SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the designation of seven Enterprise Zones to take effect on January 1, 2021. As part of its annual review process, the Enterprise Zone Board evaluated applications submitted by municipalities and counties and gave their final approval at a meeting held earlier this month. The applications approved reflect new terms for several existing enterprise zones.
Enterprise Zones are one of several tools used by the State of Illinois to encourage job growth and investment in economically underserved communities. An estimated 4,570 jobs were created and nearly 38,000 jobs were retained as a result of more than $657 million in investment attributable to the program in 2019 alone.
“Illinois remains open for business, and we are committed to supporting our economically depressed communities with tools proven to attract investment to all corners of our state," said Erin B. Guthrie, Director of DCEO and Chair of the Enterprise Zone Board. “With the renewal of these 7 Enterprise Zones, we look forward to continuing our work with local officials to support new investments and economic growth across our downstate communities.”
Enterprise Zone designations were approved for the following:
• Altamont/Effingham County
• Clark County
• Lincoln & 394 Corridor
• Macoupin County
• Saline County
• Taylorville/Christian County
• Williamson County
Companies and organizations within a zone may qualify for various tax incentives, including sales tax exemptions for qualifying building materials, investment tax credits, utility tax exemptions or other various local incentives. Each zone is administered by a local official under rules established by the state.
Enterprise Zones are reviewed following an application submitted by the local municipality. All seven applications submitted as part of the 2020 review process were approved and represent renewals of previously authorized Enterprise Zones. A total of 7 applications were received and were evaluated based on 11 statutory criteria ranging from anticipated investment and job creation/retention to the communities’ commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Once designated, an Enterprise Zone maintains its designation for 15 years, and its boundaries are subject to change based on the request of local officials. The Enterprise Zone Board will review the zone after 13 years to determine a possible ten-year extension of the designation.
For more information about the Illinois Enterprise Zone program and additional resources about doing business in Illinois, please visit: www.illinois.gov/dceo.