May 31, 2024

GPEDC Weekend Update- May 31, 2024

A short week, but nothing stops the Weekend Update. 

Creve Coeur Comp Plan: Last Thursday evening, Kathie and Dorsey participated in Creve Coeur’s Open House.  The event was planned as a way to garner public feedback for the community’s comprehensive planning process. Tri-County Regional Planning Commission is currently working on comprehensive plans in several communities in our region.  This process is a critical piece of community and economic development.  Communities examine carefully their current and future land use considerations and set strategic goals for the future that sets the stage for economic development and community budgeting decisions for the future.  Tri County is doing an excellent job in facilitating this process, Greater Peoria EDC is pleased to be a partner and support for this work. 

TWG: One of the enduring traditions at GPEDC is hosting the lamely-monikered “Technical Working Group” (TWG), a monthly networking and educational event for the region’s economic and community development professionals. We had a great crowd this week for two important topics. First, Laura Cullinan and Misty Klobucher presented an update on the Choose Greater Peoria initiative and discussed the new There’s More Here* campaign. This new effort is aimed at better internal messaging to share what is great about Greater Peoria with the people who already live here. By turning our own citizens into ambassadors (and, to be honest, neutralizing our more negative friends) we are hoping to better share the values of living here to others. Second, Lauren Gibson of Illinois DCEO shared information on two great state programs. Rebuilding Downtowns and Main Streets is a grant program aimed at helping communities make capital investments that improve commercial corridors. (Feel free to ask me about this program.) Advantage Illinois is a newly invigorated small business financing tool. Through either loan participation or loan guarantee, the state’s favorable interest rate – much lower than conventional financing – can help reduce the overall interest rate and make loans more manageable and attainable for small businesses—more on Advantage Illinois here.

Broadband in Logan County: Logan County Board member Keenan Leesman invited Kathie to make a presentation about the Logan County Broadband Breakthrough to Lincoln Economic Advancement and Development (LEAD), a group of community leaders engaged in Lincoln’s development.  Keenan and Kathie shared an update on how they are working to set the foundation for greater broadband investment. It was a great discussion with LEAD board members on work currently underway to build a middle-mile broadband infrastructure that will connect all the smaller communities in Logan County. The Broadband Breakthrough planning process has provided a great opportunity for the county to build relationships with ISPs who can be key partners in building out a broader network serving more businesses and households throughout Logan County.

Events: Same list as last week, but we still want you to know about some interesting and important meetings coming up:

  • GPEDC and the Regional Workforce Alliance (RWA) are hosting a workshop to discuss the recent findings of our comprehensive workforce analysis, celebrate the successes of the RWA and discuss future initiatives. The meeting is June 5 from 9 – 11 am at ICC North Campus. You can RSVP here.

  • Our next Greater Peoria AgTech Connect networking event is June 11 from 10 am to noon at Peoria Next. This Ag. Innovation Networking event is planned as a way to connect entrepreneurs with resources in our community to support their business development.  The morning will be devoted to learning more about bioprocessing and biomanufacturing and related resources in the region to support ag. tech development. More information and RSVP here.

  • The Heart of Illinois Regional Port District is hosting a public information meeting in concert with their development of a “port master plan.” The meeting is June 20 from 6 – 8 pm in Room 420 of the Twin Towers Plaza (456 Fulton, Peoria). No registration required. Reach out to Sally at shanley@greaterpeoriaedc.org for more information.

I’m getting pretty close to home this coming weekend as I travel to California to celebrate my nephew’s graduation. So another longer weekend for me. I hope yours is also a good one.