Get Your Tickets!
Business Attraction has been front and center at the GPEDC over the past few weeks. Kim is getting ready for a huge manufacturing trade show in Germany with some help from our Marketing Director, Tory Dahlhoff, and the team at Converse Marketing. The new video they created for her presentations is amazing. We will be sharing it during our Annual Meetup on May 10th, so don't forget to grab your ticket!

And speaking of tickets, get one for our next Keystart Business Pitch Competition too. It's FREE! We had a dozen startups apply for the pre-accelerator. Five are going through the program in preparation for the final competition where one lucky team will receive $10,000. If you haven't been to a Keystart yet, you are definitely missing out. The deluge of millennial hipsters will make you feel just a bit like a 20 something for the evening and the incredible pitches might change the way you think about business innovation in our own GP.

Still willing to do more? Then come and learn about landing new companies from the UK at our workshop on May 9th. A whole team from the European American Investment Council will be in Greater Peoria for a familiarization tour and a conversation about how we can get European companies to locate in our region. Its a great chance for regional developers, community officials and business leaders to prepare for attraction projects!

In the midst of this buzz of activity, I want to take a moment to thank our GPEDC Investors (who rock!). We have had 100% of our investors continue with us this year and several new folks join us including, most recently, the Village of Metamora. We simply couldn't do this work without their support. 

Jennifer Daly
Greater Peoria Economic Development Council
The GP Annual Meetup Is Just Around the Corner!
Join us at our fun  and  informative (yes, both!)  annual event where we share our work, celebrate our partnerships, and grow Team GP.  See you there!
Register today at
Chip Energy Innovation Underway
by Sally Hanley, Director of Business Assistance
Congratulations to  Chip Energy in Goodfield! They recently received their occupancy certificate for their innovative new facility constructed out of shipping containers.

These types of containers are designed and constructed to carry freight around the world. They are built out of at least 5,000 lbs. of steel each, and with 1 million units out of commercial service in the US they
represent over five billion pounds of stranded steel.  

Once they are no longer usable by the original owner they become stacked up eyeso res all over the world. Paul Wever saw the potential of using the stranded shipping containers to construct a facility that recycled waste biomass into cleaner energy sources and other valuable products.

The Greater Peoria EDC helped Chip Energy access revolving loan funds for this project.   Read the full story about the new facility here.

Please contact Sally Hanley for business assistance at

Glasford and Creve Coeur Awarded Funds for Infrastructure
by Jim Cummings, Grant Consultant
We are excited to announce that two of our GP communities, Glasford and Creve Coeur, have been awarded a total of $895,660 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding!  

These funds are a large portion of the $1.6M total investment in infrastructure improvement projects scheduled for this year in the two communities.  The Greater Peoria EDC wrote the grant applications and will administer the funds for both communities.

Creve Coeur received $445,660 in funding for the replacement of a substandard water main.  The village will provide an additional $138,835 for a total project cost of $584,495.  Glasford received $450,000, which will be supplemented by an Environmental Protection Agency loan of $609,320 for upgrades to their sewer systems.

It has been a pleasure working with these communities and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to secure the funding for these crucial projects.  If your community is in need of grant assistance, please get in touch with me at or 309-495-5957

It's Official - Startup Peoria is now Startup GP!
by Randon Gettys, Director of Startup GP
What's in a name?  Everything!  That is why Startup Peoria has officially evolved into Startup Greater Peoria.  Why is this important?  For the same reason all of programs carry the GP label - because thinking regionally is important in creating a diverse and sustainable economy.
And we didn't just stop at a simple name change.  We launched a brand new website to boot! has some great new features including a startup directory, a regional ecosystem directory, and a directory for our new Guides program that connects mentors and experts to entrepreneurs.  And we have updated GP Sourcelink, a great tool for locating additional business resources.

Go check out the new Nest location!
And if that wasn't enough...we moved The Nest Coworking.  Have no fear though, it did not move far - it is now located at 820 SW Adams, Suite C, in the building right next door to Sugar. If you want to check it out, we are having an open house this Saturday April 22 from 12-4 p.m.

Don't miss the Keystart Pitch Competition!  We have a great cohort currently charging through our pre-accelerator program.  They are preparing to pitch their businesses to the judges at the upcoming event and we want you to be there.  It's free and, as you know if you've been before, a whole lot of fun. 
Business Pitch Competition
May 4th from 7-9 p.m. at Metamora Fields 

For more info on Startup GP contact Randon at
Can You Host A Summer Intern Mixer?
by Kate Cundiff, Director of Workforce Solutions
We need your help! Our Live GP team is putting together an Intern Mixer series for all the interns working this summer for our regional employers. We are looking for 5 businesses that would host a social for these students at the location of your choice. 

Our goal is to get young professionals excited about living and working in Greater Peoria. We want to help them meet new people, familiarize themselves with the diverse businesses throughout our region, and keep the interns busy during their time here so they want to come back in the future.
If you are an employer and would like more info on how you can show off your office  space and host an Intern Mixer this summer, contact me at or  309-495-5959 .
GP Talent Forecast Draws Large, Diverse Crowd!

The first annual GP Talent Forecast was a hit! 
Over 100 regional educators, economic development professionals, elected officials and business owners attended to learn the details on the workforce needs in our region. If you missed the event and would like a copy of the full Talent Forecast Report, read the full story and get the report HERE!
Learn How Your Community Can Attract European Companies
In 2015 alone, European foreign direct investment (FDI) in the U.S. reached a total of $2.16 trillion, making European companies the most important foreign investors in the United States. The European American Investment Council (EAIC) works with companies in Europe who are interested in a new location or expansion in the U.S. They serve as site selection experts, helping companies navigate a move into American markets.

On May 9th, the Greater Peoria EDC, Ameren Illinois, and Intersect Illinois will be hosting the EAIC in Greater Peoria, offering a familiarization tour of the region and a workshop that will allow elected officials, business leaders, and developers to understand the business development opportunities they represent.   

MAY 9TH - 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Questions? contact Kim Uhlig at
Team GP Spotlight - Keli Krueger-Hehra
The Greater Peoria EDC would like to congratulate Keli Krueger-Huhra on her new position as the Director of the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).  Welcome to Team GP!

In her new position, Keli works with regional businesses seeking minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned certifications and guides businesses through the arduous process of securing government contracts - from the local to the federal levels.

Keli worked for 28 years in the progressive growth division at Mitsubishi, serving her last two years as the head of procurement.  Her experience and expertise working in procurement for a manufacturing facility is a great strength in her new position.  She said she appreciates the opportunity to offer her skills to the public.

"It's very rewarding," she said.  "When you have a business land a contract and it creates an opportunity to hire more workers, that's what it's all about."

If you are interested in government contract opportunities or acquiring business owner certifications, you can contact Keli at  Learn more about PTAC at
We Want to Thank These GPEDC Investors for their Support!

The Latest Headlines
Heritage Square in Peoria Heights will soon be complete

Minority Incubator Opens in Peoria

Career expo planned for Peoria area eighth-graders

OSF opens new Center for Health in Pekin

More than just a new South Peoria restaurant
Mark Your Calendars
April 21 - McMahon's FINALLY FRIDAY! - 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. McMahon's Pints & Plates
April 22 -  7th Annual 25 Cent Night - 4p.m. - 9 p.m  United Church of Christ
April 22 - Open House - 12 p.m - 2 p.m. at The Nest
April 26 - Chamber Employer Action Day - 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Wyndham Springfield
May 2  -  Starting a business in Illinois - 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. NEXT Innovation Center
May 3 -  Open Coworking  -  9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at The Nest
May 4 - Keystart Pitch Competition - 7-9 p.m. - Metamora Fields Golf Club
May 6 - CIRT Benefit  - 11 a.m. - 12 a.m Seasons Gastropub
May 7 - 1st Sunday Market - 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Morton Knights of Columbus
May 10 - Safety for Traveling Abroad - 11:30 a.m - 1 p.m. Innovation Center
May 10 -  GP Annual Meetup - register now! - 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Warehouse on State
May 16 - Starting a Business in Illinois - 3 p.m - 6 p.m Fondulac Bank
May 23 - Business Cybersecurity Strategy - 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m Innovation Center
Mondays - 'One-Stop Shop' Business Assistance - 1:30 p.m. Peoria City Hall
Track Our Progress
The Greater Peoria EDC has established a five year strategy and measurable goals as part of the Focus Forward Plan. We will be updating our investors and stakeholders each quarter on our progress in achieving the following goals by 2019:

25 interstate firm expansions/retentions by 2019, as measured by our clients
1,000 new high quality jobs created/retained by 2019, as measured by our clients.
T hrough Q4 2016: 23 business expansions, 141 jobs created  

30 new companies created by 2019, as measured by Startup Peoria clients
150 new high-quality jobs created by 2019, as measured by Startup Peoria clients.
Through Q4 2016: 21 startups launched, 27 jobs created

10 new interstate firm locations by 2019, as measured by our clients
750 new high-quality jobs created by 2019, as measured by our clients.
Through Q4 2016: 4 business locations, 130 jobs created  

50% increase in capture rate in targeted jobs by 2019, as measured by our clients
50 apprentices transitioned to full-time employment in our region, as measured by our clients.
Through Q4 2016: 2,125 student career experiences, 12 high school internship placements, 6 apprenticeships filled

30% increase in new hire capture rate, as measured by our clients.
20% improvement in employee retention rate by 2019, as measured by our clients.
Through Q4 2016: 235 newcomers presentation attendees, 2,379 users, 1,612Live GP postcards distributed 

Look for our full quarterly progress reports in our e-Newsletters and on our website!