KENOSHA COUNTY — Kenosha County has seen increased economic growth as more companies are choosing to open facilities in the area.
Next year, the Gummy bear company HARIBO will break ground on it's first location in the United States. One of the reasons why they picked Kenosha County was because of the community.
"It was really where we felt most at home. We felt we shared the values of the community there, the strong work ethic, sense of community and we really felt that was a place for us, " said Lauren Triffler, Head of Corporate Communications for HARIBO.
The company will add 400 new jobs and have a variety of positions open.
"We will have everything from people on the line for the gummy bears and senior leadership roles," said Triffler.
According to the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, since 2013 new businesses have created more than 10,000 jobs in the county and are responsible for 2.1 billion dollars in capital investment.
"It’s been a really good time for the community in terms of exciting opportunities, new growth and new opportunities for our residents," said Todd Battle, President of Kenosha Area Business Alliance.
Battle said businesses are attracted to the area because it's located between two major metropolitan cities, and the new development has had a trickle-down impact on local businesses in the area.
"That economic activity improves the housing market, drives up incomes, creates more retail opportunities and leads to more commercial business," said Battle.
Sandy's Popper is located downtown, but employee Thomas Hawes said they have recently seen an increase in sales.
"All those businesses are attracting people down here because a lot of people who are new to the area haven’t explored downtown yet," said Hawes.
Battle expects to see businesses continue to move from Illinois to Kenosha County in 2020.