First CREW Meeting Successful: As I mentioned last week, Lenora collaborated with Debbie Van Sickle (City of Peoria) and Katie Kim (The Kim Group) to host an informational session regarding CREW, a networking group for women working in commercial real estate and adjacent professions like banking, engineering, legal, etc. Debbie participated in a CREW chapter in Schaumburg and approached Lenora and others in the community about starting a chapter in Central Illinois when she realized there wasn’t a local chapter. As the chapter formation team, they held this information event to gauge interest in a local chapter. They need 30 interested people in order to start a local chapter. The event featured a round of drinks from the Missing Zither, charcuterie compliments of the Kim Group, and a tour of the Keller Station redevelopment project. With 30 people in attendance and great connections made, it was a successful kick-off event and bodes well for a CREW Chapter in Central Illinois. If you have questions or are interested in learning more about the CREW network, contact Lenora. They plan to hold monthly events, so keep your eyes out for the next one.
TWG Guest: GPEDC has been hosting the monthly “Technical Working Group” meeting for years. Each month, we organize a meeting of our local community and economic development partners to network, share resources, and swap war stories. This month, Dan Seals, the CEO of Intersect Illinois, joined our group to share his organization’s strategy for telling the story of Illinois to companies worldwide. Dan did a great job of arming us with great talking points from his “Why Illinois?” presentation to help us combat some of the negative (and often unwarranted) perceptions of Illinois’ business climate. Our assets included a well-trained workforce, locational advantages, diverse infrastructure options (river, road, rail, air), and a robust innovation ecosystem. (Let me know if you’d like a copy of his slides.) We thank Dan for driving down from Chicago and are proud to partner with him and his staff to help drive investment to Illinois.
Chicago Fed: I participate in all sorts of surveys and questionnaires. One more regular request is from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Each month GPEDC is surveyed, along with hundreds of other businesses and organizations, in the Chicago Fed Survey of Economic Conditions. The January 24, 2023 version of the Survey started to show some signs of growth or at least optimism. The core “Activity Index” increased to –27 in January from –40 in December, suggesting some improvement, but also that economic growth was well below trend. More information here.
Have a great weekend.