Access To Capital
The major constraint limiting the growth, expansion, and wealth creation of small businesses is lack of capital. Typically, small businesses have almost no access to external funds or have little or no collateral to leverage. The Access To Capital program will act as the intermediary between banks, community resources, and businesses to serve as a one-stop-shop for businesses looking to expand in their neighborhoods. The program will familiarize small business owners with lenders, products and the application process. The Chamber will work one-on-one with the business owners to identify money needs and refer them to the right lending partners, enabling them to start-up, grow and thrive.
Business Before- or After-Hours
Networking is a socioeconomic business activity by which businesspeople meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures. Expand your professional network, exchange leads, and make new business contacts at Chamber networking events. These events are held at various locations with free food, beverages and door prizes. The Chamber is not only home to over 350 businesses, but if you’re looking for an intimate group to discuss business matters or a casual atmosphere to mix and mingle, the Chamber has something for everyone.
Ready to accelerate your business? Designed to be a 60-minute, one-on-one session, the Chamber Clinic is an essential piece to business that is 100% committed to developing and providing specialized care and attention to business owners. The Chamber Clinic has unique access to resources and research to help owners identify the possible shortcomings in a business idea, the pros and cons of a marketing strategy, or even common ethical issues associated with products, pricing, and promotion.
“The Chamber Clinic is a thought-provoking, stretching and rewarding additive to business development…resulting in me getting deep insights and learnings that are directly actionable, both on a personal and a professional level. In short, a fantastic program that I can highly recommend.”–a Chamber Client
The Chamber Clinic can be the encouragement a business owner needs in taking a hard look at the company’s financial needs and then, assessing the needs more appropriately. Use the Chamber Clinic to get answers to the tough questions anyone would ask. We are continually updating our skills and training to meet new market and customer demands, and so should you. No matter the issue of business, there is a specialist that can help.
Façade Enhancement Rebate Program
Facade Enhancement Rebate program provides a grant to commercial property owners who want to improve their storefront facades. The improved facade adds to the marketability of the area, makes city streets a more inviting and interesting place to walk and shop, builds civic pride within the local business community, and contributes to the quality of life of residents, employees and visitors of Calumet Heights-Avalon Park area. Even though this money does not have to be paid back, owners must perform work before issuance of a rebate. Some restrictions do apply. However, eligible enhancements include:
- Restoration of exterior finishes to masonry, brickwork or wood, also repainting
- Repair or replacement of front windows, doors, lighting, awnings, and signage
- Addition of patio areas and permanent landscape features from the curbside of property
- Improvement of wheelchair access and/or enhancement and removal of safety bars
Professional Development Programs are the rungs you can use to pull yourself up to the next level of success. The Chamber is pleased to offer a number of initiatives through Lunch & Learns, Breakfast Business Briefs, all designed to present current topics relevant to the success of business in Calumet Heights-Avalon Park. The Chamber promotes business-to-business development, as well as business to consumer. Scheduled bi-monthly, the programs include light fanfare and usually last 60 to 90 minutes in duration.
The Chamber is committed to building a positive living and shopping experience for Calumet Heights-Avalon Park area. Since 2016, the Chamber has been meeting with local block club leaders and organizers to help with the development and expansion of the community. The Focus Group meetings help the Chamber understand the needs of residents and what actions we can take to improve the quality of life. Everyone benefits when there’s access to information, connection with resources, and openness to opportunities. The Chamber facilitates contact with key partners and stakeholders, assist in resolving urgent issues and addresses concerns specific to the business and community. Find your opportunity to see what the residents and businesses are doing to build our community, and what you can do to continue to develop Calumet Heights-Avalon Park.