A great salesperson is of tremendous value to an organization. A great product or service is even more important. Coincidentally, it isn’t uncommon to encounter salespeople with a great sales pitch, but a product that just doesn’t make the grade.
Salesmanship will only take a business so far. In the end, great salesmanship is only effective if the product or service is one of quality and value to the consumer. Economic development is no different. In our industry, however, the products we market are central Illinois communities.
Our marketing and promotional efforts go far beyond the typical shiny brochure. Colorful collateral materials and attractive Web sites might be eye-catching, but corporate site selectors won’t take long to drill through to the nuts and bolts of what a community has to offer. Companies the EDC wants to attract and retain in this region—companies with the potential to realize long-term, sustained growth—make decisions that are right for the company and its stakeholders. They make decisions based on what the impact on their bottom line will be.
The EDC hears what the site selectors are asking for. We’re listening to the site selectors, and we’re listening to the responses from our communities. Our communities want to possess the resources businesses need to thrive. Our communities want to fortify aggressive attraction and retention programs with the assets that make doing business here make sense. Our communities are ready to get serious about growth.
The tri-county area is home to a network of vibrant small communities with enviable quality-of-life features and an environment of convenience and accommodation that’s unique and well suited to business. Many of these small communities have extensive support systems for businesses, providing them with everything they need to operate successfully in central Illinois.
Some of our smaller communities possess the potential to provide the perfect fit for dynamic businesses looking for a location with the unique resources central Illinois offers. Our job is to help them develop the resources they need to provide businesses with a climate for growth.
With this in mind the EDC is preparing to launch a new program focused on giving our communities the tools they need to realize and accommodate economic growth. The Small Communities Grant Program, an initiative of our regional efforts to generate growth in the tri-county area, is designed to provide assistance to communities throughout Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties in the area of economic and community development. The grant program, which requires applicants to demonstrate a committed interest in creating and enhancing economic growth within their communities, will provide the tools with which our central Illinois communities can build growth mechanisms and support systems for powerful businesses.
Our county boards have made the commitment to support this initiative. The elected officials are dedicated to equipping the small communities in Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties with the means to develop the infrastructure and resources growing companies demand today. Their support of this initiative is enabling the EDC to administer this new program, and to assist the communities as they implement their development programs.
So when will this program roll out? We’ll meet with your elected officials throughout July with our program outline. Community-based meetings will take place beginning in August, and actual project work will commence in December. EDC values input from our business community.
EDC’s focus remains on generating growth in central Illinois. Through the Small Communities Grant Program, EDC is providing our communities with the tools they need to create the resources that will attract and retain powerful companies in today’s economy. With our communities equipped with the tools to support growth and development, we can effectively promote central Illinois, realizing genuine results for the tri-county area. The EDC is ready to sell—the time is now for central Illinois to get ready for growth.
If you have any questions or comments, contact us at 495-5900. IBI