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Campaign to target Canadian executives with opportunities for international business growth

CHICAGO – Intersect Illinois, the state’s public-private business attraction organization, today announced an expansion of its “Be in Illinois” campaign to reach Canadian markets.

Intersect Illinois selected Canada as its first international country to target for business attraction with its digital campaign. “Be in Illinois” highlights Illinois as the global business destination in the heart of the U.S. with all the right assets to help Canadian businesses accelerate growth.

The campaign will capitalize on the momentum of Illinois-Canada business success stories such as Lion Electric, which recently opened the largest all-electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles plant in the U.S. in Joliet. The campaign will showcase Illinois’ skilled workforce and central location, along with its history of enabling innovation to bring economic growth and development to the state.

“Illinois and Canada have tremendous ties and a strong history of partnership. Lion Electric, Merkur, BMO Financial, McCain Foods and more than 500 other Canadian-owned businesses call Illinois home and employ over 50,000 workers,” said Intersect Illinois Chairman John Atkinson. “Canadian businesses have found a like-minded, supportive place for growth in Illinois and we want to showcase to their counterparts the success that Canadian companies can have here.”

Separated only by Lake Michigan, Canada and Illinois have a long-connected history of cross-border trade and investment in industries such as finance, food and beverage, electric vehicles and professional services. As the fifth largest economy in the U.S. and home to more than 30 Fortune 500 company headquarters, Illinois provides fertile ground for growth. Illinois and Canadian businesses align on key industries and business needs such as access to talent, innovation and a robust supply chain.

“We’re seeing that growth-minded Canadian businesses prioritize such things as access to talent, proximity to customers, and a commitment to a sustainable future that align with Illinois’ assets,” said Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals. “We want to showcase to Canadian companies that there are unique opportunities to commercialize in Illinois, especially in specific industries such as life sciences, quantum computing and logistics.”

In terms of supply chain, Illinois is the only state where all Class I freight railroads meet in two places. Home to both of Canada’s transcontinental railroads, CN and CPKC, Illinois provides Canadian manufacturing companies opportunities to reach new customers and grow their business, while still relying on their Canadian rail carriers, minimizing disruption to supply chains.

A continuation of Intersect Illinois’ marketing efforts, the Canadian-focused “Be in Illinois” campaign will expand to target Canadian business decision-makers in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba, with a blend of advertising and seasonal pushes in key markets.

For more information on Canadian businesses growing in Illinois, visit our website (with translations in French for the Canadian market).