Business Outreach Report
This year, Sugar Grove Economic Development staff met with 21 companies (2 more than last year), representing 688 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 Village limits. All of the businesses are privately owned. Over 70% of the companies indicated that they owned rather than leased their company real estate facilities.
- 48% of the companies visited indicated that market for their primary products/services was Regional (Tri-State – Chicago Metro).
- 24% of the companies visited indicated that the market for their primary products/services was international.
- 19% of the companies visited indicated that market for their primary products/services was National.
- 9% of the companies visited indicated that market for their primary products/services was local.
15 of the 21 companies interviewed indicated sales were increasing, and 10 companies (50%) are planning for expansion in the next 3 years, compared to 36% in Illinois, 52% in the Midwest, and 49% in the U.S. But 17 out of 21 companies indicated that they had no room for expansion at their existing facilities. 90% of companies indicated that there was no reason why Sugar Grove may not be considered for any future expansion.
47% of the companies visited, indicated that the community technology infrastructure was not adequate for their growth plans. A wide variety of infrastructure concerns were noted at different locations – lack of sanitary sewer, lack of public transportation, spotty cell phone service, and fiber optic communications concerns.
81% of the Sugar Grove interviewed companies indicated that there were recruiting problems for positions or skills in their operations. 86% indicated that recruiting problems pertained to their industry and not the community. The number of unfilled positions is increasing in 35% of the Sugar Grove companies interviewed. 56% 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 (58%) than its neighbors in the Midwest (66%) and nationally (60%). A majority of recruitment problems are related to Skilled Production Labor (48%) and Scientific/Technical (26%) jobs. The statistic on surveyed companies with Unfilled Positions increasing in Sugar Grove was 35%, similar to Illinois at 34%. 56% of Sugar Grove companies indicated that their investment in workforce training was increasing. In Illinois the figure was only 41%.
Sugar Grove Community Service
Community service ratings were generally positive. The only negative community service rating input came regarding property tax, and lack of public transportation. 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 continue to discuss the potential closing local operations in favor of other facilities that could serve the same markets
Solutions In Sugar Grove
Resulting from Business Outreach Interviews, 15 referrals were made to Sugar Grove Economic Development Corporation Business Retention Allies as follows:
Waubonsee Community College – Workforce Development Department – 3 Referrals
Kane County – Office of Community Reinvestment, Workforce Development Division – 1 Referrals
Village of Sugar Grove Public Works Department – 2 Referrals
Communication Network providers – Metronet – 3 Referrals
Fox Valley Career Center – 2 Referrals
Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) – 2 Referrals
Northern Illinois University College of Engineering – 1 Referral
One local company interviewed was impressed with the business outreach effort, and requested info on Sugar Grove Economic Development Corporation membership. The company later became a member of the SGEDC.
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. 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.
OTHER SUGAR GROVE PROGRAMS
The SGEDC has hosted a Holiday Social Event for the Sugar Grove business community for the last five years. SGEDC has also established the website www.sugargroveedc.org for the purpose of promoting continued business investment in the Sugar Grove community. SGEDC will continue to research suitable programming to further enhance growth opportunities in Sugar Grove, both for existing and prospective Sugar Grove businesses.