The City of Peoria is looking for a few good developers to redevelop our historic core.

Dec 19, 2011

HP In The News December

The Heartland Partnership eNewsletter  
HP In The News
Dec 19, 2011
It has been a very busy December for The Heartland Partnership family of companies.  Take a look at some of the headlines this month regarding our economic imact analysis on the recent Caterpillar investment announcement, a study on Peoria's commercial development process, what we are doing to find skilled workers for open jobs and much much more. Also, keep your eyes open for news from today's ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Cancer Research Center at UICOMP. 
EDC: Cat investment to create 564 jobs
$260-million is expected to be added to the regional economy due to recent plants announced by Caterpillar.

Cat Expansion to Benefit Local Economy
The Economic Development Council for Central Illinois says Caterpillar's investment in East Peoria and Decatur is huge news. $260 million huge.

CAT Expansion Expected to Bring $260 Million in Local Economy
Vickie Clark talks about the economic impact of cat expansion beyond just the initial 300 jobs.

New CAT Jobs Create Ripple Effect in Regional Economy
Vickie Clark discusses the economic impact of the cat expansion announcement and the trickle effect it will have on the region

Cat's recent investments have big impact on East Peoria
Caterpillar Inc.'s decision to invest and retool some of its East Peoria facilities is expected to send ripples through the region likely not seen in years.

Caterpillar expansion could result in large economic plus
The Economic Development Council for Central Illinois says planned Caterpillar expansion announced recently for Decatur and East Peoria will have a huge benefit to the local economy. Peoria area EDC President Vickie Clark says the total annual boost is more than $260 million.

Caterpillar growth to boost economy by $260M
The Peoria-based Economic Development Council for Central Illinois says the estimated 300 jobs will create more than 200 additional jobs, ...

Caterpillar growth a boon to economy
The Economic Development Council for Central Illinois in a report Monday said that the new 300 hires will translate into a total of 524 new jobs across the communities of East Peoria
EDC Helping Peoria County's Effort To Lure New CAT Plant To Central Illinois
The EDC For Central Illinois is assisting Peoria County's effort to lure a new Caterpillar plant to the area.  EDC President Vickie Clark confirmed a proposal is being finalized by Peoria County, requesting CAT build it's new North American Plant here.
Peoria County finalizing proposal for Caterpillar
As soon as the end of next week, Peoria County could send to Caterpillar Inc. a proposal to locate its new North American plant within central Illinois.  
Target and Costco in the Works for East Peoria
"An anchor store for any community is huge," says Economic Development Council Public Partner Director Dennis Kief.

Haddad's Could Ignite Bigger, Better Economy
Haddad's will have an economic impact far beyond just west peoria   .
Tri-County Regional Planning Commission hires economic development ...
...hosted by the Economic Development Council for Central Illinois, to discuss how they handle economic development projects and the reasons behind ...

Economic Development Expert Approved To Work For TCRPC
The private group, the Economic Development for Central Illinois, under the Heartland Partnership umbrella is welcoming Knott…the timing is right to unify.

Developers unite in effort to lure new Cat plant to central Illinois
As officials at Caterpillar Inc. continue to weigh a decision on where to locate a new, 1,000-job plant in North America, one of the spots asking to be considered is central Illinois. 

Caterpillar: Small Step for State in Tax Incentive Package
Caterpillar would like to expand in Illinois but adds a lack of stability and predictability with the state makes that difficult. Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce executive Director Rob Parks says tax incentives like those contained in the package should be permanent and available to more businesses.

Manufacturing Jobs Readily Available With No Skilled Workers to Fill Positions
Anyone who tells you the jobs just aren’t out there, has not spoken with the employers at Excel Foundry and machine in Pekin, Illinois. That company is trying to expand but is having difficulty.

Chicago Mayor, Former Obama Chief Of Staff Emanuel To Speak Here
A powerful political figure is coming to Peoria early next year give a talk.  And, he only has to travel from his post as the leader of the Windy City to visit here.

Chicago Mayor to Visit Peoria Next Year
one of the state's biggest political figures is making a special trip to Peoria next year.

Chicago mayor to speak at Peoria Chamber of Commerce luncheon ...
Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will speak at a Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on March 7 at the Peoria Civic ...

Early Sales Numbers Indicate All Smiles For Local Retailers
If the early shopping trends continue, some local stores will see a significant rise in sales figures during the busiest retail time of year.

Shopping season off to a good start
... the holiday shopping season, also proved successful, said Renee Charles, director of public affairs and media relations for the Heartland Partnership. ...

Integrating Technology Into the Classroom
The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Policy Institute brought in Former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise to speak at a luncheon. Governor Wise is now the President of the Alliance for Excellence Education and wants to see an effective application of technology in every classroom.     

Chamber Survey on River City Development
The city of Peoria needs to make it easier for developers to bring commercial projects, according to a new survey of two focus groups.     

Business Leaders Criticize Peoria
The chamber conducted a survey of local developers and business owners to find out what they think about the development process.
Signs of the times
Unfortunately, a Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce analysis on commercial development was completed before a sign sweep occurred in September. Had the analysis occurred after, it might've provided some pretty eye-opening responses.
The Heartland Partnership eNewsletter

Dec 15, 2011

The Beige Book


The “Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by 
Federal Reserve District,” report commonly known as the Beige Book, 
is published eight times per year. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers 
anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District 
through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with 
key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. 
The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector. 
An overall summary of the twelve district reports is prepared by a 
designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis.

Click to Read

Nov 30, 2011

Scoop From Peoria Magazine

Central Illinois Perspective
InterBusiness Issues
art & society
Peoria Progress


Caterpillar Inc. recently announced plans for significant new investments to its manufacturing facilities in East Peoria and Decatur. The company plans a capital investment of about $340 million for production of large track-type tractors in East Peoria, and nearly $300 million to increase capacity for large mining trucks produced in Decatur. These expansion announcements are in addition to the September announcement of a $200 million modernization project of the East Peoria plant aimed at the export market.
The Economic Development Council for Central Illinois uses economic impact modeling to determine the influence that new businesses and jobs can have on the regional economy. Caterpillar reportedly expects these expansion projects to bring an additional 300 jobs to the region. The EDC estimates those 300 jobs will spur an additional 162 indirect, induced and/or support-type jobs outside of Caterpillar, which brings the actual total to 524 new jobs created in the region. The addition of 524 jobs is expected to have a more than $260 million impact annually to our regional economy.
On the heels of the new Bass Pro opening, the East Peoria City Council approved a tentative agreement with Cullinan Properties to bring Target and Costco to the new East Peoria/Downtown project. Construction near the proposed site is expected to begin next summer, with openings expected in 2013. The deals have not been finalized, as other agreements must be in place for the project to move forward. Additional details are expected to come in the near-future.


Thursday, December 1st @ Morton Community Bank
Morton Community Bank presents the 33rd annual Morton Community Christmas Sing from 5:30 to 6:30pm at 721 W. Jackson St. in Morton. Enjoy cookies, coffee, and punch beginning at 5pm. Dana Taufer will lead the group in caroling for the 33rd year, and the John Phillips Oompah Band will provide musical accompaniment.
Saturday, December 3rd @ Balance-Herschel House
The Junior League of Peoria will host its annual Victorian Christmas Tea, once at 11am and again at 2pm. Guests will learn about the history of the house and Christmas traditions while being served lunch and hearing Christmas music. Call (309) 685-9312 or for tickets or more information.
Saturday, December 3rd @ RiverPlex
The 24th annual Jingle Bell Run will take place, with a costume contest at 9am and 5K race at 10am. This is the largeset fundraiser of the year for the Arthritis Foundation. Call (309) 682-6600 or visit for more information.
Saturday, December 3rd @ Sommer Park
The Peoria Park District’s W.H. Sommer Park will present “Christmas on the Ghost Front” from 10am to 4pm. Join World War II vets, historians and re-enactors as the days leading up to the Battle of the Bulge are recreated. This is open to the public and admission is $5/vehicle. Call (309) 691-8423 for details.
Saturday, December 3rd @ Peoria Public Library, Main Library
The Peoria Public Library will offer two films with discussions in honor of the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. At 10:30am, the new documentary L-Bird: The Little Plane That Did, will be shown, and at 1:30pm, another documentary, December 7th, will be shown. The public is invited. For more information, call (309) 497-2141.
Saturday, December 3rd @ Peoria County Animal Welfare Shelter
The Peoria Humane Society is hosting a Howliday Boutique and Open House of Peoria County's animal shelter from 11am to 3pm. Visitors can shop for gifts for their pets, tour the shelter, and enter to win prizes. Donations for the shelter are also appreciated. For more information, call (309) 682-9015 or visit
OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

Nov 16, 2011

Central Illinois Perspective

Central Illinois Perspective
InterBusiness Issues
art & society
Peoria Progress


Last week, Peoria NEXT announced Grant Brewen as its new CEO. Brewen is currently head of the Biotechnology Research and Development Corporation (BRDC), housed at the USDA’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research Lab in Peoria since 1988. He will continue in that position, as well as his new role at the helm of Peoria NEXT. BRDC, under Brewen’s leadership, was one of a dozen anchor organizations involved when Peoria NEXT was formed in 2001.
Caterpillar Inc. recently announced plans for significant new investments in its manufacturing facilities in Decatur and East Peoria. The company plans to invest nearly $300 million to increase capacity for large mining trucks produced in Decatur. An additional capital investment of about $340 million is planned for production of large track-type tractors in East Peoria. The company expects the additional truck capacity in Decatur to be installed by 2016. The work to expand large track-type tractor production in East Peoria is expected to be completed by 2015.
The Morton Chamber of Commerce announced the development of Leadership Morton, a new local leadership program. Leadership Morton will begin on January 11, 2012, and end on March 14th, meeting weekly from 7:30am to 10am. The program will incorporate leadership skills education and provide a broad understanding of public issues, workings of state and local government, civic challenges, and the role the community and organizations play in problem solving. To register or for more information, go to, or call (309) 263-2491.
The Salvation Army held a ribbon cutting last week to open its Veterans Outreach Center. Its staff, with the support of groups like the Veteran’s Outpatient Center, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Disabled Veterans, Department of Veterans Affairs, VFWs, and American Legions, will provide services for homeless and at-risk veterans. The Center will be open Monday through Friday from 9 to 2pm. For more information, call (309) 655-7272.


Thursday, November 17th @ Peoria NEXT Innovation Center
NOVUS presents “Protecting Innovation – A Patent Primer,” with Leroy Hagenbuch of Phillipi Hagenbuch, an inventor with over 50 patents. The event takes place from 5:30 to 8pm; $10 admission includes hors d’oeuvres and beverages. To register,
Friday, November 18th @ Embassy Suites
The public is invited to the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce’s 36th annual Thanksgiving Day Luncheon at 11:45am. The featured speaker will be Ed Rapp, group president and CFO of Caterpillar, Inc., and the annual Tom Connor award for community service will be presented by WestPoint Financial Group. to reserve your table or seat.
Friday, November 18th & Saturday, November 19th @ The Motherhouse
A variety of handmade and other items will be available at the annual fall bazaar sponsored by The Sisters of The Third Order of St. Francis. All proceeds will assist the poor. The sales runs Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday, 9am to 2pm at The Motherhouse, 1175 St. Francis Lane in East Peoria (access road #14 off Route 116). Call (309) 655-3897 for info.
Saturday, November 19th @ W.H. Sommer Park
The Peoria Park District’s Sommer Park will host a Civil War Winter Quarters construction from 10am to 5pm. Living historians in authentic uniforms will use period tools and construction methods to prepare for their winter encampment. Admission is $5/vehicle. Call (309) 691-8423 for more info.
The Theresa S. Falcon EMBA From Bradley University

Find us on Facebook....    art & society   |   iBi

Oct 22, 2011

Sep 26, 2011


  • Peoria has been awarded the All-America City Award three times (1953, 1966, and 1989).
  • In 2007, Forbes ranked Peoria #47 out of the largest 150 metropolitan areas in its annual "Best Places for Business and Careers." Peoria was evaluated on the cost of doing business, cost of living, entertainment opportunities, and income growth.[44]
  • In 2005, Sperling and Sanders Best Places to Live Rankings among 331 metropolitan areas placed Peoria #51, citing "low cost of living, low cost of housing, and attractive residential areas" as the main pros to the area.[citation needed][45]
  • Peoria was ranked a 5 Star Logistics City by Expansion Management Magazine in 2007[46]
  • Peoria consistently ranks in the Top 10 Best Mannered Cities in America as compiled by etiquette expert Marjabelle Young Stewart.[47]
  • Peoria was ranked as one of the "50 Next Great Adventure Towns" in the US in the September 2008 issue of National Geographic Adventure magazine. This was mainly based on the extensive mountain biking trails in and around the city and the live entertainment options found on the RiverFront.[48]
  • In 2009, Peoria was ranked 16th best city with a population of 100,000–200,000 ("Mighty Micros") in the U.S. Next Cities List. The list was compiled by Next Generation Consulting, a firm which studies and consults on hiring trends and workplace issues nationwide, and the indexes used were divided into earning, learning, vitality, around town, after hours, cost of lifestyle and social capital. Top Mighty Micro was Fort Collins, Colorado; the other Mighty Micro in Illinois was Springfield at #5.[49]
  • In 2009, Peoria was ranked #5 best mid sized city to launch a small business by CNN Money and Fortune Small Business.[50]
  • Milken Institute released its Best Performing Metropolitan Areas listing for 2008 and the Peoria Area ranked #33 among the top 200 largest metropolitan areas in the country. It was the highest ranking area in Illinois with Chicago coming in next at #148.[51]

Sep 24, 2011

Pinta and the Nina Visit Peoria

Discover Columbus' Ships 

Welcome to The Columbus Foundation and our two Columbus replica ships - our original Niña, the most historically accurate replica of a Columbus Ship ever built, and our recently-built Pinta. 

Deck length - 65', Beam - 18', Draft - 7'
Tonnage - 75, Sail Area - 1919 sq ft

Deck length - 85', Beam - 23', Draft - 7.5'
Tonnage - 101, Sail Area - 3800 sq ft

The Niña - Most Historically Accurate Columbus Replica Ship Ever Built 
The Niña is a replica of the ship on which Columbus sailed across the Atlantic on his three voyages of discovery to the new world beginning in 1492.  Columbus sailed the tiny ship over 25,000 miles.  That ship was last heard of in 1501, but the new Niña has a different mission.  We are a floating museum, and we visit ports all over the Western Hemisphere.

Pinta - Our Second Columbus Replica Ship 
Pinta was recently built in Brazil to accompany the Nina on all of her travels. She is a larger version of the archetypal caravel and offers larger deck space for walk-aboard tours and has a 40 ft air conditioned main cabin down below with seating. Pinta is available for private parties and charters. 

NEW!  The City of Dubuque, Iowa, produced a great video of The Niña and Pinta, featuring an informative interview with Captain Morgan Sanger.   CLICK HERE to view the movie.

The Niña and Pinta
Both The Niña and Pinta will be touring together as a new and enhanced ‘sailing museum’, for the purpose of educating the public and school children on the ‘caravel’, a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to discover the world.
The Niña and Pinta

The Niña and Pinta


Interested in becoming a CREW MEMBER?  Click here.

The Columbus Foundation, British Virgin Islands
Phone: (284) 495-4618    Fax: (284) 495-9935 

Wind Powered Car Journey

Wind-Powered Car Completes an Epic 5,000km Journey Across Australia

Australia Wind Explorer, Wind powered Electric Vehicles, electric vehicles, wind power, Prototype wind power, Record-breaking electric vehicle, portable Wind turbine, The Wind Explorer, Wind-powered vehicle

Television host Dirk Gion and engineer 
Stefan Simmerer recently completed a 
5,000 km (3,107 mile) journey in the
The Wind Explorer, a lightweight 
electric vehicle powered by electricity
generating wind turbines and kites.

Click to Read More

Sep 18, 2011

Worst Timing Award

In 2009 I was fortunate enough to win the coveted Worst Timing Award for my support for an Enterprise Zone incentive for a new building on Main Street in Peoria.  The Peoria Journal Star and the Peoria Chronicle opposed the incentive.

To successfully lead redevelopment city officials must take some risks even though they know they will be criticized in the media and on blogs. Local governments provided a limited four year incentive on property taxes to help obtain a permanent tax paying development.

The building is now completed, adding jobs, property tax, utility tax and hopefully sales tax to our economy. It was built during this tough economy in part because of the incentives provided.  It stimulates an older neighborhood in the Heart of Peoria. It brings life and vitality to an area that had been in decline for many years and shows that our older neighborhoods can be renewed.

I thought it was the right thing to do then and now and I am proud to have won the award.

Aug 31, 2011

Business and Financial Resources Workshop

There will be a 2011 Business and Financial Resources Workshop on September 28th from 8:00 am to 10:00 am at Peoria Next Innovation Center, 801 W. Main Peoria. This event will present representatives of 18 different entities with the sole propose of helping make your business more profitable and successful. Whether you are a existing business, startup or just considering a new business, this free workshop is a must.

This event is free, however you must register in advance by clicking on the link in the attachment of by calling the number enclosed.

This event is brought to you annually by the North Central Region of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Procurement and Technical Assistance Center, The Small Business Development Center at Bradley University, and the EDC for Central Illinois.

Please register now, seating is limited.

Tony Rolando

Anthony Rolando
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Office of Regional Outreach- Illinois Main Street
North Central Region
Regional Offices
Canton City Hall
2 N. Main 1st Floor
Canton, IL 61520
Pekin City Hall
111 S. Capitol St.
Pekin, IL 61554
The Heartland Partnership
100 S.W. Water St.
Peoria, IL 61602

Aug 25, 2011

Aug 7, 2011

Bring the Jobs Home

"With Standard and Poor’s downgrading of America’s credit rating, here comes advice from China: “The days when the debt-ridden Uncle Sam could leisurely squander overseas borrowing appeared to be numbered,” said a commentary published by the Xinhua news agency."
“To cure its addiction to debts, the United States has to re-establish the common sense principle that one should live within its means,” the agency added."

"Not that austerity isn’t always good advice but how degrading is it to have the nation that’s become Wal-Mart’s number-one production partner wagging its finger at “debt-ridden Uncle Sam?"

Click to Read the Article

Aug 5, 2011

Historic Tax Credits for the Warehouse District

Peoria Warehouse District

Good news for the Peoria Warehouse District.  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill 
making Peoria eligible to apply for historic tax credit status as part of the Peoria 
Warehouse District redevelopment project. If accepted, a large portion of the Peoria 
Warehouse District redevelopment project will be tax exempt, making the area more 
attractive to developers and others who would bring additional jobs and revenue to the region.