Business Attraction in the new COVID world is a blend of revised, former responsibilities and new ones. Intersect IL has sent three requests for information (RFI) from companies researching new site locations. Each RFI requires intensive site specific research, pages of documentation and a significant amount of time to prepare. Research continues for an Ammonia Plant, an Ag/Biomedical plant, and a Lithium Ion Battery Plant. In the process, I’m developing a GIS tool that compiles pertinent details on regional properties and will allow me to research properties more efficiently moving forward.
In addition to the active searches, I have checked in with companies considering the area prior to the COVID crisis. Most have put operations on hold until we have a better sense for financial situations on the other side of quarantine. Correspondence with these companies will continue. In the meantime the marketing team and I have continued gathering information on regional industry clusters and company features for the website, marketing and communications in the future.
My third large project included compiling information about the Federal Stimulus package, early participation in the Long Term Economic Recovery group, and organizing the kick off the Economic Recovery Task Team. For this effort, I’ve been meeting with participants, advising on the local data collection tool, and coordinating early discussions.
In economic development webinars and publications, there are 3 primary needs anticipated for when we re-open the economy. We need to actively canvas existing companies and provide coordinated responses to their needs. We also need to be ready for reshoring opportunities and helping companies source products more locally. The COVID crisis is also predicted to speed the push for automation and technology in companies which will impact workforce needs, supply chain opportunities, etc. These are all efforts the GPEDC is prepared to lead.
Economic development efforts are more important now than ever and the GPEDC will help the Greater Peoria region navigate this new reality through the tools we’ve developed, the relationships we’ve built, and the expertise to get through this crisis.
Director of Business Attraction