The work of economic development is daily and non-stop. Since the beginning of 2020 the staff of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) have been consistently responding to Requests for Information (RFI). These requests have continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have received formal requests for information from places such as Intersect Illinois and brokers or site selectors looking on behalf of a client, this is in addition to the informal requests from companies already located in our area. These regional requests related to available tax credits and incentives, information about shovel ready property, and available buildings for expansions.
Projects we have been asked for an RFI include warehouse and distribution solutions; aerospace connections, food manufacturing, and metal manufacturing; our region is perfect for these projects and so many more due to our available space and skilled workforce.
About 60 percent of the projects have requested build-to-suit (BTS) spaces ranging from 20 to 50 acres. One of the many selling points for our region is our ability to provide build-to-suit solutions in a similar timeframe as refitting an existing building. This allows companies to get their product to market quickly from a facility designed to fit their needs.
One specific project was to connect a buyer, a bank, attorneys, a realtor, and a municipality together to facilitate the purchase of an old existing building that will be refurbished and put to good use.
This is the work economic developers do every day. Create connections between companies to strengthen supply chains, help companies establish new supply chains, and assist businesses already located here find space that better suits their needs or incentives that can help them increase jobs for long-term sustainable growth.
These are the projects that we combine into key economic development measurements for our region. We are currently tracking these metrics from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2020 as part of the Rockforward20/20 strategic plan. The information below represents 125 won projects from January 1, 2016 through June 10, 2020.