Why Invest in Chicago?

Posted on August 12, 2011


Diverse Economy

Chicago has one of the world’s largest and most diversified economies, with nearly 4.3 million employees and a gross regional product (GRP) of $500 billion. It is an efficient economic powerhouse that is home to more than 400 major corporate headquarters, including 27 Fortune 500 Headquarters. Rated #1 Large US Metro for Economic Diversity by Moody’s Investor Services, Chicago is a key player in every economic sector from risk management innovation to manufacturing to information technology to health services.

Trading Post

The most distinctive aspect of Chicago’s financial services community is also among its oldest. The city’s derivatives exchange community, which started with commodity futures trading at the Chicago Board of Trade in 1848, established the city as a global financial center. To this day, even though the trading of derivatives is conducted on an ever-expanding international scale, Chicago arguably remains the geographic center of global derivatives trading – in terms of markets, scale and talent.

  • Over $3 billion in global derivatives trading volume, nearly 2X the trading volume of New York.
  • Chicago-based Options Clearing Corporation clears all US options contracts – worth nearly $2 trillion in 2008
  • Chicago futures and options exchanges collectively dominate exchange-based derivatives trading, with 51% of exchange-based derivatives trading in the U.S.
  • Since 2000, the volume of global derivatives trading has increased from a little over 2 billion contracts traded to more than 17.4 billion; Chicago’s exchange community accounted for 18% of the global increase and 48% of the U.S. market increase

Green Economy

Chicago has long been a leader in sustainable business, underscoring a commitment to be the greenest city in America. Chicago continuously ranks as one of the most sustainable cities in the country, with more LEED registered and certified buildings than any other city, 18 wind energy companies (and growing), a Top 5 Metro rating for the number of Energy Star rated buildings, and an incomparable workforce – including more than 2,600 LEED credentialed employees. Combined with cutting edge R&D and wide-ranging incentives, Chicago is an ideal location for green companies to locate and grow. Read More…

Growing Economy

Chicago continues to grow: total trade surpassed $160 billion in 2010 (up from $95 billion in 2004). Chicago is top-ranked for economic potential among major cities across the world, and in 2010, World Business Chicago identified more than 230 medium-sized new & expanding facilities announced, under development or completed in the metro area, representing a total of more than 14 million square feet and nearly $2 billion in economic development activity. In August 2010, Inc. Magazine included 202 companies from the Chicago region in its annual list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S., placing Chicago 4th among metro regions for number of ‘Inc. 5000’ companies; the city itself ranked second with 101 companies.

World Business Chicago|Data|Economy