Archive for June, 2009

Hot Chicago deals

June 26, 2009

lake sunrise

The arrival of hot weather this year coincided with the summer solstice, a rare coincidence!  Usually we don’t have to wait until the end of June for warmth.  Now that it’s finally here why not make the most of it?   Whether you are determined to be productive or in need of rejuvenation, doing what you want for free is the best way to spend the hot summer days.  Here are several recommendations from the staff at The Suites Collection for free deals near our business centers.

Grant Park July 4th

Celebrate the 4th of July on Millennium Park’s Great Lawn at the Grant Park Music Festival’s first-ever Independence Day concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.  The lively event begins at 1:30 p.m. and will include readings of the Declaration of Independence and other patriotic speeches.  Music performances of ragtime, country music and turn-of-the-century waltzes will be performed by the Northside Southpaws, a Chicago mandolin/guitar duo.  Navy Pier’s fireworks display starts at 10:15 p.m. on the 4th.  This is not to be confused with the official Grant Park fireworks display which will be held on the 3rd of July.  The fireworks are a spectacular display of over 5,000 aerial devices and shells.  Festivities kick off at 7:30 p.m. on July 3rd with a performance by the Grant Park Orchestra at the Petrillo Music Shell and the fireworks display beginning at 9:30 p.m. 

During the long winter, we so often forgo a proper lunch break and stay inside to keep warm.  Now that outside temperatures are inviting, we prefer to step out of the office for our lunch hour and enjoy free downtown tours and museums.  Take a free 45-minute tour of the exhibition A Conversation with Chicago: Contemporary Sculptures from China led by members of the Millennium Park staff and learn more about this spectacular art, never before seen in the United States.  On any given day, choose to explore nature, science, history or culture at one of the city’s Museum Free Days

If you are busy being a worker bee this summer, there are great “Summer School” freebies to help increase your business acumen.  Free online business classes available through the US Small Business Association include:

Small Business Primer: Guide to Starting a Business

How to Prepare a Business Plan

Franchising Basics

Technology 101: A Small Business Guide

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The city that never sleeps is keeping busy this summer with, “Chicago Business Works”, seminars hosted by the Chicago Department of Business Affairs.  Now in its third year, this series of free seminars connects entrepreneurs and new business owners with exhibitors who service small businesses, other business owners and government leaders.  Events are free and registration is not required. 

Summer seminar dates:

– June 25 – Harry S. Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson

– September 10 – Harlold Washington College, 30 E. Lake St.

Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by a speaking program, workshops and exhibitors. 

We’d love to find out about any other great deals out there.  Please contact us with your suggestions.  Have a great summer!  

Financing options for small business owners

June 16, 2009

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So far in 2009, we’ve seen multiple displays of support for banks, large manufacturers and home owners struggling with the economy.  Thankfully, there is now a push to help small businesses and entrepreneurs get access to much needed funds.  The banks have taken their financial stress tests, why not take yours?  If you find your small business is in need of cash or a line of credit, there are great options out there if you know where to look and whom to ask

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This week the U.S. Small Business Association introduced a terrific resource for small business owners looking to strengthen their cash flow.  America’s Recovery Capital (ARC) loans are available to established, viable, for-profit businesses that need short-term help.  The best part is that ARC loans are interest-free to the borrower, 100 percent guaranteed by the SBA and have no SBA fees associated with them.

Kiva, a successful international micro-lending website, launched their US lending program this month.  Through partners like Accion USA, Kiva raises money from individual donors to fund diverse small business initiatives. American entrepreneurs who are finding funding through kiva.com include graphic designers, computer technicians and communications specialists.

Local resources also abound for small business owners.  At The Suites Collection, we have a special package for entrepreneurs on a budget.  Our “Start-Up Special” provides you with a full time private office in Chicago’s central business district or River North for under $1000 per month.  The low monthly price includes telephone, voice mail, high speed internet and on-site administrative personnel.   These offices are move-in ready so schedule a tour today and be in business tomorrow.

model law office

Another local business resource, SCORE, will host their next small business financing workshop on June 25thSign up to attend the class held at 500 W. Madison and learn about various ways you can finance your business through angel investors, banks and venture capitalists.  This practical workshop teaches you about the documents you’ll need for the different types of funding and there will be a banker available to go over other specific criteria.  There are plenty of people with resources willing to lend a hand.  Take the time to pursue these various revenue streams, and you will likely find one that benefits you.