SECC Symposium



South East Chicago Commission (SECC) will host the first-ever regional economic development symposium that aligns thinking and action to strengthen the business districts in Chicago’s Southeast lakefront neighborhoods.

The SECC Symposium will convene entrepreneurs, business executives, property owners, investors, financial institutions, policy leaders and practitioners as a diverse, cross-sector community committed to economic vitality.

The SECC’s economic development symposium be held on Saturday, October 12, 2019 from
8:30 am to 3:00 pm at the Harris School of Public Policy, Keller Center.

This is a ticketed event with limited seats.  For security, all participants must be pre-registered online.  Tickets are FREE with registration.  Meals are included and all participants are invited to join us for the breakfast reception, lunch social and The Deep Dive closing reception and wine tasting.

Featured Speakers

The Keynote Conversation features John W. Rogers, Jr., President and CEO of Ariel Investments, and Valerie Jarrett, author and former senior advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama. Rogers and Jarrett will deliberate on the theme “Fueling Our Economic Evolution,” with a focus on capital investments on the South Side, minority business development, and our course of action for economic vitality.

In the afternoon, The Deep Dive features Chicago State University’s Dean of the College of Business, Derrick Collins.  How do we align investors and financial institutions with businesses seeking capital?  Collins will reveal essential insights and secrets to growth capital for small businesses.  For businesses and practitioners, this is a remarkable opportunity to identify where capital comes from, how capital investments succeed, and the best course of action to deploy a growth capital strategy.

Symposium Workshops

Each workshop is 45-minutes long and will presented twice in the morning. Each participant will register to attend two of the workshops in the series.

A purchasing cooperative among businesses is a way for members to save money and lower prices from suppliers by aggregating demand. This strategy identifies ways that businesses to potentially grow their profits. This session invites participants to explore the advantages and benefits to joining and/or forming a purchasing cooperative.

Start thinking about your personal legacy, family wealth, commercial property, business management and ownership. This session discusses the options when considering a worker cooperative, insurance, transfers of ownership, and other strategies that ensure business success, continuity and job retention.

The City of Chicago and the entire State of Illinois are both changing every day! With a new administration for both the Governor and Mayor’s offices, local ordinances, permits, licenses and regulations are changing. This interactive session will give business owners a chance to learn about relevant ordinance changes, maintaining compliance and operating safely.

Retail stores only have 3 seconds to grab the attention of potential customers.  How do you use your windows and store layout to attract more customers and maximize sales?  Learn how to curate the story of your brand through proper visual merchandising from Season 5 Project Runway contestant and Director of Visual Merchandising for Target Corporation, Terri Stevens. Walk away from this workshop with tools, tips and tricks to amplify your brand’s visual appeal.

Local manufacturing is on the rise! With the emergence of new businesses and new ways of doing business, this is a great opportunity to learn how to take advantage of the growth in local manufacturing!

Max Attendance
1 +
Business Districts

Special Thanks To Our Sponsors

SECC is a Neighborhood Business Development Center (NBDC) granted by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.  As an NBDC delegate agency, SECC provides assistance in the development of small businesses in Chicago, serves as liaison between local businesses and the City of Chicago, and delivers local business development services.