2019-09-26 23:06:59

The United States Conference of Mayors, through its Partner America program, this week designated Arlington Heights as a “Small Business Friendly” community for the village’s programs and initiatives that make it easier for small businesses to thrive, officials said.

Village leaders received the award Thursday at 25N Coworking, the community and meeting space located in the Arlington Downs development.

Among the initiatives that earned Arlington Heights the honor is having a business development coordinator, Michael Mertes, who works to attract and retain businesses through personal meetings with owners and managers.

And through a small business development agreement with the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, the village provides funding to help new and existing businesses navigate through village policies and procedures when owners are considering expansions. The program has been in place since 2013.

Under another agreement, the Illinois Small Business Development Center of Harper College operates a satellite office out of the village’s planning and community development department at the village hall, offering confidential management, marketing and financial counseling sessions by appointment.

The village also has the Arlington Economic Alliance, a 13-member panel of local business leaders who serve as the village board’s economic advisory committee on business issues.

The village and Alliance also put out a 22-page resource guide book with information on how to obtain licenses, permits or zoning approvals.

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