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Incubators help Chicago startups share costs

Incubators help Chicago startups share costs

By Hallie Busta

When Nicolas Ibarzabal isn’t selling empanadas out of his newly launched food truck, he’s preparing his Argentine fare in a shared-used kitchen on the city’s West Side.

As co-owner of 5411 Empanadas, Ibarzabal joins a growing number of Chicago-area entrepreneurs setting up in shared facilities that charge less rent and offer more services than typical office buildings. The facilities run the gamut from traditional business incubators to fashion studios.

Edgewater launches incubator

By Hallie Busta

Chicago’s newest incubator program is designed to be a pipeline for new storefront businesses in Edgewater. “We’ve done a lot of things for urban revitalization in this community, and this is just the next step,” said Tina Travlos Nihlean, president of the Edgewater Development Corporation’s board.

Shared workspaces aim to build community

 By Ann Meyer Writing might be a solo activity, but Chris Benevich craves the energy of working in the company of others when she cranks out her marketing and communications prose. She’s found both quiet and collegial interaction at the Writers WorkSpace at 5443 N. Broadway on Chicago’s North Side, a for-profit collaborative workspace founded […]

Small firms plan growth with long-term contingent labor model

By Ann Meyer When Bernie DiMeo shuttered his advertising firm last year after 22 years in business, it signaled a new beginning. Within two months, DiMeo was back, having switched his business from DiMeo & Co., a full-service agency employing 15 workers, to the new Bernie DiMeo Communications, a small public relations firm that relies […]

Businesses started out of necessity might not generate jobs: Kauffman report

 The Great Recession produced more entrepreneurs than at any time during the past 15 years, but most haven’t yet generated jobs, according to a new study by the Kansas City, Mo.-based Kauffman Foundation. The foundation’s Index of Entrepreneurial Activity suggests about 34 out of 10,000 adults — or about 565,000 people — started businesses each month […]

How to create an open, honest culture

How to create an open, honest culture

By Jenny Schade, Guest Columnist True or false: Working for a company that touts a culture of open and honest communication means it’s fine to constantly check and compose e-mails during meetings. The answer is “false.” If you answered “true,” your company doesn’t have an open and honest culture. Why not? Consider how comfortable you […]

Go ahead, make home your workplace

In a campaign to encourage telecommuting, TeleworkExchange.com has declared the week of Feb. 14 Telework Week. More than 37,000 workers have pledged to work from home during the week. Doing so will save $2.6 million and 3.4 million pounds of pollutants. Working from home also has been linked to workforce productivity, operational efficiencies, sustainability, worker […]

Three ways to boost employee engagement

By Richard Axelrod, Guest columnist When it comes to engaging the workforce, small businesses have an advantage over large corporations. Engaging dozens is easier and faster than engaging thousands. Studies show that engaged employees produce more, create higher-quality products and services, and create more customer loyalty than their disengaged counterparts. But just what is engagement? […]

Time out for thanks

What are you thankful for? Chicago-based communications design firm Faust Inc. wants to know. Faust has launched Appreciate-it.com, an online holiday letter for everyone to contribute their laundry list of thanks. The longer the list, the better: The firm is aiming to make the Guinness Book of World Records with the longest, most sentimentalist holiday […]

Companies save with wellness spending

Jerry Benish wasn’t looking for a medal when he finished Camcraft Inc.’s fun run and lost 10 pounds in the company’s “Biggest Loser” contest. He knew the biggest winner could be Camcraft itself. As director of human resources at the Hanover Park-based components manufacturer, Benish closely tracks health care expenses. Along with moving to self-funded […]

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