March 2007

Vol. 2, Issue 2

Montgomery Economic Development Corporation

Registration Reminder:

The Greater Montgomery Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner
For more information, visit:
or call (630) 897-8137

Montgomery OKs Village Hall Concept
Village trustees approved concept plans for the $10 million village hall project at their regular meeting on Monday. The vote was unanimous, though Trustees William Keck and Rob Watermann were absent. The new village hall will be a 17,776-square foot building in the heart of downtown, bounded by Main Street to the east and River Street to the west. The design, as previously mandated, will incorporate a house at 209 Clinton Street, which may have been built by Montgomery founder Daniel Grey.

Dairy Queen Gets A Facelift
The Montgomery Dairy Queen is getting a bit of a facelift. The store reopened on March 10, had a new sign installed on Feb. 23. Owner Jim Metrou, shown in the bottom left of the photo said that he is in the process of remodeling the store. See photo at:

Blagojevich Plans New Payroll Tax
Illinois business would face a second major new levy- a payroll tax of about 3% - under the proposed fiscal 2008 state budget that Gov. Rod Blagojevich unveiled Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the governor confirmed Friday that "a tax based on some portion of payroll" of most companies that do not now offer health insurance to their workers is included in the new budget proposal.
Contending that Illinois business doesn't pay its fair share of the cost of government, Gov. Rod Blagojevich is crafting a sweeping revamp of the state's corporate tax system that would cost business as much as $6 billion a year.

It's Not Only About Price at Wal-Mart
The new, and so far internal, definition of what Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, stands for will soon become a very public strategy, evident on the shelves of 4,000 stores and in advertisements seen across the country. In their first interviews since a management shuffle last month, John Fleming, the new chief merchandising officer, and Stephen Quinn, the new chief marketing officer, said that after a year of intense research, the discount giant is seeing its 200 million customers as belonging to three groups.

Employer Credit of Up to $600 for Hiring Veterans
The State of Illinois is promoting the hiring of the state's military heroes with a new tax incentive for businesses. Employers can now earn income tax credit of up to $600 for every qualified veteran they hire. Beginning tax year 2007, Illinois employers can earn tax credits for hiring veterans who have recently been on active duty overseas. Employers can earn the new Veteran's Tax Credit of 5% of total wages paid up to a maximum of $600 annually for wages paid to each veteran hired after January 1, 2007. The veteran must work at least 185 days during the tax year for the employer to qualify. The credit is available for veterans who were members of the Armed Forces, the Armed Force reserves, or the Illinois National Guard on active duty in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. For more information: or

Renewable Fuels Development Program…
was established in June of 2003 by Public Act 93-15 to provide grants for the construction of new biofuels production facilities in Illinois. The program is specifically designed to increase biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) production in Illinois.

Credit Card and Debit Card Payment Options
Available to Pay Unemployment Insurance Taxes

The Illinois Department of Employment Security is now accepting MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards for employer payments of unemployment insurance obligations. An employer can pay by debit or credit card over an internet site, or by telephone 1-866-268-3956. To explore other employer payment options, employers may access the IL TaxNet website at Employers may email the Department at or call our toll free number at 1-800-247-4984 with questions about these new options. (The Service Provider charges a convenience fee to process credit/debit payments.) For further information, go to

Franchises for Veterans
Returning veterans can get a leg up on starting and owning a franchise business, thanks to an initiative known as VetFran. This effort, an initiative of the International Franchising Association, helps veterans who want to acquire a franchise by allowing them to make a purchase with only 10% of the required down payment. More than 200 companies, including household names like Dunkin' Donuts and Midas, participate in this effort. Since it was started, VetFran has assisted more than 600 veterans who have purchased franchises. This is one effective means to help ease the transition for returning veterans. Learn more about VetFran or other business initiatives for veterans at:

Trade Missions Coming to Illinois
Two trade missions will be coming to Illinois this April, one from Sweden (April 16, 17 & 18) and one from Spain (April 16 & 17). This will be a great opportunity for Illinois companies to meet business prospects from both countries in one visit to Chicago. One-on-one business meetings will be available at both events. These meetings will be prearranged before the trade missions arrive and generally, no walk up meetings will be allowed. The screening process is put in place to ensure quality meetings and to avoid business tourism.
Link to trade mission from Sweden:
Or contact direct: Mr. Tom Thorelli

Link to trade mission from Spain:
Or contact direct: Mr. Fabrice Bonvoisin

Global Warming: A Science and Economics Update... The Other Side of the Story
The media, of course, eats this up. Last April, the cover of Time magazine declared, "Be worried, be very worried." Amid lots of scary pictures of deserts, floods, and hurricanes, it said "Global warming is already disrupting the biological world, pushing many species to the brink of extinction and turning others into runaway pests. But the worst is yet to come." But should we trust Time magazine? On July 24, 1974, Time Magazine published an article titled "Another Ice Age?" that read: …..the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

It's not just Time magazine that's unreliable on global warming. The popular press features possible crises on their front pages all the time because bad news sells, and they are in the business of selling copies of their publications and generating ad revenue, not reporting the truth about complicated subjects. As they say in the business, "if it bleeds, it leads."

Workshop: Is Franchising Right for You?
If you are thinking about owning a franchise- or if you are planning to start your own business but never really considered the franchise option, you will find this workshop very informative. We'll walk you through the process of what's involved in starting a business, whether or not a franchise is a fit for you, and how to go about researching franchise opportunities.
Date: Tuesday, April 10
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: Aurora Campus Room 135 - Waubonsee Community College
Registration is required!

Scratch vs. Box- Independent Business or Franchise?
When I have a craving for brownies, I head for the grocery store and pick up a box of brownie mix. I love brownies, and I don't have the time or the talent to even attempt brownies from scratch. If you want to own your own business, but aren't sure what that business should be, the scratch vs. box comparison is a good place to start.