2016 – 2017 Outreach Report
This year, Sugar Grove Economic Development staff met with 19 companies, representing 643 employees. Though diversified, outreach calls focused on prime industries, such as Advanced Manufacturing, Industrial Goods, and Aeronautics and Defense sectors. Business Outreach Visits reached companies inside and outside the Sugar Grove village limits. All of the businesses visited are privately owned. Over 60% of the companies indicated that they owned rather than leased their company real estate facilities
- 32% of the companies visited indicated that the market for their primary products/services was international.
- 21% of the companies visited indicated that market for their primary products/services was regional (Tri-State – Chicago Metro).
- 21% of the companies visited indicated that market for their primary products/services was local
14 of the 19 companies interviewed indicated sales were increasing, and 6 companies (32%) are planning for expansion in the next 3 years. But 17 out of 19 companies indicated that they had no room for expansion at their existing facilities. 88% of companies indicated that there was no reason why Sugar Grove may not be considered for any future expansion. As a comparison, 37.85% of companies interviewed across the State of Illinois, indicated that they were planning expansion in the next 3 years.
Technology Concerns However – 56% of the companies visited indicated that the community technology infrastructure was not adequate for their growth plans. All utility ratings however, were average or better. 64% of companies visited, indicated that their use of internet was increasing (many including VOIP). Anecdotally businesses expressed concern about the high cost and poor service regarding internet, and poor service coverage for mobile phones.
78% of the Sugar Grove interviewed companies indicated that there were recruiting problems for positions or skills in their operations. 89% indicated that recruiting problems pertained to their industry and not the community. The number of unfilled positions is increasing in 39% of the Sugar Grove companies interviewed. 41% of Sugar Grove interviewed companies indicated that their investment in employee training was increasing. Only 1 (5%) of the visited companies had any union employees.
While recruitment problems persist throughout the U.S., Illinois is experiencing fewer problems (52.82%) than its neighbors in the Midwest (62.6%) and nationally (56.29%). A majority of recruitment problems are related to Skilled Production Labor (38.91%) and Scientific/Technical (29.09%) jobs. The statistic on surveyed companies with Unfilled Positions increasing in Illinois is at (27.39%)
Sugar Grove Community Service
Community service ratings were generally positive. The only negative community service input came regarding property tax, with 24% of the business respondents giving property tax the poorest rating. Anecdotal comments about taxes being too high in the community (residential and commercial/industrial), and across the board in the state. The few companies who have other operations in nearby states discussed closing local operations in favor of other facilities that could serve the same markets.
Solutions In Sugar Grove
Resulting from Business Outreach Interviews, 17 referrals were made to Sugar Grove Economic Development Corporation Business Retention Allies as follows:
Waubonsee Community College – Workforce Development Department – 4 Referrals
Waubonsee Community College – Business and Career Technologies Department– 1 Referral
Kane County – Office of Community Reinvestment, Workforce Development Division – 3 Referrals
Utilities – ComEd – 3 Referrals
Village of Sugar Grove Public Works Department – 1 Referral
Village of Sugar Grove Community Development Department – Planning – 1 Referral
Illinois Department of Transportation – 1 Referral
School – Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) – 1 Referral. IMSA’s new Innovation Lab students provided talent to a Sugar Grove prototyping company as interns.
Communication Network providers – Mediacom – 1 Referral
Metronet – 1 Referral
Companies may indicate plans to expand their facilities during a Sugar Grove business outreach interview. The SGEDC responds by offering information and the resources of relevant partners to facilitate a smooth and successful investment. During the 2016-17 Sugar Grove Business Outreach Program, two companies interviewed were in the middle of expansion plans, Producers Chemical and Quantum Signs. These projects have created many jobs at each of these facilities. The SGEDC continues to stay in touch regarding additional anticipated hiring at these operations (referring appropriate Business Retention Allies), and continues to work with these companies to support their expansion plans.