#48 Illinois

2.12 out of 10 in Taxation and Regulation

5.93 out of 10 in Workforce Quality

4.94 out of 10 in Living Environment

Banking on Direct Foreign Investment

The city of Chicago alone is now home to 1,800-plus foreign-based companies with more than $100 billion in direct foreign investment. In Des Plaines, German pharma manufacturer Vetter is planning a one-million-square-foot, $320 million facility. The state is now launching an “aggressive” foreign direct investment strategy to expand that growth, says Mark Peterson, president and CEO of Intersect Illinois. “What we’re focused on now is growing what we already have and tapping that chain to attract new companies.”

From the Governor

“Our people and location make Illinois the best state in the country, and I am focused on expanding Illinois’s role in global markets to strengthen our economy and to increase the amount of quality jobs available for Illinoisans.” —Gov. Bruce Rauner

Key Industries

Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace & Defense, Biotech, Clean Energy, Optic/Photonics

Key Companies

Abbott Laboratories
Allstate Corp.
Deere & Co.
McDonald’s Corp.
Sears Holdings

Key Contacts

Intersect Illinois
Andria Winters, President
230 W. Monroe St., Suite 330
Chicago, IL 60606
[email protected]

Key Incentives

EDGE Tax Credit: Offers tax credits to companies that have an out-of-state option and agree to invest at least $5 million in capital improvements and create at least 25 jobs in Illinois.

High Impact Business (HIB) Program: Offers various incentives for companies that invest a minimum of $12 million and create 500 full-time jobs.

Enterprise Zone (EZ) Program: Offers sales tax exemption on building materials and equipment, utility tax exemption, investment tax credit and jobs tax credit for businesses operating in an established EZ.

Exemptions: No state tax on personal property, and property and payroll are not apportioned into corporate income tax.

Export Assistance: Illinois’s State Trade and Export Promotion program (ISTEP) offers companies financial and technical assistance to increase their exports.


Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity: illinois.gov/dceo/Pages/default.aspx

Illinois Economic Development Association: ileda.org
Intersect Illinois: intersectillinois.org

World Business Chicago: worldbusinesschicago.com

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Smarter Illinois Initiative includes over 200 public, private and academic representatives partnering to develop a framework to guide the state’s adoption of smart technologies.

Big Deals

  • German company Vetter Pharma announced in July 2016 a $320 million production facility and 300 new jobs in Des Plaines.
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced in July 2016 it would invest $350 million and add 300 jobs at its plant in Belvidere.
  • Electric automobile start-up Rivian Automotive announced in January 2017 a $175 million investment and 1,000 new jobs at a plant in Normal.
  • Amazon has opened multiple distribution centers in Illinois the past couple of years, investing more than $355 million and creating more than 4,500 jobs.

Big Companies

50 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in state, including:
Walgreens Boots Alliance
State Farm Insurance
Archer Daniels Midland
United Continental Holdings

C-Suite Testimonials

“The city continues to attract an incredible talent pool, and our new headquarters enables us to recruit top talent, better service our clients and deepen our roots in Chicago.” Dan Wagner, Founder and CEO, Civis Analytics

“This world-class environment will continue to drive business momentum by getting us even closer to customers, encouraging innovation and ensuring great talent is excited about where they work.” —Steve Easterbrook, President and CEO, McDonald’s

“You don’t have to go to the coasts to find success in music or technology. We’re sitting at the intersection of both here in Chicago, thanks to the city’s supportive business community, world-class tech talent and progressive culture.” David Kalt, CEO and Founder, Reverb.com

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