Chicago’s Fortune 500 headquarters are shrinking

Chicago’s Fortune 500 headquarters are shrinking

Chicago has lost three Fortune 500 headquarters in 2022. McDonald’s could be the next to leave. Amendment 1 could make it more likely.

Chicago’s updated tally of Fortune 500 companies is shrinking thanks to departures from Citadel, Boeing and Caterpillar to other states.

Chicago has 35 Fortune 500 Headquarters after losing three in 2022, still the second most in the nation to New York.

Dallas will gain Caterpillar. A lower cost of living helps attract new talent, making the city third in the nation. Texas has no income tax and lower property taxes than Illinois.

The list could grow if McDonald’s Corp. decides to find a new home for their corporate headquarters. CEO Chris Kempczinski in a recent speech said staying in Chicago is far from a sure thing.

“It has become increasingly difficult to operate a global business out of the city of Chicago,” Kempczinski said. “Make no mistake… McDonald’s commitment to Chicago is not corporate altruism. It’s not open-ended. It’s not unconditional. As a publicly traded company, our shareholders wouldn’t tolerate that.”

McDonald’s headquarters has been in Chicago since the 1950s, but Illinois’ business climate has taken a recent tumble. From 2017 to 2022, Illinois’ ranking in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index dropped 13 spots, the second-biggest decline in the nation.

Just like customers leaving a restaurant because of bad service, companies will go where their needs are met.

Amendment 1, a property tax hike disguised as a “workers’ rights amendment,” would worsen both Chicago and Illinois’ business climate by keeping commercial property taxes on the rise. The proposal at the top of the Nov. 8 ballot would empower government unions to make significantly greater demands, which taxpayers would be forced to fund just as they’ve been saddled with those government unions’ $313 billion pension debt.

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