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GPEDC Weekend Update- January 21, 2022

Some GPEDC updates to end your week:

New Board Members: At the GPEDC Annual Meeting, our investors elected two new members to the Board of Directors. Mike Phelan is currently serving his second term as the Mayor of Peoria Heights. Prior to leading the Heights, Mayor Phelan was a longtime member of the Peoria County Board. Peoria Heights is an important part of our region and under Mayor Phelan’s leadership the community has seen even more great development. In addition to Mayor Phelan, Eric Whitfield joined the Board. As Senior Manager of the Ameren Illinois Economic Development team, Eric is responsible for leading the strategies that support business attraction and expansion, community development, and provide superior customer service to Ameren Illinois commercial and industrial customers. Ameren is both a financial supporter of GPEDC and a close partner in the work of economic development. We are happy to have both Mike and Eric join the board. In addition to these two new additions, the twelve board members who were at the end of their term were reappointed. I really value the leadership of our Board of Directors.

PCs For People: In today’s world, being connected to the internet is important for work, education, health, and entertainment. While we’ve talked a lot about the expansion of broadband in our rural areas, but just as important is for people to have devices that can connect to the internet that’s already available. For low-income families, affordability is just as important as accessibility. Grace, our American Connection Corps Fellow, has partnered with PCs For People to provide 50 computers to low-income families in Peoria next Thursday (January 27). PCs For People is a national non-profit organization that focuses on getting low-cost computers and affordable broadband internet into the homes of low-income individuals. We are finalizing the details on the pick-up location, but individuals who pre-register here will be able to receive a free computer and sign up for low-cost internet access through the federal Affordable Connectivity Program. We will share a press release with you on Monday with more details. We will also be looking to host more events like this.

Biz Labs: For 2022, GPEDC is working with Distillery Labs to launch Biz Labs workshops, an experiential learning program designed to help people understand the foundational components of what is needed to run a profitable business. Biz Labs engages, empowers, and equips business owners with the tools to immediately apply what they’ve learned in their businesses. The first series of Biz Labs workshops in January and February will cover understanding customers’ needs and how to achieve product-market fit. The learning will include social media, branding, sales, pricing, and more. Learn more and sign up here. Turn out for the first two sessions has been great, but more is always better. We would appreciate you sharing our social media posts on your own channels. The easiest way is to look for announcements on either Distillery Labs’ Facebook page or Start Here Greater Peoria Facebook page.

Have a great weekend!

Chris

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