Economic Development

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Most residents of Gurnee clearly recall exactly why they first moved to Gurnee: They were looking for a safe, family friendly community, with wonderful amenities, especially Grade A schools, beautiful parks and recreational facilities, and a great location – easy to get anywhere. Sound familiar?

Gurnee’s 23 million annual visitors keep coming back year after year for fun and family time: Gurnee offers the Midwest’s premier entertainment at Six Flags Great America/Hurricane Harbor and the best cluster of shopping and dining anywhere in the area, anchored by Gurnee Mills. It’s all here, for a quick shopping trip, a day visit, a weekend or a week.

Businesses are drawn by many of those same amenities; residents and visitors are their employees and customers. In addition, Gurnee’s fiscal stability means that business’ costs will remain competitive and predictable; the Village of Gurnee has not levied a property tax since the year 2000. Public services are highly reliable; critical infrastructure is modern and well-maintained.

Our local economy is strong. Economic development is about preserving this foundation while seeking new opportunities to diversify Gurnee’s revenues and employment base.

Revenues generated by retail sales and tourism help to fund infrastructure (roads, sewer, water) and approximately half of all village operations, including police, fire, and public works. The village receives 2 percent of each retail shopping dollar and 3 percent of each dining dollar spent in town. When you shop or dine in Gurnee, you are making a direct investment in our future!

Skilled manufacturing and corporate offices generate property taxes that support our schools, parks, library and other non-village services. These companies also provide high quality jobs for Gurnee residents. Over 94 percent of Gurnee residents ages 25 and over are high school graduates, and 47 percent hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. With an educated workforce, central location and proximity to world-class research laboratories and educational institutions, Gurnee is well-positioned to continue attracting innovative, high-tech companies.

A key goal articulated by many residents over the years has been the revitalization of East Grand Avenue. The village kicked off a “clean up and green up” initiative last year with installation of new landscape plantings to soften and beautify the corridor; many of the beautiful plants were supplied locally. UHaul has reopened for moving truck rental, with plans to renovate into a climate-controlled self- storage facility. Plans are in the works for a fun family event on East Grand in 2018; stay tuned! Please remember to support our East Grand Avenue businesses, and keep them on your shopping “loop.” We’re all in this together!

Independent businesses are vital to maintaining the hometown feel of Gurnee. Follow us on Facebook to keep up with the goings-on of independent Gurnee businesses, including many of the local restaurants listed in the Independent Restaurant Guide on page 11. Whenever you’re looking for local places to shop or dine, we encourage you to search the Gurnee Business Directory on the village’s website or the Gurnee Chamber of Commerce website. Remember to nominate your favorite Gurnee businesses for the “Best of Gurnee” awards which are presented by Mayor Kovarik each spring and fall to businesses that exemplify Gurnee’s hometown spirit and generosity!

We invite you to visit the village’s business page at www.gurnee.il.us/business. To keep tabs on what’s new in Gurnee, check out the monthly Projects in Progress report featuring current development projects and new businesses.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the village’s economic development division at (847) 599-7574 or edean@village.gurnee.il.us. We want to hear from you!