The business community of Zion is vibrant. From the small specialty stores, restaurants and service shops in the downtown business district to the larger stores around the rest of the city, the commercial scene in Zion is expanding.
A unique set of circumstances has aligned to make now the best time to make an investment in Zion. Her you can learn about the businesses that have already successfully set up shop, what the Zion Area Chamber of Commerce does to promote business and how to contact someone about a tour of the commercial side of Zion.
Q: How do I start a business in Zion?
A: To help understand your market and your product needs we recommend contacting the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the College of Lake County (wpdi.clcillinois.edu/sbdc), as they will provide free consultation on your idea and assist with developing a business plan.
Choose a business name – Lists of available names are available by contacting the Assumed Names division of Lake County at www.lakecountyil.gov
Incorporate your business – Decide, with the advice of an attorney, whether your business will be a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Partnership or Corporation.
If you incorporate or establish a limited partnership your must register with the State of Illinois at:
Secretary of State
17 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60601
Obtain your Federal Identification Number
– Corporations and Partnerships require: Federal Employer Identifications Numbers (FEIN).
You can obtain this number at:
Federal Taxpayer Service
Federal Building (17th Floor)
230 South Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60601
Select a Site and Check Local Zoning
Most businesses are only allowed to operate in certain parts of any city. Contact Director Richard Ianson of the Building Department (847) 746-4097 to confirm that your business is allowed to operate at the site you have selected or
to help you find an appropriate site. If you are going to enter a lease agreement or contract to purchase property for the purpose of operating a business, remember to include a contingency for the City of Zion zoning approval and permits.
Obtain Your State Sales Tax Number
If you will engage in a type of retail sales business, you must have a sales tax number (either an Illinois Business Tax Number or a Retailer’s Occupational Tax Number).
You can obtain your sales tax number at:
Illinois Department of Revenue
100 West Randolph (Lower Level)
Chicago, IL 60601
Obtain your Business License and Permits from the City of Zion
Although not a Home Rule community, Zion does require licensing and permitting
for certain businesses. Please contact the City Clerk Diane Burkemper for more information. (847) 746-4014.
You may also contact the Illinois Finance Authority – http://www.il-fa.com
The Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) is a self-financed, state authority principally engaged in issuing taxable and tax-exempt bonds, making loans, and investing capital for businesses, non-profit corporations, agriculture and local government units statewide. IFA approves about $3 billion in project financing each year-projects approved in 2004 are expected to generate over 3,600 new permanent jobs and another 7,700 construction jobs in Illinois when completed.
Q: What is a TIF District?
A: A certain geographic area determined to be under appreciated in terms of new development and investor interest. A TIF District allocates increased tax revenue from a point in time until the end of the agreement into a fund for the purpose of encouraging new development. Funds that would normally go to the taxing bodies, e.g. schools, library, city, parks, etc. are used to reimburse investors for making improvements to that particular part of the city. The TIF Review Board is responsible for overseeing the funds and the eligible projects. For more information on the TIF Board and projects please see the Economic Development pages of this site.
Zion has two TIF districts:
TIF #1 – The Central Business District along Sheridan Road from 24th Street south to 31st Street.
TIF #3 – The South Sheridan business corridor of 31st Street to the south boundary of the city limits.
Q: What type of development is the City of Zion looking for?
A: Our current focus is on retail, commercial and light industrial projects. The purpose of our efforts is to rapidly build a sustainable new block of varied interest in order to offset the lost revenue related to the closing of the ComEd Nuclear Facility.
Q: What services can a developer expect if he or she comes to Zion?
A: The most aggressive new offering is our Pre-Development Meeting, known as “Your Own City Hall Meeting.” This allows an investor to meet with representatives of the Building, Zoning, Engineering, Fire, Legal and Economic Development Departments simultaneously in an informal setting to discuss an idea. In this arena the developer has access to all of the requirements he or she will need to meet in order to do business in Zion. All of the agencies they will need to contact as well
as many of the projected costs can be provided before a developer has invested valuable time and money in architects, engineering, acquisition or legal fees.
We have found the developer community very appreciative of this valuable service and it is provided free of charge.
For more information about the City of Zion contact:
Planning and Economic Development
The City of Zion
2828 Sheridan Road
Zion, IL 60099
Phone: (847) 746-4056
Fax: (847) 746-4017
Monday – Friday
8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.