For One Chicago Business, Illinois Became Too Inhospitable

(CBS) – Gov. Rauner ran his campaign on what he could do to keep small businesses in Illinois. On Monday, he was begging small businesses to stay in the state.

CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey talked with a business owner who is leaving Illinois for a better deal.

Hoist Liftruck has called Chicago home for 20 years.

Its 300 employees — most in a trade – work hard in a warehouse the size of two city blocks. But it’s the company’s home for only a few more months.

“I think if anyone looks at the numbers, they would make the same decision I did,” President and CEO Marty Flaska says.

He’s moving his company to East Chicago, Ind. early next year. Flaska says being a manufacturer in Illinois just got too hard. His biggest reasons involve the worker’s compensation system here, the cost of property taxes and lastly, he says, “the uncertainty about income tax in the state and where it may go.”

Flaska estimates that by moving he can save $6 million upfront and $2 million each additional year, thanks to property incentives, state grants and tax cuts in Indiana.

In Illinois, Rauner says he hears the concerns of businesses. He is locked in a political showdown with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, over a state budget and broader issues that include the state’s business environment.

“I’m talking to dozens of companies now where I’m saying, ‘Please don’t leave. Please don’t leave,’” the governor says.

It may be too little too late — at least for Hoist Liftruck.

“I love the city (Chicago), I like the state, but not the environment to run this business,” Flaska says.

 

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