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Saline County Chamber Newsletter
Business

 

 

If you are looking for a place to start or expand a business, Saline County has a welcoming, business-friendly climate ripe with opportunity and people who take pride in their efforts to attract and retain businesses. Businesses of a wide variety of industries have chosen Saline County as a place to do business because of the abundant access to the necessary resources needed to operate and be successful. First and foremost, the people of Saline County are its greatest asset, followed by quality access to interstates, airports, river commerce, and easy access to broadband internet that connects us to worldwide markets and resources.

 

Coal mining, which began in Harrisburg in the 1850s, became an increasingly powerful force in the area’s economy and has been a major contributor to the regional economy ever since, employing approximately 2,000 people from Saline County and the surrounding areas today. The mining operations in Saline County are continually expanding to serve the coal needs of our country. To complement the growing coal industry, manufacturers serving the needs of the country’s mining industry are also located in the county.

As the population shifted over the years, new and expanding manufacturing businesses have emerged. Saline County is home to many manufacturers from a wide variety of industries. Saline County industries employ the newest technology, boast a large client base, and have a ready and willing workforce available for expansion.

If you are looking for land to meet your business needs, join us in Saline County. The cities of Eldorado and Harrisburg, the county of Saline, and the Saline County Industrial Development Company all have property available for business development or expansion and are proactive in their approach to business growth. In addition, TIF and Enterprise Zone (EZ) incentives are available for qualifying projects.

Saline County Enterprise Zone benefits include graduated property tax abatement for the first five years, with 100 percent of the property tax abated during the first year if located in the EZ. During the sixth year, the property tax abatement is abolished. In addition, sales tax abatements are available on construction and remodeling projects if the materials are purchased in the State of Illinois. To find out more about Enterprise Zone benefits or to obtain an application, contact the Southeastern Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission (SIRP&DC) at www.sirpdc.org .

In a proactive effort to address the issue of expanding business in Saline County, a new single-point economic development entity is emerging. This will be a not-for-profit entity known as the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation (SEEDCO). SEEDCO members will work with local officials, other regional economic development groups and business owners to continue “growing” business in Southeastern Illinois.

Saline County business owners also benefit from the support of the Southeastern Illinois Regional Planning & Development Commission (SIRP&DC), an organization dedicated to serving the people, businesses, communities and local government units within Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Pope and Saline counties as a liaison with the state and federal agencies concerned with comprehensive planning and development. The programs and services available to businesses through SIRP&DC include: utilization of revolving-loan, micro-loan and intermediary relending program funds; enterprise zone incentives; and assistance with preparing various applications. SIRP&DC also makes available tax information and statistics of relevance to small business owners. In addition, SIRP&DC works closely with organizations within Saline County to promote regional and economic development; SIRP&DC staff also works closely with Southeastern Illinois College’s Workforce and Illinois Small Business Development Center to aid business owners who are seeking financing.

Southeastern Illinois College (SIC) plays an important role in the preparation of the Saline County workforce. In addition to the degree and occupational programs offered at the college, SIC is home to the Workforce and Illinois Small Business Development Center. As part of the Illinois Small Business Development Center Network, the center at SIC was developed as a resource for area small businesses through a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIC as a service to Illinois small businesses.

WISBDC has developed a wide variety of programs and services designed to assist small businesses with everything from start-up issues, to workforce development, to technology. Counseling is available in areas like market assessment, cost analysis, accounting and bookkeeping. Training is offered on such topics as business plan development, sales and marketing, computer and Internet training, and tax seminars. Many services offered by the WISBDC are free of charge.

With expansion often comes the need for infrastructure and water. The Saline Valley Conservancy District supplies safe, potable water to Southeastern Illinois from deep wells in the purest and most prolific aquifer in the State of Illinois. Saline Valley provides an average 3,124,000 gallons per day, with a capacity of 8 million per day. This 5 million-gallon remainder of daily capacity is available for industrial expansion.

As you can see, Saline County has been steadily growing and expanding and is ready to welcome you! Join us as we continue to grow!

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