Invitation - Department of Commerce ILBEDC Press Conference

Just recieved this announcement.

Dear Valued Partners, Good Morning:


We invite you to join Governor Bruce Rauner and Illinois Department of Commerce Director Jim Schultz at a news conference this Wednesday, February 3, at 11:00 a.m. at the offices of Rise Interactive.


The Governor will sign an Executive Order establishing a collaboration between the Department of Commerce and the newly created Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation (ILBEDC). The ILBEDC will market the state of Illinois to attract new opportunities for job creation and investment. This collaboration signals an exciting new chapter for the Department of Commerce and Illinois, and we look forward to celebrating this important milestone with you.


For more information on the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation, please see the announcement below and visit


Date: Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Time11:00 – 11:45 a.m.


Address: Rise Interactive

  1 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 300

                   Chicago, IL 60606


Please RSVP or address questions to


We hope you will be able to join us.




Erik Brejla

Head of Strategic Partnerships

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

O: 312.814.4954

C: 312.898.3008




For Immediate Release
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kyle Ann Sebastian


Governor Announces Formation of Non-Profit Economic Development Organization

New privately funded non-profit will focus strictly on increasing Illinois’ competitiveness for job creation and investment

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rauner today announced in his State of the State address that leaders at the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity and business stakeholders will collaborate in organizing a newly formed private, non-profit organization focusing exclusively on increasing Illinois’ competitiveness for job creation and investment. The creation of a private economic development organization was a key recommendation of the Governor's bipartisan transition committee last year.


"Illinois is at a critical crossroad,” Illinois Department of Commerce Director Jim Schultz said.  “We have among the best assets in the world, including unparalleled access to global markets with our five international airports, seven Class I railroads, the third largest interstate highway system in the country, the third largest intermodal port in the world, and more. We have over 200 higher education institutions around the state, a growing innovation ecosystem, a diverse and dynamic workforce, along with an abundance of natural resources.


“There is no reason Illinois should not have a thriving economy. Yet we continue to lag behind other states and national averages, and we are losing a steady stream of businesses, jobs and residents to other states. Last year, Illinois lost an average 250 jobs a month and ended 2015 with 3,000 fewer jobs, in stark contrast with overall national growth. Middle class families are hurting as traditional footholds like manufacturing are decimated, losing 14,000 jobs in 2015 alone. The result is families fleeing the state in droves; in 2015 more than 100,000 residents left Illinois.


 "We must take decisive, focused action if we are going to reverse our state's economic decline and put Illinois back on the path to growth and prosperity," Schultz said. "The rigid structure and suffocating bureaucracy of the Department of Commerce hinder our ability to attract businesses to Illinois and to drive economic development. A mere 14 percent of Department of Commerce staff is dedicated to economic development activities, limiting the resources to attract and to retain business, which is a disservice to Illinois businesses and taxpayers."


Meanwhile, neighboring states have benefited from flexible, focused private economic development organizations, easily overtaking Illinois in business attraction and job creation.


“We must take a new approach to growth in Illinois; the status quo is no longer acceptable," Schultz said.

The Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation (ILBEDC), modeled from best practices of other successful state and local economic development organizations, will focus on sales, marketing and exceptional customer service. It will work at the speed of business and maintain lean, efficient operations. The corporation will be governed by a diverse board of experienced economic development and business leaders dedicated to returning Illinois to prosperity. Final composition of the board is still under development.


The corporation will maintain strict standards of transparency and accountability, based on industry best practices, including a robust conflict of interest policy, public disclosure of donors, and application of other transparency laws. The ILBEDC will not replace the Illinois Department of Commerce, which will maintain key functions, including federal program administration and final authority and oversight of all state grants and incentives negotiated by the ILBEDC.


The ILBEDC, for which Articles of Incorporation were filed this morning with the Illinois Secretary of State, is a private organization seeking 501(c)(3) status. The Governor will sign an Executive Order in the coming days to formally establish its relationship with the Illinois Department of Commerce. The formation of the ILBEDC and its operations at least through FY16 will be funded entirely with private donations. The Department of Commerce will maintain all its existing duties, including working with companies on expansion and relocation efforts, until the ILBEDC is operational.


CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The information contained in this communication is confidential, may be attorney-client privileged or attorney work product, may constitute inside information or internal deliberative staff communication, and is intended only for the use of the addressee. Unauthorized use, disclosure or copying of this communication or any part thereof is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by return e-mail and destroy this communication and all copies thereof, including all attachments. Receipt by an unintended recipient does not waive attorney-client privilege, attorney work product privilege, or any other exemption from disclosure.

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