Advertising Services Manager MichelleL@champaigncounty.org Lynette Lykins Director of First Impressions LynetteL@champaigncounty.org Ryan Roth Public Policy Manager RyanR@champaigncounty.org Christopher Sheppard Membership Development Director ChristopherS@champaigncounty.org

Bronze A&R Mechanical Contractors Amdocs BankChampaign, N.A. Christie Clinic First Bank First Mid-Illinois Bank The Hilton Complex Kraft Foods, Inc. Supervalu Inc. Champaign Distribution Center University of Illinois Employees Credit Union Walmart Supercenters

IN-KIND CONTRIBUTORS Chairman’s Circle Illini Radio Group - MIX 94.5, WIXY 100.3, 92.5 The Chief, WIXY Classic 99.1, True Oldies 97.9, Extra 92.1, HITS 99.7 NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS, U-Rock 107.9 SJ Broadcasting - Q 96.1, COUNTRY 105.9, Sunny 95.3, Connect FM 93.5 & 95.3, ESPN Radio 93.5 Chamber Circle WICD ABC NewsChannel 15 Fox 27 Illinois/ WCCU TV Business Circle Adams Outdoor Advertising

150 PERCENT CLUB W.K. Cooper II Asset Management

BOARD OFFICERS Tabatha Helm

Beth Auterman

Chair, Advanced Filtration Systems, Inc.

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Michael Wozniak

Diane Ruedi

First Vice Chair, Livingston, Barger, Brandt & Schroeder

Past Chair, F.E. Moran Alarm & Monitoring

Bill Walter

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

Second Vice Chair, A&R Mechanical Contractors

Laura Weis

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Joe Alexander Mark Ballard BankChampaign, N.A.

Mike Billimack Carle

Mike Brown Presence Covenant Medical Center

Mike DeLorenzo University of Illinois

Stephen Flynn Candlewood Suites

Perry Green

Cindy Guthrie YG Financial

Kurt Lenschow State Farm

Dale Morrissey Developmental Services Center

Dennis Riggs FIX-IT, Sidney Dairy Barn

Rod Roberts Roberts Design Company, Inc.

Chris Shroyer Busey

Stone Creek Golf Club

FINANCIAL SERVICES Provided by CliftonLarsonAllen

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.


Sponsored by:

2013 ATHENA Awards The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce named Bianca T. Green the 2013 ATHENA Award recipient on Thursday, February 21 at a luncheon held at the Champaign Country Club. Green is the 25th local recipient of the award, which honors individuals who assist women in reaching their full leadership potential; demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their businesses or professions; and provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improving the quality of life for others in the community. An experienced trial attorney, Green founded Illinois Mediation Services, Inc. in 2010, where she mediates all types of conflict situations. Green received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign in 1991. She obtained her law degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1994, where she was honored for excellence in Trial Advocacy, served as the Student Articles Editor for the Journal of Legal Medicine and was selected to compete as a Member of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Team. Green became a

member of the Illinois Bar in 1994 and she continues to be licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. Upon obtaining her law license in 1994, Green joined Thomas, Mamer & Haughey, LLP, in Champaign. She was hired as the first female litigator and became the second female to make partner in the firm’s 54 year existence. She worked as an associate of the firm until 2000 when she became full partner. Green left the firm in 2010 to begin Illinois Mediation Services. Through her work, Green is available to mediate or arbitrate virtually any type of conflict, including matters in pending litigation, threatened litigation and any other disputes where parties seek to create a mutually beneficial resolution. Areas in which she may be of assistance include (but are not limited to) personal injury matters, corporate issues, employment matters, construction disputes, insurance coverage and claims issues, real estate matters, healthcare issues, family conflicts, divorce and custody issues, public policy matters and community disputes. Green’s nominator, Christine C. Bruce, Executive Director champaigncounty.org/

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of Premiere Global Sports - College Division, said that Green’s ability to facilitate negotiations between parties toward a mutually agreed upon resolution is “becoming legendary”. Green is a member of the Illinois State

She continued, “I truly have never met a person that gives of herself so freely and unselfishly as Bianca Green. Her impact on this community professionally and personally is unparalleled.”

and Economic Opportunity. Frerichs began her professional career in marketing, working in media strategy and investment for five years at Starcom, a division of the Leo Burnett Company. Frerichs is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Media and served as the Student Body President at the Urbana-Champaign campus. Frerichs currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation and is involved on boards for the Illinois Technology Association, the Executive Club of Champaign County and the University of Illinois Campus Alumni Advisory. She is also the Parkland College Foundation Technology Division Head.

Bar Association and the Champaign County Bar Association, where she previously served as a Member of the Board of Governors. She was recently appointed as a Member of the ISBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Council. She is also a member of the Mediation Council and the Association for Conflict Resolution. In her free time, Green serves as a Hearing Officer for the State Universities Civil Service System, where she handles all aspects of administrative hearings, as well as an Adjunct Professor for the University of Illinois College of Law, where she serves as a teacher and coach for the American Bar Association’s Negotiation Team. Green also serves on the board for the Cunningham Children’s Home and is active in the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Executive Club of Champaign County (former board member and president), Leadership Illinois and the C-U One-to-One Mentoring Program. “There is no question that what Bianca gives to this community, the county, and the state should be honored. She amazes me and others at all times. She gives so much of herself as well as being an amazing wife and mother to two wonderful young girls. With Bianca, you get 100 percent at all times,” Bruce said.

Green joins a distinguished list of past ATHENA recipients including Cindy Somers (2012); Lori Gold Patterson (2011); Lynne Barnes (2010); Kathleen Holden (2009); Jane Hays (2008); Donna Greene (2007); Jayne DeLuce (2006); Sue Grey (2005); Beth Katsinas (2004); Diane Friedman (2003); Traci Nally (2002); Lyn Jones (2001); Linda Hamilton (2000); Anita Broeren (1999); Theresa Grentz (1998); Zelema Harris (1997); Shirley Anderson (1996); Mary McGrath (1995); Linda Mills (1994); Jan Kiley (1993); Nanette Fisher (1992); Gloria Dauten (1991); Elizabeth Curzon (1990); and Ruth B. Jones (1989). In addition to the ATHENA Award, the ATHENA Young Professional Award was presented to Laura Frerichs, Director of Research Park at the University of Illinois. With this position, Frerichs is responsible for managing incubation services at EnterpriseWorks, marketing the Research Park and supporting the University’s economic development efforts. Prior to her current role, Frerichs was Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Fox Development Corporation. She also worked as the Senior Account Manager of the East Central Illinois Region for the Illinois Department of Commerce

Laura Weiskopf Bleill, marketing coordinator for the Research Park at University of Illinois and one of Frerichs’ nominators, named Frerichs “a tireless promoter” for entrepreneurs, start-up companies and established businesses in Champaign County. “She is the type of visionary who doesn’t just create a wish list - she creates a pathway to make those ‘wishes’ come true. Her leadership at EnterpriseWorks, improving access for startups to resources, speakers, events and mentorship for entrepreneurs is paramount to the success of the companies,” Bleill said. Sarah Zehr, 2012 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient was also one of Frerichs’ nominators. Past recipients of this prestigious award include Zehr (2012) and Rhiannon Clifton (2011). The ATHENA Award program is sponsored by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and Spherion Staffing Services, corporate underwriter for the ATHENA Award program. The award recipient’s jeweled lapel pin is provided by Busey Wealth Management. The ATHENA Young Professional Award is also sponsored by past recipients of the ATHENA Award.


champaign county chamber of commerce

schmooza palooza BUSINESS EXPO wednesday, april 10 • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. @ the university of illinois assembly hall free admission • free parking • open to the public

HOME TO THE:

sk exteriors

ultimate

power lunch 11 A.M. TO 1 P.M. • FOOD FROM OVER 18 LOCAL RESTAURANTS • ONLY $5 PER SIX (HUGE) SAMPLES • BIGGEST FOOD EVENT OF THE YEAR! AND THE:

bankchampaign, n.a.

wine tasting

4 TO 6 P.M. • FREE WINE SAMPLES • NETWORKING SPONSORED BY:

registration includes: • One 6’ white linen skirted table • Two chairs • Royal blue pipe and drape • Registration for two exhibitor representatives and two free admissions to the SK Exteriors Ultimate Power Lunch • Free parking and admission for guests • Tremendous event promotion on 14 radio stations, four television stations and local billboards, attracting thousands of potential customers to attend the expo • Chance to win an iPad

dates & deadlines:

Friday, March 29 Exhibitor registration deadline Wednesday, April 3 Exhibitor cancellation deadline Wednesday, April 3 Certificate of insurance due Tuesday, April 9 Expo vendor set-up, 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 10 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Expo open to the public 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: SK Exteriors Ultimate Power Lunch 4 to 6 p.m.: BankChampaign Wine Tasting After Hours 6 to 9 p.m.: Exhibitor tear-down and move-out

to register: Go to champaigncounty.org and download a 2013 Schmooza Palooza Business Expo registration form. The form will need mailed, emailed or faxed to Chamber before Friday, March 29. Questions? Contact Karly Combest at KarlyC@champaigncounty.org or call 217.359.1791.


WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between december 2012 and january 2013 Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Illinois Chapter Jocelyn Lamartina 303 N. Hershey Rd., Ste. 2A Bloomington, IL 61704 309.662.8392 jlamartina@alz.org www.alzheimers-illinois.org Social Service Organizations

Ashley Jensen 1809 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.355.8346 ajensen@llhcg.com www.bellahealthcare.com Physicians & Surgeons (MD)-Vericose Veins Bella Medical Center is a 14,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility, offering multiple health and wellness services, including wound care and hyperbaric treatment, interventional radiology, vein procedures, wellness and fitness programs, and age management services. Bella Medical Center also offers vein procedures, such as endovenous laser therapy, sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy and diagnostic ultrasound. All of these treatments are done in a convenient, comfortable office, with little to no downtime.Bella Medical Center’s wellness and fitness programs emphasize weight loss, anti-aging and preventative medicine. Their signature “Age Management” program aims to place patients at the lowest possible risk for age related disease.

Baytowne Dental Center

907 W. Marketview Dr., #11 Champaign, IL 61821 217.355.5220 www.baytownedentalcenter.com Dr. Vinh Hick Dentists

Bella Medical Center

Champaign Dental Group

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703B S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.398.2244 www.champaigndentalgroup.com Dr. Jackson Kuo DDS Dr. Jeffrey Colin DDS Dentists

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Champaign-Urbana Film Society Brett Hays 309 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.416.0494 info@cufilmsociety.org www.cufilmsociety.org Associations

Full of passionate filmmakers and film-lovers, the ChampaignUrbana Film Society aims to encourage the progress of film culture and the enrichment of the cinema experience in Champaign-Urbana by celebrating the moving image in all its forms. Through intelligent programming and exemplary service, they celebrate cinema, discuss great films, meet fellow cinephiles, network with local filmmakers, actors and crew, and learn from industry professionals.

CompleteCare Pharmacy Bob Pemberton 14 E. Washington St.


Cobalt Digital Technologies held a ribbon cutting for their new office building in Champaign on January 30, 2013. Champaign, IL 61820 217.355.6607 champaign@completecarepharmacy.net www.completecarepharmacy.net Pharmacies CompleteCare Pharmacy is an independently owned, local pharmacy that specializes in personal service. They offer free delivery in the Champaign, Urbana and Savoy area and they also ship to surrounding communities. Their pharmacists have over 60 years combined experience in the local area and know many of their customers on a first name basis. They aim to make transferring prescriptions easy, just give them a call and they’ll do the rest! They are also a convenience/grocery store. Come in and check out the huge variety of over-thecounter items, cards, gifts and the Illinois Lottery! They look forward to serving the community.

COUNTRY Financial – John May 1402 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820-6575 217.352.3341 www.countryfinancial.com/john.may john.may@countryfinancial.com John May Insurance

Deem Landscaping

Derek Deem, Owner 2052 County Rd. 1800 E Urbana, IL 61802 217.643.2407 deemd1@yahoo.com www.deemlandscaping.com Landscape Contractors Lawn Maintenance Owner Derek Deem graduated from

Bella Medical Center celebrated the grand opening of their new facility in Champaign on January 31, 2013.

the University of Illinois with a degree in horticulture and a concentration in landscape design and turf. Since 2000, Deem Landscaping has been making a name for itself in the Champaign area for outstanding landscape design, installation and maintenance services. Their projects range from small houses to high-end residential estates to large commercial projects like movie theater complexes. They have a passion for visually stimulating outdoor spaces that act as extensions of their clients’ homes and buildings. Derek oversees each project directly, so communications and coordinations run smoothly.

Delivery 4 U

Lynn White-McIntyre 1403 E. Washington St. Urbana, IL 61802 217.367.5000 admin@delivery4uonline.com www.delivery4uonline.com Delivery Services

Dust & Son of Champaign County 1702 N. Cunningham Ave. Urbana, IL 61802 217.328.3431 lkaiser@dustandson.com www.dustandson.com Larry Kaiser Automobile Parts & Supplies-New

Tradition runs deep in the family business built by Effingham businessmen H.L Dust and his son, Clarence. The father and son opened their first auto parts store, Dust & Son, in 1929. It is a business that has never stopped growing. The automotive parts store and warehousing company have become as much of a tradition for Effingham as for the Dust family itself. Nick’s seven children

and some grandchildren participated in maintaining the success of the family business. Since 1995, the warehousing company has been a Parts Plus member, which is a vital segment of the business’s continual growth. The Dust family plans to maintain its business and tradition of providing the best service possible, both now and in the future. Its main strength is dependability: keeping stores supplied with auto parts and most importantly, having the right parts available when the customer needs them.

Evolve Fitness Club Danielle Hendricks 508 N. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.378.8714 info@clubevolve.com www.clubevolve.com Health Clubs

Evolve is downtown Champaign’s complete fitness club - offering personal training, group fitness, Yoga, and a full gym in a warm and inviting environment. No pretense, no pressure, they strive for results in a supportive and fun atmosphere. In addition to monthly memberships, which include unlimited group fitness classes, they offer punch cards for those only interested in group fitness. They offer Zumba, PiYo, Flirty Girl Fitness, Circuit Training, and more. Whether looking to improve overall fitness, train for a sport, lose weight, or casually exercise, Evolve is here to serve. Come in and try them out for free.

Family Dental Care of Champaign 14 E. Anthony Dr. Champaign, IL 61820 217.359.8697

champaigncounty.org/

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www.familydentalcarechampaign.com Dr. Venu Maturi DDS, MS, FAGD, FICOI Dr. Jane Oh DDS Dentists

Green Street Realty

Jenny Kelley 510 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.356.8750 jenny.kelley@greenstrealty.com www.greenstrealty.com Real Estate Management

Healing Exchange Louie’s Dixie Kitchen, located in Urbana, held a ribbon cutting for their new restaurant on February 12, 2013.

206 N. Randolph St., Ste. 5 Champaign, IL 61820 217.607.1767 healingexhange@gmail.com Christen Gunning Holistic Practioners Healing Exchange Mission: To provide to the utmost professional, effective, invigorating, and “Heavenly Balanced” healing sessions yet also teach Reiki with the highest ethical standards and valuable lineage. Holistic and alternative approach to caring for health, Healing Exchange offers a variety of healing modules that succeed to progress quantum healing and soul progression. Enjoy a session, or learn from a spiritual master. Healing Exchange is open to all religious backgrounds, affiliations, and seekers. Christen is well suited for Shamanistic, Christian, Buddhist, Native American and combination style. Christen also speaks ancient languages which are utilized during sessions for blessing, clearing, and protection.

Hessel Park Family Dentistry Canterbury Ridge, Urbana, celebrated the grand opening of their memory wing on February 12, 2013.

314 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.398.9898 www.hesselparkdentistry.com Dr. Mark Faught DDS Dr. Cheryl Stevenson DMD Dentists

The Little Gym

Giles Austin 2860 S. Philo Rd. Urbana, IL 61801 217.352.5500 tlgchampaignil@thelittlegym.com www.tlgchampaignil.com Gymnastic Instruction

Healing Exchange Center, located in Champaign, celebrated their grand opening on February 14, 2013.

The Little Gym is the world’s premier experiential learning and physical development center for kids ages four months through 12 years. Each week, progressively structured classes and a positive learning environment create opportunities for children to try new things and build self-confidence, all with a grin that stretches from ear to ear. At The Little Gym, the environment is fun, but their purpose is serious. For more than 35 years, their trained instructors have nurtured happy, confident kids through a range of programs including parent/child classes, gymnastics, karate, dance and sports skills development, plus enjoyable extras like camps, Parents’ Survival Nights and Awesome Birthday Bashes.


Louie’s Dixie Kitchen Leah Petit 1104 N. Cunningham Ave. Urbana, IL 61801 217.954.0301 leah@louiesbbq.com www.louiesbbq.com Restaurants

Louie’s Dixie Kitchen and BBQ has recently opened and serves Mississippi-style barbeque and variety of dishes from New Orleans. Dixie Kitchen and BBQ is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant will be closed on Sundays. Some of the food available incluedes their shrimp po’boy sandwich and the popular muffuletta sandwich, red beans and rice, gumbo, and jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, shrimp and grits, and fried chicken. For breakfast some available items are biscuits and gravy, French toast, eggs, bacon, omelets, and hotcakes. Chickery blend coffee and beignets are also on the menu. Their building has been remodeled to resemble an upscale swap shack with a porch to give a comfortable feeling.

Luxury Nails

Ken Tran 115 Calvin St. Savoy, IL 61874 217.351.5150 vtran20@yahoo.com www.luxurynailsavoy.com Nail Salon Luxury Nails has always made clients number one. It’s with relaxation, enjoyment and rejuvenation in mind that they have designed to maximize style. They service many different types of pedicures and manicures, promoting healthy hands, feet and nails. They use the best quality professional spa products and have exemplary service. Whether a client is looking for pure relaxation, an escape from the stresses of daily life, beginning a wellness plan, or simply to enjoy special time with friends or family, they provide an all-encompassing destination spa experience to serve a client’s needs, accommodations and a memorable atmosphere.

Mach 1 #19

902 Bloomington Rd. Champaign, IL 61820 217.607.5078 www.mach1stores.net Alan Meyer Convenience Stores

M. J. Reed Jewelers

1735 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61821 217.356.1387 www.mjreedjewelers.com John Reed Jewelers-Retail M.J. Reed Jewelers is family owned and operated in Champaign, Illinois since 1897. They have been serving Champaign and surrounding communities for 115 years. M.J. Reed has a friendly, highly skilled professional staff to help with all jewelry needs. They hand select each diamond. They take a client’s hard work seriously and strive to accommodate budgeting on every level. They can help

to answer questions and solve problems.

Massage Envy

Kyle Edmund 1213 Savoy Plaza Ln. Savoy, IL 61874 217.356.6368 clinic1053@massageenvy.com www.massageenvy.com Massage – Therapeutic Massage Envy Spa has just opened in Savoy Plaza at Route 45 and Curtis Road. Now, it’s easy to make it part of a wellness plan. So what does massage have to do with your health? Stress takes a toll on the body and mind but with regular massage, a person can enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Long-term effects can include increased circulation, improved flexibility and a stronger immune system. Add Murad® Healthy Skin facials to your wellness routine to enjoy healthy, more youthful-looking skin as well. Conveniently open seven days a week, with evening and weekend hours.

No Regrets Tattoos & Body Piercing 117 W. Church St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.351.9902 mstines.noregrets.ms@gmail.com www.no-regrets-tattoos.com Matt Stines Tattooing Body Piercing

No Regrets Tattoos & Body Piercing. It’s more than a clever name, it’s their goal. Open seven days a week for convenience, No Regrets offers 100 percent custom, tattoo design and application in a safe, clean and professional environment. They have five award-winning artists that have over 50 years collectively of experience tattooing to offer their customers and clients by appointment or on a walk-in basis. Each artist has extensive personal portfolios of their past work


on display in the studio for research and to pick a tattoo or artist. The studio is modern, with a comfortable waiting area and a large selection of tattoo flash and other artwork to reference or enjoy as needed during a visit.

Prestige Worldwide Property Management Andy Wilsey 201 W. Springfield Ave., Ste. 511 Champaign, IL 61820 217.954.1470 andy@prestigehomes4u.com www.prestigehomes4u.com Real Estate Management

A sister company to Prestige Worldwide Real Estate Services Inc. specializes in property management services, tenant finder services, and marketing assistance to Owners/ Landlords. Owner / Managing Broker Andy Wilsey, started this company in 2010 when she had homes that were not selling and Owners were ready to go into foreclosure. Andy marketed these homes, screened tenants and successfully generated an income for her Owners. With proven success Prestige Property Management continues to grow and continues to rent homes fast, generate income and keep Sellers from losing their homes to foreclosures. Now with over 100 units in property management Prestige’s services are being recognized with awards and one of them very dear to Andy’s heart, is the “2012 Property Professional of the Year” presented by Central Illinois Rental Property Professionals.

Prestige Worldwide Property Rehabilitation Center

Andy Wilsey 201 W. Springfield Ave., Ste. 511 Champaign, IL 61820 217.954.1470 andy@prestigehomes4u.com www.prestigehomes4u.com Remodeling Services A Sister company of Prestige Real Estate Services Inc. Prestige Property Rehabilitation provides services to banks, Owners, and Insurance companies to help with rehabilitating their distressed properties. With their expertise and skills they turn distressed properties back into a “ready to sell or rentable property”. Their staff consists of qualified, highly trained professionals committed to excellence in customer service. From their front office staff, to their maintenance crew and paint crew they can turn a property around in a week and have it ready to sell on a limited budget. Prestige Rehabilitation Services also offers services to privately owned owners that need some things done in order to improve their property and get it ready to sell while working within their budget. Why it may be a simple fix or a major renovation we have the services that can do it. Their agent will be glad to come to a client’s home and help with some great and simple ideas in order to sell a home fast and easy!

Prestige Worldwide Real Estate Services

Andy Wilsey 201 W. Springfield Ave., Ste. 511 Champaign, IL 61820 217.954.1470 andy@prestigehomes4u.com www.prestigehomes4u.com Real Estate Real Estate Agents, Brokers & Independent Contractors A new company and a new way of selling real estate has opened up in the Champaign / Urbana area. Andy Wilsey Owner/ Managing Broker has unparalleled experience from high-end homes to first time home Buyers, Andy understand the caliber of professional service and personal attention it takes to satisfy their clients. Andy saw the need with the changing real estate market to do something different. Since opening the company Andy’s “new way” of selling real estate has doubled her numbers and her company continues to grow. Prestige Worldwide is centrally located in Champaign but will service all surrounding areas.

Ryan Dallas Team

Ryan Dallas 821 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.351.4900 homes@ryandallas.net www.ryandallasteam.com Real Estate Agents, Brokers & Independent Contractors The Ryan Dallas Team is the only team in Champaign County that has completely separated their business for both the buyer and the seller. They have agents that can offer expert advice and can assure that they will be available and the client will always be working with a specialist whether it be buying or selling. In 2012, The Ryan Dallas Team moved to Keller Williams Realty, the fastest growing real estate company in the world. This transition helped to catapult their 2012 sales numbers to 253 homes sold for over 37 million in total sales making them a top 125 real estate team in the world of


CHAMBER BREAKFAST SERIES:

KEEPING CUSTOMERS HAPPY

WASHINGTON D.C. BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS

Join us Thursday, March 28 for the next event in our Breakfast Series. Held at Hawthorn Suites in Champaign from 7:30 to 9 a.m., the breakfast will feature best-selling author Tim Miles with a presentation on how to keep customers happy.

Join us Thursday, April 4 for our “Washington D.C. Briefing for Business” Breakfast Series event.

This event is brought to you by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Rantoul Chamber, the Mahomet Chamber, the Urbana Business Association, the Champaign Center Partnership and the Champaign County Black Chamber. The cost to attend is $20, and includes Miles’ bestselling book and breakfast. Doors open at 7:15 a.m. To register, contact Norma Wesley at NormaW@ champaigncounty.org or call 217.531.4669. over 80,000 Keller Williams realtors. Based out of Keller Williams Realty in Champaign, the team specializes in assisting homebuyers and sellers throughout Champaign and surrounding counties.

The Studio Salon & Day Spa Tami Richardson 202 E. University Ave., Ste. H Urbana, IL 61801 217.954.1606 studiourbanail@gmail.com www.thestudiowebsite.com Beauty Salon

Their modern salon offers you big city results without the hassles. The day spa is a tranquil retreat from everyday stress. They pride themselves in the education of their staff and their dedication to delivering excellent service with a professional and positive attitude. They strive to not only meet a client’s expectations, but to exceed them.

TGI Friday’s

Curtis Akers 103 W. Marketview Dr. Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.8443 2136@crww.com www.tgifridays.com

The event will feature Congressman John Shimkus and Congressman Rodney Davis as they present on issues pertinent to the business community that are being discussed in Washington D.C. Their presentations will be followed by a Q & A. The event will be held at Hawthorn Suites in Champaign from 7:30 to 9 a.m. The cost to attend is $17 for Chamber members; $29 for non-members. A full breakfast is included with the price. To register, contact Norma Wesley at NormaW@ champaigncounty.org or call 217.531.4669. Doors open at 7:15 a.m.

Restaurants

Twist and Shout Dance and Cheer Stephanie Denby 305 W. Oak St. Mahomet, IL 61853 217.586.4392 twistandshoutdance@yahoo.com www.twistandshoutdanceandcheer.com Cheerleading Dance Instruction

Twist and Shout Dance and Cheer offers classes for girls and boys ages 18 months -18 years; Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Lyrical, Pointe, Flexibility, Tumbling and Cheer. Their All-Star program offers training in competitive cheerleading for girls and boys ages 4 to 18. A six week summer session starts in June. A nine month season starts in September.

Vantiv LLC

Adam Estergard 508 W. Union St., Unit 1 Champaign, IL 61820 217.778.6637 adam.estergard@gmail.com www.vantiv.com Credit Cards – Merchant Services

Zendo Shiatsu

Nicole Eret Edwards 2403 W. Springfield Ave Champaign, IL 61820 217.689.0647 zendoshiatsu@gmail.com www.zendoshiatsu.com Holistic Practitioners Zendō Shiatsu specializes in Zen Shiatsu, a Japanese touch-based therapy that helps promote and maintain healthier bodies and happier minds. Based in Oriental Medicine and western anatomy & physiology, Shiatsu is often described as offering physical and energetic benefits of both acupuncture and massage. Nationally-certified Shiatsu therapist Nicole Eret Edwards is committed to improving integrative healthcare in the community and has been serving individual and corporate clients through treatment sessions, demos, and educational presentations since 2005.

champaigncounty.org/

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EXPOSING BUSINESS EXPOS

EXPERT TIPS FOR NAVIGATING LIKE A PRO WRITTEN BY ALLISON COPENBARGER VANCE FOR THE CHAMPAIGN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

ONE. A person is walking toward a booth. TWO. The person turns their head to scan the display. THREE. A person may scan free items, read text or look at the people in the booth.

FOUR. A person either stops to chat or walks on by. FOUR SECONDS: the average amount of time each

potential client will spend passing by a booth at an expo. In the vast space of an expo with rows and rows of booths and floods of people, the entire idea can seem intimidating and overwhelming. As a business, it can be difficult to target the right clients, make the most of the number of potential contacts in a short amount of time and prioritize to gain the

most benefit. With careful planning and some initiative, it’s not too difficult to cultivate more than that four second initial interest. With helpful tips from a few local experts, a business can help turn that four-second glance into a meaningful client relationship.

BE PREPARED

As with any large-scale event, experts say preparation is key. For the physical space, expert Angela Ingerson, Leisure Sales & Tourism Director at the Champaign County Convention & Visitors Bureau, suggests more pictures and less text. In the four seconds it takes for a person to walk by, he or she should be able to discern immediately what the product or service is being offered. Pictures help to grab attention and communicate ideas in a quicker amount of time. champaigncounty.org/

15


which materials and having a prepared elevator speech. The elevator speech is a key component to any person working in a business realm. But in no other instance is it more important that in an expo. If a businessperson can manage to engage a client after the four second timeframe, the next step is to pitch a product or service. This needs to be done in a succinct way- cue the “elevator speech,” so called because a person should be able to spew the information in about the time it takes to ride an elevator to the ground floor. While many people may already have a favorite speech tucked away for the occasion, perhaps it would be beneficial to update it. It also doesn’t hurt to have a few different speeches for different clients.

PRESENTATION IS KEY SMILE

MAKE EYE CONTACT

A smile goes a long way in a client relationship. Never underestimate the power of a smile, especially after a long day. Pause from your elevator pitch long enough to show genuine interest.

Eye contact accomplishes interest, respect and care instantly. In a sea of hundreds of people, eye contact shows specific interest in a person’s needs.

DRESS UP A BIT

Many expos are at least 8 hours long. New shoes and heels make a statement, but it won’t matter if you’re unable to walk around and intiate converstaions.

Ingerson compares expos to parties. You want to be just a bit more dressed up than everyone else. The biggest faux pas is to be underdressed. (The exception would be if the clothing is part of a theme.)

Ingerson also suggests keeping the space uncluttered. Along with having fewer words, a business also does not want to have several piles of papers or other items that detract from the main message. She emphasizes, “Quality over quantity.” Cory Hatfield, Sales and Sports

WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES

Even being prepared with logistics can be helpful. For example, plan out lunch shifts. Also try to have two people at the booth at all times. This way, if someone needs to use the restroom or take a break to sit, the company will not lose out on clients walking by. During any down time, one person can also go around to peruse the other booths to get ideas for the next time.

ENGAGE

Ingerson said the single most important element in a trade show exhibit is people who are alert and strategic in trying to engage clients. To begin with, she suggests a company to send its very best employees – the best people in sales, the owners, etc. Being able to engage people quickly for several hours is best left to those who are best at it and enjoy it.

She also suggests never sitting down. She says it is much better to stand out in front of a booth than behind it. This way, Director at the Champaign County a person can go to the clients, rather Convention & Visitors Bureau, suggests than waiting for the clients to come to planning out booth logistics long in them. It also creates a more comfortadvance. He says weeks before every able environment as often the table can business should have the entire display seem like a barrier. done and ready to go, all employee Ingerson routinely works trade shows shifts scheduled to work the booth, as part of her job at the CVB. She likes employees determining who will bring


to have a go-to saying to attract potential clients. She doesn’t usually just say a simple, “Hi.” She’ll often say something creative that grabs their attention, but that also fits into her purpose of marketing Champaign County. In the past when promoting a local attraction, she would say, “Have you ever had a reindeer kiss?” to people walking by. It helped to grab their attention to engage in conversation. But there is a fine line between engaging and as Ingerson says, “being a fair carnie.” She says the best bet is to be friendly, but not too aggressive. Hatfield, who also attends many trade show every year, says the number one rule of business expo etiquette is to put cell phones away – at the very least on vibrate mode. “Having your cell phone out is uninviting,” he said. “If your eyes are glued to the cell phone, people will walk right by, and it leaves a negative first impression.” Another part of being engaged is dressing the part. While not everyone has to wear a full suit, Ingerson suggests dressing up a little more than one normally would. “It’s like going to a party,” she said. “You don’t know what everyone’s wearing, so you dress up because people are going to be looking at you.” At the end of the day, Hatfield says the people are always more important than the display itself. “You can have really cool graphics but unless people are friendly and smiling, people won’t stop.”

HAVE FUN

Business expos are serious business. Each business pays money to be there with the hope that they will get a return on the investment. There are hundreds of potential clients and many businesses are vying for their undivided attention. However, one of the easiest ways to attract people is not by being serious, but by being fun and light-hearted. Ingerson said that no matter what the booth is advertising, she suggests they create some sort of game and give out prizes. The game could correspond to the company, but doesn’t necessarily have to be directly tied. At past expos, companies have set up golf, balloon dart throw and variations of basketball. Giving away free stuff is also a huge draw for clients. However Hatfield and Ingerson say businesses should think very carefully about the items they are giving away. “The goal is to give them something they will keep and not throw away,” she says. “Pens and candy are fine, but they don’t last very long and they don’t stand out.” In the past, they have given coasters and letter openers. Again, they stress “quality over quantity.” One of the most popular giveaways a few years ago was a USB drive. But Ingerson would caution businesses to stay away from those. Many are made overseas and can contain

BEST EXPO PHONE APPS CARDMUNCH (FOR IPHONE)

Simply take a picture of a business card, and this app will convert the card information into an iPhone contact. It also shows the person’s complete LinkedIn profile and is free, though it does require a LinkedIn account. Pros: Free, fast Cons: Must have a LinkedIn account to use, only available for iPhone

LINKEDIN

Connect to the largest online professional network with this app. Find and connect with professional contacts, edit your profile and read industry news from your phone. Pros: Free, clean design, available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry & Windows Cons: Crashes on occasion

MEETME

This app is designed with networking meetings in mind to follow up with contacts. Input two locations into the app and it locates possible meeting points in the middle. There is also an option to email directions to both parties. Pros: Streamlines meet ups Cons: Not free ($0.99)

CONTACTS JOURNAL

It can be difficult to remember interactions with all business contacts. Use this app to keep details notes about every interaction. It allows the user to add notes to describe meetings, phone calls and emails. It also has a to-do list to add upcoming events. Pros: Well designed, good reviews Cons: Only available for the iPhone & iPad, expensive ($9.99) champaigncounty.org/

17


schmooze (verb): to network and converse casually

HOME TO THE:

palooza (noun): a large-scale party! AND THE:

2013

ultimate POWER lunch

wine tasting

schmooza palooza BUSINESS EXPO

wednesday, april 10 • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. @ the university of illinois assembly hall viruses. Drawings are also huge pulls for potential clients. In the past she has seen banks give away money, jewelry stores give away diamonds or restaurants give away free food. However, if the drawing requires people to give personal information, be sure to tell them if they are being added to a mailing list. “You have to be up front with people, or they won’t want your business.” Ingerson said.

FOLLOW UP

After the day is over and businesses have collected scores of contacts, it is crucial to organize them and then plan to follow up. Ingerson asks people how they would like to be contacted with a follow up. “Some people do not want information mailed, while other people prefer it,” she said. Then, tell them when you will follow up with them. Follow up time can be strategic as well. Following up right away has its benefits, but that is the time they will be bombarded with emails. Ingerson prefers to wait six weeks to follow up, so hers stands out. In the follow up, try to mention a personal detail. Taking notes while talking to people is crucial to being able to have

information for a follow up. Be sure to ask them questions and write it down on the back of their contact sheet or business card. Hatfield also says it is important to have some sort of organization for contacts. He uses a content management system that allows him to set reminders even years in advance. Then it sends him a note reminding him a couple of days before. “Meeting 200 people, there’s no way you will remember what they needed, when they needed it,” he said. Done correctly, business expos are hard work and require much planning, initiative and follow through. “If you have a successful trade show you’ll know it,” Ingerson said. “You’re tired at the end of the day, because you’re on stage all day long.” But in no other setting can businesses learn about other businesses, improve employee morale, learn ways to grow and expand and work on customer service all in one spot. Hatfield says that even in the age of the internet, business expos are still supreme in garnering new clients. “In no other environment are you going to have that many people eager to talk to you about your business” he said. “Maybe you won’t get many sales on the spot, but it starts the conversation and a relationship.”


PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE

THE CHAMBER SPEAKS OUT AGAINST ILLINOIS’ PROPOSED MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE

unintended consequences STOP ILLINOIS FROM RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE

To follow along with our campaign against Illinois raising the minimum wage, “like” us on Facebook, facebook.com/unintendedconsequencesillinois

I

n his State of the State address last month, Governor Pat Quinn proposed increasing the Illinois minimum wage from $8.25 to at least $10.50. The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce asked its members their opinion on this proposal to gauge how this proposed change would impact the regional business community. Of the 195 responses received by the Chamber, 85 percent are

opposed to the increase while 12 percent are in favor of it. Laura Weis, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, said beyond support or opposition, she wanted know what unintended consequences may result if the proposal is passed. “We have heard from businesses small and large, there is no one left untouched by the proposed increase,” Weis said. Over 50 percent of businesses surveyed in Champaign County said they would be forced to increase their product cost, a burden passed on to consumers. Wage creep, an increase in all salaries due to an increase in minimum, was also an issue for 44 percent of respondents. Others said they would have to shift their hiring focus to more skilled employees, leaving lesser skilled workers out of the labor market entirely. “Proponents of a minimum wage increase are well-intentioned but misled by the notion that the government can arbitrarily increase wages and not have unintended consequences,” Weis continued. “These consequences will have a significant and negative impact on the marketplace.” Other Chambers of Commerce throughout the region including Peoria, Pekin, Lincoln/Logan County, McLean County, Springfield and Canton also conducted surveys with their membership. Combined, more than 1150 people responded and the results were overwhelmingly against the proposal with 86 percent of respondents in opposition to it. Twenty-five percent said a minimum wage hike will force them to increase prices, 21 percent said they will have to reduce staff in order to compensate for the wage increase and 21 percent said wage creep will affect their business negatively. The current minimum wage increase proposal is SB68. It is the same bill introduced last session by Senator Lightford. This bill would increase minimum wage 50 cents per year until it reaches $10.50 which is estimated to be comparable to the minimum wage when it was first passed in the 1960s. It would increase annually based on the Consumer Price Index. This bill would also remove many of the current exemptions for agricultural workers, wait staff, etc.. Although, at time of print, it appears these exemptions may be added in.


(Viewpoints continued from pg. 3...) “This is absolutely foolish! When I was 16 years old I made very little, 2.95/hr. And that was okay because it taught me if I work real hard and do a good job then I could see a promotion and at the same time I was developing a good work ethic. What I learned about hard work as a bus boy allowed me to take steps to where I am today! If I was that age today and some employer handed me $10.50 an hr. I would never learn how to appreciate hard work and the reward for it,(a raise). Plus at $10.50/ hr. their is no room for a promotion in salary? What I do think our state should do is limit the increase to only working families, say a married couple with one or more children, but not to some minor child who hasn’t even learned to count money at a fast food place and is still in school. They should make it mandatory that the person must be at least 18 yrs. old, out of school(High School Diploma or GED)and married with children.” Christopher S. Jones Jones Insurance Group.

“The way I see it, the only winner in a minimum wage increase is the taxing bodies. When the min. wage is increased, most businesses will raise the prices on

the goods and services that they provide. Which in turn will cause inflation and an increased tax revenues. Unfortunately some small business will not be able to raise their prices and could possibly end up decreasing staff or worse yet close their doors. So those that will gain the most from a minimum wage increase will also feel the largest hit from the increased costs across the board. They will not be much better off than they were before the increase. This is just a more acceptable way for the State to raise our taxes and gain political favor with those who are working in that wage scale. Wages should be determined by the market and skill/quality of work by the employees. The State should do something to decrease costs for business, which would help them expand, increase staff, and grow.” Rich Gibas Neves Group “What is a “fair” wage, what is a “livable” wage, is there a difference in the cost of living in Chicago vs. Paxton, or Champaign vs. Clinton? Clearly, experienced employees would need to have an increase and the prices for virtually everything would go up. Could this just be a hidden effort to raise sales tax revenues and income tax receipts for the State? Speaking of the state, would they pass along an increase in - say medicaid rates to nursing homes and DD providers comensurate with the increases in the

salaries they are requiring everyone to raise - I think not. This is a brilliant plan to drive even more business away from this State.” Al Gapinski NHRMA Mutual “The minimum wage increase is yet another bad idea from the Illinois government. This will kill entry level jobs and create starting salary increases that will make it difficult for small businesses to hire, thereby killing economic growth. It will also increase the amount of employer taxes business will be required to pay... so I presume that is what the politicians in Springfield are betting on. However, this is bill is economic suicide for the State of Illinois. Employees should earn the additional income on their own merit and achievements, not on the backs of the businesses that hire them.” Rod Roberts Roberts Design Company, Inc. DISCLAIMER: The statistics and opinions featured in “Viewpoints” do not represent the position of the Chamber. Responses were generated through a survey sent to all Chamber members. Comments on the proposed minimum wage increase or area business travel? Contact Chamber Public Policy Manager, Ryan Roth, at RyanR@champaigncounty.org.


MEMBERSHIP NEWS BPC, Inc. is now one of the first third party administrators in the nation to have earned certification from CEFEX, Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, for Retirement Plan Services. After successfully completing an in-depth independent audit, CEFEX certified BPC as adhering to the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) Standard of Practice for Retirement Plan Service Providers. The CEFEX designation for Retirement Plan Service Providers recognizes the high bar BPC set for itself and has been operating at for more than 30 years. This accomplishment is a testiment to BPC’s hard work and highly trained professionals who serve plans with assets exceeding 1.1 billion dollars for approximately 700 employers and more than 30,000 retirement plan participants across the nation. The annual certification process involves a detailed assessment of operational data and procedures, followed by on-site interviews with key personnel. The Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau accepted the award for the Best Tourism Marketing Campaign during the 2013 Illinois Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Steve Gardner, Financial Adviser with Cozad Asset Management, has earned the Certified Financial Planner designation by completing requirements established by the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards, Inc. Gardner is an honors graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has served for more than six years as a submarine officer and nuclear engineer with the U.S. Navy. Gardner joined Cozad Asset Management in 2010 and is responsible for providing wealth management services to a select group of customers throughout the United States. The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® reported area home sales continued on an upward trend in January as buyers were intense on locking in on entry-level homes as well as foreclosed inventory. Closed units of 123 represented a gain of 36% over January 2012. There were 160 listings under contract in January, an increase of 8.84 percent over January 2012 from 147 a year ago. Total closed dollar volume of $16,625,172 in January was up 20.34 percent from $13,814.765 in January a year ago. January marks the twelfth straight month in a row in which home sales were up over the prior year. Congratulations to Kraft Foods, Inc. on 50 years of business in Champaign. The plant opened on March 4, 1963 and is now the largest food production plant in North America. Kraft is the fourth largest employer in Champaign County, employing more than 1,350 people. The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics

celebrated the 40th anniversary of Title IX being signed into law by recognizing women in the Champaign-Urbana area who have served as pioneers in athletics and community service. Michelle’s Bridal celebrated 30 years of business last week, the company opened Feb. 28 1983 and they are now in their fourth location. The shop has expanded into a full-service salon with bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos, mothers of the bride/ groom gowns and prom/ pageant/ homecoming dresses. 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 Nikolle Keeney, NikolleK@champaigncounty.org


Chamber Store Mailing Labels

Website Sponsorship

Contact Norma Wesley to place your order, NormaW@champaigncounty.org or 217.531.4669.

Online Business Directory Enhancements

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. 1,080 names and businesses)..................................$125

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 Nikolle Keeney for more information, NikolleK@ champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

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. Basic upgrade....................................................................................................$40 Value upgrade...................................................................................................$60 Deluxe upgrade................................................................................................$90 Contact Nikolle for more information, NikolleK@champaigncounty. org or 217.359.1791.

Event Sponsorship

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 Nikolle Keeney for more information, NikolleK@ champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

Commerce Connection Advertisement

The Chamber is planning a massive redesign of our website within the next year. There will be numerous opportunities for businesses to sponsor pages, host banners and showcase themselves on the Chamber site. More information will be available in the coming months. If you would like to express early interest, contact Nikolle Keeney at NikolleK@champaigncounty.org.

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 2013 East Central Illinois Business Expo : Title sponsorship, power lunch sponsorship, wine tasting sponsorship (prices available upon request)

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 full-color, full-gloss and all around awesome. Ads start at only $90

Additional sponsorship information for events such as the Annual Meeting, Golf Outing and Come Wine With Us is available upon request. Contact Karly at KarlyC@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791 with any event sponsorship inquiries.

Contact Nikolle Keeney for more information - NikolleK@ champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

Some things you get free:

LAPTOP COMPUTER

R E N TA L

LCD ROOM

CONFERENCE

PROJECTOR

RENTAL

RENTAL

CERTIFICATE OF

ORIGIN &

NOTARY S E R V I C E

INFO - - A N D - -

ASSISTANCE

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 Writing a Business Plan

Thursday, March 21, 3 to 5:30 p.m. Hosted by ECI Score at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Office 303 S. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Business After Hours

Thursday, March 21, 5 to 7 p.m. Hosted by Hilton Garden Inn 1501 S. Neil St., Champaign

Breakfast Series: Keeping Customers Happy

Thursday, March 28, 7:15 to 9 a.m. Featuring author Tim Miles Held at Hawthorn Suites 101 Trade Center Dr., Champaign

Financing a Small Business

Thursday, March 28, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Hosted by ECI Score at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce office 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Breakfast Series: Washington D.C. Briefing for Business

Thursday, April 4, Featuring Congressmen John Shimkus & Rodney Davis Held at Hawthorn Suites 101 Trade Center Dr., Champaign

First Friday Coffee

Friday, April 5, 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Hosted by Singleton Law Firm, P.C. at the Research Park at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2001 S. First St., Ste. 209, Champaign

2013 Schmooza Palooza Business Expo

Wednesday, April 10, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall 1800 S. First St., Champaign

SK Exteriors Ultimate Power Lunch

Wednesday, April 10, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall (during the 2013 Schmooza Palooza Business Expo) 1800 S. First St., Champaign

BankChampaign, N.A. Wine Tasting

Wednesday, April 10, 4 to 6 p.m. at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall (during the 2013 Schmooza Palooza Business Expo) 1800 S. First St., Champaign

Business After Hours

Thursday, April 18, 5 to 7 p.m. Hosted by Bridle Brook Adult Community 1505 Patton Dr. Mahomet, IL 61853

First Friday Coffee

Friday, May 3, 7:30 to 9 a.m. Hosted by Pepsi Cola C-U Bottling Co. 1306 Anthony Dr., Champaign

EaRN: Speed Networking

Thursday, May 9, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Held at the Chamber office 303 S. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Business After Hours

Thursday, May 16, 5 to 7 p.m. Hosted by Eastland Suites Hotel and Conference Center 1907 N. Cunningham Ave., Urbana

Chamber Golf Outing

Thursday, June 6 Held at Stone Creek Golf Club 2600 S. Stone Creek Blvd., Urbana

Fast Facts

7.3% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in December 2012

60 business licenses applied for in Champaign County in February 2013

104.8 February 2013 Flash Economic Index for Champaign County

1,107,810 rides were taken on CUMTD in November 2012

13,720 visits to the Chamber’s homepage, champaigncounty.org, in February 2013

51,297 average amount of referrals PER DAY

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


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Commerce Connection, Spring 2013