Americans love to celebrate. There seems to be a national “day” or “week” for everything. It’s amazing what you can find on the internet. The website has a complete list of all these celebrations. In this month alone, we go from National Homemade Cookie Day on October 1 to National Magic Day on October 31. These designations are usually silly and were likely created by someone trying to make money off a product or idea. But sometimes the celebrations are important and draw attention to critical issues. October is host to two such celebrations: National Manufacturing Month and National Minority Enterprise Development Week (October 14-20).
Manufacturing is obviously important to Greater Peoria. We are the heart of the industrial Midwest. I was recently interviewed by a national reporter who asked me to describe what we do here in Peoria. My reply was that “we make big things.”

We had a great time at the 2nd annual CareerSpark last week! Over 4,200 8th graders from all over Greater Peoria came through over the 2-day event. Thanks to all of our volunteers and sponsors. We had a blast! Check out the short wrap-up video:
Stay tuned for even more details on the event.
The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment to support economic research and resiliency in Illinois’ military-connected communities.

The grant marks phase two of the State of Illinois Defense Industry Adjustment Program, a data-driven initiative to assist communities linked to the defense industry adapt to changes in federal military spending. The GPEDC is a phase two partner of this program.
Did you know that hundreds of acres of Woodford County farmland are in transition to organics? Did you know that hemp production is now legal in Illinois? Did you know a Logan County farm built a new food hub facility this year?

Stay tuned this fall and winter for a series of stories, written in partnership with area agriculture professionals, as GPEDC sheds some light on these and other fascinating developments within our region’s farm and food economy. 
Join a gathering of the region’s developers, investors, financial service providers, and community and economic development professionals to learn more about Opportunity Zones, Opportunity Funds, and how Greater Peoria can make the most of this new investment tool.
GPEDC Welcomes New Investor
A special thanks to our newest investor, Comcast! Comcast offers bundles on high-speed internet, phone, and TV service for businesses of all sizes. Learn more about how to become part of Team GP as an investor here.
On Sept. 12, members of the Peoria community, along with the City of Peoria, Illinois American Water, Peoria Housing Authority and the American Water Charitable Foundation (AWCF), held a ribbon cutting to signify the opening of Peoria GreenSplash, a community splash park. 

The Fall Startup Mixer hosted by Startup GP aims to connect local entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, service providers, and others. Our objective is to engineer connectivity within the Greater Peoria startup community, while having a good time doing it.

When: Friday, November 16
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Where: GAR Hall, 416 Hamilton Boulevard, Peoria, IL 61602

Tickets are $10.
The GPEDC is looking for a qualified candidate with defense industry experience for an Economic Development Program Manager position.

Please visit the job posting to learn more about the duties and responsibilities of the role.
We are partnering with the Federal Reserve to conduct a Small Business Credit Survey for both pre-start and existing businesses, and we’d like you to participate.

This short survey will take approximately 9 minutes and will ask about business conditions, financing needs, and credit experiences. Summary results will be shared with you, and all responses are confidential.
Register today for the Illinois Farm Bureau Local-Regional Food Conference! Don’t miss the chance to learn about all of the amazing work underway throughout Central Illinois to develop a strong local-regional food economy. 

Participate in workshops and panels discussing farm diversification and market opportunities, farm and food business planning and funding, partnerships and programs, and much more!

When: November 5-7

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton, 10 Brickyard Dr, Bloomington, IL 61701
More Good News in Greater Peoria