A few Greater Peoria EDC updates to end your week:
New Face! We are happy to announce that Sara Kupperschmid has joined the Greater Peoria EDC as our Workforce Solutions Partner. Originally from Peru (Illinois, not the country!), Sara moved to Peoria in 2020, choosing our region because of the opportunities to grow professionally and personally. She attended Western Illinois University and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Mental Health. She has spent her time in Peoria helping those in the community, helping parents and guardians obtain and retain employment, and helping those most vulnerable overcome challenges and find safety and security in their daily lives. Sara will be helping Jeffrey with executive GPEDC and Regional Workforce Alliance initiatives. Welcome aboard, Sara!
Peoria Rural Enterprise Zone: Good things come to those who wait! After a three-month review period, we received word late last week that the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development approved our request to expand the Peoria Rural Enterprise Zone. The municipalities of the City of Chillicothe, the Village of Princeville, the City of Elmwood, the Village of Hanna City, and Peoria County agreed to amend the boundaries by adding 12 parcels totaling about 42 acres that have development or redevelopment potential (one parcel in Hanna City and 11 in Peoria County along Kickapoo-Edwards Blacktop). In addition to the expansion, the approved amendment cleaned up a previous minor discrepancy and allowed Brimfield School District #309 to be a participating taxing body in waiving their property tax on real property improvements for up to five years. Congratulations to Sally for all her hard work putting the application together.
Bartonville Comp Plan: The Village of Bartonville is reviewing and updating its 2006 Comprehensive Plan with the support of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission. GPEDC’s own Kathie and Sally were asked to lead a community and economic development session for the January Planning Committee meeting that included Bartonville, Bellevue, and Limestone Township representatives. They presented on various topics, including the port, Industrial Park, business incubation and other economic development strategies, TIF districts, and broadband access. After their presentation, they hosted a blended Q&A and brainstorming session to identify potential strategies we may want to explore in the comprehensive plan.
BankTank is Ours: Last year, Fortress Bank created BankTank, a pitch competition for startups in their footprint (central-western Illinois and eastern Iowa). In 2023, Greater Peoria was well represented, with three of four finalists hailing from our region, including the winner, ColorForge. Well, it looks like Greater Peoria is dominating the competition again. This year’s finalists were just announced, and once again three of four finalists are from Greater Peoria: Moxie Fitness, ShotHawk, and Nauman Innovation Group. (And the fourth, Lux Blox of Galesburg, has been well served by Peoria helpers at the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley.) The four startups will compete for $20,000 in prizes at an event in Davenport on February 22. More details here.
We Are Hiring (Again): We have been on a tear! We’ve filled two positions so far (another announcement on a new staff member next Friday), are starting interviews on a third, and have just posted an opportunity for a Business Engagement Partner. This team member will work closely with Sally to execute our redoubled strategy to engage and assist our local businesses. Qualified candidates will be highly organized, highly motivated individuals with demonstrated success in building and managing relationships, managing projects and timelines, and will be familiar with the principles of business and economic development. You can find more information here. Please spread the word within your networks.
Have a great weekend.