UCA Spring Showcase 2019

UCA members: we’re proud to be heading to this year’s Underground Contractors Association of Illinois Spring Showcase to kick off this years construction season. Drop by and visit with us at the exhibit, or during the later festivities. Remember the event is on Tuesday April 16th at Venuti’s Ristorante & Banquets in Addison. As a proud UCA sponsor, we’re looking forward to seeing you there!

5 Key Review Platforms for Landscape Businesses

Positive online reviews are vital for landscape businesses, as they are for any small business. Why? Recent stats indicate people trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from someone they know, and reviews can impact the trust of possible new customers that intend to buy. There’s a guide that’ll go over the top 5 review sites you’ll want to consider if you’re in the landscaping industry and bonus: tips on how to succeed leveraging the platform. Earning positive reviews in the right places can bring customers your way, so you’ll want check out this guide.

Looking to Measure the Skill Set of Your Equipment Technicians or Service Job Candidate?

Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) has technical assessments that will assist you in measuring the skills of existing service techs or job applicants. The assessments are tailored to meet the needs of the equipment industry. We use the assessments up front in the hiring process to help us make the right hire.

The questions on the assessment evaluate technicians’ knowledge in subject areas such as diesel engine, power trains, hydraulics/hydrostatics, and more. They were created by a team of technical experts broadly representing, manufacturers, dealers and technical colleges with equipment programs and are aligned with AED National Construction Equipment Technical Standards. AED has created an informational video on their technical assessments program that was filmed at Martin Implement’s dealership. Click here to view.

Chicagoland Home Construction Post-Housing-Crash High

We’re happy when we hear that builders are feeling more upbeat as they see traffic to model homes on the rise and people snapping up more newly built homes than any time since 2008. Last year was a stellar year for homebuilders in the Chicagoland area, the best since the housing crash. Continue reading

Check Out the Signs of Progress with Google’s Time Lapse tool

Google Timelapse is zoomable video, where you can check out how the earth has changed over a period of time, years that is. To many of us, Google Timelapse videos are most interesting when we’re looking at something we’re passionate about and have a direct or indirect connection with, like Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
Some of us fly in and out the airport weekly or yearly. Or maybe you were or are currently involved in the design, construction or maintenance of its runways, structures, roads and pathways or green spaces. No matter how you connect with O’hare airport, it’s amazing to see how it’s evolved over the last 32 years. Click here or on the image to watch.

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Post Election Infrastructure Spending in Illinois Rolling?

road_fbOur president-elect’s word to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure has resonated with major Illinois business interests, Illinois being a transportation hub. Trump’s pledge to invest $1 trillion over 10 years puts infrastructure improvements at the forefront of U.S. priorities.

Right away the stock market sensed new investment opportunities by backing heavy equipment and construction firms. Since the election, some of these Illinois companies’ stock prices had their 52-week highs. Continue reading

University of Illinois Team Wins Design Contest to 3D Print Excavator Cab

board-and-excavatorA team of students from the University of Illinois nailed a nationwide design contest to 3D print the cab of an excavator. They designed for a semester and their printed 1/16th scale model with integrated controls won the competition.

Heavy hitters including CNH judged the competition. The students won because of their ability to leverage new technology for creative design that provided safety, ergonomics, manufacturability, and aesthetics. Check out the design submitted by the UIUC team. Continue reading

Tips to Avoid a Sales Tax Audit

calculator-1276066_1920Small business owners prick up their ears when they hear the word taxes. Sales taxes are often a source of alarm, especially in today’s environment of digital commerce, and associated regulations.

However you track your sales tax obligations, if you don’t fully comply with the latest regulations in the regions that apply to you, you could leave your business open to an audit. How can your business avoid a sales tax audit notice or minimize any panic if you should receive one? Here are some pointers:

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