What is ECUEA?

East Chicago, Indiana has a diverse population of just over 29,000 and is a City of approximately 12 square miles in size. The State of Indiana granted the City of East Chicago the designation of Enterprise Zone in 1988.  With the new designation, the East Chicago Urban Enterprise Association Inc., (ECUEA) was created.

ECUEA is a private nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization, incorporated under the laws of the State of Indiana.  The organization’s primary purpose is to implement and utilize the advantages and benefits of the “Enterprise Zone” designation.

The Enterprise Zone is designed to:

  1. Stimulate reinvestment within the Zone;
  2. Create jobs for Zone residents;
  3. Promote a favorable climate for private sector and industrial investment in an economically distressed area.

Within the City, the Enterprise Zone constitutes almost four square miles of land which is a mixture of residential, commercial and industrial properties.  The Enterprise Zone program provides tax incentives and reduces impediments to economic development in the zone.

The advantage industries or family owned businesses receive by relocating to or expanding in the Enterprise Zone is reduced State of Indiana and Lake County, Indiana tax obligations.  For residents who both live and work in the Enterprise Zone there is a tax incentive available which will reduce their personal State tax liability.

The Indiana’s Enterprise Zone program was established in 1983 under Indiana Code 5-28-15.  It allowed cities to apply to the Indiana Department of Commerce for the designation.  The goal of the Enterprise Zone program is to promote investment and increased economic activity in some of the State’s most distressed areas.  There are twenty two (22) active Enterprise Zones in the State which are located in municipalities or on closed military bases.  Currently, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) administers the Enterprise Zone program and as such, has the authority to monitor Enterprise Zone operations and incentive use. Enterprise Zones were designated based on demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic size criteria.
Businesses which choose to participate in an Enterprise Zone program benefit from reduced State of Indiana and local County tax obligations.  The following tax incentives are available to businesses and residents located or doing business within an Enterprise Zone:

1.    Employee Income Tax Deduction
2.    Employment Expense Credit
3.    Loan Interest Credit
4.    Property Tax Investment Deduction

The day-to-day operation of each Enterprise Zone is managed by a local nonprofit entity called an Urban Enterprise Association (UEA). Each business that obtains Enterprise Zone tax incentives must contribute to the local UEA through a business participation fee equal to a percentage of the total tax savings received during the year. Thus, the tax incentives serve as both a business recruitment tool and the source of funding for the UEAs.  This funding allows local UEAs to make available a variety of community and economic development programs.

UEAs are governed by a twelve member Board of Directors.  The Board is composed of the following:

The governor shall appoint the following:

  1. One (1) state legislator whose district includes all or part of the enterprise zone.
  2. One (1) representative of the corporation, who is not a voting member of the

The executive of the municipality in which the zone is located shall appoint the following:

  1. One (1) representative of the plan commission having jurisdiction over the zone, if any exists.
  2. One (1) representative of the municipality’s department that performs planning or economic development functions.
  3. Two (2) representatives of businesses located in the zone, one (1) of whom shall be from a manufacturing concern, if any exists in the zone.
  4. One (1) resident of the zone.
  5. One (1) representative of organized labor from the building trades that represent construction workers.

The legislative body of the municipality in which the zone is located shall appoint, by majority vote, the following:

  1. One (1) member of the municipality’s legislative body whose district includes all or part of the zone.
  2. One (1) representative of a business located in the zone.
  3. Two (2) residents of the zone, who must not be members of the same political party.
The mission of the East Chicago Urban Enterprise Association, Inc. is to provide for and support the East Chicago Enterprise Zone’s residents and businesses through partnerships and incentives.

The vision of the East Chicago Urban Enterprise Association is one of a vibrant, economically prosperous community supportive of residents and businesses.  ECUEA sees economic growth in concert with environmental sustainability and a safe community as the keys to a vibrant community.


AnnMarie Madera
Business Manager 

Office Hours

Monday-Friday - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Saturday - Closed
Sunday - Closed

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