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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

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We recently created a website for The Law Offices of R.D. Skelton, Ltd. in Geneva, Illinois.

Located just outside of Chicago, the firm, which specializes in business law, estate planning, and probate and trusts, wanted to establish a web presence that would set them apart from other attorneys without being overly complicated and sterile.

With the use of bold graphics and a brown/green palette, we created a website that was understated, yet strong enough to stand out and emphasize the firm’s experience and qualifications.

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I’m betting that most of us (especially if we are artists or parents) have lots of art supplies that we don’t use. Now you have a chance to clean up your office… and help out local schools: donate them to Creative Pitch.

This Chicago-based organization collects art supplies (new or used in good condition) and donates them to local art teachers in need. The reality is that school budgets don’t always allow for basic art supplies—many teachers pay out of their own pocket for necessary supplies.

Let’s help them out by cleaning up our offices (or kids’ playrooms) and donating our unused art supplies. I have been participating in Creative Pitch for many years now, and I’m always delighted to receive an email from a happy art teacher.

Creative Pitch is currently seeking the following items:

  • markers
  • crayons
  • colored pencils
  • paper
  • scissors
  • stock photo/illustration books

Have items to donate? Email info@creativepitch.org to inform them of your donation items and/or to set up a drop off time. (NO OFFICE SUPPLIES, PLEASE.)

Learn more or make a donation to Creative Pitch here.

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The next stop for Neighborhood Networking is a neighborhood near and dear to my heart, having been a long-time resident: Lakeview.

Join myself along with my co-hostess Elizabeth Lulu Miranda of Mercury Organizing Professionals, and our co-hosts BBR Chicago (Business by Referral), for an evening of networking at local favorite Wishbone Restaurant (3300 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL) from 5:30-8:00 pm. Make sure you stay for our now-famous raffle, which always features items from local businesses.*

Buy tickets in advance for $10 ($12 at the door). Please RSVP if you plan to pay at the door.

*Lakeview businesses: Promote your business by donating an item to our raffle! Contact us for a donation form and details.

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photo by sidereal on flickr

January always seems to be the busiest time at my gym. Whether it’s New Year’s resolutions or just a lingering desire to be fit, it’s a popular time to start a fitness program. However, most gyms are not cheap and if you’re a small business owner, this might be a place where you cut your budget. Don’t give up on your fitness routine just yet: check out the Chicago Park District.

The Park District has many fitness centers, with low-cost membership fees, located throughout the city. There are also great classes available, like circuit training, Pilates and yoga—I’ve become a big fan of the yoga class at my local park.

If you have a home office, the park district is a great option as there is likely a park near your workplace—and it’s a great excuse to get out of the house. Now get out there and start moving!

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That’s what I might have said years ago too. Many business owners avoid networking events for lots of reasons: there are too many people, I feel intimidated, I won’t make useful connections, I’m shy, the food will be lousy.

We—that is, myself and Elizabeth Lulu Miranda of Mercury Organizing Professionals—started Neighborhood Networking last year with these fears and concerns in mind. We envisioned an event that would be approachable and friendly, yet provide valuable networking opportunities. We also wanted to incorporate our values of supporting and promoting local businesses and communities. And we have been thrilled with the result! We have watched business connections being made, new clients found, and even friendships form as a result of our local networking events.

Now we invite you to join us! We will be heading to the West Loop, along with our co-host BBR Chicago (Business by Referral), on Tuesday, January 26th to kick off our first Neighborhood Networking event of 2010.

Stop by Plush Restaurant & Lounge (1104 W. Madison, Chicago IL) from 5:30-8:00 pm and mix and mingle with other businesses— as well as sample great appetizers from this local favorite. As usual, we’ll also have great raffle prizes from local businesses and our other generous raffle donors. Buy tickets in advance here.

We hope to inspire you to achieve your goals of doing more networking this year!

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Have you been to the library lately? For many people under the age of 10, the answer is probably no. But for small businesses, the library can be a valuable resource.

Here in Chicago, the Chicago Public Library offers you the opportunity to search books online and have them transferred to your local branch. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find most of the business and marketing books that I’ve searched for—even new releases. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a bookstore junkie. But this way, I can scope out books before I head over to my local bookshop and plunk down my money.

Live in Chicago? Another Chicago Public Library perk that I just learned from fellow Twitterer Allison Hanlon: you can check out a Museum Passport which give you 1 week of FREE access to local museums (choose from 12, see specifics here). Talk about a great recession buster, especially for families. Have I convinced you yet? Check out the CPL’s online catalog or find your local branch.

Looking for your local library? Search Libweb for an extensive list of public and academic library locations.

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Holiday shopping locally this season? In our series of posts featuring business gift ideas, we’ve mentioned many fabulous local artists and businesses. Need more ideas? Download Local First Chicago’s Independent Chicagoan Shopping Guide! The guide featuring local shops and services who are members of Local First Chicago, makes it easy to get your shopping done while also supporting your community.

Happy shopping!

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