Illinois climbs corporate investment rankings to claim no. 3 spot
Illinois is growing more attractive for corporate investment, ranking third in the nation for expansion and relocation projects in 2021.The economic powerhouse of the Midwest climbed one spot in a widely watched ranking of development efforts across the country.
The state saw 480 projects in 2021, involving $3.5 billion in investment and generating 21,000 jobs, according to Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup report published in March.
“Companies want to be in Illinois to take advantage of our central location and productive workforce,” said Dan Seals, CEO of Intersect Illinois, a statewide agency that aims to draw investment to the state. “These rankings also reflect our focus on key industries like electric vehicles and healthcare, where Illinois has particular strengths.”
The magazine also named the Chicago metropolitan area as the Top Metro for corporate investment for areas with populations over 1 million for the 9th straight year. As food, e-commerce, manufacturing, life sciences and tech drive investment growth nationwide, the magazine noted that the Chicago region’s diverse economy makes it attractive to businesses in these sectors.
Indeed, with characteristic Midwest humility, Illinois has quietly made a name for itself as a powerhouse of success and innovation. Boasting the 5th largest economy in the U.S., Illinois is also home to more Fortune 500 companies than all but three states. Last year, investment in the state was driven by electric vehicles, finance, agribusiness, and healthcare. Top Illinois projects included in Site Selection’s count include:
- Regal Mile Studios
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Lion Electric
- Scotts Miracle Grow
“Illinois is the best place to live, work and do business and our state continues to be a national leader when it comes to having the ingredients businesses need to succeed,” said Sylvia I. Garcia, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. “Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, Illinois continues to be a leader in world class talent, strong infrastructure and high quality of life.”
With the pandemic receding and the economy roaring back, the state is looking to build on this success with a “Be in Illinois” campaign that highlights everything from robust infrastructure that capitalizes on the state’s central location, to the fact that it graduates more engineers every year than Caltech, MIT, and Stanford combined.
Site Selection’s yearly report is regarded by corporate real estate analysts as “the industry scoreboard.” To qualify, projects must meet one or more of these criteria: investment of $1 million or more, creation of 20 or more new jobs, or development of 20,000 sq. ft. or more of new space.
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