CHICAGO – World Business Chicago (WBC), the city’s public-private economic development office, was named a top economic development group in the nation in this month’s Site Selection magazine, considered an industry scoreboard for economic development.
Each year, Site Selection Magazine evaluates U.S. economies based on jobs and capital investment generated by corporate facility projects. This year Chicago was 2nd in the nation for corporate investment, with 167 projects that brought 7,169 jobs and $2.4 billion in investment to the region. The findings were compiled from data submitted by WBC, as well as Site Selection’s internal research.
The Top Group rankings take these numbers into account, along with creativity of economic development strategy and other more subjective attributes. Groups were ranked according to: new jobs, new jobs per 10,000 residents, new investment amount and new investment per 10,000 residents. Additionally the publication looks at innovation, leadership and customer service.
“In 2011 Mayor Rahm Emanuel charged World Business Chicago with creating a Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs for the Chicago region, a coordinated effort to assess our region’s strengths and create explicit goals and strategies to help secure Chicago’s future prosperity,” said Rita Athas, president of World Business Chicago. “We are honored that Site Selection recognized not only the investment numbers we’ve submitted for the region, but also the innovative work we are doing to enhance Chicago’s global position, and ultimately create jobs for Chicagoans.”
“For the most part, the strategic plans that were implemented in these winning, Top Group communities were formulated during the depths of the country’s worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s,” says Ron Starner, general manager and executive vice president of Conway Data Inc. and Site Selection magazine, who authored the Top Groups report. “The ensuing turnaround stories catapulted these locations to record levels of economic development performance.”
On average, at any given time WBC works with nearly 100 active companies inquiring about Chicago for a relocation or expansion project. The organization also markets Chicago as premier business location via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, YouTube and its website, worldbusinesschicago.com.
WBC tracks companies locating and expanding in Chicago, leading to repeated recognitions. WBC submitted 125 projects, totaling more than $1.4 billion in investment to Site Selection in order for Chicago to be considered for the Top Metro position for corporate expansions and relocations. To be included, new facilities and expansions must involve either (a) a capital investment of at least $1 million, (b) create at least 50 new jobs or (c) add at least 20,000 sq. ft. of new floor area.
Since its creation in 2000, WBC has successfully helped more than 350 companies move or expand in Chicago, creating and retaining more than 110,000 jobs. This is the 7th consecutive year that WBC has been recognized by Site Selection as a Top Group.
For the full story and complete list of Top Economic Development Groups visit www.siteselection.com.
World Business Chicago (WBC) leads Chicago’s business retention, attraction and expansion efforts and raises the city’s position as a premier global business destination. Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, WBC fosters private sector growth through the advancement of a business-friendly environment that attracts world class talent.