Northwest Illinois Enterprise Zone


If you’re starting a new business or a local business looking to expand, the Northwest Illinois Enterprise Zone, Greater Freeport Partnership and NW Illinois Economic Development 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 encompasses:


Stephenson County Enterprise Zone Map
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 plant

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 a 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 January 1, 2020. The Northwest Illinois Enterprise Zone termination date has been extended to December 31, 2034.

The Enterprise Zone program is administered at the state level by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. 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 a (217) 785-6055 in Springfield, IL,


A few of our project success stories:


Pearl Valley Farms

Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.