Small community honors companies bringing in big business - – Rockford’s News Leader

Small community honors companies bringing in big business


In a tough economy, it can be hard to stay positive.

But one Northern Illinois community shows some strength.

The Greater Rochelle Economic Development Corporation, otherwise known as 'GREDCO,' celebrates a decade of success; opening Rochelle up to new business, bringing in about $1.2 billion in capital investment, and creating about 1200 jobs.

Establishing connections is what keeps Rochelle's economy thriving.

"We've built relationships with people all across the nation; building relationships with people at the federal level, the state level, and at the local level." -says Rochelle Economic Development Director Jason Anderson.

This small city packs a big punch with its Business and Technology Park, and access to the BNSF and Union Pacific railways.

"We are blessed with the two railroads, plus two interstate highways. It all goes back to three words; location, location, location." says GREDCO President Doug Zuehl.

The railroad system brings in enough revenue so that the citizens of Rochelle aren't footing the bill for all of the infrastructure built.

"Much of the economic development work that we do here doesn't come out of the taxpayers pocket, it comes out of private investment that is poured back into the economic development work that we do." -Director Anderson says.

GREDCO makes Rochelle attractive to new businesses, and helps expand existing businesses, like Quick Start, through the use of grants and loans.

"GREDCO assisted us monetarily and helped us find the right site for our business to grow." -says Quick Start Chairman & CEO Allen Brue.

GREDCO honors Quick Start and eleven other companies with 'Excellence in Development' awards.

Railcar manufacturing company Nippon Sharyo isn't the focus of the ceremony, but Anderson says this company will define Rochelle in years to come.

"We know that the future of Rochelle is going to be heavily involved in manufacturing, as a result of the Nippon Sharyo project."

Coated Sand Solutions, another company not highlighted tonight, is set to double railroad activity in Rochelle when it's up and running in October.

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