Pekin's Competitive Advantage
From ever expanding-retail and dining choices to our 395-acre, industrial Riverway Business Park – Pekin is a city on the move. Business developers and site selectors looking to break new ground will not only discover a solid, capable workforce, they’ll also see that Pekin offers a quality of life that is by far the best value in the area. Pekin possesses the perfect balance of business and pleasure, and offers numerous development programs that provide affordable options for retail, professional and industrial businesses.
The Pekin-Peoria Metropolitan Service Area has a population of approximately 400,000 people and is the home to a manufacturing industry cluster with Caterpillar and Komatsu, as well as, growing healthcare services through UnityPoint and OSF Saint Francis healthcare facilities. Pekin is also home to the following nationally and regionally known companies:
- Pekin Insurance – One of the most successful insurance providers in the country with 7,000+ agents.
- Pacific Ethanol – The second largest producer and marketer of ethanol in the U.S.
- Excalibur Seasonings – Inventor and producer of seasonings and marinades.
- Winpak – The largest producer of die-cut lids that cover single-serve containers of food.
- Hanna Steel – A leader in tubing and pre-painted coil industry for over 50 years
In addition to being conveniently located halfway between Chicago and St. Louis, Pekin offers direct access to the Illinois River.
Location. More than 34,000 people call Pekin home. Located on the banks of the Illinois River, Pekin sits halfway between Chicago and St. Louis (about 165 miles from each), a few hours from Indianapolis, and just 10 miles south of Peoria. Pekin is a Main Street City, and the Metropolitan Service Area contains a population of nearly 350,000.
Diversified Economy. As the county seat for Tazewell County, Pekin enjoys a solid economic base and is home to many professional, industrial, and manufacturing jobs. Our major employers include Pekin Hospital, Pekin Insurance, the school districts, county and city government, and one of the largest ethanol facilities in the nation.
Riverway Business Park. Adjacent to the navigable Illinois River, Riverway Business Park occupies 395 acres. The park offers affordable land, compatible neighbors, wide streets with curbs and gutter, underground utilities, flat and readily buildable land, access to nearby interstate highways as well as air, rail, and barge lines. Among the companies currently located in the Business Park are these: Hanna Steel, WinPak Heat Seal Corporation, Amerhart, Elecsys, Excalibur Seasoning, PAL Health Technology, Illinois Central College South Campus, and the Federal Correctional Institution, a medium/minimum security facility.
Economic Development Incentives. Pekin incentives for economic development include Tax Increment Financing Districts, the Pekin Area Enterprise Zone and Foreign Trade Zone designations, and the Pekin Economic Development Investment Fund.
Schools. Pekin’s residents enjoy the benefits of a dual school district. District 108, a K-8 district, enrolls about 4,000 students and employs more than 300 teachers. The district has embraced the Malcolm Baldridge criteria for Performance Excellence as its improvement model. Pekin Community High School District 303 sits on a 70-acre site and serves the educational needs of approximately 2000 students from Pekin and the surrounding area. The high school employs 140 teachers who provide instruction in over 220 courses including an array of Advanced Placement courses as well as Career and Technical Education programs of study. Students can also participate in one of the 12 sports or 27 clubs and activities.
Parks. Encompassing over 2,500 acres of land in 13 parks, the Pekin Park District is the fifth largest park district in Illinois. The park district is expanding, too, by building a new 80-acre sports complex on Pekin’s South side.
Have More Questions about Starting a Business in Pekin?
Talk to Pekin’s Economic Development Department today! Our Economic Development team will actively work with your business to find options, solutions and answers on how you can make your latest venture prosper.