Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Five Ways to Relieve Stress for YPs

Posted by: YPN on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 9:00:00 am Comments (0)


Stress. It happens to everyone, especially young professionals. Whether you have several projects to complete by the end of the day or have a big presentation to give, stress is a regular occurrence in the professional world. It can make you feel like shutting down and going to bed. The good news is this doesn’t have to be the case! We’ve compiled a list to combat stress in the South Bend region.

1. Sometimes when your mind is going in several different directions, the best thing to do is to take a step back and breathe. What better place to do that than at the Grotto on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. This tranquil spot is nestled behind the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, just beyond the shadow of the Golden Dome. As you walk up to the Grotto, a sense of calmness takes over and the heat from the hundreds of lit candles warms your skin on chilly days and nights. Take time to light a candle of your own and say a prayer, or just rest your mind. The Grotto allows you the opportunity to escape whatever is troubling you.

2. Go for a walk along the St. Joe River. The South Bend River Walk is a great place to stroll and let your mind wander. With the backdrop of downtown South Bend in the distance, you can enjoy scenic views every corner you turn. If you decide to go after the sun sets (which isn’t hard this time of year!), you will be able to see the South Bend River Lights near Seitz Park and the Century Center. The River Lights is an interactive light display turning the river into a living art piece making it a great place for reflection.

3. Looking for something fun to do with friends that will take your mind off of the stresses of work? Look no further than Strikes and Spares Entertainment Center in Mishawaka. Whether you want to go bowling with your friends, play a round of mini golf or even try your hand at the go-karts, there is something for everyone. Need to wet your whistle? Keglers Sports Bar has you covered. 

4. One of the more traditional routes to relieving stress is taking a trip to a day spa. South Bend has two day spas in the area, Hair Crafters Day Spa Salon and Therapeutic Indulgence. With head-to-toe treatment options such as massage therapy, facials, and yoga, your stress levels will deplete to nothing.

5. End your day of relaxation with a meal at the East Bank Emporium Restaurant in downtown South Bend. Taste some traditional American cuisine while taking in the great views that the Emporium has to offer. As one of two South Bend restaurants with a patio along the river, you can take in the views of downtown South Bend and the St. Joe River. The meal options offer a taste of the Midwest. Add a cold beverage and good friends to it and you’re all set for a good, stress free time. Make a reservation today!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

South Shore Project Must Get Funded

Posted by: Jeff Rea
President and CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 12:00:00 am
 Comments (0)

Chicago is the third largest city in the United States, and more than 10 million people live in the Chicagoland metropolitan area. Another 76 million people visit the area each year.

Chicago is an international hub for commerce, as well as a leader in industries like finance, manufacturing, technology and telecommunications. It boasts the second busiest airport in the world and has one of the largest, most diversified economies in the world.

For more than 100 years, our region has been closely connected to the metro area via key transportation connections like road (Interstate 80-90), air (four flights daily) and train (via the South Shore and Amtrak railroads). Our residents are frequent visitors and our businesses find it a critical market.

The ease of connecting has become an important driver to our local economy, especially as our region seeks to attract top talent. A study of communities north and west of Chicago show that those within a 90-minute train ride have seen record growth and new capital investment. The current ride to South Bend, though a convenient connection, exceeds two hours in duration.

Shorten the duration, and the region could reap benefits like those realized in the west suburbs. The goal is 90 minutes by 2020, and the pieces are falling in place to make that a reality.

The project has found broad and bipartisan support at the federal, state and local levels of government. When Gov. Eric Holcomb visited South Bend in March, he cited the need for the improvement to the electric commuter train. The Indiana General Assembly concurred and have included rail improvements in the biennial budget.

Partners in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties have followed suit, and soon the federal government will weigh in on their support. Officials in South Bend and St. Joseph County are working to put local support in place. Business and community leaders have also voiced their support. This is the top priority of the business community in the region.

Two projects are critical to meeting the 90-minute goal: construct a new 16-mile track between Gary and Michigan City to make sure two tracks run the full route between South Bend and Chicago; and relocate the station at the South Bend International Airport from the east side to the west side.

Simply put, shorter commute times means more people interested in living and working in the South Bend area.

Funding the project is complicated. Obviously, it will require an investment in the future. Over the past 100 years, the service has cost local communities very little. A finance plan utilizing local, state and federal dollars has been put in place.

The project to add track, improve a number of stations, and make the trains faster will cost an estimated $290 million. The Federal Transit Administration would fund $145 million through the Federal Capital Investment Grant program. The state budget will contribute $72.5 million; Lake, Porter, LaPorte and St. Joseph counties will each contribute $18.125 million. St. Joseph County commissioners approved its portion Tuesday morning.

An additional $25 million is being sought by South Bend for the airport relocation portion.

In the battle to differentiate our area from our competitors, a project like this can be a game changer. Professionals are attracted to the opportunity to live here, work there and vice versa. Those who don’t want the commute are instead attracted to the arts, cultural and recreational opportunities available with this connection.

Some questions remain, especially related to the uncertainty of the route into the airport. A number of alternatives are being developed now. In the end, we hope the project moves forward as planned and becomes the economic catalyst we believe it can be.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Indiana's Report Card

Posted by: Jeff Rea
President and CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 12:00:00 am
 Comments (0)

Students are anxiously awaiting their final report cards, which are used to determine the quality of their schoolwork.

But the end of our school days doesn’t necessarily mean the end of report cards. In our jobs, an annual evaluation is kind of like a report card, and our companies often track their progress versus their competition.

Report cards are even a necessary tool to track the progress of the state of Indiana and its future growth opportunities.

On Tuesday, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce issued its Indiana Vision 2025 report card at a North Central Indiana Regional Forum in South Bend. The report tracks where the state is making progress on the economic development front and what areas require further attention. Similar presentations will be given around the state in five other regions over the next month.

Indiana Vision 2025 is a comprehensive economic development plan that was launched in 2012. It was developed after extensive input from business and community leaders from every part of the state. The effort aims to provide leadership, direction and a long-range economic development strategy for the state of Indiana. Since its launch, it has helped guide public policy decisions and legislative agendas.

Every two years the Indiana Chamber examines key metrics covering progress in four critical areas: Outstanding Talent, Attractive Business Climate, Superior Infrastructure and a Dynamic and Creative Culture. The 2017 Report Card highlights metrics in each of these four areas using the most up-to-date data possible. The report ranks Indiana nationally (1 to 50) in 62 key economic measurements.

So how are we doing? Indiana improved its ranking (from the 2015 Report Card) compared with other states in 36 metrics (up from 28 two years ago); it declined in 16 rankings (three less than in 2015); and remained the same or there was no updated data available in eight metrics (12 in 2015).

Generally, the state has done really well on things like our regulatory environment, science and tech degrees as a percentage of all degrees, reading and math scores, state and local government spending, university business spinoffs, and small business policy index.

The state hasn’t fared as well in areas like the generation of clean energy, the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Index, urban industrial property tax rates, net job creation for new companies, populations with associate degree or other credential, and the percent of population with science and engineering bachelor degrees. You can view the full report at

The north central Indiana region is lagging behind the state in areas like education attainment (those with an associate or bachelor degree or higher), the number of people with STEM bachelor degrees, the number of people above poverty level, per capita income and net domestic migration.

Growing the economy, adding jobs and new capital investment and attracting, developing and growing new businesses is hard work. And it’s something every other community, region and state is doing. It requires a lot of partners, broad community buy-in, and a sustained effort.

The Indiana Vision 2025 plan has made great progress in its first five years, but much work remains ahead. Our region will play a critical role in the success of the plan; it’s up to all of us to roll up our sleeves and get to work on improving the performance of the region.

Source: South Bend Tribune