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Business and Industry

A long list of reasons contributes to Joliet’s robust business sector and sturdy economy. Its convenient location, exceptional transportation systems, highly skilled labor force, supportive atmosphere and new development opportunities are among the many advantages of operating a business here.

Joliet – noted as one of the state’s fastest-growing cities – has long been an industrial powerhouse in Illinois. More than 350 manufacturers have set up shop in Joliet, generating 1,800-plus different products, including petroleum products, gaming equipment, steel rods, paper products, packaging and more. In addition to manufacturing, Joliet’s local economy is supported by the retail, health care, gaming and tourism industries.

Leveraging its physical location and progressive vision, the City of Joliet, along with the Will County Center for Economic Development and the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry, continues to work hard to position the city as a regional business leader. These groups present existing and prospective businesses with a wide range of programs and services, including access to incentives and grants, talent development, business location assistance, small business assistance and more. They also support a number of local infrastructure and community development initiatives to ensure businesses have all they need to operate successfully in Joliet.

The revitalized Downtown City Center serves as the bustling hub of Joliet – home to a growing collection of social, government and business activities. This central district has been the focus of the long-range Joliet City Center Development Plan, which focuses on creating a downtown entertainment center complete with improved cultural, retail, dining and commercial/office outlets, new mixed-use and residential developments, scenic riverwalk promenades and updated streetscapes. As a result of the Joliet City Center Development Plan, many downtown commercial structures have been renovated and the city has enjoyed over $225 million in new construction.

City Center is also a designated Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District. Over the last decade, more than $500 million has been invested in new construction to transform City Center into an exciting urban entertainment destination.

Outside of Downtown Joliet, businesses take advantage of several major industrial developments, including the Oak Leaf Center Industrial Park, the Rock Run Business Park, the Southfield Business Park and the former Joliet Arsenal complex. Since 2000, a portion of the Joliet Arsenal property has been redeveloped to accommodate the state-of-the-art CenterPoint Intermodal Center-Joliet and nearby CenterPoint Intermodal Center-Elwood (together creating the largest inland port in the U.S. – covering more than 6,000 acres), the BNSF logistics park, the Apprenticeship & Skill Improvement Training Facility (formerly Island City Industrial Park) and the 775-acre ProLogis Park Arsenal, a warehouse and distribution park. More than 2,000 permanent jobs have been created thanks to this land transfer, and with continued redevelopment here, job growth is sure to continue.

In addition to these sites, Joliet is fortunate to be a part of the Des Plaines River Valley Enterprise Zone. The EZ was created in 1983 and offers several financial incentives to attract commercial and industrial investment, including 10-year property tax abatement on all real estate improvements; state and local sales tax exemption on building materials; waiver of building, zoning and inspection fees; waiver or reduction of industrial revenue bond issuer fee; employment services, job training programs and on-the-job training grants; and an incubator program for new start-up companies. The State of Illinois offers further tax incentives through the Enterprise Zone.

The opportunities are virtually endless for businesses in Joliet. For more detailed information on local incentives, sites, quality of life, etc., utilize the following resources:

City of Joliet

Heritage Corridor CVB

Joliet City Center Partnership

Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Will County Center for Economic Development

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