Harvard sits near the Illinois-Wisconsin border in northern McHenry County. The community is centrally located within the Chicago-Rockford-Milwaukee triangle, accessible from I-90 via Route 173 and served by State Routes 14 and 23. Harvard offers daily commuter rail service to and from Chicago and the northwest suburbs via Metra and freight service on the Union-Pacific line.
Located just an hour northwest of Chicago and O’Hare International Airport and 30 minutes east of Rockford, the Harvard area has the largest number of dedicated conservation acres in Illinois. The Lake Geneva recreational area sits less than 20 miles north. Many visitors pass through Harvard on their way to or from Wisconsin, come to enjoy the city’s festivals and historic downtown district, or catch a train to Chicago and its many offerings.
Harvard is the only community in McHenry County to have a designated Opportunity Zone — a tax incentive which makes it possible for investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains in commercial and residential development in Chemung Township, west of US 14. Investors receive a tax benefit in the form of deferred, reduced or eliminated capital gains by investing capital from Qualified Opportunity Funds in an eligible project in Harvard.
Harvard is also part of the Harvard-Woodstock Enterprise Zone, an area of approximately 7.75 miles which provides expanding companies with incentives that can include tax abatements, income tax credits, sales and utility tax exemptions.
Harvard is one of the few communities in the region to have its own economic development organization. Founded in 2001, the Harvard Economic Development Corporation is a public-private partnership with the City of Harvard which works closely with the MCEDC to attract growth-minded companies to Harvard.
Source: U.S. Census data