The city takes advantage of the area’s myriad business and cultural connections with individuals and ethnic groups worldwide. Chicago’s 24 Sister Cities are also a conduit for business connections. Co-ordination with the State of Illinois, which maintains eight trade offices around the world and actively promotes the state for FDI, is also an important part of the strategy.
Among the three most important factors in securing investment in Chicago are the availability of world-class and diverse talent, superb transportation and connectivity infrastructure, and a business-friendly environment.
A variety of investment incentives are available to potential investors, including:
- tax-increment finance funding, which is used in more than 100 districts in Chicago alone;
- worker training, which is available in both the City of Chicago and Illinois;
- small business loans from both the city and the state;
- industrial development bonds, property tax reductions, and incentives offered by the State of Illinois Corporate Headquarters Relocation Act;
- and Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) state tax credits.
Chattanooga, Greater Louisville and New York City ranked second in this category.
State: New York State
In a high-tech world, New York State is focusing its efforts attracting the investment of high-tech firms in which it can showcase its best resources. Its leadership in high technology developments results from a tradition of innovation that began in the state at the turn of the 20th century, through the foresight of pioneering industrial giants like General Electric, Eastman Kodak and Corning.
Helping its FDI promotional effort is its educational offering of 300 universities and academic institutions that further adds to its international reputation for superior research and development (R&D) facilities. The state supports university R&D expenditures totalling $2.76bn.
New York State’s most promising high-tech initiative is the Centers of Excellence network, a statewide $1bn partnership of academia, business and government that is designed to stimulate research and the rapid commercialisation of scientific breakthroughs. A number of leading international companies have participated in the initiative.
Companies also benefit from the state’s business-friendly policies, workforce development programmes, unparalleled transportation networks and strategic location at the centre of the world’s largest and richest consumer market.
Investment incentives include: low-cost financing, direct loans, interest subsidy grants, loan guarantees, job-creation grants, capital grants, the Industrial Effectiveness Program Manufacturing Extension Partnership, infrastructure loans and grants, investment tax credits, pollution control credits, the Emerging Industries Job Act, and Empire Development Zones.
New Jersey took second place in this category, with Texas and Virginia tied in third place.