Schaumburg is the second largest hub of economic activity in Illinois, and members of the Schaumburg Business Association heard Tuesday from three people working to keep it that way.
Sharing their areas of expertise at the "Good Morning, Schaumburg!" presentation were village Economic Development Director Matt Frank, the SBA's Vice President of Economic Development Kyle Schulz, and Michelle Michals, senior account manager for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Michals said the department she's been with since 2002 has a variety of programs to help attract and retain businesses in the state. Among them is the EDGE (Economic Development for a Growing Economy) tax credit for businesses that create jobs and invest in capital improvements.
Schaumburg has been one of the savviest communities in the state in using the program, she added.
"You're very smart to have Matt Frank," Michals said.
The state also provides Small Business Development Centers and a hotline, and is building a series of vocational centers. Investing in a well-trained workforce helps all Illinois residents, Michals said.
Schaumburg's relationship with the state is one of the factors in its strong economy, Frank said, as is its 30 million square feet of commercial development that produced $3.2 billion in retail sales in 2018.
Last year also saw the issue of building permits for another $260 million in construction, Frank said. Redevelopment of the former Motorola Solutions campus and plans for an entertainment district across Meacham Road promises to increase the village's office, retail, restaurant, entertainment venue and apartment inventory.
The latter is expected to boost Schaumburg's economy by providing more customers for its businesses. While the village's population is currently about 75,000, pending housing proposals are expected to bring that to 80,000 in the foreseeable future, Frank said.
The SBA, meanwhile, is working to add value to its members and prospective members, Schulz said. In addition to listening to their needs, the association has organized 100 business-to-business connections since the start of 2019.
The Schaumburg business community is distinct for its international character as well, with Japanese and Polish companies particularly prominent now, Schulz said. The village's 95 Japanese firms make it the highest area of concentration anywhere outside of Japan.
Companies in Poland also are embracing the notion that a presence in the U.S. is important to establishing a clientele here, Schulz said. Four Polish companies have visited Schaumburg to consider sites in just the past four months.