SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State officials have designated six sites around Illinois as enterprise zones to encourage business development.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced the sites Wednesday.

Officials said the Enterprise Zone Board evaluated applications and awarded designations to sites in Chicago; Douglas County; Effingham and Effingham County; an intermodal operation shared by Jersey and Greene counties; Massac County; and Whiteside County.

Enterprise zones are meant to encourage investment in depressed areas. Companies and other organizations in a zone might qualify for tax incentives. They include sales tax exemptions on qualifying building materials, investment tax credits, utility tax exemptions and possible local enticements.

Applications for becoming one of three enterprise zones scheduled to be designated in 2018 are available.