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Chicago Named Top Corporate Metro Eight Years in a Row


Chicago leads the nation in corporate investment in 2020, according to Site Selection magazine

CHICAGO (March 1, 2021)— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced that for the eighth consecutive year, Site Selection magazine ranked Chicago “Top Metro” in the United States for corporate investment. In 2020, the Chicago metro once again saw more new and expanding corporate locations than any other metro area in the country.

“Being the nation’s leading destination for corporate relocations and expansions—especially during this unprecedented year—is a testament to the resiliency and strength of Chicago’s talented workforce, world-class infrastructure, and diverse economy that’s able to weather any storm,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Our continued success in attracting businesses is the direct result of our citywide efforts to collaborate with our corporate partners and develop the resources and supports they need to grow their companies and shape their industries across the global, 21st-century marketplace.”

Site Selection tracked 327 business expansions and relocations in the Chicago Metropolitan Area, accounting for nearly $6 billion in investments. Major corporate expansions last year reflected growth in top industries, from tech to life sciences to food and manufacturing, including Evozyne, Affirm, Aspen Dental, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Hillshire, Nature’s Fynd, Method Products, and Focal Point Lighting; citing Chicago’s diverse pipeline of talent, global connectivity and other core strengths as reasons why.

“We chose Chicago as our company’s headquarters because of access to skilled, educated, and diverse talent, ease of doing business, and our unique ability to grow our Fy Proteinä in a bustling city. Chicago has proven itself to be a continually-growing hub for food innovation and investment. From incubators to accelerators, to leading VC investment from coast-to-coast, and an incredibly supportive business community, Chicago is a driving force in increasing sustainable foods that nourish our bodies and our planet for generations to come,” said Nature’s Fynd CEO Thomas Jonas.

“During the unprecedented challenges the country has confronted over the last year, Chicago has demonstrated that it is uniquely positioned to assist businesses,” said Michael Fassnacht, Interim President & CEO, World Business Chicago. “Chicago’s number one ranking reflects both our supportive business community and our inclusive economic development model that will continue to serve as our city’s strong competitive advantage in the months and years ahead.”

“This marks the eighth consecutive year of Chicago being identified as Site Selection’s Top Tier-1 Metro,” said Site Selection Senior Editor Gary Daughters. “Such consistency across changing economic trends and conditions is testament to a region of unchallenged economic diversity, innovation and commitment, three necessary components of any effective economic development strategy.”

Chicago was the first major U.S. city to publish an economic recovery plan in July of 2020, a product of an economic recovery task force co-chaired by Mayor Lightfoot and former White House Chief of Staff Samuel Skinner, involving more than 200 industry experts, regional government leaders, community-based partners, and policymakers. Chicago experienced less COVID-19 related restrictions than other major cities like New York City and Los Angeles while consumer spending has remained high, often outperforming other cities. Business and corporate leaders should be confident Chicago’s rebound will see substantial growth as the city recovers from this unprecedented pandemic. The Recovery Task Force’s plan provides critical insights to help Mayor Lightfoot and her administration to balance a robust health response with a strategic economic and social response to address the many challenges presented by COVID-19 and longstanding social and racial inequities. Today, the implementation of the Recovery Task Force economic recovery plan is well underway, helping support and fuel the growth within manufacturing, food and agriculture, technology, and transportation, distribution and logistics as well as other high impact industry sectors. This is driving inclusive economic growth, expanding jobs, and promoting the best of Chicago all over the world—from the strength, talent and diversity of our people, to our top-notch education institutions, world-class transportation, and Chicago’s 77 culturally rich neighborhoods.

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World Business Chicago is a public-private, non-profit partnership that drives inclusive economic growth and job creation, supports business, and promotes Chicago as a leading global city. Learn more at


A key source for the corporate relocation community, Site Selection magazine focuses on new corporate facility projects with significant impact, such as headquarters, manufacturing plants, R&D and logistics sites. In order to be considered, new facilities and expansions must meet at least one of three Site Selection criteria: (a) capital investment of at least $1 million, (b) create at least 20 new jobs or (c) add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area.  Site Selection is published by Conway Inc., which is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.


Media Contact:

Andrew Hayes, World Business Chicago

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