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Economic DEVELOPMENT D

GURNEE’S GOT IT ALL!

uring the fall, when the strategic planning focus groups were held, this refrain came through loud and clear:“Gurnee’s got it all! Family friendly community, location and proximity to Chicago and Milwaukee, shopping, schools, parks, affordability, safety, good management, fiscal soundness, and a Ellen Dean good mix of housing and value. Gurnee What does all of this mean for ecoEconomic Development nomic development? It means growDirector ing those areas of our local economy (retail, tourism, manufacturing) that have enabled Gurnee to mature into the wonderful community it is today, while seeking new opportunities to diversify our revenues and employment base. Put simply, the goal of economic development is to provide the jobs and revenue necessary to support the goals of this community, as they are defined today and in the future. Revenue generated by retail and tourism helps pay for new infrastructure and nearly 50 percent of all village operations, including police, fire, and public works. When you shop or dine in Gurnee, whether at Gurnee Mills or on East Grand Avenue, you are making an investment in our future. With the growth of online retail and the experiential preferences of today’s millennials, we are cognizant of the need to keep attracting new and different

offerings to our retail mix, such as Portillo’s and Buffalo Wild Wings that opened late last year. While the village does not levy a property tax or utility tax, manufacturing and distribution operations – featured in this year’s guide on page 18 – bring revenue to other taxing bodies, such as the school, park and library districts. Equally important, skilled manufacturing brings high quality jobs to Gurnee residents who have the education and skill sets to fill them. Over 94 percent of Gurnee residents ages 25 and over are high school graduates, and 47 percent hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher. With an educated workforce and proximity to world-class research laboratories and educational institutions, Gurnee is well-positioned to continue attracting innovative, high-tech companies. One of the things we heard from residents during the strategic planning focus groups is that, amid our wealth of retail, independent businesses are still vital to maintaining the hometown “feel” of Gurnee. Well, that’s what Gurnee’s Got It! is all about. Follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/GurneesGotIt) to keep up with the goings-on of Gurnee business, including many of the local restaurants listed in the Independent Dining Guide on pages 22 and 23.

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Village of GURNEE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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5/4/2016 12:29:22 PM


Gurnee IL Chamber Profile