Micro Urban Community Unlike Any Other
The City of Champaign is the 10th largest city in the state of Illinois and the third largest outside of the Chicago region. As home to the University of Illinois, the city boasts a stable economy built on education, medical, research, technology, and manufacturing. The community was founded with the coming of the Illinois Central railroad in 1854 and has thrived over the past 150 years. We like to best describe ourselves as “Micro Urban”. The community has the charm and feel of a small town with the big city amenities of a major city. Our recent strength has been the growth and development of our Downtown and Campustown districts. Downtown has blossomed into one of the best foodie destinations in the Midwest, complete with 36 locally-owned restaurants and pubs. Couple that with over 1,700 outdoor cafe seats and constant outdoor entertainment and you’ve got yourself a thriving entertainment district. Campustown has emerged as a thriving urban center that anchors student life for the 43,000 university students from all fifty states and from around the globe. Visit our Districts page to help determine the best location to start and grow your business.
The Heart of the Midwest
Champaign is located in the strategic center of the Midwest on the most fertile soil in the world. Our connections to the major metropolitan centers of the Midwest is incredibly strong with Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis all within a 2.5 hour drive. The community sits at the convergence of Interstates 57, 72, and 74. Freight connects to Chicago and New Orleans along Canadian National’s primary north south railroad line.
Champaign Community Unit School District #4 is a large unit school district serving more than 9,600 students in grades pre-K through 12 in Champaign, Savoy, and Bondville. The district’s 18 campuses employ more than 1,800 teachers, administrators, and support personnel, including some of the brightest educators in the region. With proximity to the University of Illinois and Parkland College, Champaign Schools are able to build strong community partnerships which provide unique, world-class educational opportunities to our students. The district’s focus is to foster positive learning environments and prepare all students for college and career readiness after graduation. Read on to learn more about Champaign Schools, and view the District Report Card.
Parks and Recreation
The Champaign Park District maintains 58 parks totaling over 700 acres, 17 trail systems, 13 facilities, and one grand movie palace, all providing our residents with incredible options for recreation. In addition to their facilities, the Park District leads a robust calendar of special events and programs which entertain and educate the population from ages one to one hundred!
Established in 1982, Experience Champaign Urbana is the official tourism destination marketing and management organization for Champaign County. Their mission is to market Champaign County and a diverse set of events in collaboration with community stakeholders, to attract and serve visitors, and to positively impact the local economy and quality of life.
The Champaign County Welcome Center is located at 17 East Taylor Street in the heart of downtown Champaign. The Welcome Center is the perfect spot to pick up information on Champaign County’s best offerings or pick up a unique item to take home.
Champaign is home to some amazing events!
- Fighting Illini Sports
- NCAA Championships
- IHSA State Basketball and Wrestling Championships
- Roger Ebert’s Film Festival
- Boneyard Arts Festival
- Illinois Marathon
- Taste of CU
- Parade of Lights
- Friday Night Live
- and many more!
Champaign is a great place to start and grow your business. Some of the largest corporations in the world have a presence in our community. We invite you to join them!
Local Fortune500 Companies Located in Champaign-Urbana
- Fed Ex Ground
- State Farm Insurance Company
- John Deere
- Science Application International Corporation
- i-Cyt, A Sony Group Company
- Abbott Laboratories
- Archer Daniels Midland
- Monsanto Genetics Corporation
- Frito Lay, Inc. (PepsiCo)
- PNC Bank
- J.P. Morgan Chase & Company
- Wells Fargo Insurance Services, Inc.
- United Parcel Service
- Here’s How Small Town American is Primed to Beat Silicon Valley in Innovation
- Why companies across the U.S. are flocking to this downstate research park
Crain’s Chicago Business – February 13, 2016
Transportation and Logistics
The City of Champaign benefits from great access to markets across the country. Situated at the crossing of Interstates 57, 72 and 74, businesses located here find convenience in access into Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Below, you will find details on the great transportation options that make Champaign the perfect place to locate your regional and global business.
- Interstate 57 links Champaign with Chicago and Memphis
- Interstate 72 travels east and west linking Champaign with Decatur, Springfield, Jacksonville, and the Mississippi River at Quincy, Illinois
- Interstate 74, travels east and west linking Champaign with Indianapolis, Danville, Bloomington-Normal, Peoria, Galesburg, and the Quad Cities (Rock Island, Moline, Davenport, IA, and Bettendorf, IA.
Freight Service: Champaign sits on the vital Chicago to New Orleans rail line owned and operated by Canadian National Railroad. Additionally, Norfolk Southern maintains an east/west siding linking industrial uses to the main line.
Passenger Service: Champaign enjoys quick and easy passenger service to Chicago with three trains northbound every day. The City of New Orleans, Illini, and Saluki depart Illinois Terminal in Downtown Champaign.
Champaign is also located just 40 minutes from the new Midwest Inland Port. This multi-modal hub located in Decatur, Illinois delivers both domestic and international flexibility for companies through a well-positioned transportation corridor, connecting the Midwest to the East, West and Gulf Coasts of North America.
Champaign enjoys perhaps the best transit system for a city our size in the entire United States. The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District maintains a fleet of nearly 100 buses with over 13 million rider trips taken in 2015. The system operates in a spoke and hub system linking the entire community through their primary hub at Illinois Terminal in Downtown Champaign. The buses service all major employment centers including the University of Illinois, where students ride for free.
Champaign is serviced by Willard Airport, just 6 miles from Downtown Champaign in the Village of Savoy. Willard (CMI) is owned and operated by the University of Illinois and features plenty of daily flights. Connecting jet service to the world is possible from Willard Airport, which is served by both American Airlines and United Airlines. With quick and easy security and boarding checks, travel to all parts of the globe is made easy when you “Fly Champaign-Urbana”