Elgin has unique strength in economic development with the Elgin Development Group (EDG), a public-private partnership between the City of Elgin, the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin (DNA).
As the economic development arm for the City, the EDG focuses on business retention, expansion and recruitment, workforce development, transportation and infrastructure and marketing Elgin. The result of these key initiatives is to create a diverse and vibrant local economy that will improve quality of life, create employment opportunity for residents and build a solid tax base to support governmental functions.
“We can best protect ourselves from downturns in the economy by growing existing businesses, attracting new businesses and assisting start-up businesses. This three-pronged approach helps create a more stable tax base, keeps people employed and creates wealth for Elgin over the long term,” said Tony Lucenko, EDG Director.
The EDG reaches out to take the pulse of businesses through a variety of surveys, phone calls and site visits with company owners and CEO’s. “We welcome the opportunity to reach out and talk with businesses in the community,” said EDG Director Bob Malm. “The EDG stands ready to assist and advocate for local businesses when issues or need are identified.”
Even though Elgin has a very low retail vacancy rate of less than five percent, the EDG systematically contacts retailers to determine their interest in locating stores in Elgin. A recently updated retail study of the Elgin market is available for download at the EDG website, www.elgindevelopment.com.
New and budding entrepreneurs can expand their knowledge base and network through the Elgin Area Small Business Academy. Now in its third year, the Academy brings together seasoned entrepreneurs to mentor small business owners through sharing real-world experiences and best practices, as well as classroom sessions devoted to the small business ownership fundamentals including business plans, marketing operations, sales strategies and more.
The EDG, a division of the Elgin Area Chamber, focuses on assisting entrepreneurs in Elgin with their products and services.
“The Chamber and our partner organizations are always ready to help our local businesses,” said EAC President Carol Gieske.
Among those partners are Northern Illinois University’s EIGERLab Center for product development, which provides cutting-edge business and engineering support services. The Chamber also teams up with local, state and federal agencies including Fox Valley SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Businesses, and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Harper College in Palatine.
“These resources are available as these organizations have office hours in our Chamber office,” said Malm.
From large international companies to newly minted start-ups, Elgin is the place to grow your business, with the help of the Elgin Development Group.