Boone County Offers Proximity & Logistical Advantages for Businesses

Boone County Offers Proximity & Logistical Advantages for Businesses Main Photo

26 Aug 2021


Economic strength hangs on the balance of several factors. Safe, reliable connectedness to customers, a proximity to an effective network of similar industry business partners and access to dependable workforce are just a few. 

Businesses have found significant advantages in these factors and more in Boone County. See what makes this area so special in this video on the Growth Dimensions Economic Development YouTube channel!


One of Boone’s County’s greatest strategic advantages is its accessibility to the world around it. First and foremost is its status as the midpoint of Interstate 90 (I-90) anchored by Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and Rockford. The combined area is the fourth largest urban constellation in the country, home to 17 million people. I-90 connects top public and private-sector research in Madison and Chicago to centers of incubation, product development and manufacturing throughout the corridor. In addition, other major economic centers can be reached via other highways criss-crossing the area, such as I-39 and I-88.

Boone County is also fortunate to have access to a world-class air transport network. The center of Boone County is only 15 minutes east of the Chicago-Rockford International Airport. It is the 19th-busiest cargo airport in the nation and home to the largest regional parcel-sorting facility in the UPS system, which is the only facility of its type capable of handling coast-to-coast cargo. 

In addition, O’Hare International Airport is typically an hour’s drive away, with a slightly longer trip to reach the nation’s fastest growing airport Chicago Midway and Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport. As such, freight and personal travel can reach major international airports on both coasts, Canada and Mexico within a five-hour flight. 

Additionally, the Poplar Grove Airport has an FAA-certified repair station with Poplar Airmotive and its 20,000-foot maintenance facility. The airport also includes a 4,000-foot runway popular for executive travel.

Boone County also has an extremely vibrant rail system. Several Industrial sites have access to Union Pacific Rail, most within thirty miles of Union Pacific Global III Intermodal Facility.

Unmatched workforce

Another significant advantage for businesses located in Boone County is the presence of a vibrant, accessible and numerous workforce. Businesses can draw on more than 500,000 prospective employees within a 30 mile radius or nearly 800,000 within a 45-minute drive. 

Much of that workforce can draw on a vast amount of historical knowledge and experience. The area has been served by 120 years of food processing and manufacturing experience with companies like General Mills and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). 

While 89.4% of the workforce has a high school diploma or higher, businesses find employees are eager for continued development. The area has always placed a high level of importance on workforce development and one example is the addition of Rock Valley College’s Advanced Technology Center in Belvidere. This new, state-of-the-art, 77,000 square-foot facility is conveniently located off Business 20 in Belvidere to house many of RVC's manufacturing, technology, and industrial-based programs, like Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining, Industrial Maintenance, Mechatronics, Welding and Truck Driver Training. 

Atmosphere for success

Boone County’s advantages make it an ideal location for business success. Those advantages can be accessed by your business today, through more than 80 build-to-suit industrial zone sites and 113,500 acres of farmland for corn, dairy, soybeans, poultry and other products. 

Contact us at Growth Dimensions Economic Development to learn more about how Boone County’s unique collaborative atmosphere is set for your business success today!