Operating Overview

Operating Overview


Our central location is backed by a strong transportation network that lets you:

  • Minimize the impact of congestion–a problem that costs the US economy more than $87 billion each year*
  • Compensate for volatile fuel prices
  • Speed products to market

*Texas Transportation Institute, 2009 Urban Mobility Report


  • I-88 (a key east/west route)
  • I-39
  • I-80
  • I-74


  • Main line for Union Pacific Railroad
  • Direct connections to West coast, Chicago, Clinton, Iowa port, and Global III Intermodal hub

Air Service:

  • Whiteside County airport (4 miles from Sterling)
  • Quad City International airport (50 miles from Sterling)
  • Chicago Rockford International airport (66 miles from Sterling)
  • O’Hare International airport (111 miles from Sterling)

Major motor carriers:

  • Rock River Cartage
  • Con-Way Central Express
  • Dohrn Transfer Company
  • Northern Illinois Transit

Labor Shed
The Greater Sterling area has a stable population of over 158,000 and competitive wage and benefit rates that are up to 15% lower than those in suburban Chicago.

Source: Proprietary research conducted for the Greater Sterling Development Corporation


Sterling has a deregulated power system, a low-cost and reliable natural gas supply, water/sewer with excess capacity to support future growth, and multiple provider options for basic and high-speed data services. And because the same utilities provide many key services, rates are very similar to the Chicago market.


Deregulated power system

  • Provider: Commonwealth Edison  www.ucm.com

Natural Gas:

  • Two major transmission lines
  • Provider: Nicor Gas  www.nicor.com/en_us/commercial/default.htm


  • Sourced from five wells; combined capacity of 5.2 million gallons/day
  • Provider: Illinois American Water Company


  • Municipally owned
  • Current capacity of 4.4 million gallons/day; can be expanded to 9 million gallons/day


  • Basic and high-speed available
  • Providers:  AT&T, Insight Cable, T6 Broadband


  • Corporate Income Tax
    4.8% of net income (statewide)
  • Personal Income
    3% of net income (statewide)
  • Personal Property Tax
    2.5% of net income
  • Inventory
    None in the state of Illinois
  • Sales

Source: Illinois Department of Revenue

Workers’ Compensation
Cost for a typical manufacturing job in Illinois is $3.65 per $100 of payroll.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


The Greater Sterling Development Corporation and the Whiteside County Enterprise Zone offer a variety of programs designed for qualifying new, expanding and relocating businesses.

Tax credits

  • 0.5% investment tax credits on machinery, equipment and existing buildings
  • $500 tax credit for each job created for which a certified dislocated worker is hired

Tax exemption

  • 5% tax exemption on machinery used or consumed in operation of pollution control facilities to qualifying companies
  • 5% state utility tax exemption

Tax abatements

  • Five-year property tax abatement (from 35% to 94%) for qualifying new construction/renovation
  • Ten-year property tax abatement for qualifying new construction/renovation projects that create 500 full-time jobs and invest at least $25,000