2016 in Review
With the support of the City of Chicago and our business and civic communities, World Business Chicago (WBC) works to drive inclusive economic growth. In 2016 we continued to make a positive impact on Chicago and accelerate its position as a leading global city.
The following 2016 annual report illustrates how WBC’s work spans from our core business attraction and retention efforts to helping Chicago build partnerships with global leaders through strategic initiatives and sister city relationships.
Our business attraction and retention efforts were robust in 2016 with local companies such as Civis Analytics and Reverb.com growing and Glassdoor, Google and Salesforce increasing their presence in Chicago.
Outside of the tech space, Chicago continues to compete successfully as a flurry of companies move to urban centers to attract talent and access transportation. Beam Suntory and Ulta Beauty are two premier examples of companies that opened offices in the city.
R&D and innovation centers also continued to grow, including the opening of mHUB. With support from major manufacturing partners such as Marmon, Chamberlain, UL, Arrow, and TMA, mHUB convenes entrepreneurs, scientists, coders, engineers, manufacturers and makers at its first micro-factory in Chicago. This is a good example of how manufacturing/distribution is still robust and growing in Chicago, presenting itself in new ways. Other examples highlighted in this report include Whole Foods’ new distribution center in the Pullman neighborhood, and China railcar leader CRRC’s new manufacturing facility on the city’s Southeast Side, both of which were announced in 2016.
In order to meet the needs of evolving industries and Chicago’s neighborhoods, in 2016, WBC took a comprehensive look at its Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs (developed in 2011). WBC reset the focus of the Plan to inclusive growth and chose three areas to emphasize: small-to-medium-sized enterprises, demand-driven workforce efforts, and growing targeted industry clusters. While initiatives such as Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE) and 1000 Jobs Campaign continued to thrive in 2016, all of WBC is looking forward to bringing to market new initiatives focused on inclusive economic growth.
We appreciate you reading our 2016 annual report. While 2016 was a good year, our work is never complete and we look forward to continuing to add value in the year ahead.