A Publication of WTVP

Your publisher and editors hope you find this unique monthly newsletter to the business professional a highly readable compendium of business briefs, accurate and interesting.

Those who stayed in Peoria when the lights were flickering last decade find it fun to be positive on Peoria.

Of course Caterpillar workers, represented by the UAW, have been a key ingredient in the success of Caterpillar in world markets. But this isn't the 1960s. For companies to remain competitive, they must achieve some kind of health care cost relief.

Just as a building is no stronger than its foundation, central Illinois can be no stronger than some fundamental elements. The key to greater Peoria's future is getting back to some basics, often ignored in the flash of new developments.

Thank you to the many readers, contributors, business leaders, and advertisers who've helped make InterBusiness Issues the definitive voice for area business.

One of the most frightening aspects of our contemporary economy is that we're rapidly losing the concept of individual responsibility. We're in danger of a whole generation growing up without the slightest clue of what it means. Why? Our entire social and economic system has been re-engineered to bypass individual responsibility and to blame personal woes on someone or something else.

Riverfront development must be market-driven. The public sector can be the facilitator to make private development along the river attractive, but ultimately, private dolls must fuel the development process.

The delicate balance between the rights of the individual and the integrity of the community is difficult to maintain. When the former is overemphasized, as has been the case since the late 1960s, the latter is imperiled, and social order dissipates. There will ultimately be no individual rights where the social, fiscal, and ethical integrity of the community is allowed to erode.

We intend to be a voice for and to the business community in the tri-county area. Thank you for your past and continuing support.

Is the Y2K problem a result of so much media hype? Or do we face a real danger of computers starting to shut down at the start of the new millennium? This is one of those situations where we hope the folks on the two extremes are wrong.

There are those who accentuate the negative-they feel more comfortable doing it or it's part of their job. But most of the time, the negative elements around us are only there for a finite period of time. It isn't the past that's important, but rather lessons from the past. The parties disagree, but out of that disagreement comes progress.

Maybe it's a good thing to slow down occasionally to make sure of the direction we're going. But it's wrong to be controlled by that old culture. We need to start fresh-in both Peoria and Washintgton. When ever it happens, we want to be on the leading edge-not the following edge.

Our challenge is to create a business climate where existing businesses want to stay and new businesses want to relocate in our community-no matter where the ownership resides. We should embrace new ownership and/or management as eagerly as we should recruit new business to the area. A positive, welcoming inclusive business atmosphere can encourage local entrepreneurs and nurture the community loyalty of those new to the Peoria area. We need to ensure that we continue to develop resources to enable businesses to be successful-and want to stay. We can capitalize on the opportunities.

It's time to intensify and accelerate our efforts to market and promote Peoria. It's readily apparent that we can't always look to the public sector as our only leadership in marketing this area. Local companies that are the backbone of the region and have the most at stake to ensure theirs is a vibrant, forward-thinking community realize they need to put their resources behind a rejuvenated effort to boost the region's visibility and make the sell a little easier.

Peoria is at a critical juncture. Consensus building has taken a back seat to nose counting. And when city employee groups engage in that practice and put their provincial gain over the public good, things are getting out of whack.

We encourage support for State Rep. Keith Sommer; he envisions the communities along I-74-from Peoria to Bloomington/Normal to Champaign-"combining strengths and becoming partners." We wish Rep. Sommer well on his crusade-and we wish him the support of politicians, businesses, and community members. IBI