Decatur’s enterprise zone is safe along with the rest of Illinois. Governor Quinn was in Decatur Tuesday to sign and announce the Pro-Jobs Law and the 25-year extension of the Illinois Enterprise Zone Program. Quinn says it’s an important investment in Illinois business.
"We want our businesses to invest, grow and put more Illinois residents to work," says Quinn. "This new legislation provides employers with the long-term certainty they need to grow and strengthens oversight standards to ensure accountability from businesses that participate in the program."
The law takes effect immediately. Quinn says the next focus is pension reform; he says he won’t rest until Illinois lawmakers solve the state’s massive pension debt problem.
President of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur/Macon County Craig Coil says he feels relieved after 3 years of work to help get the zones extended. Coil says Decatur and Illinois as a whole now has its most valuable selling point secured for drawing new business and keeping current employers.
"Predictability is important because the state of Illinois has had its ups and downs over the past few years," says Coil. "Our ability to compete is totally dependent on having predictable incentives in place, and this [legislation] does that."
Coil, also the President of the Illinois Enterprise Zone Association, says the next step is looking at how to extend the zone in Decatur to most effectively aid local business. Those decisions will be made over the next 18 to 24 months.