A Note from our CEO: New Year, New CEDS
Happy 2019! I love the beginning of a new year. Apart from the annoyance of learning to write “2019” instead of “2018” on letters or checks, a new year always allows for a fresh set of initiatives. Sometimes these are well-meaning but likely-doomed resolutions like “lose weight” or “relax more” but they can also be serious attempts at advancing your goals.

2019 is going to be a year for our region to work together to establish a new set of resolutions on advancing our economy. One of the core functions of Greater Peoria EDC is providing stewardship over the region’s “Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy” or CEDS.
The National Association of Development Organizations gives a great, brief explanation of CEDS: “In today’s competitive global market, it is necessary for regions to have a long-term economic development strategy that can serve as a road map to progress and prosperity. CEDS does just that. It is a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process and document that successfully engages a range of partners, including community leaders and residents, the private sector, educational institutions, and other stakeholders in planning for your region’s future.” You can learn more about CEDS in general here.
OSF HealthCare, the University of Illinois System, Illinois Central College, and the GPEDC are working together develop a Peoria Innovation Hub.

If funding is approved, the Peoria Innovation Hub could be physically set up and open by mid-to-late-2020.
We had a great turnout for the Industrial Hemp Forum in January! Thank you to everyone that came out and to all the great information provided by our panelists from the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, the Congressional Research Service, Western Illinois University, Natural Fiber Welding, Global Hemp Inc, and Revolution Enterprises.

This was the first in a new series we are designing called GP Farm Forums to grow conversations and build the networks around diversification and innovation in agriculture and explore new economic potential for our region’s farmers and Ag businesses.
CO.STARTERS is a platform to help communities grow local business. This nine-week program equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action.

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, or a seasoned entrepreneur looking to launch a new product or service, CO.STARTERS is for you.
The GPEDC is excited to announce a transition in our regional attraction strategy , from LiveGP to Hello Greater Peoria. We aim to unite our community in spreading positivity throughout our region.

Hello Greater Peoria was born out of Hello Peoria, a grassroots movement to encourage people to share what they are doing with others on social media.
Two new hires with procurement, defense, and supply chain expertise, Linda Krendick and Brandon Hostetter, will serve as part time Program Managers for the Illinois Defense Network-Peoria Region, to help develop the strategy and implement the strategic objectives.
Nerdwallet’s latest Home Affordability Watch ranks Peoria #2 among 87 total midsize metros. Nerdwallet defines midsize as populations between 250,000 and 1 million. Among the top 5, Peoria also has the highest median income.

More Good News in Greater Peoria