SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A SATURDAY NEWSLETTER u Winter 2020 u
Small businesses seek local shoppers
Business & Industry United For A Better Community
Ways to donate in the community over the holidays
Check out some new businesses around Oswego
Tips to prevent retail theft
hen Small Business Saturday was started by American Express during the recession in 2010, its goal was to bring awareness to local businesses for holiday shopping after Black Friday. But this year due to COVID-19 closures, many local Oswego businesses need more than just a day to bring holiday revenue to their businesses – and their survival depends on it. “So shopping local is very important every year, but more so this year because many of the stores are still
recovering from being shut down for months,” says Angie Hibben, President and CEO of the Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce. “They need the holiday sales to keep their business afloat until 2021.” Over 500 businesses are a part of the Oswego Chamber of Commerce and, for the most part, are small companies in the 1-7 employee range. Many of the local businesses have been thinking outside of the box to sustain themselves through shutdowns and restrictions, turning to online sales, curbside pickups and more. u Continued on page3
The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee reminds you to shop local! And Waubonsee reminds you to learn local with us, your community college, all year long! SPRING COURSES BEGIN
waubonsee.edu Waubonsee does not discriminate on the basis of any individual’s actual or perceived characteristic protected by law in its programs or activities. Inquiries regarding this policy may be directed to: Michele Needham,Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oswego Foundation For Educational Excellence (OFEE) The Oswego Foundation for Educational Excellence ce or OFEE, was incorporated in 1995 as a vehicle to enhance the educational programs of the district by providing materials, equipment and funding for initiatives that cannot be supplied through limited public resources. With its current grant program, community involvement and future vision, OFEE is positive resource for academic strength, community growth and overall unity. As a not-for-proﬁt organization, OFEE funds are generated through individual and corporate charitable contributions. If you would like to help OFEE and donate to our mission, we are a qualiﬁed 501(c) (3) organization with the IRS. To donate online or if you are interested in becoming a sponsor, visit our website: www.oswegofoundation.org/donations.html or you can call Danielle Paul, 630-370-1966. You can also mail your donation to OFEE - P.O. Box 111, Oswego, IL 60543.
It’s for the kids!!
630- 37 0 -1 9 6 6 • O S W EGO F O U NDATIO N . O R G Page 2 www.oswegochamber.org
u Continued from page 1
“We’re encouraging people to be patient and kind,” Hibben says. “If you have a problem at a store, address the store owner in a respectful, kind way. Understand that these store owners have put their life savings into their stores and this is their heart and soul.” If shopping in person is not an option, gift cards are a great way to support local businesses during this tough time. Many offer their own gift certificates, and the Oswego Downtown Association also offers gift “Downtown Dollars” valid at around 20 downtown stores. “It’s a great option if they don’t know which store they want to buy at,” Hibben adds, noting that shops range
from clothing shops like Gia Bella to unique shops like the Stonehouse Market and Marmalade Tree. The Oswego Chamber of Commerce has been doing everything it can to help the local shops, including posting on Facebook and creating a “Support small businesses in Kendall County” Facebook page. They’ve even brought back Flat Angie, which is a full-size plastic cutout of Hibben inspired by the children’s book “Flat Stanley.” “Flat Angie has been going around to businesses encouraging people to shop local and shop small,” Hibben adds, noting that they’re hoping to help bring more awareness to local businesses. According to the Small Business Economic Impact Study done in 2018, approximately two-thirds of every dollar spent at those small businesses stays in the local community. “When you shop local, you are supporting businesses that have donated to your
kids’ traveling sports teams and school fundraisers for years and years,” says Hibben, who has been a resident of Oswego since 1986. “So many of these businesses give back to their community and their own children are in school with your children. “You’re supporting a little girl’s dance classes or a boy’s football fees.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS Small businesses seek local shoppers.........................................................1 Chamber CEO Letter.........................................................................................4 ’Tis the season for holiday giving.................................................................. 5 Chamber Chairman of the Board Letter......................................................6 Reduce risk of retail theft ............................................................................... 7 Village President Letter ...................................................................................8 Fraidycat 5K, Ghost Run, Meow Mile still going strong .........................9 Ribbon Cuttings............................................................................................... 10 New Members ..................................................................................................11
Becoming a Member is EASY and Affordable! Check us out online at www.OswegoChamber.org Call, e-mail, or stop on by! Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce 73 W. Van Buren St. • Oswego, IL 60543 Phone: (630) 554-3505 • Fax: (630) 554-0050 Email: email@example.com Oswego Area Chamber Newsletter | Winter 2020 3
Chamber CEO Letter
s we wind up 2020 and go into the holiday season, a lot still seems unsure. I am very impressed with the businesses of Oswego who have been wearing masks, sanitizing their stores, limiting numbers in the store, etc., to keep their employees and the community safe. I know you have been working hard to support your staff, support your families and still provide products and services to the Oswego area community. Please know that the chamber appreciates all that you are doing and we stand with you to help in any way we can! My parents were both small business owners, and I totally appreciate and understand the efforts and time you are putting into your businesses. As we go into the holiday shopping season and the winter months, please stay connected with us and the community. Stop by or call the
chamber office to see how we can help you stay connected. Flat Angie will be reappearing to promote and support #SHOPSMALL, #SHOPLOCAL, #SHOPOSWEGO, #OSWEGOSTRONG, #OSWEGOCHAMBERCARES. We know many of you have also become teachers and are dealing with e-learning at home or in your place of business. Let us know how we can help you! Please let us know of any changes to your business regarding hours, shopping/delivery/curbside so we can help the public know how to purchase from you and use your products and services. Join the Support Small Business in Kendall County page to promote your business, and if you are a member, join the Oswego Area Chamber member page to promote and maybe find “power partners” you can work with. Also watch for #Where’s Troy, our Village President, on social media
President/CEO Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce
while he is out supporting our Oswego businesses. If you are not a member of the Oswego Area chamber, Shayna and I would love to talk with you about becoming a member. Email or call us at any time with questions. If we don’t have an answer, we will work to find answers to your questions. You can also stop in at the office at 73 W. Van Buren St., in downtown Oswego. We are #Oswego Strong, and we are here to help you! I wish each and every one of you a prosperous end of the year and best wishes into 2021! We appreciate each and every one of our businesses. If you aren’t a member, then I hope we can work with you in the future! If you are a member, let us know how we can help and support you! I can’t wait to get back to holding seminars, networking events and seeing people in person on a regular basis. Be safe, be strong.
Page 4 www.oswegochamber.org
’Tis the season for
By Melissa Rubalcaba Riske
And for the hive of this holiday season, look no further than the Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce as the office opens its doors to collect food, toys and so much more. “It’s going to be a busy time,” said Angie Hibben, president and CEO of the Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce. “We’re working very hard to create the magic of the holidays.” Starting in November, drop off can or boxed non-perishable food at the chamber’s office to support the Kendall County Community Food Pantry. The chamber also will host the annual 50/50 Raffle with proceeds of the raffle also supporting the Kendall County Community Food Pantry. The chamber offices will have a collection box for the annual Fire Department/Toys for Tots program where you can drop off a new, unwrapped toy. www.oswegochamber.org
This year has certainly been a year we won’t soon forget, but preserve the memories with the annual ornament sale featuring an image of Santa wearing a mask and carrying a sack of toilet papers. The ornament is engraved with the words “2020 No coal, just a roll.” Ornaments can be purchased at the chamber’s office or through a link online. Proceeds from the ornament sale will support the Fusion Project, a non-profit that provides social and emotional support for teenage girls.
BENEFITTING KENDALL COUNTY COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRY Drop off non-perishable boxed or canned goods at the Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce office.
BENEFITTING TOYS FOR TOTS Drop off a new, unwrapped toy at the chamber office for the annual Fire Department/Toys for Tots program.
George J. Sterling CPA
The chamber has ornaments at the chamber office where there are ornaments for The Optimist Club where people can select to give a gift to a teenage girl, boy, or provide a donation to support families’ holiday meals. As programs like Toys for Tots is aimed at children 12 and younger, this program provides gifts to older children and makes sure they have something to open on Christmas as well. “We want to create memories, excitement and happiness,” Hibben said. “We’re going to try to make it very magical.”
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hile 2020 has been a year that has taken so much, December will be filled with giving in Oswego as local businesses and residents work together to celebrate the holiday season and support those in need.
Visit our website for tax tips and resources:
Oswego Area Chamber Newsletter | Winter 2020 5
W KEITH MOORE
Chamber Board Chairman
ho would have imagined that on midnight, December 31st, 2019, the new year 2020 would have taken the turn it did? Prior to 2020, none of us really knew anything about Zoom, but we held virtual meetings, cocktails hours and seminars via Zoom. That wearing a face covering, working from home and e-learning for children would become the standard. I dare not say the “new normal,” because at some point we will return to the old normal. During this time, our small businesses have struggled with all the new regulations enacted on them by state government, determining if they were essential or not, raw material and inventory shortages. Many businesses changed their operation models overnight to provide our local communities the needed supplies and essential items. Many restaurants turned in to your local market as the large retailers ran out of various items like toilet paper and basic food items. Our restaurants opened their doors to sell the items they had realizing they would not be open for a few weeks; many turned to making face coverings, some hand sanitizer, and the list goes on. During this time, your chamber jumped in with both feet. Angie and Shayna started the Facebook group, “Supporting Small Business in Kendall County.” They had countless meetings with local officials to aide our businesses in navigating new regulations that changed almost daily, worked on PPE and EDIL loans for the chamber, offered guidance for our
local businesses and secured a grant from ComEd. As soon it was safe to do so, they got the chamber office open to our members. During times of the civil unrest in the spring, we worked with village officials to utilize our text messaging systems to send out local updates during that time, becoming the voice of Oswego. We officially organized our new emergency volunteer program, Oswego Chambers Cares, assisting our local downtown business board. Our community came together – some donated materials, others donated their time. We had the opportunity to be a little normal – we held our annual golf outing and we held our annual dinner and combined it with our new member dinner in September. We were able to recognize our local businesses and individuals making a difference and celebrate those that had anniversary milestones in the chamber. We had several Business After Business and Coffee with the Chamber events. Best of all, we added several new members to the chamber with several ribbon cuttings. In August, we updated the chamber’s conference room with two new 55” TVs with wireless connections for presentations. This room is available to all of our members for meetings. In closing this year, more than any other, we need to make sure we are supporting local; our businesses need your support.
Page 6 www.oswegochamber.org
69 W. Washington St / Rt 34 Oswego, IL 60543
Ed Hettinger Owner
Matt Hettinger Sales
NOW IN OUR 15th YEAR
YOUR FRIENDS IN THE CAR BUSINESS
Ed and Matt invite you to stop by and see how over 50 years combined experience can make your purchase truly pleasant. We are currently celebrating our 15th year serving the Fox Valley area. We specialize in vehicles under $10,000 - many in the $4,000$8,000 range. All have been safety checked, serviced and should give you years of driving pleasure as a student, family, work or Downtown second vehicle. If you don’t see what you are looking for in our by the inventory regardless of the year, we will ﬁnd that special vehicle railroad for you.
As holiday shopping traffic rises,
Reduce risk of retail theft
We truly appreciate the many loyal customers and referrals we have had over the last 15 years. Make your next vehicle purchase from us and we will exceed your expectations.
Also visit our website at www.HettsAutoSales.com
he holidays are quickly approaching. ’Tis the season for a larger amount of traffic in and around the retail areas, which may lead to an increase in theft and theft related crimes. We would like to offer a few anti theft tips for your business: • Step up customer service. Train your staff to engage customers. • Install security cameras. • Reduce blind spots in your store. • Keep your store well lit. • Lock up expensive items. • Train employees on counterfeit money detection. • Have a plan on how to respond when a theft occurs.
These strategies will hopefully limit the amount of theft occurring. We look forward to working with you this holiday season. The Oswego Police Department would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy and prosperous holiday season.
Oswego Area Chamber Newsletter | Winter 2020 7
appy Holidays! Looking forward to the holidays has always been joyful for me. Looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner, football games, Black Friday shopping, Christmas festivities, holiday church services and spending time with family have always been special. I am once again looking forward to this in 2020, only this time I will have a new appreciation of this season.
Although this past year was filled with hurdles and pitfalls, somehow, someway, we were able to pull through. This year more than ever we learned what can happen if we work together. In many ways this year showcased the best of Oswego, and our business community led the way. I challenge everyone to look back at our businesses and see how they adapted and succeeded. Business models were turned upside down, new revenue streams were developed due to necessity, innovation was occurring regularly. Many businesses turned to the openness of the internet while others went back in time to a more personal direct marketing approach. Many took advantage of expanding their physical footprint with outdoor dining, shopping, shows and open markets. Still others not only expanded their offerings but created new product lines altogether. Yes, throughout the uncertainty came a sense of certainty. A sense of accomplishment that we can all be proud of. I want to thank you, our business community, for the leadership it provided in this year 2020 and hopes for the biggest and best 2021. Thank you!
Troy Parlier, Oswego Village President
Page 8 www.oswegochamber.org
Fraidycat 5K, Ghost Run, Meow Mile
10 years later, still going strong
his was the 10th year of the The new route worked well, and we Healthy Driven Fraidycat learned some things that we will be Races. This year featured tweaking for next year. Thank you a new route starting at to everyone who came out to run, Prairie Point School off of Grove volunteer and our sponsors. Thank Road and features running on the you to Edward Elmhurst Healthcare trails and beautiful scenery. Also this for being a 10-year naming sponsor year the Ghost of the race. Thank Run was switched you to Impact 2020 Race from a 10K to an Sports Rehab At a Glance 8K race. & Chiropractic and Precision Things looked th Complete Auto different this Repair for being year runners sponsors year, and to our sleeve social distance groups of sponsor. Thank we did doing virtual for socially distanced you to our runners rolling starts of 50 participants other sponsors runners each. The including vendor booths Business were spaced Knowledge Systems, Old Second more than 10 feet apart and all Bank, Rose Pest Control, Metronet, vendors wore masks. We did not do an official awards ceremony, but the Earthmover Credit Union, Physicians Immediate Care, Sheriff Dwight times/awards were posted and the Baird, Freddie’s Off the Chain runners can come get their place Catering, The Emperor’s Medicine, medals at the chamber office. We Rondi’s Self Fitness, Truth Training are still waiting for a new order of Systems, Hard Knox Fitness, finisher medals and hope to have Urbane Hemp, Law Office of Aaron those soon. Vanagaitis, Waubonsee Community College, Bling by LC and Jessica We had 297 total runners with 40 Taylor with john greene Realtor. of them doing the race virtually.
ABOUT OSWEGO The Village of Oswego, located approximately 50 miles southwest of Chicago, is ideally placed at the southern end of the Fox River Valley. With a population of 30,400, Oswego is the largest community in Kendall County, and has been recognized as one of the fastest growing communities in the country. The Village was founded in 1833 and today provides a rich and expansive history, landscape, activities, events, culture, shopping and dining opportunities for its residents and visitors. - Village of Oswego
Oswego Area Chamber Newsletter | Winter 2020 9
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GINGER THOMAS SOAP COMPANY 58 Main St. • Oswego, IL 60543 630-551-2284 • www.fb.com/gingerthomassoap
STATION SIDE DENTAL CARE 3419 Orchard Rd. • Oswego, IL 60543 331-717-0251 • www.stationsidedentalcare.com
Page 10 www.oswegochamber.org
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Becoming a Member is EASY and Affordable! Check us out online at www.OswegoChamber.org Call, e-mail, or stop on by! Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce 73 W. Van Buren St. • Oswego, IL 60543 Phone: (630) 554-3505 • Fax: (630) 554-0050 Email: email@example.com
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Oswego Area Chamber Newsletter | Winter 2020 11
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Page 12 www.oswegochamber.org