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Press Release: Chamber offers program to help businesses with State Programs

Chamber meeting Jan. 29, 2020 on State Programming. Spanish

Press Release: Chamber offers program to help businesses with State Programs

Chamber meeting Jan. 29, 2020 on State Programming. Spanish
Chamber meeting Jan. 29, 2020 on State Programming.

 

ENGLISH VERSION

State Programs to Assist businesses

Guest Speaker will be Manuel (Manny) Lopez, the Regional Economic Development Manager of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.

The Town of Cicero, and State Rep. Lisa Hernandez will join the Cicero Chamber of Commerce in hosting a meeting on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at the Cicero Community Center, 2250 S. 49th Avenue, beginning at 5 pm to discuss programs that the State of Illinois offers to the business community.

Our Guest Speaker will be Manuel (Manny) Lopez, the Regional Economic Development Manager of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. He will discuss programs and services from the State of Illinois that are available to local businesses.

Cicero Captain of Police Mathew Ramirez discussed new ways for business owners to stay in contact with police and to provide information about potential crimes anonymously and online.
At a recent meeting, Cicero Captain of Police Mathew Ramirez discussed new ways for business owners to stay in contact with police and to provide information about potential crimes anonymously and online.
Business License Director and Cicero Chaplain Ismael Vargas will also be present to answer questions about Cicero business requirements and needs at both meetings.

We will have guest speakers from the state of Illinois and the Illinois Legislature who will discuss how businesses can tap resources at the state level to achieve their business goals.

Watch for more details on this program which is free to our business members. Make sure to fill out the online membership form (free) so that you will be kept up to date about all of the Cicero Chamber of Commerce’s events.

Members must send an email and RSVP in order to attend the meetings. There is limited seating but we will try to accommodate all of the Chamber members. Please let us know if you will be attending by sending an email noting the meeting date and topic.

For more information visit the Chamber’s website at www.CiceroChamberOfCommerce.com

SPANISH VERSION

Cícero anuncia programas de ayuda financiera para negocios

Manuel (Manny) López, Administrador de Desarrollo Económico Regional del Departamento de Comercio y Oportunidades Financieras de Illinois, será el orador invitado en una presentación especial

El municipio de Cícero y la Representante estatal Lisa Hernández (D-24) se unieron a la ‘Cámara de Comercio de Cícero’ para realizar una reunión en que serán presentados y discutidos los diversos programas de ayuda financiera estatal que Illinois ofrece a los comerciantes y dueños de negocios. El seminario será el Miércoles 29 de enero de 2020, a las 5 de la tarde, en la Casa Comunal de Cícero (Cícero Community Center), 2250 S. 49th Avenue.

El orador invitado será Manuel (Manny) López, Administrador de la oficina de Desarrollo Económico Regional del ‘Departamento de Comercio y Oportunidades Financieras de Illinois’ quien hablará sobre los diversos programas y servicios financieros que Illinois ofrece a todos los negocios locales.

(Photo caption: Durante una reciente reunión, el Capitán de la Policía de Cícero Mathew Ramírez presentó a los comerciantes del área una guía para mantenerse en contacto inmediato con la policía, para reportar de forma anónima los detalles de cualquier delito en progreso o para avisar sobre un posible crimen, sea por vía telefónica o cibernética.

Entre tanto, el Director de Licencias Comerciales y Capellán de Cícero, Ismael Vargas, también estará listo en la reunión, para responder cualquier pregunta o inquietud sobre los requisitos de negocios en el municipio.

Así mismo, habrá panelistas invitados del estado de Illinois y de la Legislatura estatal que explicarán a los comerciantes la mejor manera de solicitar y aprovechar los recursos estatales disponibles que les ayudarán a lograr sus metas financieras comerciales.

Pedimos que estén pendientes de otros detalles sobre este útil programa, ofrecido totalmente GRATIS a todos los miembros de la Cámara de Comercio de Cícero / Cicero Chamber of Commerce.

Si desea convertirse en miembro y participar en los seminarios para aprovechar estos programas, asegúrese de llenar los formularios de membresía ofrecidos también GRATUITAMENTE en nuestro portal electrónico, en donde además le mantendremos al tanto de los futuros, informativos e interesantes eventos que estará organizando periódicamente la Cámara de Comercio de Cícero / Cicero Chamber of Commerce.

Los comerciantes miembros que planean asistir al evento, deben enviar un correo electrónico y responder a una reservación (RSVP). El cupo es limitado pero trataremos de acomodar a todos los miembros de la Cámara de Comercio que deseen participar. Por favor, si planea ser parte del seminario, envíe un correo electrónico dejando su nombre, el nombre de su negocio, además de la fecha y el tema del evento que le interesa.

Para más información visite  nuestro portal de Internet:

www.CiceroChamberofCommerce.com.

SPEAKER BIO

Manny Lopez is the Regional Economic Development Manager for Cook County. As the newest member to join Team RED (Regional Economic Development) at DCEO, Manny helps businesses, communities, and workers learn about different State resources that are available to assist them.

Prior to joining team RED, Manny has worked in many different fields that included customer service and sales & operations. These roles have been spread over a career in companies that included Comcast, Colorado Technical University, and Enova Financial.  A proud United States Navy veteran, Manny has served in Hawaii, the Persian Gulf and even lived in South Korea for two years.

Manny earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration on marketing from DeVry University. He is a family man who loves spending time with his children and is dedicated to helping people thrive in their everyday life.

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Press Release: Cicero Chamber of Commerces Launches new chapter

More than 44 businesses attended the launch meeting of the new Cicero Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday Nov. 20, 2019.

Press Release: Cicero Chamber of Commerces Launches new chapter

More than 44 businesses, and 20 leaders from the Town of Cicero and community groups launched the new Cicero Chamber of Commerce during a dinner meeting at Langostinos Restaurant on Laramie Avenue in Cicero on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019.

The effort was led by Town President Larry Dominick who told the gathering that the business community needed to reorganize to re-establish a professional business networking association to become stronger and more successful.

“It’s very important for the businesses in Cicero to come together and network and work with the Town of Cicero. The Town wants our businesses to succeed and coming together through the Cicero Chamber of Commerce is the first step towards making that happen,” Dominick told the business leaders.

Town President Larry Dominick greeted each of the businesses that attended the Cicero Chamber of Commerce "Launch Meeting" on Wednesday Nov. 20, 2019.
Town President Larry Dominick greeted each of the businesses that attended the Cicero Chamber of Commerce “Launch Meeting” on Wednesday Nov. 20, 2019.

“The Town of Cicero is here to help you and I am proud that we are able to help bring this organization together after a long absence.”

Dominick also reported on the continuing fight to make Cicero the safest community in the state, noting that the activities of street gangs continues to fall and how many of the street gangs that once were in Cicero have fled.

“When I came to office in 2005 there were more than 14 street gang related killings as well as many other acts of violence. Today, that has dropped significantly to one a year. And that is still unacceptable and we continue to work to achieve a total zero tolerance for street gang activity and presence,” Dominick said.

Speakers at the first “Launch Meeting” of the Cicero Chamber of Commerce included Ismael Vargas, the director of Business Licensing. Vargas spoke about the services that the Town of Cicero officers to help businesses. Speakers also included representatives to the Cic era Policer Department, including Captain of Police Mathew Ramirez and Detective Edgar Alba who discussed the increasing safety in the town and how businesses can make their retail efforts safer.

Also attending were Cicero Clerk Maria Punzo-Arias, and State Rep. Lisa Hernandez who detailed state programs that are available to help businesses.

Organizers said the new Cicero Chamber of Commerce will meet monthly beginning in January after the holidays and will provide speakers who can help businesses to strengthen their sales, practices and achieve their goals. The chamber will also offer many other services including hosting a jobs fair to help them find qualified employees from within the community. The chamber will also help publicize and promote businesses by spotlighting them on the chamber’s new website at www.CiceroChamberofCommerce.com. The website lists many of the services the new chamber hopes to provide.

Currently, there is no fee to join the chamber although the chamber’s interim board will at a later date set an affordable and appropriate membership fee to cover services and benefits. Membership in the new Cicero Chamber of Commerce is open to any retail business that has a business license from the Town of Cicero.

Formore information on upcoming meetings, topics and services visit the chamber’s website at www.CiceroChamberofCommerce.com.

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New Cicero Chamber of Commerce hosts “Launch Meeting”

More than 44 businesses attended the launch meeting of the new Cicero Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday Nov. 20, 2019.

New Cicero Chamber of Commerce hosts “Launch Meeting” & Video

The Cicero Chamber of Commerce held its “Launch Meeting” on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 at Langostinos Restaurant and it was a tremendous success.

More than 44 businesses attended the meeting, enjoyed the buffet dinner and participated in a discussion with representatives from the Town of Cicero, the Cicero Police Department and the Director of the Cicero Business License Department, Ismael Vargas.

The program included presentations by several officials that included: Mathew Ramirez, Cicero’s Captain of Police, who discussed new innovative ways to contact the police; Cicero Detective Edgar Alba who spoke about safety issues for businesses, cautioning them to watch out for a new crime that is occurring more and more in suburban communities throughout the Chicagoland area, the theft of ATM Machines; Business License Department Director Ismael Vargas spoke about what his department can do to help Cicero businesses and discussed some of the procedures and typical questions that businesses, new and old, have; Town President Larry Dominick also addressed the Chamber meeting, telling the business leaders that the Town of Cicero is there to help them be successful; and, State Representative Lisa Hernandez discussed programs the state can offer to help new businesses.

Town President Larry Dominick greeted each of the businesses that attended the Cicero Chamber of Commerce "Launch Meeting" on Wednesday Nov. 20, 2019.
Town President Larry Dominick greeted each of the businesses that attended the Cicero Chamber of Commerce “Launch Meeting” on Wednesday Nov. 20, 2019.

 

“I want to thank all of the businesses that are here. It’s important to me that you showed up and are concerned. Make sure you stay active. Don’t make this a one time thing,” President Dominick said in welcoming the attendees.

“Our town is only as good as the businesses. We always extend a hand to the businesses. We ask that you follow the rules and if you follow the rules we treat you all the same. I believe in treating everyone fairly.”

Dominick also noted how safe Cicero has become in the past 14 years since his election as Town President in 2005, pointing out that the number of street gang killings have dropped significantly from when he took office, graffiti vandalism has decreased significantly, too, and more businesses have relocated to Cicero.

Cicero Captain of Police Mathew Ramirez discussed new ways for business owners to stay in contact with police and to provide information about potential crimes anonymously and online.
Cicero Captain of Police Mathew Ramirez discussed new ways for business owners to stay in contact with police and to provide information about potential crimes anonymously and online.

 

Officer Ramirez spoke about the new innovations that the Police are using to support businesses. Ramirez, who is the assistant Watch Commander working.

“We have new systems to help you as a business. One of them is online reporting. Essentially the Cicero Police Department has come up with a way to file reports online to make things easier for you,” Ramirez said. “It is there for you, 24/7. It will expedite your reporting as well.”

Ramirez said the Cicero Police also maintain a new tip line called Tip411, another way to communicate with thePolice. “You can remain anonymous. You can send us a text and we will send a police car to check out the area and the problem. Send a text to 847411,” Ramirez said.

Cicero Police Detectir Edgar Alba discusses a growing crime trend in the Chicagoland suburbs involving the theft of ATM machines from businesses.
Cicero Police Detectir Edgar Alba discusses a growing crime trend in the Chicagoland suburbs involving the theft of ATM machines from businesses.

 

Detective Edgar discussed a new problem involving criminals who are breaking into businesses and stealing the ATM machines which dispense money.

“They are very light and they are often not bolted down,” Alba said.

Alba explained the ATM thefts are being targeted by a ring of individuals who are using stolen vehicles.

“We believe that 30 to 40people are involved in there rings. It’s not just in Cicero, we are partnering with Police agencies in all of the Western suburbs,” Alba said. He said that the criminals will check the ATM during store hours, often pushing or shaking the machines to see if they are loose.

“They then come back after the store closes,” Alba said. “If you have any suspicions about this, please feel free to give us a call.”

Business License Director Ismael Vargas

 

Vargas said his priority is to help the businesses and assist them in meeting the Town’s business requirements.

“I think the main goal as President Dominick has explained is to bring the businesses together so we can work together to make changes that benefits all of us,” Vargas said.

“You are one of the most important pieces in our community to help the youth, to help our schools. You bring jobs. You are a part of the community. This chamber is an opportunity for you as a business owner. My Department wants to be here to care for and work with you. We are there to serve you.”

Vargas also credited President Dominick and the Cicero Police who have helped to make Cicero one of the safest communities in the state. He said that as a result of the increased safety in Cicero, 2,400 new small businesses have opened in the Town of Cicero since 2015.

Business attendees enjoy the food buffet served by Langostinos Restaurant, 3036 S. Laramie Avenue.
Business attendees enjoy the food buffet served by Langostinos Restaurant, 3036 S. Laramie Avenue.

 

Langostinos served a fish buffet to the attendees and the groups spent several hours afterwards networking and meeting each other.

Town Spokesman Ray Hanania ended the meeting explaining that the new Chamber will receive strong support from the Town to organize new programs including organizing job fairs each year and helping to promote and publicize the businesses through the monthly Town Newsletter, a new Chamber eNewsletter, the Chamber website, and through activities such as organizing “Grand Openings” and “Ribbon Cuttings.”

“If you have business, even if you have been here 20 years or more, there is nothing wrong with having a re-Grand Opening, we will cover it, we will take pictures, video and help you publicize your presence in this Town,” Hanania said.

More than 43 businesses attended the launch meeting of the new Cicero Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday Nov. 20, 2019.
More than 44 businesses attended the launch meeting of the new Cicero Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday Nov. 20, 2019.

 

Hanania introduced Maru Ayala who supervises the Grand Openings and Ribbon Cuttings.

“We want people to know that you are here and we want to help you grow your business,” Ayala said.

Also attending the evening event were Senior Center Director Diana Dominick, Cicero Clerk Maria Punzo-Arias, and several members of the Cicero Business License Department.

State Rep. Lisa Hernandez told the attendees she is working with the Town to ensure that any state services available to businesses will be made available to Cicero businesses.

Future meetings will address many topics including parking issues, the benefits of TIF districts, speakers who can help the businesses do better customer outreach, and more.

Watch the video of the meeting using the widget below or click this link to see it online.


More photos:

Attendees at Cicero Chamber of Commerce Launch Meeting Wednesday Nov. 20, 2019 at Langostinos Restaurant

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New Cicero Chamber of Commerce hosts membership meeting

Cicero Business License Director Ismael Vargas

New Cicero Chamber of Commerce hosts membership meeting

The New Cicero Chamber of Commerce is hosting a membership drive for owners of business physically located inside the Town of Cicero.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 at Langostinos Restaurant, 3036 S. Laramie Ave., beginning at 5 PM. Buffett will begin at 5:30 PM. Program of speakers will begin at 6:30 PM.

YOU MAY PARK AT 32nd and Laramie Avenue Parking Lot
as parking around Langostinos Restaurant may be tight.

Business owners interested in attending and learning more about the Cicero Chamber of Commerce are invited to attend. Please RSVP to:  CiceroChamberofCommerce@gmail.com

Cicero Business License Director Ismael Vargas
Cicero Business License Director Ismael Vargas

A $20 donation is requested to defray the cost of the dinner and refreshments.

Speakers include a representative of the Cicero Police Department who will discuss safety for businesses, and Business License Director Ismael Vargas who will discuss the top 10 issues businesses are most concerned about and lead a discussion on how to address them.

The Cicero Chamber of Commerce will provide support to businesses including assistance in publicity and PR for events and activities, help organize Grand Openings and Ribbon Cuttings for businesses that are expanding, or launching new services, and provide assistance in understanding rules and regulations in the Town of Cicero for businesses.

This meeting is only open to businesses licensed to operate inside the Town of Cicero only.

As the Chamber evolves, we will provide information on annual membership, monthly activities, and a full range of support services.

 

Ismael Vargas bio:

Ismael Vargas is the Director of the Business License Department at Town of Cicero and serves as the Police/Fire Chaplain. Mr. Vargas was previously the Manager for the Intervention Program/Gang Specialist at Corazon Community Services.

He previously was the Assistant Director, advocate, and trainer at Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE). His responsibilities included developing and presenting workshops and helping parents and Local School Councils understand and carry out their responsibilities for their children’s education. He is a strong role model for parents and youth, as he served at the board chair of William Finkl School Local School Council for six years and member of Chicago Public School (CPS) LSC Advisory Board for two years. Ismael Vargas was also a board member for 4 years of the Carole Robertson Center for Learning.

He represented PURE on the Education Committee of Sen. Miguel del Valle, and the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative and was a regular member of evaluation teams for the annual School Leadership Award for Outstanding Principals and board member of the Partnership to Encourage the Next Century’s Urban Leaders (PENCUL). Mr. Vargas currently serves as an Associate Pastor at Vida Abundante Church, Cicero Public Library Board President, Chair of the Graffiti Committee and a Member of the CYTF (Cicero Youth Task Force) Safety Committee in Cicero and also the S.O.S Task Force Board Member for the Town of Cicero.

Specialties: For 20 years now, my principle interest has been to maintain an intense and constant fight for the rights of students and their parents, and to impel a better education. I had fought for immigrant rights and for improvements to our communities and fight against Violence in the community.

Click for Ismael’s LinkedIn Account.

 

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How Cicero’s increasing safety has attracted more businesses

How Cicero’s increasing safety has attracted more businesses

Larry Dominick took office as Town President with the promise to improve the lives and well-being of Cicero residents, emphasizing programs for families, children, senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Since his election in 2005, President Dominick has fulfilled his pledge to substantially decrease gang violence and gang-related homicides, expand recreational opportunities for Cicero youth, increase employment opportunities within the community, strengthen the business community and improve the efficient delivery of Town services.

Introduction: Two decades ago, the Town of Cicero and its population of nearly 89,000 people, located in the west suburbs of Chicago, was tormented by street gangs and rising crime. The crisis was fueled by a lack of new jobs fueling poverty, disconnected youth recruited by the street gangs, and a lack of resources.

Today, under new leadership since 2005, the Town of Cicero is on a new path under the innovative leadership of Town President Larry Dominick.

Dominick’s vision has resulted in ground-up action and tangible results to improve the lives and well-being of Cicero residents, emphasizing programs for children, senior citizens and people with disabilities. President Dominick, with the support of the Town of Cicero Board of Trustees, is reversing the crime rate, expanding a new vibrant business environment and strengthening a healthy family and senior community base.

Since President Dominick’s election in 2005, Cicero has expanded recreational opportunities for Cicero youth, increased employment opportunities within the community, and improved the efficient delivery of essential Town services.

Cicero was named one of the Nation’s Top 20 Safest Cities by the National Realtors group, HouseHunt.com in 2011 and 2013. That safety record has continued through 2019.

President Dominick has achieved the goal of creating a safe environment for Cicero’s 108,000 to 120,000 residents, families and businesses is the result of a broad program that included expanding services and creating a public engagement program of festivals, activities and services. (This includes an additional 18,000 to 30,000 undocumented residents who are recognized as full Town of Cicero citizens).

Within two years of his election, Dominick constructed a new Town Hall complex which included a community center that serves as the hub for family, youth and senior activities. The center includes a gymnasium, class rooms, computer learning labs, meeting rooms and auditorium in which Town programs celebrating Cicero’s rich ethnic diversity are held.

Here is an overview of the many policies and changes implemented by Town President Larry Dominick to improve the life, safety and economy for every citizen:

Safety: Cicero was named one of the Nation’s Top 20 Safest Cities by the National Realtors group, HouseHunt.com in 2011 and 2013. That safety record has continued through 2018.

Crime is down significantly as Cicero Police make it more and more difficult for street gangs to operate in Cicero. Dominick has boosted safety by: doubling the size of the Gang Crimes Unit and hiring more uniformed police officers; creating the Parent Patrols that help protect students going to and from school; creating the SOS Task Force to provide rapid response to resident needs.

During the past year (2018), crime is down by as much as 91 percent. President Dominick believes that even one death is too many and he continues to strive to eliminate all street gang activity.

Increased Police & Fire: President Dominick has hired more police and firefighters to increase safety in the Town of Cicero. The Town has added more than 15 new police officers to the Police Department in the past 4 years, and hired a dozen firefighters strengthening our emergency response.

The Town has purchased special police vehicles to raise public awareness of police efforts, launched neighborhood roll calls and neighborhood protection networks in areas where crime or street gang activity and graffiti appears, and bolstered the Cicero Police units fighting street gangs.

New Businesses/Jobs: By improving safety in the Town, Dominick created a magnet for new business development, attracting dozens of new retail and industrial developments including attracting several major retailers. Among them are:

  • Break Through Beverage (formerly Wirtz Beverage)
  • Menards
  • Wal-Mart
  • Sonic Restaurant
  • Fuller’s Car Wash
  • Bimbo Bakery (formerly Clover Hill Bakery)
  • Chipolte
  • New Providence Bank
  • Hoots Restaurant
  • CubeSmart Storage
  • Bridgepoint Industrial Centers

Already in the community is a Sam’s Club, which is considered one of the busiest in the nationwide chain.

President Dominick has and continues  to attract new industrial and commercial development to the Town, approving the construction of two industrial centers with Bridge Development Partners, one opened in 2017 featuring 323,000 square feet of industrial and commercial space, and a second that broke ground in October 2018 for a 675,000 industrial center. Both centers have created hundreds of temporary construction jobs and project an estimated 350 new permanent jobs.