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Business Development Strategic Plan

Business Development Strategic Plan
The Business Development Strategic Plan sets forth an ambitious, yet achievable, strategic business development agenda for the City of Highland Park. An update regarding the plan was presented in February 2020. 

During the Committee of the Whole meeting on August 23, 2021, Assistant City Manager Rob Sabo provided an update on the existing Business Development Strategic Plan, as well as an overview of planning activities to be undertaken this fall in support of developing a new plan for 2022-2024. The presentation highlighted achievements of the current plan, including:

  • zoning changes to stimulate development and attract new businesses;
  • administrative changes to simplify and increase the efficiency of permitting processes;
  • streetscape improvements in the Ravinia District including improved lighting, signage, and seating;
  • communications and marketing initiatives across print and digital modalities;
  • sustainability initiatives;
  • financial assistance and sales tax incentive programs to support business and property owners during the pandemic and beyond.

Objectives for the new plan include:

  • identifying development, redevelopment, and repositioning opportunities;
  • enhancing local and regional partnerships;
  • evaluating land uses and parking;
  • augmenting communications, outreach, and marketing;
  • pursuing additional efficiencies and improvements to City processes.

View the slides from the Business Development Strategic Plan UpdateVideo of the presentation and subsequent discussion is also available.

Business Development Strategic Planning Focus Groups

The City is excited to build on the 2019 - 2021 strategic plan and continue to implement strategies to retain and expand existing businesses, attract new exciting businesses, and broaden our sales tax base to sustain a balanced and healthy business climate.

Stakeholders and residents are invited to participate in a virtual stakeholder meeting to share feedback and provide insight on the development of the Strategic Plan. The following sessions are available:

  • Property owners: Oct. 28 (4 – 5:30 PM); Nov. 1 (9 – 10:30 AM)
  • Restaurant owners & managers: Oct. 27 (2 – 3:30 PM); Nov. 4 (2 – 3:30 PM)
  • Office businesses: Nov. 1 (2 – 3:30 PM)
  • Service businesses: Nov. 2 (3:30 – 5:00 PM)
  • Retail businesses: Nov. 15 (2 – 3:30 PM)
  • Realtors: Nov. 10 (2 – 3:30 PM); Nov. 17 (9 – 10: 30 AM)
  • Residents: Nov. 9 (6:30 – 8:00 PM); Nov. 15 (6:30 – 8:00 PM)

Translation services or other accommodations will be available upon request. Please contact

City staff will also attend the Ravinia Farmers Market on Wednesday, Oct. 27 (8 – 9:30 AM) to connect with residents and vendors.

Please complete this form to sign up for one of the sessions.

Below you will find a link to the strategic plan delivered to City Council on February 25, 2019. 

Business Development Strategic Plan 2019