Cost of Doing Business

Cost of Doing Business

Chicago offers a business cost advantage over many global cities. It's a central hub with direct connections to all six Class-One North American railroads, six major U.S. Interstates, and more than 200 cities worldwide.

KPMG ranks Chicago as one of the most cost-effective cities in the world for doing business — ahead of New York and Los Angeles — in terms of the combined impact of 26 significant business cost components including labor, utilities, facility, transportation, financing costs, and taxes.

Cost vs. Purchasing Power

PriceWaterHouseCoopers, in “Cities of Opportunity,” measured average costs of living and business occupancy against a city’s purchasing power. Chicago proved to be among the better deals, scoring higher than a host of global cities including Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, New York, Shanghai, London, and Singapore.

Competitive Office & Industrial Rates

Chicago's office and industrial space costs are highly competitive, meaning reduced overhead and superior “urban value.” According to CBRE's Prime Office Occupancy Costs study (2014), Chicago’s total occupancy cost was $27-$50 USD/SF/yr—well below London ($154-$277), Hong Kong ($161-$242), Beijing ($187-$194), Tokyo ($146), Paris ($124), New York ($83-$121), San Francisco ($68-$108), Boston ($44-$94), and Los Angeles ($46-$82). Colliers' review of global industrial rents (2013) reported similar results, with Chicago's prime industrial rent ($4 USD/SF/yr) notably lower than other major cities including London ($22), Tokyo ($21), Paris ($15), San Francisco ($10), Los Angeles ($6), and Beijing ($6).


Chicago's major utility companies including ComEd, AT&T, and Peoples Energy can deliver low-cost power to meet a company’s present and future needs. These utilities work closely with their communities and local & state governments to design competitive energy packages that support sustainable growth.