All Press Releases for March 19, 2018

Chicago's Albany Park & Irving Park Neighborhoods are Open to Creative Business

A burgeoning business destination for creative enterprises.

    CHICAGO, IL, March 19, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The business community in greater Albany Park reflects the area's diversity and is becoming a hub for creative industries, from brewing to design, creatives are flocking to the area. Why? Small businesses are incredibly supportive of each other and the Northside community, plus local residents shop the district.

"Whether opening a new business or adding another location, there are many perks to doing business in Albany Park," says Duka Dabovic, North River Commission's economic development coordinator. "Commercial rents are affordable for entrepreneurs and the area has a high walk score making it perfect for retail activity. The Albany Park Chamber of Commerce is engaged in developing the neighborhood's various business corridors while attracting different audiences to the area through events and neighborhood promotions."

Here's what seven local businesses that offer creative professional services had to say about working in the area.

Bark Design
When North River Commission embarked on a major beautification project for Albany Park, it didn't look far for creative, hyper-local support. Bark Design, a graphic design and web development studio, created the designs for new light pole banners for the area, capturing the neighborhood's unique spirit and highlighting the businesses and services along Montrose in a thoughtful, vibrant way. Take a stroll down Montrose Avenue near their studio to view the designs yourself; other local businesses Bark Design has worked with include Tailwind Cycles and Northeastern Illinois University.

"Albany Park is a great neighborhood to have an office," says John Bistolfo, Bark Design founder and design strategist. Bistolfo moved his office to Albany Park after buying a home in the area and wanting to live close to his office. "We've been in Albany Park for 21 years now and love it; the neighborhood has great access to public transportation and is conveniently located to the highway, which is good for business."
Bark Design 3115 W. Montrose Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618; 773- 539-7185

Nancy Pochis Bank Art Studio
Nancy Pochis Bank established her full-service art studio in 2000 in the Ravenswood neighborhood. Since then she's helped businesses promote their brand and highlight special events through painted murals, chalk art, pavement art, illustrations and hand lettered signs across the country! She moved her studio to the Albany Park and Irving Park neighborhood in 2015 after searching for a neighborhood that provided great access to transportation, ample parking and affordable rent for her studio's needs.

Her work can be seen in various publications, restaurants, hotels, businesses and special events throughout the city, and she would love to work with more businesses in her studio's backyard! She's currently offering 25% off her services to businesses located in the Albany Park and Irving Park neighborhoods, through August, 2018.
Nancy Pochis Bank Art Studio, 4040 N. Kedzie Ave, Ste 4, Chicago, IL 60618 (773)297-5643

Fireheart Photo & Film
Michelle Wodzinski Capers moved her business from Bucktown to Albany Park because its close, family-oriented community was conducive to her neighborhood photography and videography company. Specializing in portraits and events, Capers shoots weddings, newborn portraits, family portraits, professional headshots, senior portraits, private parties, corporate events, event highlight and Kickstarter videos.

"Albany Park's great foot traffic, old-world charm and affordable rents makes the area a great place to find local clients and business opportunities just by word of mouth," said Capers. She also praises the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce and North River Commission for being supportive and helping her business. "If you're looking to open a business in Albany Park, talk to the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce and North River Commission! They are amazing people and are very eager to help new businesses get their word out," she says. Fireheart Photo & Film offers on-location and studio shoots by appointment only. Follow Fireheart on Facebook to learn more about the company and to schedule an appointment.

Big Buzz Idea Group
Big Buzz Idea Group specializes in management services for nonprofits. They moved Big Buzz to Albany Park, wanting to be located in Chicago while remaining close to their original roots in Lincolnwood. As consultants to the Albany Park Chamber and North River Commission, Melissa Lagowski, CEO has found everyone friendly and welcoming. "People are constantly trying to find ways to work together and to support one another," she said, adding that Alderman Laurino personally stopped by their business within the first few months of their move to the area. "It's a great business community, very supportive and collaborative. We love it!" Nonprofits interested in learning more, contact Melissa by email here. They offer a one-hour free consultation to all nonprofits.
Big Buzz Idea Group, 4055 W. Peterson, Chicago IL 60646; 773-804-8589

TFA Signs
The family-run signage company, TFA Signs, moved to Albany Park in the 90s because of the area's strong Korean ties. While the neighborhood is more culturally diverse, one thing hasn't changed--the area's support of local, family-run businesses and entrepreneurs.

"Local businesses are very supportive of our company and we get a lot of referrals from local businesses," says Seung Park, creative director at TFA Signs. Neighborhood clients include Noon O Kabob, Kabobi, North Park University, Chica's Secret, and Lindo Michoacan.

Another reason TFA Signs moved to the area was because of its high foot traffic. "We started our business at 3744 W. Lawrence in 1995 and back then, it was alive with people walking everywhere, giving us amazing visibility. Our recent move was simply to fit our production needs," says Park. In addition to helping boost TFA Signs' visibility, Park recognizes the area's Chamber of Commerce is a useful resource for existing and new businesses.

In the spirit of giving back to the community, TFA provides free consultation and offers a special 10% discount to other businesses the area. The company's services include electrical sign repair and maintenance, awnings, design, permitting, and printing.

TFA Signs, 5500 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60625, (773) 267-6007

Kurman Communications
Kurman Communications has been an integral part of the Albany Park community for almost 20 years. The full service public relations agency offering media relations, social media management, community relations, event planning, and marketing communications services has worked with several businesses and individuals in the Albany Park area to greater support their work. Clients include restaurants Ixcateco Grill, Mariscos Sirena, Angelo's and Wine Bar, hair salon Cutting Edges, attorney general candidate Aaron Goldstein, and North River Commission/Albany Park Chamber.

"The business community in Albany Park is vibrant and extremely supportive of other businesses," says Cindy Kurman, Kurman Communications president. The North River Commission and Albany Park Chamber frequently hold events to unite local businesses with residents and will refer business leads to existing and potential members.

"You'll find a supportive home for your business in Albany Park," says Kurman, who joined the chamber to support area businesses that her firm represented. "After house hunting in Albany Park, it was love at first sight, offering good value, friendly neighbors, cultural diversity, and convenience to both the city and suburbs. It's a hidden gem."

Kurman offers news business a complimentary consulting meeting and plan of action to help launch new businesses and support existing ones with innovative marketing communications ideas.
Kurman Communications, 345 N. Canal St. Ste 1404, Chicago, IL 60606, 312-651-9000

Covert Nine
Specializing in Google AdWords, PPC Marketing (Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Instagram), WordPress Development, photography, content marketing, web design, branding, and SEO, Covert Nine doesn't rely on walk-in business but chose Albany Park as its new home. "We could work out of any neighborhood but chose to move our business from Pilsen to Albany Park because the neighborhood is more convenient, quieter, and has a lot of readily available parking, all of which better supports our clients and business," says Covert Nine founder, Tim Toomey. In addition to working in Albany Park, Toomey also lives in the area for similar reasons. "It's a great area to be in, simple as that."
Covert Nine, 2656 W. Montrose Ave. Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60618; 312-970-0010

North River Commission (3403 W. Lawrence Ave., Suite 201, Chicago, IL 60625; 773-478-0202) is the nonprofit community and economic development corporation for the northwest side of Chicago, from the Chicago River to Cicero and Addison to Devon. Founded in 1962 by concerned residents and neighborhood institutions, NRC unites more than 100 civic associations, businesses, schools, institutions and places of worship to improve the quality of life in the community by creating affordable housing, quality education, arts & cultural endeavors, open spaces, and thriving neighborhood businesses. North River Commission operates the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce as part of its economic development strategy. Learn more about the NRC at and follow their news on Twitter @NRCchicago and on Facebook.

The Albany Park Chamber of Commerce supports, advocates for and promotes its members and local businesses in the Albany Park, Irving Park, Mayfair, and North Park business districts. The Chamber provides resources that strengthen and physically improve area businesses. It attracts new businesses and investment to the community. It beautifies the commercial districts to further stimulate development and to enhance culture, dining, shopping and entertainment on Chicago's northwest side. Learn more at and follow their news on Twitter @AlbanyPkChamber and on Facebook.

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Cindy Kurman
Kurman Communications, Inc.
Chicago, IL
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