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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2004

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES CREATIVE MARKETING TOOL TO FUEL BUSINESS GROWTH THROUGHOUT ILLINOIS

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced an innovative new marketing tool designed to promote local business growth and job retention by enabling community economic development agencies to promote, through a state website, available properties in their area for business relocation. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) website now has a listing of community profiles and available real estate sites throughout the state, vastly increasing a community’s exposure to site selectors seeking industrial and commercial real estate opportunities.  Location One, which is aimed at helping business creation and retention, is the newest innovation from Opportunity Returns, the historic, comprehensive plan designed to spur economic growth and create jobs. 
                                         
“Because over 85% of real estate site selection searches now begin on the web, it is nearly impossible to be a viable candidate for relocation without having listings marketed on the Internet.  Making Location One available on the DCEO website will assure communities that their available building space is highly visible and easily accessible, which will increase its potential customer base.  Ultimately, this will help create and retain business and provide a real lift to the economic vitality of each region,” Governor Blagojevich said.
 
The regional economic development plans, which focus state resources on the specific strengths and needs of each of the state’s ten regions, are developed largely from the input of local business, labor and public sector leaders.  Each region’s priorities are communicated through a series of economic summits, business roundtables, and meetings with those local leaders.  At several such gatherings, local stakeholders expressed the need to better market the sites and buildings that are available in regions across the state.  The website locator seeks to accomplish this objective through Location One. 
 
Location One can be found on the DCEO website at www.illinoisbiz.biz or www.commerce.state.il.us by clicking on the brown “Buildings and Sites Locator” button.  DCEO also offers system access and training to communities who want to make use of the listing site.  
 
“Access to the most current information is critical to doing business at any level and in any environment.  More and more, the Internet is becoming the greatest provider of critical information.  By using our website as a marketing tool for each region, we are linking two vital players in the economy: buyers and sellers.  Transactions produce a duel benefit - the sale of real estate brings money into the local economy while the purchased property means attracting a new business, creating new jobs, and increasing the economic
competitiveness for the community,” DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.
 
The Opportunity Returns regional economic development plan is the most aggressive, comprehensive approach to creating jobs in Illinois’ history.  Since a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development just doesn’t work, the Governor has divided the state into 10 regions – finding areas with common economic strengths and needs, and developing a plan with specific actions for each region.  This grassroots effort is a product of significant outreach over several months with business, civic and labor leaders, and elected officials.  Opportunity Returns contains tangible actions to make each region more accessible, more marketable, more entrepreneurial and more attractive to business.  Each plan is tailored to deliver real results that local businesses will see, feel, and, hopefully, profit from.  The Governor has already unveiled plans for six of the ten regions – Northern Stateline, Northwest, Southern, North Central, Southwest and West Central regions.  He will announce the plans for the East Central, Southeast, Central and Northeast regions in the coming months.
 
Interview will be available at www.state.il.us/iisradio/ori.htm


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