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Economic Development

Method Factory in Pullman

As a world-class city located at the center of the nation’s air, rail and freight networks, Chicago has tremendous strengths that position it to be a top global city in the 21st century. Mayor Emanuel has committed to ensuring that every neighborhood across the city benefits from these strengths and has focused on bringing new businesses and creating jobs by cutting red tape, offering expanded resources to small businesses, investing in infrastructure, creating more affordable housing and modernizing the city’s approach to training its workforce.

  1. In 2012, Mayor Emanuel and World Business Chicago released the city’s first regional economic growth plan to drive Chicago’s leadership in the global economy and to drive clear, actionable strategies for economic growth and job creation in every neighborhood.

  2. Mayor Emanuel launched the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund in 2016 which generates revenue from developments in downtown Chicago to provide grants to small business owners and cultural institutions in neighborhoods lacking private investment. Since its launch, the fund has provided $47 million to 191 projects across the South, Southwest, and West sides with 70 percent of grants awarded to African-American and Latinx entrepreneurs.

  3. In 2013, Mayor Emanuel launched the “Neighborhoods Now” plan, identifying seven areas in the city for coordinated public and private investment initiatives. City, state, federal, and private funds were leveraged for a variety of economic development projects including a Whole Foods Market in Englewood, the 47th Street Shops and Lofts in Bronzeville, and the Method Projects Complex in Pullman.

  4. Since 2011, Mayor Emanuel has announced 58 corporate relocations and nearly 200 major business expansions, translating into more than 50,000 jobs. For six consecutive years Chicago has been named the top metro area in the nation for corporate relocation and the top destination in North America for foreign direct investment.

  5. Since taking office, Mayor Emanuel has focused on tourism as a key driver of the city’s economy. Visitors to the city reached 57.7 million in 2018, a new record and a 45 percent increase in visitors during the Mayor’s eight years in office. The realization of big tourism goals has resulted in 22,000 new tourism jobs since 2011 and hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue to the city and region.

  6. Mayor Emanuel launched the city’s first-ever technology plan and ChicagoNEXT, a dedicated effort to drive growth and opportunity in Chicago’s tech community, governed by a council of industry leaders. KPMG has ranked Chicago as the sixth strongest tech hub in the world and Modis called Chicago the world’s number one emerging tech hub.

Read more about the Economic Development progress made over the last eight years.