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Turns out our state is a place to be

It turns out that the many stories about an exodus from Illinois were all wrong.

In fact, the US Census Bureau said on May 19 that our state’s population was underestimated by about 250,000 people. So rather than going down by 18,124 as he originally reported, we’ve gone up by just over a quarter of a million people.

Illinois has a population of over 13 million for the first time. Welcome to all our new neighbours. Can we interest you in a newspaper subscription?

“From limitless economic opportunity to booming economic development and leading institutions of higher learning, Illinois has so much to offer our new residents,” Governor JB Pritzker said in part in a statement about the undercount of the census.

Unfortunately, the recount won’t come in time to prevent Illinois from losing a House seat and an unknown amount of federal funding. It will hurt.

Intersect Illinois strives to bring businesses to our great state, specifically in six different areas: manufacturing, electric vehicles, technology, agribusiness, logistics, and life sciences.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

As Dan Seals, CEO of Intersect Illinois pointed out, Illinois has the fifth largest economy in the country, the 18th in the world. Thirty-eight Fortune 500 companies have already made Illinois their home and 1,900 foreign companies have operations there.

We have plenty to brag about, plenty of reasons why people and businesses locate here. Illinois should be proud to call our state home.

So why have so many people rushed to tell a negative story that turned out to be untrue?

Maybe it’s partly the weather. Rumor has it that not everyone enjoys Illinois winters. Go figure.

Maybe some people just like to complain when things don’t live up to their expectations in every way. It always seems like life must be better somewhere else.

Maybe it’s all the governors and other politicians who have been prosecuted. Corruption is a serious problem here, but Illinois hardly has a monopoly on it.

One part could be taxes. The property tax bill that arrived in the mailbox a few weeks ago landed with a thud. Yeah, that one hurt.

But it’s important to focus on what we’re getting for the money. About 75% of our property taxes go to our schools, and those schools produce our next generation of business owners and executives, scientists, manufacturing employees, and more. It is essential that they are well educated to be able to run the economy of Illinois. decades to come.

It is also vital that our transportation assets are modernized, for the benefit of our people and our businesses. They are a big reason why so many businesses are located here. The collapse of infrastructure is hampering business.

Illinois’ finances have improved in recent years, as illustrated by a series of bond rating upgrades. The state government still has a lot of work to do to get the necessary upgrades and fix the underlying issues that caused all the downgrades of yesteryear. Illinois finances cannot be allowed to regress.

One more thing to watch out for: With so many other states imposing restrictions on residents and businesses due to social issues – abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, education, etc. – will it encourage more people and more businesses to consider moving here? in the months and years to come?

For example, Apple and other companies offer to pay medical expenses for employees who must leave their homes in Texas to have abortions, according to the Washington Post. Salesforce has offered to relocate workers from Texas due to its restrictive new abortion law. Disney has gotten in trouble with Florida over its opposition to Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Disney World won’t be moving to Arlington Heights, but other companies might be concerned about how Florida, Texas and other states want to restrict their freedom to do business.

“Communication with corporate parties has just been uninterrupted,” Jen Stark, senior director of the Tara Health Foundation, an investment firm focused on gender and racial equity, told The Washington Post after the leaked US Supreme Court draft opinion on abortion. “Companies that were bracing for impact in June are feeling reality set in now.”

Companies will face pressure from shareholders and employees to take a stand. Some might take a look at the changing business environment in these states and look elsewhere. Like Illinois, for example.

Illinois must be prepared to make its case. And make room.

Sorry. More space.