Why Harvard

Harvard’s Bundle of Benefits

Harvard offers a competitive ‘Bundle of Benefits’ designed to help expanding companies, including: 1) Harvard-Woodstock Enterprise Zone; 2) Opportunity Zone; 3) Pro-business government; 4) Arrowhead Industrial Park – Phase III actively building; 5) Affordable, shovel-ready sites; 6) Ready, well-trained workforce; 7) Lowest residential impact and building fees in McHenry County; 8) Fast-track permitting process; 9) Foreign Trade Zone status; 10) Lower operating costs. Find it all in Harvard!

Programs and Capital

Read the 2018 State of the City Report HERE

Harvard is part of a certified Illinois Enterprise Zone, has a qualified Opportunity Zone, has TIF Districts in Arrowhead Industrial Park and downtown Harvard and an active downtown facade program.

Harvard is also part of Foreign Trade Zone No. 176, which is administered through Chicago Rockford International Airport. FTZs are considered to be outside of U.S. Customs Territory for the purpose of customs duty payment. Goods entering FTZs are not subject to customs tariffs until the goods leave the zone. Harvard is unique in the region for its ability to offer affordable land and sites, lower operating costs AND Foreign Trade Zone access. Learn more about FTZ 176 here.

Opportunity Zone

Chemung Township (west of US 14) is an Opportunity Zone. Opportunity Zones are a U.S. Treasury program which provide a tax incentive for investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains in commercial and residential development that benefits the zone.

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Access and Location

Harvard offers fast and convenient access to major markets, with Union Pacific freight rail service and Metra commuter service to Chicago. Harvard is easily accessible from both the Route 23 and Route 173 interchanges on I-90, providing efficient transport to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Chicago Rockford International Airport, Milwaukee’s Mitchell Field and the Greater Madison Airport.

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Harvard has a growing population and a well-trained workforce with the ability to serve a wide range of industries. More than 127,000 people live within 15 miles of downtown Harvard, making the community a regional work and retail center.

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Quality of Life

Strong schools, active civic groups and strong community pride make Harvard a great place to call home. Harvard Milk Days (est. 1942) is the longest continually running festival in Illinois. Balloon Fest is one of the most popular new attractions in Illinois. The Starline’s 4th Fridays event attracts thousands of visitors to Harvard during peak season. The Harvard Chamber of Commerce is strong and growing. Our community is vibrant!

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Community Features

Mercy Harvard Hospital is a Critical Access hospital and Certified Stroke Care Center, offering full-service inpatient and outpatient services and 24/7 emergency treatment. Harvard Diggins Library is the center of many community events.
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The Harvard area offers a wealth of educational and training programs that are geared to creating good students, qualified workers and strong businesses. Harvard Community Unit School District 50 operates five schools, including a $20 million high school built in 2010. The community is also served by McHenry County College, Northern Illinois University, Webster University and Columbia College.
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Transportation & Utilities

Harvard offers fast and convenient access to major markets throughout the Midwest and across the U.S. via air, rail service and motor carrier. Municipal infrastructure and services are well managed by the City of Harvard. An existing T1 line connects Harvard to Chicago.
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Harvard’s workforce is well trained to work in a wide range of industries. Our labor force draws from a wide area, providing jobs with nearly 500 Harvard companies. Harvard residents enjoy an average 7-minute commute to work.

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Harvard Economic Development Corporation

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