People-nomics, Part 2: Housing, Aging & Inflation

DUPAGE BUSINESS BEAT | PODCAST EP. 6

In this follow-up to “People-nomics: Part 1”, we continue our exploration of all things labor. Host Greg Bedalov and a pair of economic experts break down a wide range of workforce-related issues, including the rising cost of housing, the aging population, and the endgame of recent inflation.

Missed Part 1? Listen here.

Guests:

  • Matt Finn, CFA, Chief Economist of 1834, a division of Old National Bank
  • Glenn Mazade, SVP, Commercial Business Banking of Old National Bank

Host: Greg Bedalov, President and CEO of Choose DuPage

Dive Deeper:

  • Want to learn more about Chicagoland’s workforce? Start with the Chicagoland Economic Partnership Asset Report, a free resource that offers insights into the region’s key assets.
  • In 2023, DuPage County and Greater Chicagoland dominated Newsweek’s Greatest Workplaces list. See who made the list – and learn how these employers are reducing turnover rates while boosting employee productivity.
  • Located in the thriving Chicagoland region, DuPage County has access to a world-class talent pool. Visit the Choose DuPage workforce page to learn how our seamless pipeline helps develop next-gen talent and connects businesses with the workers they need.

A special thanks to the College of DuPage for supporting today’s episode. To keep up with what’s happening in DuPage County and the Chicagoland region, follow Choose DuPage on social media or visit ChooseDuPage.com/Ready.


DUPAGE BUSINESS BEAT PODCAST

Today’s biggest business issues, told from a Chicagoland perspective. A podcast about emerging industries, shifting borders, economic ecosystems, and you. Featuring experts and entrepreneurs. Hosted by Greg Bedalov, President & CEO of Choose DuPage. DuPage Business Beat is produced by Choose DuPage.

People-nomics, Part 1: Automation, Immigration & The Supply Chain

DUPAGE BUSINESS BEAT | PODCAST EP. 5

Today’s businesses are struggling for one thing: talent. So how did we get here? What factors are influencing the labor market? And how can businesses adapt?

The answer: It’s complicated.

In today’s episode, host Greg Bedalov sits down with an economist and a banking expert to discuss all things “People-nomics” – the economics of labor.

In the first half of their two-part conversation, Greg & co. discuss how automation and immigration are impacting the labor crisis, and what a shifting global supply chain could mean for our region.

Be sure to listen to “People-nomics, Part 2”, where we’ll dive into the rising cost of housing—and discuss what the heck is happening with interest rates.

Guests:

  • Matt Finn, CFA, Chief Economist of 1834, a division of Old National Bank
  • Glenn Mazade, SVP, Commercial Business Banking of Old National Bank

Host: Greg Bedalov, President and CEO of Choose DuPage

Dive Deeper:

  • Want to learn more about Chicagoland’s workforce? Start with the Chicagoland Economic Partnership Asset Report, a free resource that offers in-depth data and insights on the region’s key assets.
  • Want better workers? Build better workplaces. Check out our Smartest Workplaces in DuPage: 2023 list to see how businesses in the Chicagoland suburbs are redefining workplace experiences.
  • Located in the thriving Chicagoland region, DuPage County has access to a world-class talent pool. Visit the Choose DuPage workforce page to learn how our seamless pipeline helps develop next-gen talent and connects businesses with the workers they need.

A special thanks to the College of DuPage for supporting today’s episode. To keep up with what’s happening in DuPage County and the Chicagoland region, follow Choose DuPage on social media or visit ChooseDuPage.com/Ready.


DuPage Business Beat Podcast

Today’s biggest business issues, told from a Chicagoland perspective. A podcast about emerging industries, shifting borders, economic ecosystems, and you. Featuring experts and entrepreneurs. Hosted by Greg Bedalov, President & CEO of Choose DuPage. DuPage Business Beat is produced by Choose DuPage.

New Report: Chicagoland’s Green Economy is Growing

Climate change presents enormous challenges for communities across the globe. At the same time, confronting these challenges has opened the door to exciting new possibilities.

As governments and businesses build more sustainable systems and reduce carbon emissions, a new type of economy has emerged, one focused on innovation with purpose.

We call these ‘green economies.’ According to World Business Chicago, a green economy is one in which “sustainability, environmental responsibility, and social well-being” are central tenants. Profit and competition are still at their core, but the ultimate goal is to benefit the community and the world at large.

In these economies, innovation is approached through the lens of social and environmental responsibility. Supported by policy initiatives and public education, green economies adopt sustainable practices while developing clean energy and climate-related technologies that drive decarbonization.

Today, Chicagoland is uniquely positioned to lead climate change and clean-energy efforts. Our diverse industries, talent pipeline, strategic location, and vibrant startup culture make the region a catalyst for cross-industry collaboration and innovation at scale. Now, the Chicagoland green economy is growing faster than most other U.S. metro areas.

Want to learn more? A new report by World Business Chicago goes in-depth on this emerging economy, examining key factors driving the growth, as well as challenges and opportunities ahead.

According to the report:

  • Chicagoland’s diverse green economy is growing rapidly. Since 2016, the region has experienced 180% growth in green economy output and 80% growth in green transitioning output. And the growth is expected to continue. Today, Chicago-area companies hold about 788 patents related to clean energy and climate change technology, with another 150 pending.
  • Our green economy is creating jobs, and we have the workforce to fill them. In 2022, Chicagoland’s green transitioning economy employed more than 500,000 people. The region is currently ranked fifth out of the top ten U.S. metro areas for employment in the green economy.
  • Local startups are driving the innovation. Roughly 25% of all clean and climate tech investments in Chicagoland were investments in climate tech startups, the highest proportion when compared to the Midwest, U.S., and world. These startups are key to developing innovative solutions that incumbent corporations can use to decarbonize at scale.
  • Our talent pipeline gives us an edge. Chicagoland’s numerous universities and research institutions are producing a diverse pool of graduates with the interdisciplinary skills needed to produce new technology solutions.

To learn more about Chicagoland’s emerging green economy, download the full World Business Chicago report.

PREMIER Breaks Ground on Expansion to Midwest Manufacturing Facility for Sumitomo Drive Technologies

Expansion Manufacturing

PREMIER Design + Build Group has just broken ground on a building expansion project for Sumitomo Drive Technologies in Glendale Heights, Ill. The work is designed to meet the evolving needs of the client, whose Midwest-manufactured products are in high demand from customers across a range of industries.

The company’s Glendale Heights location is used for light manufacturing of gearmotors, also known as “speed reducers.” Gearmotors are designed to regulate the speed at which motors run to match the speed needed for a customer’s application. The gearmotors produced by Sumitomo Drive Technologies are used in many industries including auto assembly, grain handling, water treatment, wood milling, and parcel handling. Sumitomo Drive Technologies is part of Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd.

The manufacturer’s need to scale up its production capabilities is an interesting outgrowth of its long-term strategy. Prior to 2020, Sumitomo Drive Technologies made a commitment to investing in manufacturing within the United States. In the face of the challenges of the past several years, many of the company’s competitors were forced to shut down or severely reduce operations at overseas production facilities. Sumitomo Drive Technologies, however, was able to continue production in the Midwest, and demand for its products grew significantly.

Sumitomo Drive Technologies selected PREMIER to manage design + build services for the expansion of its existing facility, which is located at 175 W. Lake Drive within the Glendale Lakes Business Park. When complete, the building will have approximately 82,000 square feet with a 28’ clear height. In addition to more than doubling the existing footprint, PREMIER’s team will create a state-of-the art, fully modular crane building allowing seamless integration between assembly and distribution. The work includes installing new docks and doors, adding on-site parking, and updating landscaping. The building improvements will allow the firm to increase inventory space and offer a broader product line from its Midwest location. It will also improve lead times, operational efficiencies, and safety.

“We’re honored to have been chosen as the design-builder for this Sumitomo Drive Technologies assignment,” explained PREMIER’s Michael Long, Senior Vice President in the firm’s Midwest division. “They approached us with an interesting challenge, and we used our expertise to develop a solution designed to help them accomplish every one of the objectives they have established.” Working with Mr. Long on the assignment is Project Manager Stefan Olson. PREMIER’s project partners include Cornerstone Architects Ltd. for architectural design and SpaceCo for civil engineering.

“Michael Long and the PREMIER team have already proven themselves to be such an incredible asset,” according to Eduardo Plata, Corporate Project Manager for Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America. “We’re so thankful to have found a project partner that is so knowledgeable and will guide us through this process and always look out for our best interests.”

“Reimagining and reshaping facilities to meet our clients’ evolving needs is the kind of challenge the team at PREMIER loves to take on,” said Long. “This is a client that was uniquely positioned to grow their business, and we’re excited to help them create a new home in which to continue that success.”

The project kicked off late last week with a groundbreaking, which included local officials and several Sumitomo Drive Technologies executives who traveled to Illinois from Japan to participate in the celebration. As part of the kickoff, Sumitomo Drive Technologies and PREMIER presented the nearby Glen Ellyn Food Pantry with a $5,000 donation to help fund its work across DuPage County.


About PREMIER Design + Build Group

PREMIER Design + Build Group is a leading design-build construction firm headquartered in Buffalo Grove, Ill. With a strong track record spanning several decades, PREMIER specializes in providing comprehensive solutions for industrial, commercial, healthcare, residential, retail, and mixed-use construction projects. The company’s unwavering commitment to quality, innovation, and customer service has earned it a reputation as a trusted partner in the industry.

About Sumitomo Drive Technologies

Sumitomo Drive Technologies is a brand of Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America, one of the most respected names in the power transmission industry. As an industrial manufacturer of premium quality gearboxes, motors, and controls, we operate two prominent facilities – our Headquarters in Chesapeake, VA, and the Large Industrial Gear Unit Manufacturing and Assembly Facility in Verona. Our commitment to innovation, customer satisfaction, and comprehensive solutions makes us an industry leader in power transmission.

Chicagoland’s Economic Landscape

Chicagoland Economic Landscape

A detailed report on the region’s assets, opportunities, and growth areas.

Together, we’re Greater. Choose DuPage has teamed up with World Business Chicago and six other regional county partners to bring to you the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership Asset Report. This report is a testament to the collective efforts of partners, stakeholders, and visionaries who believe in the transformative power of regional collaboration known as the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership. The report offers in-depth insights and showcases the myriad of assets that make the Chicagoland region a global hub for business. 

What makes Greater Chicagoland a Greater place to do business?

According to the new report, it’s our:

  • Size: Chicagoland is the nation’s third largest economy, with $835B in annual productivity and more than 4.9 million workers.  
  • Diversity: With a wide breadth of industries, from manufacturing and technology to logistics and more, Chicagoland offers the most diverse economy in the U.S.
  • Industry: We’re home to the most diverse manufacturing ecosystem in the U.S., positioning our region for innovation while attracting investment and talent.
  • Innovation: In Chicagoland, our diverse blend of startups, established industries, and research institutions collaborate to push industries forward.
  • Resilience: With a diverse economy, supportive social systems, and a strategic environmental policy, Chicagoland is ready to adapt to changing conditions and lead the world of tomorrow.
  • Cost: Here, you can do more with less. Our region has more affordable real estate and cost of living compared to similarly sized, globally connected metro areas.

Download a PDF of the report here

For a deeper understanding of the GCEP and its mission, visit www.worldbusinesschicago.com/gcep.

For more information about doing business in DuPage County, Illinois, visit: https://www.choosedupage.com/ready/ or contact Choose DuPage today.

Green Business Opportunities: 5 Certifications to Consider

green business opportunities

DuPage County businesses know that prioritizing sustainability is about more than reducing harm to the environment. It’s a way to promote local economic growth, create business opportunities and proactively address challenges for future generations.

Most importantly, it’s about action.

Consumers want to know that the companies they support are taking tangible steps to help combat environmental harm. As such, it’s paramount for organizations of all sizes to do things like earn clean energy certifications, pursue commercial energy incentives, stay on top of sustainability education, and leverage other sustainable business resources.

In this blog, we’ll delve into five essential clean product certification programs that empower businesses to evolve into more eco-conscious and profitable enterprises. Keep reading to explore how these certifications, ranging from sustainable business site recognition to green product badges, can help your company scale up responsibly and effectively.

1. UL ECOLOGO® CERTIFICATION

UL ECOLOGO® sustainable product certifications are a powerful endorsement of a business’s dedication to environmental sustainability. This voluntary, multi-attribute certification program evaluates products and services across various criteria, including materials, energy usage, manufacturing practices, environmental impact, product performance and innovation.

Certifiable product categories include:

  • Building Materials
  • Cleaning Items
  • Disinfectants
  • Electronics
  • Office Supplies
  • Paper And Plastic Goods
  • Personal Care Items
  • Mineral Exploration Equipment
  • Renewable Electricity Products

ECOLOGO® certification is a remarkable asset for sustainable businesses in the DuPage area. It signifies a genuine commitment to responsible manufacturing practices and harnessing clean energy in DuPage County—assuring customers and partners that your company has gone the extra mile to meet stringent third-party standards.

2. UL GREENGUARD CERTIFICATION

The UL GREENGUARD certification program addresses the rising concerns of chemical emissions and their effects on businesses’ indoor air quality. It sets strict test methods and emission limits for various product categories, including:

  • Furniture
  • Flooring
  • Building Materials
  • Electronic Equipment
  • Interiors
  • Cleaning Products

Obtaining UL GREENGUARD Certification not only improves the well-being of employees and customer satisfaction concerning indoor air quality; it can open pathways to valuable sustainability incentives for businesses committed to enhancing their commercial properties.

Products holding UL GREENGUARD Certification can earn points in recognized green building rating systems like LEED. Plus, they can fulfill code or ordinance criteria and IAQ-specific request for proposal (RFP) requirements.

3. GREEN SEAL CERTIFICATION

Green Seal, a pioneer in eco-labeling, certifies a wide range of products across the following categories:
• Paints
• Floor Care
• Cleaning Supplies
• Laundry Products
• Personal Care Items
• Paper
• Plastic Trash Bags

Their iconic certification mark is a widely recognized symbol of health and environmental leadership, specified by more than 100 federal, state, and local purchasing policies. On top of that, all products that receive a Green Seal certification can display Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly badge—an invaluable tool for marketing and building trust in your brand.

4. EPEAT CLIMATE+™ ECOLABEL

Managed by the Global Electronics Council, EPEAT Climate+™ is an ecolabel that measures the social and environmental impacts of electronics and tech products from cradle to grave.

To receive an EPEAT Climate+™ certification, products must demonstrate their compliance with EPEAT’s rigorous climate change criteria and meet requirements for circularity, reduced use of harmful chemicals, and corporate ESG performance. Categories include:

  • Computers
  • Imaging Equipment
  • Mobile Phones
  • Photovoltaic Modules
  • Inverters
  • Servers
  • Televisions

Obtaining this certification is beneficial for a few reasons. First, it assures purchasers that your business is taking actionable steps to become more sustainable. It also means joining a network of like-minded companies helping drive change at a global scale, working product by product to mitigate environmental damage.

5. GREENSCREEN®CERTIFICATION

GreenScreen® Certification recognizes products that are free from thousands of toxic chemicals—PFAS, phthalates, bisphenols, etc.—and promotes the use of more environmentally friendly chemistry throughout the manufacturing process.

Businesses that produce the following goods are eligible for GreenScreen® Certification:

  • Firefighting Foam
  • Cleaners & Degreasers in Manufacturing
  • Furniture & Fabrics
  • Food Service Ware
  • Textile Chemicals

Becoming a GreenScreen®-certified business not only demonstrates your company’s commitment to social responsibility and ethical business practices; it also helps empower your purchasers to make more informed decisions. This is especially important given the complicated nature of PFAS and other toxic chemicals—consumers deserve to know if what they’re buying is safe.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY IN DUPAGE COUNTY

If you’re considering relocating your business to the Chicago area, start your search in DuPage County, Illinois. With abundant industrial properties and a thriving local economy—plus innovative public- and private-sector programs promoting solar energy in DuPage County and green energy in Chicago and beyond—we’re built for eco-friendly businesses.

Whether you represent an established company seeking expansion or a budding startup eager to explore new horizons, now is the time to join our dynamic, forward-thinking business hub.

Reach out to us at info@ChooseDuPage.com to learn more.

8 Sustainability Incentives for Businesses in DuPage County

sustainability in dupage county

Setting sustainability goals is one thing; finding a path toward accomplishing them is another. Whether it’s purchasing new energy-efficient industrial properties while moving your business, retrofitting your current office space to help lower your utility bills, or anything else of the sort—there are a multitude of factors for you to consider.

Finding the right guidance and resources makes the process a lot simpler.

A regional leader in promoting sustainable business, DuPage County offers a wealth of opportunities for companies of all sizes and industries looking to grow their operations while shrinking their carbon footprint. From federal tax benefits and state sustainability certifications to private-sector commercial energy incentives and more, going green has never been easier—or more rewarding.

Sustainable DuPage, a partnership between Choose DuPage and the DuPage County Environmental Division, helps business leaders navigate this ever-evolving landscape.

By connecting them with resources, financial incentives and education that promote sustainable practices, we’re empowering them to help their communities become cleaner, safer and more prosperous. Keep reading to discover some of these featured programs and the business opportunities they can unlock.

1. DSIRE DATABASE

DuPage County businesses looking to bolster their sustainability efforts should start by exploring the DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) database. On their website, you’ll find a free state-by-state master list of energy-related incentives and resources tailored to utility-scale, commercial and residential customers. Click here to view programs available in Illinois.

2. COMED ENERGY INCENTIVES & REBATES

Supplying energy to more than 4 million customers in Northern Illinois, Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) plays a key role in promoting energy efficiency in DuPage County and beyond.

Taking advantage of their commercial incentives can lead to significant sustainability savings for your business via immediate equipment discounts (lighting and HVAC, refrigeration, lab equipment, variable speed drives, etc.) and subsequently, reduced energy consumption.

Additionally, ComEd provides valuable rebates for businesses and households generating solar energy in DuPage County. Helping offset the out-of-pocket costs of installing a qualified renewable energy generating system, their Distributed Generation (DG) Rebate program offers rates of $250 to $300/kW for customers who connected after August 11, 2022.

3. SECTION 179D COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS ENERGY TAX DEDUCTION

Rewarding commercial building owners who install energy-saving HVAC, lighting, building envelopes and other qualifying systems—the Section 179D commercial building energy efficiency tax deduction is an excellent choice for businesses looking to update their facilities and bring down their utility costs. Click here to learn more about the program and how it might benefit your company.

4. NICOR GAS SUSTAINABILITY SAVINGS

Nicor Gas provides numerous financial advantages for commercial customers across a wide range of industries. From assessments and free products to updated equipment rebates, custom business incentives and more—their programs give your organization the insights and tools to boost the efficiency and affordability of your energy use.

5. PACE – PROPERTY ASSESSED CLEAN ENERGY FINANCING

Offering low-cost, long-term financing options for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects on business sites, DuPage County’s Property Assessed Clean Energy financing program is a true game-changer. It’s a must-have for commercial property owners looking to make improvements to their facilities without making a large dent in their budgets—offering 100% upfront financing from private capital providers for up to 30 years. Visit DuPage County’s website to learn more.

6. DUPAGE COUNTY GREEN BUILDING INCENTIVE PROGRAM

The DuPage County Green Building Incentive Program provides assistance to local businesses making USGBC-approved changes to their facilities. Benefits include expedited permit reviews, an expedited zoning and plat process and up to 10% reduction in certain fees for qualifying projects. Click here for more information.

7. THE ILLINOIS SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY CENTER’S TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TAP)

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center’s Technical Assistance Program (TAP) offers federal grant-funded assessments to businesses in aerospace, automotive, chemical, food & beverage and metal manufacturing/fabrication sectors. The results of these assessments are remarkably beneficial in helping facilities reduce their costs, energy and water consumption, wastewater generation, emissions and hazardous material usage—crucial to increasing profitability and productivity.

View this blog post from ISTC to learn more about the program and how it works.

8. CHOOSE DUPAGE & SEDAC GREEN BUSINESS ASSESSMENT

A joint initiative put forth by Choose DuPage and the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC), the Green Business Assessment provides your company with an in-depth, no-cost evaluation of your sustainability practices. Upon completion of this initial assessment, our teams then build a green action plan to help your business cut costs, boost efficiency and, if applicable, become a producer of clean energy in DuPage County.

By following your green action plan, doing things like using solar power and making energy-saving updates to your facility, you can even qualify for additional financial incentives and sustainability certifications.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GOING GREEN IN DUPAGE COUNTY

If you’re considering a business relocation to the Chicago area, start your search in DuPage County, Illinois. With abundant commercial real estate options and a thriving local economy— plus innovative public- and private-sector incentives promoting sustainability and green energy in Chicago and beyond—DuPage County is built for eco-friendly business.

Whether you represent an established company seeking expansion or a budding startup eager to explore new horizons, now is the time to join our dynamic, forward-thinking business community.

Reach out to us at info@ChooseDuPage.com to learn more.

Customers Save More than $8 Billion on Energy Bills Through Award-Winning ComEd Energy Efficiency Program

ComEd

ComEd offerings ranked first in Midwest by national energy-efficiency research organization

CHICAGO (Aug. 30, 2023) – Since 2008, hundreds of thousands of families and businesses across northern Illinois have saved a total of more than $8 billion on their energy bills by participating in the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program.

The award-winning program, which is funded in compliance with state law, is one of the largest in the nation offering residents, businesses and the public sector a variety of options that help them cut back on their energy use, which reduces energy bills and helps the environment.

In addition to saving customers more than $8 billion on their energy bills, the program also helped customers save approximately 76 million megawatt-hours of electricity, which is enough energy to power more than 8.6 million ComEd customers’ homes for one year. The program has also helped reduce from the air nearly 65 billion pounds of carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, which is the equivalent of removing more than 6.3 million cars off the road for one year or planting nearly 35 million acres of trees.

“As ComEd works to provide customers with clean, reliable energy, we’ve also worked over the last decade to control costs and keep rates competitive,” said Erica Borggren, vice president of customer solutions at ComEd. “Part of that effort is through the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program, which enables customers to take control of when and how they use electricity to help them manage costs and lower their electric bills.”

In January, the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) recognized ComEd’s Multi-Family Energy Savings offering with an Inspiring Efficiency Award. The offering, one of many available through ComEd’s energy-efficiency program, features assessments and free or discounted energy-saving products to help residents and owners of multi-unit dwellings lower their energy use and electric bills. In May, the program also received the highest level of recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year—Sustained Excellence Award.

“Energy efficiency plays a crucial role in meeting our nation’s energy needs,” said Mike Specian, utilities manager at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and lead author of the recently released Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which ranked the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program first among Midwest utility programs and fourth nationally. “It lowers customer energy bills, reduces energy burden, improves in-home comfort, enhances resilience, and improves indoor air quality.”

The scorecard evaluated 53 of the largest U.S. electric utilities on their policy and program efforts related to energy efficiency during 2021. The scorecard also looked at how utilities managed customers at risk of having their electric service disconnected, which can severely damage people’s health and well-being by depriving them of safe living temperatures, refrigeration, and the use of medical equipment, as well as evaluated utilities on how they ensure diverse workforces for their efficiency programs.

How customers can benefit from energy-saving programs

ComEd residential customers interested in taking advantage of any of the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program offerings can view a full list of services, incentives and rebates at ComEd.com/HomeSavings. Offerings for business customers are available at ComEd.com/BizSavings.

For customers who want help getting started, ComEd recommends establishing a free, online account at ComEd.com/MyAccount. Once logged in, customers can compare their current bill with last month’s bill and last year’s bill to learn more about their energy use. They can even view their bill forecast to see an estimate of their upcoming bill, so customers can make changes in energy use to manage costs before their next bill. With an online account, customers can also:

  • Click on My Usage and then Tips to find personalized, energy-saving suggestions based on the information provided in their home profile. These tips can help customers find ways to save money and energy, by cost, season, and more.
  • Sign up for free bill notifications, such as High-Usage Alerts that send notifications when energy use is trending higher than usual, and Weekly Usage Reports that summarize your daily use so you can spot trends and adjust usage before your next bill arrives.
  • Access View My Usage to obtain graphs of existing costs and energy-use patterns. In the Neighbors tab, customers get a relative comparison of energy use from about 100 comparable homes within a certain radius. To increase the accuracy of the comparison, customers can go to My Home Profile to add or change details about your home.

Illinois & Chicagoland Are Leading Innovation in Quantum

Quantum technology

The Chicagoland region stands on the precipice of becoming a global center for quantum technologies, suggests a report released today by World Business Chicago. The transformative impact of quantum technology is expected to outpace current computational capabilities and revolutionize sectors like automotive, finance, life sciences, and beyond.

Read more in World Business Chicago’s Chicago Business Bulletin, “Chicagoland’s Quantum Ecosystem” published in partnership with the Chicago Quantum Exchange and P33 Chicago.

“The motivation behind this report was understanding that quantum, often likened to science fiction, is very real,” expressed Robin Ficke, SVP, Research, World Business Chicago. ” Though quantum applications are still nascent, the strides made by local scientists and innovators are turning heads in the investment and corporate sectors. This report illuminates the region’s opportunity to lead quantum technology’s future.

The Research Center at World Business Chicago delves deeply into the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of both established and emergent industries. Today’s quantum ecosystem report provides an unbiased glimpse into the region’s quantum tech landscape and its broader implications in the U.S. and world.

“We join Governor Pritzker and other key stakeholders, in a commitment to see Illinois and the Chicagoland region become a global quantum hub,” said Michael Fassnacht, President & CEO, World Business Chicago. “Given our diversified economy, industrial stronghold, top-tier education system, vibrant startup culture, and strong pipeline of leading researchers, scientists and engineers, we’re not just embracing the quantum shift—we are leading it.”

“Quantum technologies have the potential to transform everyday life across multiple sectors, and the Midwest region is poised to become the heart of the nation’s quantum economy, thanks in large part to the deep cross-sector partnerships we have cultivated here,” said David Awschalom, Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and Director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange. “Collaboration among academia, industry, and government labs have attracted substantial investment to the region and contribute to the strong quantum ecosystem reflected in this report.”

World Business Chicago’s Quantum Ecosystem report highlights increasing investments in the region’s quantum ecosystem, why the Chicagoland region is one of the top three best-positioned in the U.S. for supplying the quantum workforce of the future, details of Illinois’ status as a frontrunner in active quantum patents, leading all Midwestern states; and other reasons why the region is a magnet for quantum startups, companies, and leaders of industry. Other findings include:

  • Billions in Quantum’s Wake – Quantum startups globally have attracted an impressive $9.8 billion since 2020, a leap from the prior $1.4 billion over 2014-2019. Illinois has captured $33.2 million since 2017, solidifying its lead for quantum ventures, particularly those focused on software. This can be seen not only in the data but in the personal stories of researchers, startup founders and students who have come to the region for the richness of the quantum ecosystem. Six of those stories are detailed today in a report out by the Chicago Quantum Exchange, including those of three startups that have attracted millions of dollars in public and private investment: EeroQ, which moved its headquarters to Chicago in 2022; Super.tech, a University of Chicago spin-out was acquired in 2022 by Infleqtion (formerly ColdQuanta); and Quantopticon, which is in the process of moving its headquarters to Chicago.
  • Chicagoland: A Quantum Magnet – The region’s quantum ecosystem is more than its startups. Over 40 Fortune 500 companies, leading universities, research labs, and incubators also populate the region. This synergy of tech behemoths, academia, research, and innovative startups positions Chicagoland as a dominant quantum hub.
  • Educational Epicenter – Including nearby quantum centers in UrbanaChampaign and Madison, Wisconsin, the Midwest region is the nation’s third-largest quantum education hub. The Chicagoland region is second in spinning out the most quantum-focused doctoral graduates.

Looking Ahead

Illinois, and the Chicagoland region, is on the precipice of becoming a global hub for quantum development. Today scientists are actively experimenting on ways to increase computer speed, improve cryptography, curate new ways to detect diseases, and more.

“Quantum is ours to win. Every dollar invested, every research paper published, and every startup incubated brings us closer to seeing Illinois and the Chicagoland region a global epicenter of quantum technology,” said Brad Henderson, CEO, P33 Chicago.

SOURCE: World Business Chicago


Chicagoland’s Quantum Ecosystem, Executive Summary 

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT

Chicago is not Silicon Valley: our uniqueness lies in fostering a distinct and diverse technological ecosystem, where the collective business community carves out its own path to innovation. Chicago’s advantage lies in its diverse range of industries, which span finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and more. This diversity allows for cross-pollination of ideas, especially as quantum companies collaborate with various industry sectors, leading to innovative solutions that cater to specific, real-world challenges. Chicago’s rare environment enables rapid commercialization and practical application of quantum technologies.

In this issue of the Chicago Business Bulletin, the World Business Chicago Research Center will illustrate Chicagoland’s advantages in the quantum industry across a number of metrics, including its diverse industrial base, but also academic and research institutions, private and public investments, and intellectual property production.

Key Findings:

  • Chicago’s diverse industry base creates a wealth of real-world challenges and applications for quantum companies to address. Chicago is one of the top metro areas in the US for industries — like high tech, IT-producing, and IT-using industries — that most often acquire new technology as part of their innovation strategies.
  • Within the US, the broader Chicago region (including the Chicago, Urbana-Champaign, and Madison, Wisconsin metro areas) has the third highest number of universities engaged in quantum research activities. With respect to actual academic programs, this region has the third most universities with quantum-related academic program completions.
  • Global investment in quantum startups has increased dramatically since 2020; Illinois is a leader in US-based investments. Illinois has the second most deals made by quantum startups after California. Investment in Illinois and Midwestern quantum startups is more likely to be captured by software-focused firms, compared to hardware-focused firms.
  • Illinois has a diverse, well-balanced distribution of quantum patents across sub-niches, especially compared to other high-performing states with significant quantum presences. Notably, 47.8% of Illinois’ quantum patents fall under quantum devices, while 14.5% are in quantum optics and quantum information processing. In contrast, California — the largest quantum patent producer — has over 70% of its patents in quantum devices and only 5% in quantum optics and quantum information processing.

Fact Sheet

  • Chicagoland offers more than 40 quantum-related corporate, government, academic, and non-profit partners.
  • The Chicago metro area’s high tech industry is poised to grow by 15% between 2022 and 2026.
  • Chicago Quantum Exchange partner universities rank second in the nation for number of quantum related Ph.D. graduates.
  • Illinois quantum startups have raised $33.2 million through 27 deals.
  • With 1,273 active quantum patents, Illinois ranks fifth in the nation.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT

Green Business Assessment: Choosing Sustainability in DuPage

sustainability initiatives in dupage county
“Sustainability” is more than just a buzzword. It’s an intentional act, a strategic choice made by business owners to consider how their operations affect not only their bottom line, but their surrounding communities and our environment. 
 
Though the payoff is massively rewarding, adopting and promoting sustainability is no small task. Amid the day-to-day responsibilities of running a successful company, business owners face a lot of important and complex decisions. From figuring out ways to reduce energy consumption to implementing eco-friendly waste management tactics and beyond, the journey toward greener business practices can feel overwhelming. 
 
But what if business owners didn’t have to navigate this process on their own?
 
Enter Choose DuPage’s Green Business Assessment. Created in partnership with the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC), this initiative provides no-cost sustainability assessments for businesses across DuPage County, giving them the insights and guidance to make a lasting difference.   
 
Keep reading to learn the critical role of this program, its impact on environmental responsibility and the value it offers businesses.

WHAT A GREEN BUSINESS IS & THE BENEFITS OF BECOMING ONE

Before we elaborate on the details of our Green Business Assessment, it’s important that we get on the same page about what it means to be a “green business” in the first place.
 
SEDAC identifies green businesses as companies that operate across six key areas of sustainability which minimize their environmental impact and maximize their growth potential. 
 
  • Waste Reduction: Minimizing waste isn’t just ecologically beneficial; it helps create tangible cost savings both now and in the future.
  • Pollution Prevention: A steadfast commitment to pollution prevention directly contributes to a healthier environment and safer communities.
  • Trimming Utility Usage and Costs: Smart energy practices directly translate into reduced utility bills, while also supporting broader energy conservation efforts.
  • Engaging Employees in Sustainability Efforts: Involving staff in sustainability initiatives nurtures teamwork, camaraderie and shared responsibility.
  • Promoting Healthy Workplaces: Sustainability practices extend to fostering healthier indoor environments, which, in turn, boost employee productivity and satisfaction.
  • A Journey of Continuous Improvement: Green businesses are inherently committed to an ongoing journey of innovation and enhancement of their sustainable practices.
Let’s dive into the ins and outs of the Green Business Assessment and get a closer look at how it all works.  

HOW THE PROCESS WORKS

The Green Business Assessment, a partnership between Choose DuPage and SEDAC, is your roadmap to align with green energy and enhance energy efficiency in DuPage County. Follow it to leverage green building incentives and create real change. 
 
Here’s how it works.   
 

1. GET ASSESSED: 

We conduct a free sustainability assessment, delving into your operations and identifying opportunities for sustainability improvements. 
 
This information-gathering phase is crucial. From the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the businesses in your supply chain, to how long and how many lights you keep on throughout the workday, each data point helps us understand the bigger picture. 
 

2. RECEIVE YOUR PLAN: 

Next, we’ll create a unique green action plan that outlines your path to reducing costs, boosting operational efficiency and switching to renewable energy sources, if possible. 
 
You’ll be able to connect with sustainability initiatives in DuPage County, such as the ComEd Distributed Generation (DG) Rebate. This program helps offset the out-of-pocket costs of solar panel installation, offering rebates of up to $300/kW. (For more information, please visit ComEd’s website.)
 

3. TAKE ACTION: 

Whether it’s optimizing your industrial properties’ energy consumption or finding office space outfitted with the latest energy-efficient technology, we assist you in making sustainable, value-driven choices. 
 
These decisions can help unlock exciting business opportunities and may even make the business relocation process easier. 
 

4. RECEIVE INCENTIVES AND CERTIFICATION: 

As you continue to complete the practices outlined in your plan—whether it’s playing an active role in integrating solar energy in DuPage County, lowering your Scope 3 emissions by localizing your supply chain, etc.—you’ll become eligible to receive financial incentives and sustainability certifications. 
 
You can even become an official SEDAC/Illinois Green Business Association (IGBA) Green-Certified Business, showing your customers and the greater DuPage business community that your organization leads by example. You’ll also receive valuable exposure via a press release, social media coverage, a public map listing, county-wide Choose DuPage promotion, and state-wide recognition.

GET STARTED

Interested in participating in our Green Business Assessment? We’re welcoming businesses of all sizes and types—from startups to established enterprises, nonprofits to public-sector organizations.  
 
By embracing sustainability and taking advantage of our Green Business Assessment, you’re not only benefiting your company—you’re contributing to a greener future for DuPage County and beyond. Together, we can establish a thriving business ecosystem that embodies the DuPage Difference and sets an influential example of global environmental stewardship.
 
To participate or gather more information, please reach out to us at info@ChooseDuPage.com.