Rockford business of 15 years relocates to Beloit

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BELOIT, Wis. (WIFR) -- A long-time Rockford company is announcing its new location - outside Illinois.

"I think you're sending a message to Beloit, to Rock County, and I also think you're saying something to Illinois," said Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary Mark Hogan.

Seal-Rite Door is officially relocating to Beloit after 15 years in the Forest City.

This expansion will cost $16 million and is expected to bring more than 84 jobs to the Beloit area alone.

"You're not drawing just from employment in Beloit, which, of course, we support, but we have great access and so we can bring in employees from both the Illinois side and as far as Milwaukee, Madison or elsewhere," said Beloit City Manager Lori Curtis Luther.

Company leaders say they couldn't achieve that level of success where they were in Rockford.

"It very much is what they see in Beloit and what they see in Rock County. It's a microcosm of what they see in Beloit and what they see in the state of Wisconsin relative to a business climate," said Hogan.

Rockford leaders say it's hard to see a company leave the area, but they are still confident in Rockford's ability to attract others.

"My dream is that we retain every single one. I know that's not gonna happen, we're gonna win some and lose some, but oftentimes, the one that we win, y'all never hear about because we've just retained them," said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

To Beloit leaders, this is a sign of a positive future.

"Today is just an amazing example of how Beloit is growing and how our manufacturing and industrial community continues to expand," said Luther.

Employees at the Rockford location are guaranteed a job if they want to transfer to the Beloit location. The Beloit location is expected to start operating in mid-to-late February.