Also INVEST South/West, and COVID Recovery Plans
Also INVEST South/West, and COVID Recovery Plans
CCAC eNews
March 2021
CCAC eNews is the monthly newsletter of the Chicago Central Area Committee. For more information about the CCAC or to inquire about membership, please contact Clint W. Sabin at
Download the 2021 Meeting Calendar (PDF)
The CCAC 2021 Meeting Calendar is ready to download in PDF format. Until further notice all CCAC meetings will be held over Zoom.  

Download the CCAC 2021 Meeting Calendar (PDF)

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Chicago Has Opportunities for Manufacturing to Grow
CCAC would like to thank Haven Allen, Chief Executive Officer, mHUB, for speaking at the March membership meeting.  Using mHUB and its network of partners as examples, Allen discussed the future of manufacturing in the region, which he believes will grow due to the enormous opportunities available to companies.
Allen shared mHUB’s story and said, “mHUB was built and initiated by World Business Chicago, but it was funded and launched by industry.”  Just the week prior mHUB celebrated its four-year anniversary, and Allen shared mHUB’s success of connecting 426 small business and start-ups that have gone on to create over 2,000 jobs, over $430 million in revenue, and attracted over $700 million in investment capital to the region.  This work has allowed early-stage companies to connect with local manufacturing bases. 
According to Allen the Chicago region is the second largest manufacturing economy in the United States, in large part due to its centralized location and diverse workforce.  Allen said, “There is this huge market opportunity that Chicago, Illinois, and the Midwest has a rightful claim to – the right resources, the right talent, and the right mix, to be a dominant player here in the U.S. and more globally."
An example of innovation in the manufacturing field is mHUB’s Chicago-based location which is in a former cell phone laboratory that has equipment companies can utilize for their new product development that would be cost prohibitive for a smaller, new company, to own.  However, Allen explained that a physical space is not the only solution manufacturing stakeholders need, and mentioned the power of networks.  He said, “As our teams grow and the complexity of the businesses grow, the importance of these networks are becoming ever more apparent.  They are turning into real economic activity with the $30 million…manufacturing supplier network that we developed. This network can connect an entrepreneur with one of those manufacturers, and support both existing companies as well as start-ups in building and growing their business.”
Allen explained how manufacturing is in every aspect of our lives and said, “The only thing that isn’t manufactured in every room is the air and ourselves.”  He mentioned how big research and development opportunities included ways to control moisture in a grain silo, and telecommunication technology allowing for access to the internet in areas not served by wireless technology, and this was all made possible through manufacturing entrepreneurs. 
Just the week before the meeting, mHUB announced winning teams in an international competition to solve the problem of lack of access to capital.  As proof of the manufacturing opportunities in Chicago, he revealed the competition attracted 489 teams from all over the world who “believed that Chicago was the place to grow and scale their business."
As to the challenges facing manufacturing due to COVID, Allen said, “Manufacturing is one of the bright spots of the economy. It’s growing at a rate it hasn’t grown in decades, which speaks to the adaptability of the industry in the early stages [of the pandemic].”  He told stories of manufacturers solving the problem of PPE access by retooling their factories quickly and explained how engineers are discovering that old legacy equipment can be quickly adapted to create new products in creative ways, such as creating ventilators.
Allen closed by saying, “There is talent here, there are amazing projects, there is an incredible manufacturing supply chain, and we look forward to working with individuals who want to be part of what we are doing.”
Meeting INVEST South/West Update:  First Round of Projects Announced 
CCAC members can take great pride in the announcement from the first round of INVEST South/West projects that were announced by Mayor Lightfoot for Auburn/Gresham, Austin, and Englewood.  CCAC members were instrumental in the crafting of the RFPs that led to these projects.    To view the City's press release please click here.  To learn more about the work of CCAC members using their expertise in the Central City to make tangible results in the neighborhoods, please click here.  
CCAC's work in the INVEST South/West initiative continues with similar pro-bono assistance for the RFPs for Round 2 that were released this past winter, and Round 3 which will be released later this spring.  Members who are interested in participating in future endeavors should contact Clint at  
The winning teams were Evergreen Imagine, Austin United Alliance, and Englewood Connect.
CCAC Leads on Post-COVID Recovery Efforts: Forward Together Implementation
On Thursday, March 18, CCAC presented before the Chicago Plan Commission on the work of its membership with assisting the City's Forward Together Implementation project, which is a COVID recovery plan for the Central City. Greg Hummel, Senior Counsel at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and CCAC Chairman; Andrew Broderick, Senior Associate, Perkins & Will, and President of The Burnham Council; and Chris Hall, SOM, all explained how the work being done in Central City with CCAC leadership represents tangible results for both the central business area as well as corridors in the neighborhoods.
Both the Chicago Plan Commission Chairwoman Teresa Córdova and Department of Planning and Development Commissioner Maurice Cox, were thankful for CCAC's leadership on this issue.  Cox thanked CCAC for its work and said, "When I first was introduced to Chicago and the power of its planning and design infrastructure the first plan I was shown was the Central Area Plan done by CCAC.  I was so impressed that was the product of a volunteer, pro-bono effort.  I want to thank [CCAC] for your organization's leadership and all the private sector partners that are working on this effort...This is an effort that no doubt is going to restore a lot of folk's confidence in the future of the downtown."
To view the presentation in full, please click here.  
Please Participate:  Chicago Loop Alliance March Survey 
Recently Michael Edwards, President and CEO, Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), was a guest speaker on the CCAC/Alliance webinar series.  As a follow up, CCAC members have been invited to participate in CLA's monthly survey tracking operating plans for businesses located in the downtown area.  Please click here to fill out the March survey. Participants will also be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to a Loop area restaurant.  
Update Your Contact Information with CCAC
In April each CCAC member firm will receive an e-mail from CCAC staff asking them to fill out an on-line form identifying who from each firm should receive meeting notices and other correspondence, and to identify individuals who may be interested in participating The Burnham Council, which is CCAC's next generation of leaders.  Please monitor your e-mail for this request, and ensure the appropriate person on your team knows it is important to complete.
Next CCAC Member Meeting:  Tuesday, April 13 
Return of Member Networking
CCAC is continuing its tradition of member meetings on the second Tuesday of the month.  Instead of in-person lunches, we now meet virtually over Zoom until further notice.  
CCAC members should be reminded of two changes for the April CCAC meeting.  First, the meeting will include a digital "networking" session that will start at 11:30 a.m.  Second, future meeting notices and calendar invites will come from CCAC Project Coordinator Nira Harikrishnan, whose e-mail is  
These monthly presentations are for MEMBERS ONLY and a registration link will be sent directly to members in good standing.
Driving Inclusive Growth in Chicago
COVID has created substantial challenges for dense, urban economies like Chicago. Despite these many challenges, P33 and its partners across our region have made considerable progress addressing several key obstacles to ‘new economy’ growth. Come learn more about progress, the challenges that remain and how we can all partner together to advance our City’s economic agenda.
Brad Henderson, CEO, P33 Chicago 
CCAC April Membership Meeting
Brad Henderson, CEO, P33 Chicago 
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
11:30 a.m.  Networking
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Meeting
Webinar via Zoom
Clint W. Sabin,
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