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Business commuters in the Chicago area may be a little surprised when they see a new advertising campaign in their own backyard, tossing out reasons why their companies should be considering development and investment opportunities in Rock County, WI.

The campaign, with an overall premise of "A state line we share. But the bottom line? Hmm...", revolves around the subtle -- yet important -- advantages of Rock County v. an Illinois location.

"Businesses, regardless of size or sector, are continually looking for ways to capitalize on emerging opportunities, while simultaneously wading cautiously through economic and political landscapes," said James Otterstein, Economic Development Manager for Rock County.

"Although Wisconsin and Illinois share a border, the proverbial business compasses are beginning to consistently point north for reasons that start from a balanced state budget and a fully funded, pension liability system."

The summer campaign will include billboards, CTA bus wraps, Metra signage and exposure in targeted publications, such as Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Industrial Properties and Midwest Real Estate News. References to the following Rock County / Wisconsin benefits will represent common threads throughout the campaign:

• A friendlier business climate, with lower overall tax and operational cost obligations

• An enhanced economic development toolbox, containing more dollars and flexibility

• Shovel-Ready sites, priced at about $1/SF, that can issue permits in 30 days

Despite the wake created by the departure of General Motors, Rock County’s business development track record has been impressive. During the last two years, over 30 private sector projects have been announced or completed – totaling nearly $600 million in new capital investment. When completed, these projects will occupy about three million square feet – representing a combination of new construction as well as buildings that were vacated during the Great Recession.

The diversity of these investments is equally impressive, as these projects represent a range of business sectors from Advanced Manufacturing to Food Processing & Technology; to Health Care & Medical Technology; to Logistics as well as Information Technology. Two projects in particular, NorthStar and SHINE, are important developments along the Accelerators in Medicine Corridor that extends from the National Research Laboratories in Illinois to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

"In today’s information and data intensive world, we simply want to ensure that decision makers have access to the right information as they consider where to place that next capital expenditure; invest in or grow an existing firm; or relocate a business to a more competitive, stable and value-added location," added Otterstein.

The advertising campaign, which kicks off today and extends over a three-month period, was developed by Edward Gansen Design (Janesville, WI).


Contact: Paula Hahn


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