Business, Civic Leaders Build On Illinois’ Momentum

Incentives, ‘leading infrastructure,’ and a skilled workforce contribute to the influx of companies making moves in the Land of Lincoln.

By Kari Williams
From the March/April 2024 Issue


Incentive programs helped draw nearly $5 billion in private investments to the state of Illinois in 2023, according to Intersect Illinois.

“From the makers of Pop Tarts to a leading vehicle battery maker, companies are choosing to be in Illinois, and our collaborative group of business and civic leaders are building on this momentum,” said Intersect Illinois Chairman John Atkinson. “Illinois offers competitive incentives and abundant support, along with the assets companies need to thrive, including leading infrastructure, unmatched transportation, and a world-class higher education and community college system, and highly skilled workforce.”

(Photo: Adobe Stock/ Luliia Sokolovska)


Reimagining Energy and Vehicles (REV) and Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) programs resulted in a more than 60% increase in job creation, from 2,691 to 4,329. The Data Center Tax Credit program brought more than $1.8 billion in investments to the state in 2023, an increase from roughly $500 million the year prior, according to Intersect Illinois.

Because of the funds coming into the state, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Kristin Richards labeled the Land of Lincoln an “economic powerhouse” under Governor JB Pritzker.

“Whether it’s unmatched infrastructure, competitive business incentives, or the state’s world-class workforce, Illinois ranks among the best in the nation for economic development,” Richards said.

CNBC’s “2023 Top States for Business” report, published last July, ranked the state No. 2 for infrastructure and education, No. 6 for access to capital, and No. 9 for cost of living.

Graphic: Business Facilities; Source: IbisWorld)


Investments In Illinois

Salesforce recently opened a 57-story building in downtown Chicago. Other notable projects from the past year include Gotion’s electric vehicle (EV) battery gigafactory in Manteno and REV agreements with Manner Polymers in Mt. Vernon; Prysmian Group in Du Quoin; and Microlink in Niles.

Galena Boulevard and the Paramount Theater in Aurora, Illinois

REV Illinois continues to make its presence felt in 2024, with an agreement for Wieland North America to invest $500 million in its East Alton site.

“Copper production is an essential part of a sustainable manufacturing future in Illinois, and Wieland’s commitment to increased capacity will benefit other sustainable industries across the state, further growing this thriving sector,” Gov. Pritzker said.

Notable EDGE investments include Incobrasa in Gilman; UPSIDE Foods in Glenview; Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation’s expansion in St. Clair County; Flender Corporation’s manufacturing facility expansion in Elgin; and Bonnell Industries’ expansion in Dixon.

Data centers investments topped $1.8 billion in 2023, compared to $500 million in 2022. Among the projects are Prime Data Centers in Elk Grove Village and Metro Edge Development Partners’ $257 million data center investment in Chicago and the opening of Meta’s $1 billion DeKalb data center.

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The state’s manufacturing footprint is “growing faster than ever before,” according to Gov. Pritzker. In early February, Gov. Pritzker, DCEO, and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) announced $1 million in funding for the Made in Illinois Grant Program.

The program offers up to $50,000 in matching grant funds to “small- and mid-sized Illinois manufacturers to support innovation and strategic advancements,” according to DCEO.

“This is possible because of a talented local workforce and the coordination of state and local officials creating policies that result in job creation and growth,” Gov. Pritzker said.

“Thanks to organizations like IMEC and the Illinois Made Program, manufacturers are being given more opportunities to expand their business right here at home and play a major role in making Illinois the best place in the nation to live, work, do business, and raise a family.”

Check out all the latest news related to Illinois economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection.


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