Clarendon Hills Economic Development Commission explores ways to help small businesses
Clarendon Hills Economic Development Commission met Tuesday, May 24.
Her are the minutes as provided by Clarendon Hills:
1 N. Prospect Avenue
Clarendon Hills, Illinois 60514
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION MINUTES
Wednesday, May 24, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Village Hall, 1 N. Prospect Avenue, Clarendon Hills, Illinois
I. CALL TO ORDER. The meeting of the Economic Development Commission was called to order at 7:00pm.
II. ROLL CALL.
Present: Dena Arendt, Mark Haraburda, and Tom Szurgot,
Absent: Vicky Hurst and Don Price
Others Present: Community Development Director Dan Ungerleider, Larry Bussow (Illinois Small Business
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - April 27, 2016. A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes from the April
27, 2016 EDC meeting. The motion passed by a vote of 3-0.
IV. OLD BUSINESS - None
V. NEW BUSINESS.
a. Presentation and Discussion: Challenges of Operating a Small Business. Mr. Ungerleider introduced Mr. Larry Bussow. Referred to the Village by Choose DuPage, Mr. Bussow is a “retired” retail and real estate professional and small business advisor. He is a small business mentor with SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Mr. Bussow explained that he has had a long standing career of assisting small “mom and pop” owned businesses. He explained that small business are often stretched thin due to limited resources, including time, trained help, and limited capital. Like most of us, balance between life and work can be taxing to the small business owner; sometime preventing them from growing or modifying the business to serve potential business opportunities.
The Commission reviewed examples of missed business opportunities they’ve observed when visiting downtown businesses. Examples included businesses not being open during morning and evening commuter times, being closed on Mondays, or not adequately promoting/advertising sales or special details (ie - “kids eat free”). Mr. Bussow noted that the College of DuPage Center for Entrepreneurship, SBDC and SCORE are available to our business. He explained that sometimes small business are so entrenched in day-to-day operations that they might not see the big picture opportunities. Mr. Ungerleider noted that what we may perceived as an opportunity lost may be the result of the business owner juggling time and resources. For example, Village Gourmet has retail hours between 9am and 6pm on Tuesday through Friday, 9am and 4pm on Saturday, and is closed on Sunday and Monday. What we don’t see is that this family run business is operating its catering business before and after retail business hours, that they are purchasing product and preparing product for their store before and after retail business hours, and balancing a personal life after all of that. It should be noted that one of the many benefits of having small business in our community is that the consumer can contact the business owner to request services outside of their standard retail hours.
The Commission decided that they should invite several business owner to a future EDC meeting. Mr. Ungerleider recommended they reach out to the owners of Village Gourmet, The English Garden, and the Village Veterinary Practice.
The Commission’s reviewed different methods to which the Village might be able to provide assistance small businesses. Mr. Bussow noted that the College of DuPage Center for Entrepreneurship, SBDC and SCORE are available to our business. The Commission discussed the importance of maintaining and improving the appearance of the downtown. In addition to making streetscape improvements, the Village might consider improving the appearance of the train station and the commuter platform. Gateway features at entries to the downtown would promote a sense of place and the idea that we’ve arrived to a significant destination. The Village might also consider providing or facilitating low interest loans to building owners for façade improvements to enhance to appearance of the downtown. In addition to meeting with the previously listed business owners, the Commission agreed to attend the July Chamber of Commerce.
The Commission members thanks Mr. Burrow for joining them assisting them with the discussion. He was happy to help.
VI. COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE. None
VII. DISCUSSION ITEMS.
President Austin joined the meeting. He provided an update to the Commission regarding conversation with several car dealership owners.
Mr. Ungerleider reported that he is looking into potentially establishing an incubator/collaborative worker space in the downtown and that earlier that day he had met with the chief entrepreneur officer of Rev3.
Rev3 is an innovation center located in DuPage County, Illinois that is focused on helping people and companies design, build and launch software and technology. Mr. Ungerleider explained that he plans to reach out to the community for volunteers who might be interested in developing this type of facility in downtown Clarendon Hills.
VIII. ADJOURNMENT. A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting at 9:00PM. The motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.
Community Development Director
Organizations in this Story
1 N Prospect Ave
Clarendon Hills, IL - 60514