• Economic Profile

    REGIONAL OVERVIEW

    It is our pleasure that you logged on to the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s website.  Thank you for your interest in Chicago's West Suburban region. We invite you to learn more about the assets and opportunities available to you within our area and encourage you to explore all of the regional information, individual community data, business and community listings, and other website links contained within our home page.  We have much to offer and we hope you will visit us again and again!

    We believe the term 'Partners in Progress' best symbolizes the cooperation which exists within the eight communities served by the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry.  Those communities include Countryside, Hodgkins, Indian Head Park, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, McCook, Western Springs, and Willow Springs. Collectively, these western Cook County communities (about 30 minutes from Chicago) encompass an area which covers more than 100 square miles and support a growing population of 65,000.  The Villages and City offers economic prosperity; outstanding educational and business opportunities for people of all ages; a high level of health care and social service; excellent recreational facilities; and a rich diversity of entertainment, civic and cultural attractions.  We really do have something for everyone!

    The alliance of our eight communities which make up the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry is extremely unusual.  In fact, we are among only a handful of communities nationwide that have been able to work together under one common organization. We call this concept 'Partners in Progress' and it goes a long way in illustrating the spirit of cooperation and teamwork between area businesses and municipalities.

    The information included within this website was developed to provide an introduction for you to learn about our assets and to offer some insight into our residents and their communities.  After you have had an opportunity to review it, we believe you will find that we are one of Chicagoland's most desirable and attractive areas in which to live, work, and raise a family.  We invite you to stop by and visit.  You'll quickly discover that we have a great deal to offer you.  Perhaps you will want to live among us and establish a business.

    Residential Community

    The popularity of our communities is directly attributable to the diversity of quality housing options available to residents.  With a variety of sizes, styles, and prices to choose from throughout the region, our housing market can satisfy practically every taste and budget.  Area financial institutions are willing to work with prospective homeowners on their financing requirements to help them achieve the house of their dreams.

    Residential areas range from older, more established neighborhoods to newer subdivisions on expansive lots; from single family homes to apartment, townhome, and condominium complexes.  Neighborhoods are typically quiet, safe, family-oriented, and complemented by nearby shopping, parks, schools, and the area's many churches.  Well over 40 denominations have congregations that make their home here.

    The desirability of our area can be summed-up in one phrase: 'Location, location, location!'  It is little wonder that our homes have been an excellent investment with values that have traditionally appreciated over time.

    In addition, the senior citizen community's housing needs have not been ignored. We are meeting the demands of this growing segment of society with an abundance of new and existing senior living complexes, retirement communities, extended care facilities, and more.  Our seniors make an important contribution and are an integral part of our community life.

    Educational Resources

    A 'Commitment to Excellence' best describes the academic objectives of the educational system available to residents of the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry area.  Through the years, experienced faculties, active boards of education, and supportive parents have worked together to provide a quality academic environment for the community's children.  A well-rounded curriculum emphasizes traditional learning skills and those new skills which will be required to meet future challenges.

    Over 18,000 students attend public elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools within our regional communities.  A wide variety of daycare centers, pre-schools and private educational institutions are also available to parents, including Nazareth Academy, the area's largest parochial high school.  A large number of our area high school students attend one of four high schools that are within the taxing districts (Lyons Township High School's north and south campuses, Argo Community High School, J Sterling Morton High School, and Riverside Brookfield High School).  All provide academic excellence, college preparatory courses, and vocational education opportunities.
    Our school districts are noted for excellence in preparing students for tomorrow's challenging workplace.  The ability to draw upon this highly educated workforce is a big plus for businesses located within the area. 

    In terms of higher education opportunities, we are in close proximity to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country.

    Health Care & Social Services

    The quality of health care that is delivered to the communities of the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry rivals that of any major metropolitan area.  We are extremely fortunate to be served by many fine medical institutions that provide superb patient care supplemented by the best available medical technology.  Adventist Health System's LaGrange Memorial Hospital, a state-of-the-art, 274-bed facility, is centrally located in LaGrange, and Hinsdale Hospital is located in nearby Hinsdale.  The region is also served by Loyola University Medical Center and MacNeal Hospital.

    Many highly qualified doctors, dentists, nurses, and mental health professionals, providing a wide variety of specialty services, practice and have offices in our communities.  Other area medical practitioners offering their services include orthodontists, optometrists, podiatrists, and chiropractors.  In addition, we have holistic healthcare providers.

    The community is also fortunate to have several well-equipped nursing and convalescent care centers, physical rehabilitation, and immediate care facilities to handle those pressing but non-emergency medical needs.  Our community residents are well-served by an extensive number of not-for-profit organizations and social service providers who work to improve the quality of life for individuals and families.

    Recreational Facilities, Entertainment & Cultural Attractions

    The recreational needs of our communities' residents are met by the area's many park districts as well as the Cook County Forest Preserve system.  Within minutes from our eight communities, you can find woods that lack the sounds of cars, planes, trains and people. 

    Throughout our eight communities are numerous athletic fields, basketball and tennis courts, picnic shelters, playgrounds and golf courses.  Overall, there are more than 500 unique recreational programs and activities that will appeal to all age groups all year long.

    We are very fortunate to have a large YMCA program, operated by the Greater La Grange YMCA.  Soon the YMCA will begin building a huge center that will provide additional services to our region.

    In the areas of entertainment and cultural attractions, we offer a wide variety of restaurants, theaters, festivals, and sporting events.  One of the most popular is the annual Pet Parade that is held in La Grange every June.  Each community has fests, carnivals, car shows, art festivals, and holiday-associated events.  If you like to roll eggs in the spring, watch community parades in the summer, shop for fresh vegetables and fruit in the fall, or look at the beautiful lights of December – all of this and more can be found in the eight communities of the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

    You are always a short drive to Brookfield Zoo and an easy train ride into the City of Chicago where you can enjoy all of the cultural attractions, theatre and lakefront attractions.  Quite literally, you have an unlimited world of opportunities at your doorstep.

    For those individuals who like to take advantage of the libraries in our area, our eight communities are served by six library facilities which are a part of the Suburban Library System.  The system provides access to a vast inventory of educational and reading materials. On top of that, our public library system offers resources which include audiovisual and microfilm services, personal computers, typewriters, large print books, records, videos, and so much more.

    Location & Transportation

    Our communities are centrally located within one of the world's busiest transportation centers - the greater Chicagoland area.  At the crossroads of mid-America, we are within easy access of all commercial and public transportation systems.

    The Burlington Northern Line and Heritage Corridor Line provide excellent commuter rail service to Chicago. In addition, Amtrak offers passenger service from the La Grange Road station.  Alternate means of public transportation include taxi, limousine, and PACE bus service.  We are also within close proximity to Chicagoland's two major airports - O'Hare International (about 30 minutes away) and Midway (barely 20 minutes from us).

    From our communities you can access a nearby expressway (I-55/ Stevenson), a toll way (I-294) or the freeway (I-290/ Eisenhower).  All of them provide a ribbon of highways that will give families and businesses fast and convenient access to any location in or around Chicago.  The Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal, Illinois & Michigan Canal, and unparalleled rail system, offer our area businesses economical alternatives for shipping bulk goods, raw materials and finished products.

    Shopping & Services

    Shopping in our communities is an enjoyable experience highlighted by wide selection and convenience.  For those serious shoppers, you can literally 'shop until you drop.'

    Specialty shops are complemented by national chain stores and discount outlets.  The area's malls, shopping centers, downtown business districts, supermarkets, gift shops, and boutiques offer an unlimited variety of products and services.  Consumer-oriented retail businesses play a significant role in our local economy.

    Throughout the year many of the business districts, shopping centers, and malls in the area sponsor a variety of interesting events.  Craft shows entice shoppers with hand-made decorative items.  During the holiday season, festive decorations and Christmas 'walks' stimulate shopping activity and create a spirit of excitement.

    For those shoppers who work up a hearty appetite, there are a wide variety of restaurants to satisfy most every taste and budget.  This includes fast food outlets for those in a hurry, to leisurely, fine dining. Menus range from elegant American cuisine to ethnic dishes and also include traditional favorites.

    An increasing number of 'home-based' businesses thrive throughout the eight-community region.  They complement other business sectors and provide unique support services for the more traditional operations.  Please go to our Chamber business directory within this website for their names and contact information.

    Business & Industry

    Proximity to major markets, an excellent transportation system to move goods and people, a skilled labor force, ample energy and water resources, available land and existing facilities, and cooperative local municipalities are just some of the advantages of doing business in our communities.

    Over 150 industries are located in the area.  In addition, a number of firms have established their corporate headquarters here.  These firms provide hundreds of jobs to residents and generate substantial tax dollars for local municipalities.

    The area is blessed with a solid and diverse business mix, including light manufacturing, retail and wholesale, financial, medical, applied technology, construction, and more. This broad foundation has created a strong and stable local economy.  Since our residents’ employment is so broad based, we do not tend to be negatively affected by the loss of a single industry or a downturn in a sector of the economy.  This economic stability is quite important in maintaining the economic health of our small, local businesses that provide to our monthly needs.

    To encourage continued economic growth and stability, the region offers a number of financial incentives to new and expanding firms.  These are available through an enterprise zone program (which utilizes tax exemptions and credits, and business financing opportunities); tax increment financing (TIF) redevelopment districts; as well as a variety of incentive programs on the state, county, and local levels.

    We provide the resources necessary for continued growth and prosperity to benefit business and area residents into the future.  Please discuss your needs with us so we might refer you to the proper organization.

    Community & Government Services

    All of our communities provide the customary mix of municipal services through operating departments involved in city and village administration, finance, building and zoning, police and fire protection, recreation and parks, and public works (i.e. water, sewer, streets, and sanitation).

    Electrical service is provided by ComEd; natural gas is supplied by Northern Illinois Gas; and telephone, television, and internet services are available through a variety of carriers.

    Local government has established a close and positive working relationship with business and industry. Many local business leaders serve on city and village boards, commissions, and advisory groups, helping to strengthen the ties between government and business.

    This cooperative spirit is also clearly evident in the volunteer-driven programs and activities conducted by West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry. By bringing business representatives together with representatives from all segments of the community as 'Partners in Progress,' the Chamber is helping to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

    We invite you to make our West Suburban communities a part of your future plans.