Become an Investor

Economic Development is promoting our region and our industry clusters outside the region to try to recruit more businesses & jobs, and to help existing businesses with the resources they need to grow and expand. Today, we face a much different economic climate than when we created Rockforward! in 2007. Then, the economy had stalled and jobs were scarce. Today, there are opportunities for jobs yet a lack of employees with the skill sets required to fill them. With skill set concerns, education and workforce require diligent collaborative efforts with our partners.

The RAEDC, its investors and stakeholders work diligently to generate significant job opportunities in the region; however, in this increasingly competitive world, we are all vying for the same limited resources. We must continue our collaboration in developing opportunities for growth and a workforce pipeline that meets today’s employment needs and those of the future.

How do we accomplish these objectives? The answer is strong regional leadership coupled with the implementation of our new strategic plan. We at the Rockford Area Economic Development Council are eager to share with the region Rockforward 20/20, our Economic Development and Marketing Strategy Plan. This aggressive plan will be a catalyst to create and retain over 10,000 jobs and significantly increase the capital investment in the region.

We embrace a bold vision for our community, to stake our claim on the national stage, that “We are and will be a Top 25 community” because we want the region to be competitive with the best in the U.S. – a shining example to others.

Accomplishing these goals will require a private/public investment over the next five years and a strong core of leaders to help drive implementation. Your financial support is needed to leverage the annual commitment made by many local businesses, municipalities and other governmental agencies.

Interested to find out more, please contact RAEDC Director of Investor Relations Matt Zarembski. On behalf of the RAEDC, thank you for your time and leadership.

Download the Rockforward20/20 Commitment Form

View a Directory of Investors

Investor Levels & Benefits

The Rockford Area Economic Development Council is funded solely through investments by Private Sector Companies, Public Sector Municipalities, Labor and Trade Unions, Business Organizations, Quasi-Governmental Organizations, Educational Institutions, and Nonprofit Agencies. Investors pool resources together to sustain the work of the organization, as everyone benefits from having a stronger, more sustainable economy. Annual investments range from $2,000 per year up to $300,000 per year.

Please consider investing at one of the following levels: Rockforward! Investors; Rockforward! Premier Investors; Rockforward! Leadership Council; or Rockforward! President’s Circle. Direct benefits for each investment level are defined below.

Rockforward! Investors ($2,000 – $4,999 per year)

Confidential Services: The Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) serves as a one-stop resource center for companies interested in remaining/expanding in – or relocating to – the Rockford Area. The RAEDC partners with regional allies and coordinates the work of multiple agencies on behalf of clients. Specific services include: site selection; coordination of funding from local, state, and federal sources; workforce development; international assistance; and marketing and public relations.

Customized Research: The RAEDC is a clearinghouse of regional demographic data, research, and analysis. Rockforward20/20 investors can access the RAEDC’s research on labor statistics, demographics, and industry trends. Customized data includes real estate/site selection, demographics, industry clusters, taxes, commuting characteristics, and utilities.

Leadership Opportunities: Rockforward20/20 investors have an opportunity to serve on the RAEDC Board of Directors, Business Attraction Solutions Team, Business & Community Relations Solutions Team, Business Retention & Expansion Solutions Team, Education for Workforce Development Committee, Nominating Committee, Audit Committee, and additional ad hoc committees as they are established.

Website: Rockforward20/20 investors are promoted on the RAEDC Website, including a full-page, premier listing the searchable Investor Directory (logo, link, description, and contact information).

Special Events: Rockforward20/20 investors are invited to attend all RAEDC events, including the Annual Meeting and Dinner. Investors also receive invitations to attend client and investor events, including groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings, and open houses.

Referrals: While assisting growing and relocating companies, the RAEDC is often able to refer company inquiries to Rockforward20/20 investors and provide direct introductions between investors for business development opportunities.

Rockforward! Monthly Progress Report: Rockforward20/20 investors receive a monthly report, tracking results against performance measures defined for each strategy.

Annual Report: Investors receive recognition in the RAEDC annual report, which is published in March and summarizes results for the Rockford Region.

Rockforward20/20 Investor Plaque: All investors receive a plaque, which identifies investment level and year(s) of commitment. Plaques will be updated each year upon renewal.

Trade Missions: Rockforward20/20 investors are encouraged to participate in industry-based trade missions throughout the world. The RAEDC will market the region for Foreign Direct Investment while assisting local companies with developing international business.

Quick Reference Guide: Full-color copies of the RAEDC Quick Reference Guide are available to Rockforward20/20 investors upon request. Detailed information is provided on demographics for the Rockford MSA (Boone & Winnebago counties).

Global Relations E-Newsletter: Rockforward20/20 investors may request to receive this quarterly newsletter, which is targeted to the Chinese community, both local and abroad, and contains updates on Rockford Area development opportunities.

Rockforward! Premier Investors ($5,000 or more per year)

In addition to the benefits described above, organizations investing at the Premier level will receive:

Website: Premier Investors receive special recognition on the RAEDC Website, including an enhanced listing in the searchable Rockford Region Business Directory (as well as logo, link, description, and contact information for up to four individuals).

Rockforward! Leadership Council Investors ($10,000 or more per year)

In addition to the benefits described above, organizations investing in the Leadership Council will receive:

Emerging Opportunities Fund: The Leadership Council meets three or four times per year to allocate resources from the Emerging Opportunities Fund (up to $175,000 per year) towards mutually-agreed-upon, forward-thinking initiatives that will propel positive change for the future landscape of the region. Possible investment strategies include projects to move and shape public opinion on sensitive issues relating to the region’s capacity to grow, focused efforts to remove stubborn or difficult barriers to growth, and large-scale projects that capture the community’s imagination and enhance quality of life for the entire region.

Website: Leadership Council investors receive special recognition on the RAEDC Website, including an enhanced listing in the searchable Rockford Region Business Directory (supplementary photos, as well as logo, link, description, and contact information for up to four individuals).

Rockforward! President’s Circle Investors ($25,000 or more per year)

In addition to all of the benefits described above, organizations investing in the President’s Circle will receive:

Quarterly Meetings: A special meeting will be held four times per year for President’s Circle investors with the RAEDC President. Investors will serve as a “kitchen cabinet” to the public/private partnership on primary economic development priorities and strategies.

Special Events: President’s Circle investors are automatically recognized as being sponsors of every RAEDC event, including recognition on event invitations and program agendas. A complimentary corporate table for ten is also provided at the Annual Meeting & Dinner for investors at $25,000 or more per year cash (a $750 value).

Professional Development: President’s Circle investors investing $25,000 or more per year cash receive tuition for one employee to participate in the Rockford Chamber of Commerce Leadership Rockford Program (an $1,100 value).

For more information about investing in the RAEDC, email or call 815.987.8118.