Illinois Forward is committed to fostering a thriving economy for urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout our state. When our economy thrives, our neighborhoods flourish. We define a thriving economy as talented, equitable, innovative, resilient, prosperous, and competitive. 

  • A talented economy’s population is growing, has increasing college and trade school achievements, and is getting younger. 
  • An equitable economy has little correlation between race, gender, or geography and achievement. 
  • Loans to small businesses, venture capital investment, and the number of R&D employees are all increasing in an innovative economy.  
  • A resilient economy has a low industrial vacancy, a healthy population with access to insurance, robust transportation, energy, internet/communications, and other vital infrastructures. 
  • A prosperous economy has growing new business start-ups, a high percentage of jobs paying a family-sustaining wage, and rising median income and home values.  
  • A competitive economy creates wealth and distributes it impartially. It supports a symbiotic cycle of businesses competing for workers and workers competing for positions by lowering barriers to entry for individuals, businesses, and organizations. 

Illinois Forward supports legislation and policy that work to achieve this definition of a thriving economy and will hold ourselves and our state government accountable to these metrics.