A Publication of WTVP

“It’s All Right Here in Central Illinois” is the Chamber’s new promotional campaign, a follow-up to the “Buy Central Illinois” campaign from fall 2001. In the spirit of regional thinking and promotion, five area chambers of commerce are working together to promote business and add value to local purchasing. Chillicothe, East Peoria, Pekin, Peoria, and Washington are pooling their member companies to be highlighted in this unique and different advertising campaign.

Fun-loving campaign spokesperson Dave Tilley will be featured on television and radio challenging viewers and listeners to find all of the opportunities they can to spend their dollars locally. Each spot or ad will focus on a specific topic such as “Where’s the best place to take the kids for an afternoon of fun?” “Where should I buy computer equipment for my office?” The participating chambers will be available to respond to further inquiries from businesses.

The advertising campaign will last one year and include newspaper and magazine advertising. The purpose isn’t to focus on a single business, but to make consumers aware of the choices they can make to help strengthen our local economy. The purpose isn’t just to say central Illinois is a great place, but to show it is in documentary style.

“It’s All Right Here” is the concept of Ross Creative+Strategy. Ross President and Executive Creative Director Skip Dampier said, “The new campaign will be unlike anything this market has ever seen. It’s an exciting campaign that will definitely get and keep everyone’s attention. Our goal is simply to engage consumers and get them thinking about their own purchasing behavior. Are they doing their part to help keep our local economy strong? It’s about how each of us as individuals really can make a difference.” Assistance in producing the campaign is being provided to the chambers at no cost.

All of the chamber members involved in the production and placement of the ads are doing so for free. The members are investing in the benefit from a strong local economy. Support and production services have been pledged by: AAA Entertainment, Brewster’s On Water Street, Journal Star, JMP Media, Ross Creative+Strategy, WAOE UPN 59, WEEK-TV 25, WHOI-TV 19, WMBD/WYZZ, WTVP-47, and many more.

Mark DeSantis, chairman of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Business Promotions Committee, said, “The campaign is a tremendous effort on the part of the chambers and central Illinois media outlets to be responsive to the basic needs of local business. It also serves as a strong and effective reminder to area residents that virtually anything they need or want is available right here in central Illinois. It helps the entire community to do business locally. Our hope is the campaign will be arresting and humorous, and we hope people will actually look forward to the next ad. We want it to have that kind of appeal.”

Dollars spent locally for products and services not only strengthen local businesses but create a cycle of greater local business spending—businesses with greater revenues have more money to spend locally on salaries, products, or services. Thus, more money is generated into our economy.

In the current economy, where revenues have declined for municipal or county governments facing severe budget constraints, increased local sales mean increased sales tax dollars to the local government entity. Simply put, if you buy in Oakbrook, the Village of Oakbrook benefits from your sales tax. If you buy in a Peoria area municipality, that community benefits.

Businesses who would like to help with the campaign may volunteer specific support or production services by contacting Cindy Patterson at the Peoria Chamber offices. Businesses can also help make the campaign a success by evaluating their own purchasing practices. Is your business making an effort to purchase locally if local prices and services are competitive? If local prices and services aren’t competitive (or not available), is this something the Chamber or Economic Development Council could fix? IBI