Enterprise Zone Data Assistance

This web site is brought to you as a planning resource by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in partnership with Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies (CGS). Its purpose is to provide a single centralized location for obtaining much of the data needed to complete an Enterprise Zone application. Users of this site may generate a PDF report of the relevant data for all 10 Enterprise Zone criteria along with a map of the Local Labor Market Area (LLMA).

The Illinois Enterprise Zone Act, 20 ILCS 655/1, et seq. (the “Act”), took effect December 7, 1982, and was amended effective in 2012 and 2013. The purpose of the Act is to stimulate business and industrial growth and retention in depressed areas and stimulate neighborhood revitalization of depressed areas by means of relaxed government controls and tax incentives. As amended, the Act requires applicants to satisfy various criteria set forth in Section 4 of the Act. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (the “Department”) reviews these applications based on the scoring system set forth in the Act, and then submits its recommendations to the Enterprise Zone Board to review and either approval or denial of such applications. (Applicants should thoroughly review the various appendices included with this applications, as well as the Act and administrative rules applicable to Enterprise Zones when completing this application.)

While the data sources and calculation methods used for this site have been approved by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), applicants for Enterprise Zones are not required to use the data from this site.

Please note that this web site is not a substitute for the Enterprise Zone application process and applications are not reviewed or scored on this site.

Many of the criteria used in establishing Enterprise Zones require the identification of a LLMA. The methodology for calculating LLMAs on this web site was developed by CGS. It begins with the identification of census tracts in the proposed Enterprise Zone. Using commuting data, additional tracts that send the user defined percentage their workforce to the proposed Enterprise Zone area are then added to create the LLMA. Proposers may choose to use another method for calculating their LLMA and bypass that step on this site.

Materials from presentations made around the state may be accessed from the top right toolbar. You may also register for a List Serv to be notified when new information is posted.

On-line applications are due to the Department by midnight on December 31, 2016. Manual submission of applications must be postmarked by December 31, 2016. Any electronic application submitted after midnight on December 31, 2016 or hard copy not postmarked by December 31, 2016, will not receive consideration. Paper documents accompanying any on-line submission must also be postmarked by December 31, 2016. Any paper documents relating to the application that are not postmarked by December 31, 2016 will not be considered. Paper copies are to be delivered before the deadline to:

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Enterprise Zone Program
500 East Monroe, Fourth Floor
Springfield, Illinois 62701

Requirements for submitting geographic definitions of Enterprise Zones.

In order to provide for the greatest support and exchangeability, shapefiles are chosen as the GIS format for submittal. There should be one shapefile for each enterprise zone and no shapefile submitted should contain more than one enterprise zone. The enterprise zones are to be defined as polygon shapes. The attribute table of the shapefile should include a “NAME” text field that contains the name of the enterprise zone. Many polygons may be used to define the enterprise zone inside the single shapefile. Each polygon making up the enterprise zone should have the same name (the name of the enterprise zone). Multipart polygons are also acceptable. Additional fields can optionally be added. For example, a “SUBPART” field could contain a subpart name for each polygon. (Field names should be no more than 10 characters in length and not contain any spaces or special characters.)

Shapefiles actually consist of several computer files that share the same filename with different file extensions. There are many file types that can be included in shapefiles that are not required, but add certain additional functionality or content. This submittal should, at a minimum, include the following four files: name.shp, name.shx, name.dbf and name.prj. The first three are the standard minimum for a shapefile and the last one is a projection file that documents the projection used in a standard way that can be read by GIS systems.

The file name should be the name of the enterprise zone with any spaces and special characters (/,&,-) replaced by underscores or other regular characters. Abbreviating and shortening of the names are acceptable and encouraged.

All of the files that make up the shapefile should be zipped together in a single “zip” file with the same name as the shapefile. The following are some examples of zip file names.

Enterprise Zone Name Example Zip File Name
Bartonville/Peoria Enterprise Zone
Bloomington/Normal & McLean County Enterprise Zone
Cal-Sag Enterprise Zone
Rio VI Enterprise Zone
Waukegan/North Chicago Enterprise Zone
St. Clair Mid-America Enterprise Zone

Example: contains these files (the shapefile):

If you are submitting your application electronically, upload the zip file containing the shape files along with your application and supporting documents. If you are submitting your application manually, submit your zip file (shape files) on a cd or thumb drive and mail it in with your application and supporting documents.

Any questions pertaining to this web site may be directed to Andy Blanke at 815-753-1569 or Questions about the Enterprise Zone application process may be directed to Kendalynn Jackson at 217-524-0165 or