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Enormous assets

The Southland is the historic powerhouse of the Chicago regional economy — from manufacturing to commodities processing to logistics. The South Suburbs still have enormous assets, particularly well-suited to once again drive growth, in the next economy: a skilled workforce, regionally vital industries, extraordinary transportation infrastructure and high quality, affordable housing and neighborhoods. Right now, the South Suburbs are home to:

  • Nearly 700,000 residents
  • More than 35,000 businesses
  • More than 300,000 jobs
  • $42 billion in economic output
  • Anchor manufacturers with global reach
  • Railway, logistics and other infrastructure
  • Large, middle-skilled workforce

To put that in perspective, 700,000 people is bigger than the cities of Atlanta, Miami, Kansas City and Minneapolis. 

Simply put, the Southland presents the single most promising, place-based development and investment opportunity for the Chicago region. To truly seize this potential to be a lead driver of inclusive growth in the region’s next economy, we need deliberate, mutually reinforcing strategies, not isolated efforts, to develop and invest in our enormous assets. The Southland Development Authority coordinates, develops and partners to execute the strategies which will unleash the Southland’s economic potential and build prosperity for everyone.

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We provide resources for business owners, investors, and individuals to grow and prosper in the Southland.

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