A Publication of WTVP

The race for the White House is over and President Obama is now in office, but that doesn’t mean elections are over. There are several local elections still on the horizon which, just like the presidential election, will have a significant impact on our regional communities. It is vitally important that we understand what’s happening in the world around us so we can make wise decisions, especially in these challenging economic times. But perhaps what is even more important is to make sure the candidates for local office understand what is happening and are prepared for what is to come, both locally and around the globe.

When a storm hits, generally the first places you turn for help are first responders like the police and fire departments. What we are dealing with right now is an economic storm—so who are the economic first responders? They are your economic development staff members from cities and counties, as well as regional groups like the Economic Development Council for Central Illinois (EDC) and the rest of The Heartland Partnership family of companies. Economic development organizations create the roadmaps for elected officials to follow to ensure their communities still grow and thrive.

In these challenging economic times, leaders have to make tough decisions. If those decisions are based on the right information, there will be lasting positive effects, so your economic first responders are working diligently to ensure that the right information is being relayed. What can you do? It’s your responsibility to stay involved and make sure those candidates will make the right choices for you and your community before you cast your ballot.

The Heartland Partnership family of companies is keeping busy with events that will benefit you and your business. The EDC invites you to participate in the Building Communities Webinar Educational Series and learn how to engage one another and achieve important objectives; how to balance a healthy economy, a healthy ecosystem and a healthy community; and how to sustain that balance once it’s found. Visit for more information.

The EDC is also in the midst of the Central Illinois Regional Retail Study, helping to identify retailers that will fit in our region and connecting local municipalities with them to help our communities grow and prosper. More information on this study will be coming soon.

The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and Young Professionals Organization of Greater Peoria invite you to learn what it takes to make Peoria a destination community for the next generation and how your company can achieve that goal. Rebecca Ryan, the author of Live First, Work Second, will be in town on February 19th to share what it takes to attract and retain young talent and what the next generation wants. Ms. Ryan and her team have been studying the work and community preferences of young talent, aged 20 to 40, since 1998. Go to for more information.

Don’t forget the Business Showcase is coming up March 24th and 25th. Registrations are being accepted now at iBi