Why is it important to invest in DCEDC?

From the desk of Paul Borek, Executive Director of DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation.


Invest in DCEDC to promote DeKalb County to World

If economic development is one of your charitable interests, there are reasons to be pleased with the work of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp. The organization identified and recruited highly coveted target industries in food manufacturing, technology, and agribusiness research and development.

As a result, DeKalb County has defied the experts and the odds in terms of industrial attraction. At a time when many economic development agencies have gone to ground in the face of the international COVID-19 crisis and the many economic dislocations it has caused, DCEDC played a relentless role in the attraction of two world-class firms – Ferrara Candy Co. and Facebook – to DeKalb County.

Led by these two high impact firms, DeKalb County has attracted the investment of $942 million in the development of over 3 million square feet of space and 700 new jobs during the first half of 2020. Upon full build-out, Facebook and Ferrara Candy are projected to increase the county’s industrial EAV to 12% (from a longstanding base of 4%)! The distribution of the tax burden over a larger industrial base will benefit all taxpayers.

DCEDC’s corporate staff worked very diligently with local taxing bodies to refine changes to the DeKalb County Enterprise Zone to attract these and future high impact businesses to the Interstate 88 corridor and the west campus of Northern Illinois University.

With the attraction of these high impact firms, we can count on more that will find the business climate in DeKalb County appealing. Are we prepared to proactively recruit significant investment in economic development?

DCEDC’s small staff continues to respond to all broker inquiries and site selector cold calls, manage the county’s Enterprise Zone system and coordinate the ongoing countywide branding effort now underway.

One thing that is desperately needed is a marketing manager who can sharpen our message; track, manage and place digital and traditional media stories about what the county has to offer; and work with community groups to polish our story as we all connect with business associates and others who might informally advance our prospects.

The time has come for DCEDC to proactively recruit investment in business and community development throughout DeKalb County. We also need to attract young professionals to settle in DeKalb County; to work at our companies, start new businesses, and raise families to combat population loss in the 18 to 34 age group (-2.4%) and the 35 to 49 age group. (-7.4%).

DCEDC activities have proven to be productive with more than $2.5 billion in private investment resulting in over 15,000 new jobs in DeKalb County since DCEDC’s creation in 1987.

Over the past 33 years, members have modestly supported the organization’s financial needs by helping us raise the necessary dollars to continue our mission, “Facilitating sustainable and diversified economic growth throughout DeKalb County.”

The DCEDC board is comprised of many of the county’s businesses, government, and educational leaders who regularly meet to tackle our economic challenges and opportunities in a unique collaboration that is unrivaled in DeKalb County. With a small staff and a volunteer board, this diverse and purposeful group works for DeKalb County every day, and with a sense of urgency.

As of Aug. 3, pledges and donations for 2020 are only $216,629 toward our goal of $283,000. Considering the transformational investments made by Facebook and Ferrara, can’t we stretch as well to meet a promising future?

DCEDC asks for the strong support of the community over the balance of 2020, both to fund ongoing programs and to underwrite a more aggressive marketing and branding program while the world is watching DeKalb County!

Thank you for your support and your confidence in DCEDC, a certified nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization.

To contribute to the 2020 Fundraising Campaign, please visit Membership Page, or contact Karen Hoyle at hoyle@dcedc.org or 815-895-2711.