The state of Illinois has plenty of options when it comes to towns, cities or villages to move your business to. The city of St. Charles, located about 40 miles west of downtown Chicago, is one of them.

Known as the “Pride of the Fox,” St. Charles is part of a tri-city area with neighboring suburbs Geneva and Batavia. In 2011, Family Circle Magazine’s annual survey of the best towns and cities for families listed St. Charles as #1. If you’ve made the decision to take your business to St. Charles, here are some things to know.


  • According to data from 2017, St. Charles has a population of roughly 32,714. The numbers reflect a slight drop from the 2010 census, that listed the city’s population at 32,974
  • The Fox River runs through the center of town. One of the city’s most popular spots is Potawatomie Park, which sits on the river and offers attractions like mini golf, paddle boats and picnic areas
  • Online data lists the median income for a household in the city at $75,181, and the median family income at $94,704
  • The city hosts the annual Kane County Fair in July, as well as the Kane County Flea Market
  • Along with Pottawatomie Park, notable destinations and landmark include the Arcada Theatre, Hotel Baker and Q Center

Additional Honors

  • Along with being named the #1 city for families by Family Circle Magazine in 2011, St. Charles found itself on the Chicago Tribune’s “Regional Top 10” for fine dining, arts and entertainment, recreational opportunities, shopping and nightlife
  • As part of a 2008 promotional effort, city officials declared St. Charles the water garden capital of the world

Top Employers

  • The city’s 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report listed St. Charles’ top employers as:

1 St. Charles Community School District/1,689
2 RR Donnelley & Sons/936
3 Orman Automotive/800
4 City of St. Charles/300
5 Armour-Eckrich Meats LLC/289
6 Jewel Osco/270
7 Pheasant Run Resort/250
8 Do Paco/191
9 Dukane Corporation/190
10 System Sensor/150

Business Essentials

  • The St. Charles Chamber of Commerce plays a big role in business around the city and includes close to 800 members
  • Fox Valley SCORE Chapter #289 helps to provide business advice to new business owners or those moving their existing business to St. Charles. The partnership also includes assistance from the Elgin Community College Small Business Development Center
  • According to the city’s official website, St. Charles does not require general business licenses, but the following are required
    • Carnival License
    • Cigarette License
    • Coin-op Amusement License
    • Liquor License
    • Loudspeaker License
    • Scavenger License
    • Towing License

Business Incentives

  • The city offers and openly advertises the St. Charles Commercial Corridor and Downtown Business Economic Incentive Program. Officials say the goal is to encourage the rehabilitation and investment of business properties in downtown St. Charles
  • The official St. Charles website lists four simple goals of the program
    • Enhance the overall economic vitality and character of St. Charles by attracting tenants to fill vacant commercial spaces
    • Help expand and/or relocate existing businesses
    • Promote the continued economic success of St. Charles through improving and repairing historic and older buildings
    • Enhance overall property values throughout the city
  • A full and detailed description of the program’s guidelines can be found here