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Gov. Quinn works to grow economy with Illinois Enterprise Zone program

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn talked business growth and pension reform during a stop in Moline on Tuesday.

“We have to recover from the great recession we’ve had,” he said. “We’re making progress, but we still have a long way to go.”

Family-owned Smith Filter Corporation is just what Illinois ordered. It just added three jobs to its Moline-based plant.

Workers are busy making custom filters. They’ve served a variety of domestic and international clients since 1939.

“I see a lot of positive things in Illinois,” said Jana Lecander, Smith Filter’s president. “I think we’re trying to work on the right track.”

Reasons why Gov. Quinn signed a 25-year extension for enterprise zones. He says it will help businesses to invest in the future.

“Enterprise zones are special places where we want to grow jobs and retain jobs, expand,” he said. “The most important mission we have here in Illinois is economic growth and jobs.”

The new law has more checks and balances. That’s to keep Illinois business-friendly while being more stable and accountable.

He also emphasized that economic growth can’t occur without pension reform. Lawmakers are due back in Springfield for a special session on August 17.

It’s a step to repair the state’s tarnished image. Tax incentives and other tools from enterprise zones boost economic development. It lets businesses know that Illinois is in it for the long haul.

“The state will start coming around again,” said Lecander, whose business is just outside an enterprise zone. “And the businesses will start coming back again.”

For the longtime Smith Filter Corporation, it’s about letting businesses do what they do best.

“We need the support of government to kind of step back and let you run your business,” she concluded.

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