Economic state of Elgin summarized in new report aimed at bringing more businesses to town – Chicago Tribune

Economic state of Elgin summarized in new report aimed at bringing more businesses to town – Chicago Tribune

The Elgin Development Group released a comprehensive report about the city aimed at attracting new business and offering information on Elgin’s quality of life, workforce, diversity and the manufacturing industry.

A division of the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce, the EDG gathered information from various sources on municipal and residential activity, growth, population, diversity, workforce sectors, health care resources and educational institutions.

“As a very pro-business community and organization, this information is critical to share as it serves as a valuable first path for Elgin businesses interested in expansion and prospective businesses looking to open in Elgin,” chamber President/CEO Carol Gieske said in a news release.

EDG directly mailed the Data Viewbook to developers throughout Northern Illinois, local businesses, elected officials and Elgin Area Chamber members. It’s also available on the chamber’s website,, and has a QR code for interviews with the leaders of three Elgin businesses including Elgin State Bank, Elgin Sweeper Company, and Elgin Community College.

“We designed this book because these are the types of questions and information requests about the community that we receive regularly from people and businesses,” said Mike Wong, chamber board chair and partner with the law firm of SmithAmundsen, in the release.

“It is both easy to read and understand the breakdown of valuable statistical information for Elgin residents and business and community leaders in Elgin, the surrounding communities, and the development community in northern Illinois.”

The statistical information includes facts on the quality of life, Elgin’s population, and diversity. The city’s population grew by 6,609 people to 114,797, making it the sixth largest city in Illinois, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median income is $69,041, higher than the state or the national median. Elgin’s median home price is $186,000.

Hispanics make up 45.7% of the population, becoming the city’s majority. White, or non-Hispanic or Latino, make up 40.9%, Black or African American residents make up 5.9% and Asian are 5.9% of the population, according to the Data Viewbook.

Manufacturing is another category in the report. Elgin has a long history of manufacturing, and the industry is diverse. NASCAR’s official sweeper is made by the 108-year-old Elgin Sweeper Co., and the city is home to many other manufacturers who make things like coral reef, nuts, packaging, cheese and spices.

There was 1.7 million square feet of new industrial space built in 2020, and 2.5 million square feet of new and existing industrial space leased in 2021, according to the report. Elgin has 24 industrial parks, 369 retail buildings, 384 industrial buildings, 217 office buildings, 10 hotels, and 5,300 businesses.

“The information contained in our viewbook gives an overall picture of what Elgin is all about today,” said Tony Lucenko, EDG director, in the release.

“Elgin continues to be a strong, vibrant, and active market. Current industrial activity is at a record pace and vacancy rates are at the lowest point they have ever been. The office vacancy rate at this time is a bit slow due to this post-COVID time, but I see progress and there are office and industrial spaces under development,” he said.

Among the interesting statistics noted is “only 20.6% of Elginites work in Elgin,” Lucenko said.

“There are many job opportunities available within Elgin that are being unfilled. They are available right now across all workforce categories including educational services, manufacturing, health care, social assistance, construction, professional services, food services, and many more,” he said. “Our residents don’t have to drive outside of Elgin for a good, well-paying job, which is valuable given the increased cost of commuting.”

Gloria Casas is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News.