A Publication of WTVP

In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, President Bush has urged Americans to fight terrorism at home by continuing business as usual—doing our part to stimulate the economy and to demonstrate the strength of our nation.

Still stunned by the terrorist attacks and reeling from the economic aftermath, business as usual is not an easy thing to accomplish. Yet, accomplish it we must. The business community must not retreat, but must act in a manner that will restore consumer confidence and help restore our economy. Thomas Donahue, chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, corresponded with all Chambers of Commerce urging business decision makers to act in a manner consistent with optimism and reducing negative impact.

"The ramifications of decisions such as cancelled meetings and employee travel bans not only damage the hospitality industry, which constitutes the economic backbone of countless communities across our country, but also delay our nation’s return to growth and optimism. This ramification is equally true of decisions not to proceed with the new product, the building expansion, the purchase, or other business decisions," he said. "The business community, which has done so much since September 11 to heal and unite our nation, must now lead our nation against this assault on the American way of life. We can lead by restoring mobility and openness to the economy. And we can lead by getting back to the business and by conducting that business with the energy, courage and confidence we have always displayed through good times and bad."

Business’s strong foundation in the Peoria area is the product of a great entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to take risks. Now more than ever, we need that spirit. In the Peoria area, optimism is alive and well on many fronts. The Peoria Civic Center had ticket sales of $500,000 in the two weeks after September 11. They continue to receive meeting and banquet bookings and have had no cancellations of events and only one postponement.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau sees the market as strong for regional meetings and conferences and has had only one small convention cancel. The recent Central Illinois Black Expo had a record number of exhibits and attendees.

Peoria’s ever-expanding restaurant business continues as plans move forward with Pizzeria Uno’s, Old Chicago Pizzeria downtown, and Famous Dave’s on Peoria’s West side. Midtown Plaza and the Pekin Mall renovation are underway.

The Peoria area can look forward to a major economic boom as the I-74 road rebuilding project moves into full swing, bringing millions of dollars and to all of the businesses who supply goods and services to both the construction companies and their employees. As a businessperson in the community, there are some steps you can take to help our economy: