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Rahm Welcomes Gogo Internet Firm to City

By Ted Cox | October 30, 2013 10:26am
 Mayor Rahm Emanuel welcomed the Gogo internet firm to the city.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel welcomed the Gogo internet firm to the city.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

WEST LOOP — Gogo, a leader in in-flight Internet access, is moving its corporate headquarters to Chicago.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel welcomed Gogo to the site of its new headquarters, 111 N. Canal St., on Wednesday. Gogo was expected to bring 460 employees to its new headquarters by early next year, with plans to add 50 additional employees and perhaps double that overall in the years to come.

Gogo provides in-flight Internet connectivity to 2,000 commercial planes — including United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines — as well as 6,000 business planes.

In getting the firm to move into the city from suburban Itasca, Chicago succeeded in outbidding Denver. Emanuel said the key elements of negotiations were that O'Hare International Airport is a hub for both United and American, and that Chicago has a stronger workforce in technology.

"Gogo is actually at the crossroads where two big industries in Chicago come together," Emanuel said.

Gogo President Michael Small confirmed that. "We thought it was a better talent pool in Chicago," he said. "Quite frankly, it was a little more expensive to be in Chicago, but even with that cost blended in we thought it was worth it."

Emanuel said the city pledged assistance with Tax Increment Finance district funds, but only to pay for training of additional new employees.