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Success Stories

Adolfo Vizcaino, Thermal – Electric, Inc., 3838 W. Chicago

Adolfo Vizcaino, Thermal Electric

Adolfo Vizcaino, Thermal Electric

We assisted Adolfo with acquisition of an adjacent vacant City-owned lot, and provided technical assistance with expansion of commercial building, financing and utilization of Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) grant.  SBIF uses Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to help owners of commercial and industrial properties repair or remodel their facilities with reimbursement grants of up to 75% of project cost.  We assisted with Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification resulting in increased contracting opportunities.  Through the Smart Communities program we assisted Adolfo with Google Adwords pay-per-click campaign and substantially increased key words quality scores resulting in more effective online advertising.

Adolfo does installation and maintenance of HVAC systems and electrical contracting for the Chicago Housing Authority, landlords, and homeowners in the Chicago area.

“I found his management abilities to be invaluable in helping me establish Thermal Electric as a leader in the Electrical Heating and Cooling industry. His conscientious effort and cooperation in doing professional, high-quality work were appreciated … Tom Otto was efficient, innovative and responsive.”  - Adolfo Vizcaino, Thermal Electric

Ethel Oliver, Oliver’s House of Beauty, 3850 W. Chicago

Ethel Oliver, Oliver's House of Beauty

Ethel Oliver, Oliver's House of Beauty

T. Otto

We assisted the business owner, Ethel, with renovation of her salon and commercial storefront.  Improvements included a new roof, tuck pointing, new floors, basement waterproofing and more.  She received assistance with the scope of work, contractor selection, and utilization of a Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) grant.  Ethel received reimbursement from the grant program.  Ethel has been a salon owner since the 1970s.


 Pablo Moran, Paisano’s Tacos, 2429 W. Division

Pablo Moran

Pablo Moran, Paisano's Tacos

Through our Smart Communities technology program, we did a Tech Assessment of the restaurant, created a Tech Action Plan laying out suggested web-based marketing strategies to drive business and increase revenue.  Created and developed e-newsletter campaign and social media campaign to increase revenues.  Paisano’s Tacos, located on the Paseo Boricua, has been family owned since 1972.

“I am harnessing the power of the Internet to bring new customers into my restaurant.  The whole package is really helping!” -Pablo Moran, Paisano’s Tacos, 2429 W Division


Nellies Restaurant & Café Calao, 2438 & 2458 W. Division

Through our Smart Communities technology program, we did a Tech Assessment of the restaurant, created a Tech Action Plan, and developed a social media and website strategy to drive business to Paseo Boricua restaurant and cafe. We provided a Dell Optiplex 380 Desktop computer loaded with MS Office and QuickBooks Pro.  Provided discounted mobile internet service allowing customers to enjoy free Wi-Fi at low owner cost.  Nellie’s Puerto Rican Restaurant and Cafe Calao are family-owned cafes nested in heart of Chicago’s vibrant Puerto Rican community.


Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill, 3506 W. Chicago

Quentin Love, Turkey Chop

Quentin Love, Turkey Chop

Complete turn-key build-out of storefront space for new sit-down healthy grill restaurant.  Provided tech consultant to set up a social media platform and develop a social media strategy.  We suggested appropriate software for employee check-in and check –out.  And we provided assistance in marketing of restaurant and grand opening event.  

WHPDC's Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill was a finalist for the Urban Land Institutes Vision AwardsWHPDC’s Turkey Chop project, the first sit-down restaurant on Chicago Avenue in over 15 years, represented a strategic opportunity to rehab a vacant building located in the City’s designated Micro-Market Recovery Program area while providing a healthier food option for the community.


EE2 Consulting, 3504 W. Chicago 

Set up crowdfunding campaign through KivaZip for Edwin Ayala's energy efficiency lighting retrofit business - EE2.  Edwin was able to obtain a $5,000 zero-percent  (0%!) loan through online lending platform KivaZip for working capital which carried him through the remainder of his progam year with ComEd when additional program funds become available.