A Publication of WTVP

Part of the Economic Development Council’s mission has always been to help existing area businesses expand and modernize. This includes adapting to changes in a business’s internal and external environment.

The EDC is currently going through some internal growth and adjustment within our own organization. Along with the Heartland Partnership and its other subsidiaries, the EDC is in the process of our own strategic evaluation and alignment. In addition, we are preparing to welcome a new CEO to share in our mission and success.

Just as the EDC has been preparing for the announcement of our new CEO, we are also taking a proactive stance in preparing for changes in the central Illinois business environment. Our goal has always been preparedness for the unexpected. While no one expected to hear the unfortunate news of the Princeville Alcoa plant closing, the EDC was ready to act as soon as news of the closing broke. Along with the Illinois Employment and Securities Division, Peoria’s Workforce Development Office, ICC, and Princeville’s Economic Development Office, the Economic Development Council was part of the emergency response team. This type of community collaboration is exactly the type of effort the tri-County area will benefit from in these dynamic times.

Our focus on preparedness involves anticipating the needs of the business community as the members adapt to external change. The EDC has surveyed several past participants in the business retention program to determine what their needs are with regard to adjusting to a changing economy.

Our analysis of the data has shown area businesses are interested in information on a variety of topics. Seventy-six percent of the companies surveyed express interest in seminars to help them learn to market their products and services beyond traditional major customers. Eighty-three percent would like to know more about creative financial options and opportunities to help them weather the economic storm. Other topics included job training, marketing on various levels, taxes, insurance, unemployment laws, health care containment, and supplier certification.

From these results, we are preparing to launch a program centered on providing you—the central Illinois business community—with the tools you need to thrive in today’s environment. We invite you to watch for more details on this exciting new opportunity to advance the tri-County business community and strengthen the position of its members.

When the economy turns around, as it always does, growth will be realized by the companies that have properly prepared themselves. Thoughtful diversification, cash conservation, smart management, and a forward-thinking mindset will get your company through today and prepare it to take advantage of tomorrow. The Economic Development Council is here to serve the business community by fostering a proactive, growth centered approach to business, not only for the present, but also for the continued future successes of central Illinois. IBI