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December 2019

THEVOICE • rockfordchamber.com

IGNITE: YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

Another taboo topic: loneliness Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher Program Investing in the Future of Illinois Manufacturers In a highly competitive market that is fueled by technology advancements, small and mid-sized manufacturers need to act now to remain relevant. The Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher presents a bold opportunity for manufacturers to incorporate technology in their processes or products to sustain their competitive advantages. Using acquired knowledge from industry experts, Voucher projects can help resolve minor technological issues or outline possible solutions for a more complex problem, resulting in innovation and market growth. The Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher will award up to $25,000 in match funding to: ■■ Accelerate Technology Adaption ■■ Identify and Implement Productivity Improvements ■■ Overcome Organizational Growth Barriers Voucher projects must be conducted in Illinois and are for existing Illinois manufacturers with between 5 and 500 employees. Projects are expected to be practical in nature and focus on productivity improvements and/or product development that lead to innovation and measurable gains. For more information go to: www.imec.org/innovation

DR. ZAKERA NANABAWA IGNITE ROCKFORD

The necessity for forming quality relationships

Researchers have found that loneliness is just as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Lonely people are 50 percent more likely to die prematurely than those with healthy social relationships. Loneliness was found to be such a big problem in the United Kingdom, that the former Prime Minister, Theresa May, appointed a minister of loneliness. Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need, crucial to both wellbeing and survival. More and more people are living alone, with declining marriage rates and fewer children. Loneliness is not the same thing as being alone. Some solitude is good for you. But being alone needs to be a choice in order to be healthy. So why is loneliness deadly? First, it reduces your immunity, which can increase your risk of disease. It also increases inflammation in the body, which can contribute to heart disease and chronic health conditions.

People Who Fuel Your Soul What to do? Quality relationships matter more than quantity. Even though we live in a technologically hyperconnected world, it is a very different kind of connection from interacting with other human beings face to face. If you have been spending a lot of time alone, this is the point at which it would be a good idea to head to your local roastery or join a young professionals group, so that you can fend off this year’s flu bug. This might be the biggest challenge,

but you need to find people that fuel your soul; those with whom you could talk for hours and leave energized instead of depleted. There are undoubtedly people in the area who share at least a couple of your interests and hobbies, whether you are into Game of Thrones, crocheting, collecting vintage vinyls … . Look around for local meetup groups, social media for communities and get socializing! Zakera

Nanabawa,

M.D.,

Crusader

Community Health, is a member of IGNITE Rockford.

Connect with others at upcoming IGNITE events IGNITE Smokey Bones Happy Hour, Dec. 3, 4:30 to 6 p.m., at Smokey Bones, 6690 E. State St., Rockford. IGNITE Holiday Party, Dec. 18, 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Aero Ale House. Check for updates on IGNITE’s Facebook page. To find more IGNITE events, check out the following: IGNITE Facebook page (https:// www.facebook.com/ IgniteRockford/) IGNITE Instagram (@ igniterockfordyp) IGNITE website (www. igniterockford.com/)

Chicago Tops List of 2019 Best Winter Holiday Destinations WalletHub compared nearly 70 of the largest U.S. metro areas, grouping them by warm and cold weather. Each destination was analyzed based on 37 key metrics, such as weather forecasts, safety and variety of activities. Chicago ranked: ■■ 4th Lowest Travel Costs & Fewest Hassles ■■ 4th Most Attractions

■■ 1st Most Cold-Weather Activities Best Cold Destinations

Best Warm Destinations

2. Washington, D.C.

2. Dallas, Texas

1. Chicago, Ill.

3. Atlanta, Ga.

4. Philadelphia, Pa. 5. Denver, Colo.

6. Boston, Mass. 7. St. Louis, Mo.

8. Cincinnati, Ohio 9. New York, N.Y.

10. Portland, Ore.

1. Austin, Texas

3. San Diego, Calif. 4. Las Vegas, N.V. 5. Tampa, Fla.

6. Houston, Texas

7. San Antonio, Texas 8. Charleston, S.C. 9. Phoenix, Ariz. 10. Orlando, Fla.

Profile for Rockford Chamber of Commerce

December Voice 2019