CORE IL Annual Report

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CORE IL Annual Report

A key part to the Schaumburg Business Association’s economic development program is a local business outreach campaign known as Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E). This focus furnishes the SBA, and Village of Schaumburg, exclusive insights into the current trends, challenges, and opportunities occurring throughout the Schaumburg economy. The State of Illinois has a similar effort named CORE IL - is a strategic partnership of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and local organizations like the SBA.

As much of the economic narrative on Illinois focuses on the lack of economic competitiveness the CORE IL Annual Report provides a grassroots perspective of the businesses that operate in Illinois and the strengths, weaknesses, and barriers of doing business from the Prairie State.

To better understand the datapoints in the Annual Report the Schaumburg Business Association has identified three (3) noteworthy observations and provided our perspective on similarities, and differences, as they related to the SBA’s BR&E data.


  • CORE IL Identified “Strengths” – Economic development is a competitive practice with every state, county, and local municipality devoting resources to attracting new firms and creating new jobs. Many Schaumburg firms share that they have been approached by other states trying to recruit them to a state with a friendlier “business climate”.                                                                                                                                                                                                 However, the findings from CORE IL’s Annual Report provides data supporting a different conversation. One of the “strengths” of Illinois is the “business climate” (page 12) with almost 10% of the total respondent rate citing “business climate” as a key strength to the Illinois business community. Adding this “hard cost” with Illinois’ other advantages like “location” (especially for international firms), “quality of life”, and “workforce” suggest that Illinois is still a very desirable place for businesses to be located and create jobs.                                                                                    
  • CORE IL Identified “Weaknesses” – The most prevalent weakness identified from the Annual Report is not an issue isolated to Illinois, but rather a pandemic afflicting economies all over the country – and world.[ks1] The “Worker Supply” availability – of both skilled and nonskilled positions – accounted for nearly 20% of the total critique of Illinois. As documented by many organizations the workforce pipeline is a national issue, however, compared to our neighboring Midwest states, Illinois has a better regarded availability of talent. Additionally, with Illinois 4th best advantage being “Workforce/Labor Market” there is a recognition from executives that Illinois is has the programs needed to address the supply shortages.                                                                                              
  • CORE IL Strengths v. Weaknesses – Many of the strengths identified in the Annual Report are those that you would expect. Many of the weaknesses identified in the Annual Report are those that you would expect. The data point that is worth noting is the total number of respondents for strengths and for weaknesses.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             For the “Strengths” category there were 444 total responses compared to only 387 responses when discussing Illinois’ weaknesses. This difference of 57 is empirical evidence that the doom-and-gloom narrative that is so often perpetrated is not reflective by the firms working in Illinois. The Annual Report does identify weaknesses that should be discussed, and addressed, but it also highlights a portfolio of advantages from a grassroots level that are not highlighted frequently enough.

The CORE IL Annual Report provides an important state-wide view of the economic environment. This information collected from communities across the state provides insight into alignment of workforce and economic development needs and lays the foundation to address the identified challenges. To read the full report please follow this link

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