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Cornerstone is placed at the heart of one of the Midwest’s most pro-business locations, committed to welcoming businesses, jobs, and investment to the area. Companies at Cornerstone benefit from a broad range of incentives, workforce development programs, and a belief in smart growth that honors both the economy and the environment.

To support the success of our business sector, the State of Illinois, Lake County Partners and our public utility companies offer benefits to further development, from tax credits to assistance with training and recruiting.


Economic Development For A Growing Economy (EDGE) Tax Credit

EDGE provides tax credits to qualifying companies that agree to make capital investment and create new full-time jobs in Illinois, while illustrating an out-of-state option as an alternative. These credits are non-refundable and can be used against corporate income taxes to be paid over a period not to exceed ten (10) years. While each annual tax credit amount cannot be larger than the company's state income tax liability, the credit can be carried forward for up to five (5) years.

The EDGE program requires that a recipient company with more than 100 world-wide employees demonstrate that it will reach (within two (2) years) and maintain required job levels (the lesser of ten percent (10%) of world-wide employment or 50 new full-time jobs) and be the direct employer of employees in those positions, meet a required minimum investment level of not less than $2.5 million, and demonstrate an out-of-state option for the proposed project.

For companies with less than 100 world-wide employees, the EDGE program requires that a recipient company demonstrate that it will reach (within two (2) years) and maintain required job levels (the lesser of five percent (5%) of world-wide employment or 50 new full-time jobs) and be the direct employer of employees in those positions and demonstrate an out-of-state option for the proposed project. While no minimum investment is required for companies with world-wide employment under 100, the value of the EDGE may not exceed the total capital investment or projects costs expended by the company.

The credit is equal to 50% of the amount of state income taxes withheld from the salaries of employees in the newly-created full-time jobs. If the project is located in an underserved area, an additional credit of 25%, for a total of 75%, of withholding for newly-created full-time jobs is available. Furthermore, 10% of eligible training costs may be added to the overall tax credit. Qualifying training costs include: costs incurred to upgrade the technological skills of full-time employees in Illinois and may include: Curriculum development; training materials (including scrap product costs); trainee domestic travel expenses; instructor costs (including wages, fringe benefits, tuition and domestic travel expenses); rent, purchase or lease of training equipment; and other usual and customary training costs.

Illinois Enterprise Zone Program

The Illinois Enterprise Zone Program is designed to stimulate economic growth and revitalization in specially designated areas of the state through state and local tax incentives, regulatory relief and improved governmental services. Businesses located or expanding in an Illinois enterprise zone may be eligible for state and local tax incentives, including property tax abatements, sales tax abatements, building permit fee waivers, and utility tax exemptions.

Workforce Development And Training Assistance

Various state and local programs exist to assist companies in recruiting and training employees. Recruitment Services: Illinois’ workforce, education and economic development partners provide no-cost human resource services for recruiting, retaining, and hiring qualified employees. Illinois can provide the following services under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Job Fairs and Hiring Events; Labor Market Information; Candidate Assessment; Training Services; On-the-Job Training; Incumbent Worker Training; and Apprenticeships.

Illinois Department of Transportation Economic Development Program (IDOT-EDP)

IDOT-EDP provides state assistance for roadway improvements or new construction that are necessary for access to new or expanding industrial, manufacturing or distribution type companies. The focus of the program is on the creation and retention of permanent full-time jobs. The program provides 50% state funding for eligible locally owned roadways and 100% state funding for roadway improvements on state owned routes. The remaining 50% match must be provided by local government entities or private sources. IDOT-EDP requires creation or retention of permanent full-time jobs. Projects which only improve opportunities for future development or are speculative in nature are not eligible.

Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP)

The Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) helps keep Illinois workers' skills in pace with new technologies and business practices, which, in turn, helps businesses increase productivity, reduce costs, improve quality and boost competitiveness. ETIP grants can reimburse new or expanding companies for up to 50 percent of the cost of training their employees. Grants can cover costs including: tuition, training materials, trainee and instructor wages, limited fringe benefits, facility rent, audit costs, and “other usual and customary training costs. ETIP funds are limited to providing training for Illinois residents who are employed full time. Companies cannot use ETIP grants to train part-time, seasonal, or contract employees.

Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB) for Manufacturing Uses

Industrial Revenue Bonds provide a method of financing the capital expenditures of small manufacturers at interest rates that range from 65% to 80% of the borrower's conventional bank interest rates. Lake County Partners acts as a conduit for corporations to access these tax-exempt bonds. Lake County Partners, and its predecessor the Lake County EconomicDevelopment Commission, have assisted in over 26 IRB transactions representing over $120.0 million in borrowings for Lake County companies in the last fifteen years.

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New Construction Energy Efficiency Program

The ComEd® Energy Efficiency Program provides solutions that can help your facility generate long-term energy and cost savings. We provide recommendations, analysis, assistance and financial incentives for energy-saving improvements to all major building systems — envelope, HVAC equipment, lighting, commercial refrigeration, and more. The earlier in design you enroll your project (at concept development or schematic design phase), the better results you’ll realize. Private and public sector facilities are eligible for the new construction offering. Receive incentives for new construction or major renovation of an existing space designed to exceed energy code requirements. Benefits include savings on energy and operating costs by implementing recommended measures; no-cost consulting with experienced technical experts; one-time financial incentives to offset project costs for beyond-code systems and equipment; and additional funds for lead design firms that actively engage with the program.

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