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Business & Industry

Business

In its earliest days, Chicago Heights hosted an agrarian-based economy. The character of the community transformed with the presence of railroad lines and the rapid growth and development of the nearby city of Chicago. Industrial businesses piled into Chicago Heights, as did commercial ventures, together diversifying the local economy and strengthening the community as a whole.

Today, businesses of all kinds, from international industrial corporations to locally owned enterprises, continue to discover the benefits of doing business in Chicago Heights. The ethnically diverse and highly educated workforce is an important draw for many businesses, and the city’s location just outside of Chicago and near major interstates, airports and the Port of Chicago has proven a significant asset. In addition, the area continues to grow, notably in the downtown community, which is experiencing ongoing improvements and commercial development. Updated streetscaping and faŤade projects have been implemented in recent years, and new facilities are springing up alongside the city’s restored historic structures, creating a unique environment for businesses and consumers.

Industry

The city’s Department of Economic Development has a strong presence in the community. Day in and day out, the department works to enhance the economic vitality of Chicago Heights by offering a host of beneficial tax incentives to assist with business retention, expansion, development and recruitment, including Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Cook County Property Tax Incentives, Cook County Community Development Block Grants and more. As a home-rule municipality, the city has the opportunity to design specific incentive packages for developers, which comply with the comprehensive plans for the entire community. Additionally, the city is a designated Illinois Enterprise Zone, which presents state incentives and distinct local incentives to encourage development efforts.

Businesses and investors also take advantage of the resources provided through the Chicago Heights Business Council (CHBC). The CHBC works closely with the City of Chicago Heights to retain existing businesses and attract new businesses by investing in a number of advantageous services and programs. Members participate in informational workshops and forums, various activities revolving around the enhancement of the downtown district, luncheons, networking after hours and monthly meetings in conjunction with city representatives. The CHBC urges you to “Invest Today for the Future of Your Business.” More information on joining is available by contacting the CHBC: call 708-309-7229, email chbc@chicagoheightsbusinesscouncil.org or visit online at www.chicagoheightsbusinesscouncil.com.

Opportunities for area businesses do not end there. Chicago Heights is the proud home of Prairie State College, a comprehensive, two-year college that not only offers an array of degree and certificate programs, but also supplies outstanding community and corporate services. Among the offerings are customizable corporate training and business solution programs, free business counseling through SCORE, informational seminars and a number of specialized noncredit business courses. The college also offers customized conference services at the modern Business and Community Education Center (BCEC). The center is equipped with a 486-seat auditorium, several well-appointed meeting rooms, full-service catering and state-of-the-art technology.

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