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Economic Development

Well said! What
does this mean for economic development?

It means growing those areas of our local economy (retail, tourism, manufacturing) that have enabled Gurnee to mature into the wonderful community it is today, while seeking new opportunities to diversify our revenues and employment base.

Revenue generated by retail and tourism helps pay for new infrastructure (e.g. roads, sewer, water) and covers approximately 50 percent of all village operations, including police, fire and public works. Partnerships with Six Flags, Gurnee Mills and now Great Wolf Lodge (coming in 2018) – and the 23 million visitors they attract annually – are a large part of the reason why the Village of Gurnee has not levied a property tax since the year 2000. The village receives two percent of each retail shopping dollar and three percent of each dining dollar spent in town. When you shop or dine in Gurnee, you are making a direct investment in our future.

Manufacturing and distribution operations do not generate sales taxes, but they do generate property taxes that support our schools, parks, library and other services. Equally importantly, skilled manufacturing brings high quality jobs for Gurnee residents. Over 94 percent of Gurnee residents ages 25 and over are high school graduates, and 47 percent hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. With an educated workforce and proximity to world-class research laboratories and educational institutions, Gurnee is well positioned to continue attracting innovative, high-tech companies.

Independent businesses are vital to maintaining the hometown feel of Gurnee, and that’s what Gurnee’s Got It! is all about. Follow us on Facebook ( to keep up with the goings-on of independent Gurnee businesses.

Whenever you’re looking for local places to shop or dine,
we encourage you to search the Gurnee Business Directory at featured on the village’s newly designed website, which will launch in mid-2017. And, don’t forget to nominate your favorite Gurnee businesses
for the “Best of Gurnee” awards presented by Mayor Kovarik
twice annually to two businesses that exemplify Gurnee’s hometown spirit and generosity. Nomination forms can be found on the village’s website.

The village’s economic development committee is spearheading efforts to address a key goal articulated by many residents over the years – the revitalization of East Grand Avenue. We are pleased to announce a “clean up and green up” initiative this year, which includes sidewalk repair and a pilot project to beautify the corridor with new plantings. Please remember to support our East Grand Avenue businesses, especially during construction season; find alternate routes and keep them on your shopping “loop.” We’re all in this together!

Collaboration and cooperation is at the heart of every great community. In Gurnee, this happens on so many levels. It happens in our neighborhoods, our schools, our clubs and organizations, our churches and it even especially happens in our institutions. The Chamber of Commerce, Visit Lake County, College of Lake County Workforce and Professional Development Institute, Small Business Development and International Trade Center, Lake County Workforce Development Board, local financial institutions, utility providers and others are working together to keep Gurnee and Lake County going strong.

For more information, call the village’s economic development department at (847) 599-7574. We want to hear from you!

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