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Enterprise Zone

Enterprise Zone

If you are starting a new business or a local business looking to expand, the Northwest Illinois Enterprise Zone and the Greater Freeport Partnership are here to provide you with the tools you need.


The enterprise zone is a state-authorized, locally designated geographical area that provides special incentives to encourage economic development, strengthen the business climate, and help create jobs. Our regional zone includes:

  • City of Freeport
  • Stephenson County
  • Jo Daviess County
  • Village of Hanover
  • City of East Dubuque
  • Village of Lena

Enterprise zone boundaries can be expanded if they meet certain criteria, giving businesses flexibility as they grow. Incentives include:

  • Exemption from all sales tax on building materials for authorized new projects
  • Waiver of certain local building permits and fees
  • Exemption from property tax increases resulting from expansion or new plan

Program Details

Enterprise zone incentives are established by state legislation and by local ordinance. The Illinois Enterprise zone Act took effect December 7, 1982. An enterprise zone is a specific area designated by the State of Illinois in cooperation with local government to receive various incentives and other benefits to stimulate economic activity and neighborhood revitalization. Enterprise zones range from a half-square mile to fifteen square miles.

The Northwest Illinois Enterprise Zone was certified by the State of Illinois on March 1, 1990. The Northwest Illinois Enterprise Zone termination date has been renewed and extended to December 31, 2034.

The enterprise zone program is administered at the state level by the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity (DCEO). For general information on the program, contact the department at (217) 785-4034 in Springfield. The hearing impaired may call (312) 419-0667 in Chicago or (217) 785-6055 in Springfield.