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Northbrook knew that to be a successful business leader it had to set its sight on the future. In 1929, Northbrook had a progressive vision aimed at the skies. That year the Sky Harbor Airport opened its hangar doors to the world. Presented as “The Airport of Tomorrow,” it served as a base for private, commercial, and sightseeing aircraft. Sky Harbor Airport thrived for over 40 years, bringing skills, trade, and passengers to the community until its final flight out in 1973. A flight training school taught many residents the art of flight, maintenance shops kept tradesmen busy, and commercial travel brought visitors in and out of the area including such notables of the time as Will Rogers and Wiley Post. It was a time of high hopes and booming growth, even through tight economic times.

Northbrook’s vision has never changed. Destined to be an economic leader, it has taken the airport of tomorrow and made it the business park of today. Sky Harbor Business Park is a haven to over 700 businesses, ranging from corporate office space to light industrial and manufacturing, with 98 percent overall occupancy. This park, along with Northbrook Court, the North Shore’s premier shopping center, creates a diverse and functional business network designed to represent everything from the actual manufacturer, and the retail sales of products and services.

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“The Village is proactive and friendly toward business,” said Mark Bernhard, President of Bernhard Woodwork Ltd., a nationally known customized architectural woodworking company. Besides providing quality products and services, many of these local companies also provide for a stronger economic infrastructure through the attraction and retention of a longer-term workforce, like Bernhard Woodwork whose employees average over 12 years of dedicated service.

The business community has come to rely on the Northbrook Chamber of Commerce to voice its concerns and needs. With nearly 700 members, the Chamber has been an effective advocate for businesses for more than 50 years, working cooperatively with the Village to maintain a conducive environment for growth. “The Chamber’s efforts on behalf of business are very much appreciated,” says long-standing member Michael Gold, President of Arangold Corporation, a large distributor whose business has been in the Sky Harbor Business Park for 10 years. “The massive infrastructure project to repave many of the roads in the Park was a direct result of the Chamber communications with the Village,” he adds. “The businesses here truly appreciated having their needs brought to the attention of the Village.”

The Chamber has also stepped in on occasion to help individual business with specific issues. GY Packaging owner Stephen Linen comments, “When DSL and cable were not available in our area, the Chamber moved quickly to get the service available and working.” He adds, “In our experience, the Chamber has been very helpful, moving quickly on issues and helping us get our problem resolved.”

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With a long-term awareness and concern for economic stability, the Chamber and the Village work closely with local businesses to address and stimulate business growth, while remaining sensitive to the civic and social interests of the community. Realizing that growth is more than just attracting new businesses, the Chamber strives to meet the needs of established businesses, helping them to expand and to prosper in the community. The Chamber’s many networking services, marketing opportunities and professional development programs are designed to help them succeed in all aspects of their business.

The Chamber interfaces with the Village’s elected official and staff almost daily, which includes serving on the Village’s Industrial and Commercial Development Commission (ICDC) and the Economic Development Commission (EDC). In addition, the Chamber has partnered with the Village Planning Department to conduct business retention visits that have helped identify issues and promote economic health.

As a result, satisfaction is high. “Northbrook is a great town,” states Richard Leopold, Vulcanium Metals Incorporated, CEO.

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