The Big Table: 2021-2025 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

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Find links to the many different partners and associated plans working together to build a more equitable and sustainable regional economy.

Fast Facts

Best Practice for Equity and Inclusion
CEDS Central and NADO Research Foundation, 2021

Progress So Far

We have a lot of things to be proud of as a region and we have developed this high-level snapshot of the progress we have made so far in relation to the CEDS. Please download this document to learn more.

Big Table brochure in a conference room.

Understanding CEDS and How Greater Peoria Did It

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a regional planning document required by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (U.S. EDA) for any federally designated Economic Development District (EDD). It is a tool for organizing and coordinating a region’s economic development goals and an official document that increases access to funding resources. The EDA recognizes the counties of Logan, Mason, Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford (Greater Peoria) as an EDD.

Beginning in 2019, the Greater Peoria EDC was one of the numerous partners involved in launching The Big Table: Greater Peoria, a series of public events meant to generate conversations and connections across the region’s diverse communities toward the shared goal of making Greater Peoria a great place to live, work and play—for everyone.

A successful CEDS is created through an inclusive, analytical, and reflective planning process and results in a measurable road map to regional economic prosperity. This CEDS is Greater Peoria’s roadmap. It has been guided by the region’s diverse stakeholders who have collectively envisioned our region’s future through The Big Table: Greater Peoria initiative.

Over the next five years, the Greater Peoria CEDS Committee and the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council will monitor the region’s economic progress and continue building the partnerships necessary to achieve the CEDS goals. The Big Table: Greater Peoria events will continue to serve as an important platform to share CEDS updates and maintain consistent communication with the public.

man writing on whiteboard

Economic Development with an Emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion.

Goals, Strategies & Tactics

Although the goals of the CEDS are wide-ranging and overlapping, they have been organized into four general areas: Economy, Workforce, Quality of Place, and Natural Resources. For each goal area, the CEDS Committee formed working groups that determined the strategies and tactics that might lead to tangible and measurable progress over the next five years.

An additional dimension of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is infused throughout all goal areas with the aim of addressing systemic barriers to wealth creation for historically underserved racial and ethnic groups; including women, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, and rural communities. Developing an intentional practice of reducing economic barriers will advance the overarching goal of creating a more equitable regional economy. This emphasis on DEI led to the National Association of Development Organizations listing our CEDS as Best Practice for Equity and Inclusion.

People high-fiving during an activity.

Keeping Up With Regional Progress

Tracking Progress

The Greater Peoria CEDS Committee established a variety of key indicators to measure progress toward the 2021-2025 CEDS goals. This section identifies those indicators, the data sources for tracking those indicators, the various collaborators involved in implementing specific strategies, and collecting and analyzing the data necessary for reliable evaluation.
Future CEDS updates will rely on this tracking system to know which strategies are working and which are not. By agreeing upon a set of clear and meaningful indicators and adjusting strategies and tactics when necessary, collaborating stakeholders can create a culture of continuous improvement.

Download our Annual CEDS report to check the progress our region has made in the implementation of this collaborative strategy.


We’re Here to Help

How do we move our economy into the future? With partnership! Whether you are a resident, business, nonprofit organization, elected official, or any other stakeholder, you should feel ownership in this process. If you want to get it involved, we want to hear from you! We also want to answer any questions you have about the CEDS and the work ahead.