What are the stories about Illinois that need to be told?


Did you know Chicago was the top metro area in the country for new and expanding companies in 2018? Or, that Illinois was the third-best state in the country for new business developments including business investment and the building of new manufacturing and office spaces last year?

Right now, these don’t tend to be the stories about Illinois that are told in the national news, or even the local news. It’s time to change that. At the 2019 Economic Outlook Luncheon hosted by the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® last month, Mark Peterson, president and CEO of Intersect Illinois, said residents need to unite to tell these positive stories about the state. With a better picture of the Illinois landscape, more businesses will flock to the state, and Illinois will have the opportunity to reach its full potential as a hub for business and growth.

Obviously, these perceptions have the power to greatly influence home values in Illinois and migration into our state from all over the country. According to Peterson, here are some of the top statistics to know and promote about our region:

1. Illinois is a hub of global and national headquarters

From Abbott to Walgreens, Illinois is home to the headquarters of numerous powerhouse brands. These organizations include 36 of the Fortune 500 and 14 of the Global 500, and bring both domestic and foreign investment with them. The jobs these businesses bring are not limited to Chicago, but also benefit our Northern Illinois suburbs. They also represent a mix of industries, offering plenty of reasons for homegrown talent to remain in Illinois and for others to move here.

2. Illinois has the fifth-largest GDP in the country, and the 17th-largest economy internationally

With a gross domestic product bigger than that of our neighbors Indiana and Wisconsin put together, Illinois is a major player in the region, the country and the world. Especially in the Chicago suburbs, the large and varied mix of industries will allow the Illinois economy to adapt to coming technological changes over the next decade. Over the long-term, these opportunities are likely to positively impact home values in the area.

3. Illinois is the crossroads of the American economy

Illinois is tightly connected to the rest of the country by plane, train, freight and waterway. From Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine, and from Los Angeles to Miami, our state is within a four-hour flight of all major airports in the country. All of the United States’ Class I railroads run through Illinois. Trucking routes offer convenient access to much of the Eastern U.S. as well as the Midwest, and our waterways connect the state to the East, West and Gulf Coasts. For both businesses and individuals, the benefits of Illinois’ central location in terms of both time and resource savings are clear.

As REALTORS®️, it’s important to stay on top of key economic indicators and know all we can about the regions we serve. And we can also make sure that homeowners and potential homeowners understand the value of investing in the neighborhoods we work in. This year, let’s all keep telling these stories about the power and possibility in Illinois.