Business Climate

Aurora’s strategic location in the Fox Valley and Chicagoland area, its robust talent pool and workforce, and its wide range of affordable and flexible commercial real estate options make it a prime location for companies from a variety of industries.

Downtown Aurora Master Plan

In late 2015, the City of Aurora began a process to update their Downtown Master Plan for the community as part of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s Local Technical Assistance Program. The process to create this Plan included multiple steps that were undertaken over approximately 2 years. The process was crafted with assistance from a Steering Committee consisting of various community stakeholders and designed to include a broad range of input from residents, City staff, business owners, and others.

Enhancing Downtown: the Report

The report highlights the following sections: a Vision for Downtown Aurora, Project Overview, the Downtown, Experience Revitalizing the Downtown Economy, Activating Downtown through Arts & Culture, the Heart of Downtown: The Fox River, Transportation: Getting to and around Downtown Aurora, and Building the Downtown Community.
Read Report

Aurora ranked 21st in ‘BEST-RUN CITIES IN AMERICA’

WalletHub’s analysts compared 150 of the largest cities according to how well they are managed by their leaders. In order to make such a comparison, they examined each city’s performance on six key indicators, including financial stability, education, health, safety, economy as well as infrastructure and pollution. Then they combined these categories to construct an “Overall City Services” ranking against which we measured the cities’ total per-capita budgets in order to reveal their budgeting efficiency. Below is the numerical ranking Aurora received in 7 categories, as well as its overall score: 

28

QUALITY OF CITY SERVICES

64

FINANCIAL STABILITY

20

EDUCATION

32

HEALTH

4

SAFETY

92

ECONOMY

123

INFRASTRUCTURE AND POLLUTION

60.28

OVERALL SCORE

Target Sectors

Retail
Whether visiting Chicago Premium Outlets, Fox Valley Mall, or the historic downtown, shoppers will surely find what they are looking for in Aurora. They can drive, bike, walk, or paddle to the downtown shopping district with amazing architecture, award-winning theaters, culinary treasures, one-of-a-kind shopping, galleries, museums, casino and riverside dining. Aurora ranks #1 in total apparel and accessories store sales, #3 in total retail sales, and #4 in drinking and eating places, according to 2018 Melaniphy Chicagoland Retail Sales Report.
Technology
OnLight Aurora provides access to a robust, highly available metro ethernet network and the Internet to advance economic development opportunity and the community support business growth requires. The fourth utility is alive and thriving in Aurora, Illinois! This fiber optic based, redundant and self-healing network began as support for the second largest city in Illinois municipal needs and continues to grow.
Distribution & Logistics
Warehouse and distribution centers are a major part of the economy; with the surge of office and industrial park construction during the 1980s and 1990s, Aurora has become a major distribution channel for auto parts, dry goods, construction equipment, and industrial gases. Items and goods produced: construction machinery, steel products, tools, office and retail shelving, protective coatings, electronics.
Manufacturing
Heavy industry helped build Aurora, with the Fox River being used for power to run saw and textile mills. As the Industrial Revolution progressed and the railroad came to town, Aurora became a manufacturer of railroad cars, including some of the first dining cars built in the United States. Some heavy industry remains in Aurora today with the Caterpillar plant, which produces construction machinery; in total, the Fox Valley Industrial Association lists more than 150 manufacturers in the area.
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