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Calumet Region Enterprise Zone spurs growth in the southern suburbs

Members of the Calumet Region Enterprise Zone Board include (standing, L-R) Thornton Village Administrator Doug Beckman, SSMMA/CSEDC Economic Development Director Reggie Greenwood, South Holland Economic Development Director John Watson; (seated, L-R) Cook County Economic Development Program Manager Meisha Holmes, Enterprise Zone Assistant Mary Schmidt and SSMMA GIS Analyst Chris Poshek.

By Mary Schmidt, Enterprise Zone Assistant

In 2016, six south suburban communities– Calumet City, Dolton, Riverdale, Lansing, South Holland and Thornton–were awarded one of nearly 100 enterprise zones in the State of Illinois. The success of this competitive application process provides valuable incentives to attract new businesses and encourage the rehab and remodeling of existing businesses in The Calumet Region Enterprise Zone. Click here for the Calumet Region Enterprise Zone story map that SSMMA’s GIS team developed.

Since the Calumet Region Enterprise Zone began, businesses have invested $25 million in construction, remodeling and rehabilitation. Two thousand two hundred ninety-three jobs were retained in the zone and 340 new jobs were created. Several of these projects turned long-vacant areas into vibrant, thriving business centers. Others helped established businesses expand or modernize at their current locations. These investments bring new property tax revenues to the zone towns and new sales tax to their home communities. Not counted in these numbers are the hundreds of construction jobs that were created during the projects.

Businesses in designated areas of Calumet City, Dolton, Lansing, Riverdale, South Holland, Thornton and parts of unincorporated Cook County that build new facilities or rehab /remodel their current locations, can receive a sales tax abatement on building materials, discounts on local permits, and in some cases real estate tax savings.

“This incentive combined with other local incentives in each town, positions the southern suburbs to continue to attract commercial and industrial development, and the associated economic benefits those developments bring,” said Mary Schmidt, a zone assistant. “Having an Enterprise Zone in our area helps us compete with our neighboring States to bring development to Illinois and the Southern Suburbs.”

The Calumet Region Enterprise Zone is one of four enterprise zones in the southern suburbs that were part of an application made by the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, Cook County and the Center For Neighborhood Technologies. These three groups worked with local leaders to submit applications to the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity for enterprise zones that will extend for the next 15 years. Other zones in the region are the Cal-Sag Enterprise Zone, the Lincoln-394 Enterprise Zone, and the Will/Cook-I 57 Enterprise Zone.

For information on how to apply for Calumet Region Enterprise Zone benefits contact office at 708-653-3122, or

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