Business and industrial institutions play a strong and supportive role in the community. The fact that the majority of the nations major markets can get in and out of the vicinity within a day plays a major role in its commercial success. Merchandise may be moved not only with trucks, but also by rail with service provided by Burlington, Illinois Central Gulf, Chicago & Pacific and Manufacturers Junction Railroads. No wonder Cicero is referred to as the "eastern gateway."
Much of Ciceros industry concentrates on products such as paper and packaging supplies, gears and gear drives, hammering forgings and prepared foods. Many manufacturers focus on machinery and parts.
Largely a blue-collar community, manufacturers are the primary employers. However, the retail industry is the second largest employment force in the area. Typical industry includes construction, transportation, finance, insurance, real estate and wholesale trade.
Horse racing is one of the more intriguing and exciting area industries. Cicero boasts not one, but two racetracks-Sportsmans Park and Hawthorne Racetrack. Related businesses include a racing stable and a Jockey Club. Chicago Motor Speedway is Ciceros newest attraction, featuring CART racing and famous drivers. The racing events bring in thousands of people, which in turns boosts both retail trade and the tourism business.
Because Ciceros leaders encourage growth, it was the first community in Illinois to form an Economic Development Commission now known as the Economic and Community Development Department. A full-time staff continues to implement ways to improve both employer and employee standards. Some of its actions include the tax exempt industrial revenue bonds, which reduce borrowing costs, and the tax increment financing (TIF) district.
The town offers a federally funded, low-interest business loan program to assist businesses with relocation, rehabilitation and equipment costs. The town also will assist clients in loan packaging, site selection and in obtaining additional state and federal funding.
Business and industry can depend on the Cicero Chamber of Commerce as well. The chamber provides its diverse business community with networking, liaison services and acts as an information center answering several hundred business calls and referrals in a given month. Public relations, community promotions and working with the youth are some of the chambers other priorities.
Cicero is fortunate to possess the particulars for a great business climate. It is the combination of its great attributes and the devotion and hard work of government and residents that make Cicero a real winner.
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