Doing Business in Freeport
A highly diverse collection of business and industry is well established in Freeport and Stephenson County. From insurance to manufacturing to health care, Freeport is a center for a variety of quality establishments.
Freeport Downtown Development,a partnership for the future, is a not-for-profit corporation committed to the ongoing enhancement of business, facilities, infrastructure, real estate, neighborhoods, and environment of the city's central district, thereby growing the economic base, improving the quality of life and promoting the entire downtown Freeport community.
As an industrial center, Freeport is home to several Fortune 500 companies. Honeywell’s Sensing and Control division has several plants within the city, and makes a wide range of switches, sensors, and related interface and local control components. Titan Tires is in the rural area southeast of Freeport, and is known worldwide for its automobile, truck, and farm tractor tires. The 300-acre industrial campus of Newell Window Furnishings, a division of Newell Rubbermaid, makes drapery hardware and window treatments under the brand names of Newell, Levolor, Magic Fit, Joanna, and Kirsch.
Another of Freeport's major employers is Furst-McNess Company, which was founded in 1908 in Freeport. Furst-McNess makes and distributes feed premix for farm animals, plus a large variety of household products, flavoring, desserts, mustards, and spices. Star Manufacturing Company produces hot formed, hot forged and heat treated parts, and specialize in various grades and sizes of steels. Seaga Manufacturing, also headquartered in Freeport, is a manufacturer of quality vending machines and cold merchandising equipment. In the insurance industry, Freeport is represented by such well-known names as Metlife, QBE, and Sentry Insurance.
FHN, a not-for-profit organization, provides health care services for approximately 90,000 people in a four-county area in the northwest corner of Illinois. Organized in 1994 as an integrated health care delivery system, FHN is comprised of FHN Memorial Hospital, Freeport Clinic, the Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center, Home Health Care and Hospice, Healthworks occupational health services, Jane Addams outpatient mental health services and individual physician offices.
A wide-range of products originate in the Freeport area. They include potato chips, rebuilt engines, ready mix concrete, plastic molded model railroad switch stands, cultured marble, trophies, cheese, municipal water treatment systems, packaging, roll forming and sheet metal working machinery, molded plastics, automation equipment, vending machines, and snack foods.
An Enterprise Zone established several years ago, encompasses Freeport's primary industrial sector, plus an expanding commercial area on the city's south side. It also encompasses a large residential area which includes much of the city’s older housing stock. Companies and residents in the Enterprise Zone can take advantage of a variety of economic incentives.
A Tax Increment Finance District has also been established in Freeport. It covers Freeport's central business district and a small area of the old industrial section. It seeks to encourage restoration and redevelopment of downtown business facades and other improvements.
The Freeport Downtown Development Foundation was formed in 1998 to focus on the process of downtown transformation for the 21st Century.
Agriculture continues to contribute strongly to the area's economy. More than 1,400 farms in Stephenson County raise beef and dairy cattle and produce corn, soybean, hay, oats, and other cash crops. The largest dairy producing county in Illinois, Stephenson County has 23,000 dairy cows producing 346,344,000 pounds of milk annually. The market value of all farm products is $125,000,000 annually.
Business travelers have a wide choice of excellent accommodations in area hotels and motels with more than 300 rooms. In addition, there are attractive bed and breakfast establishments available.
Freeport City Hall