August 13, 2015, PEORIA, IL- The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council is excited to share our first official Quarterly Update. These reports will be posted in April (Q1), July (Q2), October (Q3), and January (Q4 and Annual) and will include three sections:
1) GPEDC Performance- these metrics measure the performance of our organization
2) Regional Indicators- these metrics include key indicators that help us understand how our economy is performing
3) Regional Performance- these metrics measure the collective performance of our regional partners
This report reflects the progress underway at the GPEDC. Our first six months of operations generated 10 complete business expansion projects and 2 attraction projects. Collectively, those projects only generated 153 new jobs, a reflection of the slow growth period we have been experience in our region.
A key factor in project generation is our ability to meet site selectors. As our staff has grown, we have been able to dedicate more time to business retention visits (48 completed this year) and meetings with site selectors (8 completed this year). Site selectors have been enthusiastic to see our team and re-engage with Greater Peoria. Those meetings have already resulted in several business attraction leads for our region.
Startup Peoria has helped 7 startups to launch in 2015, generating 4 new jobs for our region. They also have 20 members at The Nest Co-Working Space. We believe that program will be a critical engine for future business development and job creation in GP.
Regional indicators reflect a retracting economy. Our labor force has dropped by over 6,000 since last year. Government, education, and healthcare jobs are aligned with state and national trends, but most industries have experienced a decrease including financial and professional/business service sectors. These trends underscore the critical need for active and ongoing economic development strategies in Greater Peoria.
There are several bright spots on the report. Average wages have increased in the region, real estate vacancies have declined, and there continues to be an increase in passengers at the Peoria International Airport. Housing Sales have also grown along with the median sales price of regional homes.
We believe these reports are an important way to share our progress along with the important work and progress of our partners. It is only, acting collectively, that we will see positive returns for Greater Peoria.
To view the full report, click here