MORRISON – Economic activity in the Whiteside/Carroll Enterprise Zone picked up in 2019, and those projects are expected to create hundreds of jobs.
Last year a total of $38.6 million was invested in 19 Enterprise Zone projects, compared with $10.5 million that was put into 13 ventures in 2018. The investments are on track to create 450 jobs in the Enterprise Zone.
In small towns with a limited toolbox for luring business activity, the zones are foundations of the regional economy. In the last decade, $453.3 million has been infused into 488 projects within the Whiteside/Carroll Enterprise Zone that created or retained 8,526 jobs.
The biggest project was Halo Branded Solution’s $25 million expansion, the company’s second locally since 2017. The latest adds 275,000 square feet for up to 350 new workers.
The scope of investment ran the gamut, from Halo to a $41,000 retail expansion. Businesses within the Enterprise Zone can receive local tax abatements and sales tax exemptions on construction materials for putting up new buildings, renovations or expansions.
“The Enterprise Zone is available to help all types of businesses – small to large, new or existing, homegrown or a relocation, industrial, retail or commercial – and it’s proven itself to be a very effective incentive,” Enterprise Zone Administrator Gary Camarano said in a news release.
In Rock Falls, officials have relied heavily on local incentives to fuel its riverfront revitalization efforts.
“Our RB&W District has seen a hotel completed in 2016, a banquet hall/event center set to open in February, and another hotel planning to break ground this spring,” Mayor Bill Wescott said. “Add to that the Best Cob relocation to the west-side industrial park, which also included Enterprise Zone incentives.”
The Whiteside/Carroll Enterprise Zone’s application was renewed by the state in September 2017. Tampico and Milledgeville were added at that time. The designation is good for 15 years – in year 13, applications are due for a 10-year extension.
The Whiteside County Economic Development office will have two Enterprise Zone informational meetings Feb. 19 in Whiteside and Carroll counties. Times and places for the meetings will be announced later. The meetings will cover the incentives and the application process.
More about the E-zone
For information about the Whiteside/Carroll Enterprise Zone, contact Camarano at firstname.lastname@example.org, 815-772-5182, or go to https://www.nwillinoisadvantage.com/doing-business-in-nw-illinois/whiteside-carroll-enterprise-zone.html.