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Kankakee County Industries Optimistic on Local Business Climate, Growth

                  New expansions and hiring anticipated, according to recent Alliance survey.

KANKAKEE, IL –July 31, 2014 – Kankakee's County largest employers are reporting a stable to improving local business climate that is increasing the likelihood of new expansions and hiring through the end of 2014 and into 2015.

A full 95% of those responding to a survey of Kankakee County's top 64 industries and institutions in terms of staff count are optimistic about the opportunity for growth of all types over the next 6 to 12 months.

Feedback was collected though an electronic survey conducted by the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County's Business Retention & Expansion team in July. A 30% response rate was achieved during the 1 week survey period.

Other survey highlights:
• Employment is expected to be stable or increase, according to 100% of survey respondents.
• 76% of respondents reported stable or increasing company sales.
• 71% of respondents anticipate new capital investment through the end of 2014.
• 71% of respondents anticipate or are considering expansion over the next 3 years.
• 80% of respondents report that new products or services are anticipated in the next 3 years.

"We know that our area is highly advantageous for business," explains Economic Alliance President/CEO Mike Van Mill, "but it's definitely great to see that validated in hard numbers.

"This exercise is also instructive in that it identifies key areas where our office and our partners can add value to our businesses and accelerate development."

To support anticipated growth, survey respondents identified several core needs. Skilled operators, for instance, are required by 43% of major employers surveyed. Also, 67% requested information on and support in pursuing workforce training grants; 50%, for financial growth incentives. Several also requested that the Alliance advocate for control of local and state utility and regulatory costs.

In its Business Retention & Expansion efforts, the Economic Alliance keeps its finger on the pulse of the Kankakee County business climate through regular and varied interaction with existing industrial and institutional businesses. This communication allows the organization to set and meet its strategic retention goals, remain responsive to local marketplace needs, and identify patters of opportunity for new business attraction.

94.1 WGFA