Economic Development Agencies

There are three major economic development agencies that lead economic development in our area.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) leads economic development efforts for the State of Illinois.

The Economic Development Council (EDC) for Central Illinois is the regional economic development group for the three county Peoria Metropolitan Area.

The City of Peoria Economic Development Department is part of City government, and focus our efforts on City of Peoria development. We work closely and well with DCEO and EDC.


The urbanophile

Interesting Blog on midwestern cities

Dan Fogelberg Memorial

On Tuesday May 26, 2009 the City Council approved a memorial on the Peoria Riverfront for Peoria native Dan Fogelberg. Read all about it below:

Recovery Zone Approved

On May 26, 2009 the City Council unanimously approved a request to designate the City of Peoria as a Recovery Zone, which enables government and the private sector to use low cost bonds for a variety of improvements and projects.


Background: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) made a number of changes to the tax code that pertain to tax-exempt revenue bonds. Taken as a whole, the changes in the stimulus bill mark the most significant revisions to the municipal bond market since the 1986 Tax Reform Act.

A potential immediate opportunity for the City of Peoria and its businesses relates to the creation of two new categories of bonds. The two new categories are, (1) taxable tax-credit governmental bonds issued as Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds (“RZEDBs”), and (2) private-activity bonds issued as Recovery Zone Facility Bonds (“RZFBs”). The RZEDBs are similar to the Build America Bonds in that the issuer can receive a direct pay credit from the Treasury Department equal to 45% of the interest payable, instead of the 35% permitted for a
Build America Bond.

The proceeds of these two new categories of bonds are to be invested in “Recovery Zones”. In order for the City of Peoria to take advantage of these new opportunities, the City needs to designate an area within the City as its Recovery Zone. Staff is recommending that the entire City of Peoria be designated as a “Recovery Zone”. A copy the map is attached.

According to the ARRA, the recovery zone must:

1. have significant poverty, unemployment, general distress, or rate of home foreclosures;
2. be any area for which a designation as an empowerment zone or renewal community is in effect; or
3. an area designated by the issuer as economically distressed by reason of the closure or realignment of a military installation pursuant to the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990.

The proposed City of Peoria Recovery Zone is based on: (See Attachments)

1. Unemployment Rate
2. Poverty Rate
3. Home Foreclosures
4. Neighborhood Stabilization Target Areas Map

Eligible expenditures:

New money capital expenditures for property in a recovery zone

Public infrastructure (wherever located) that promote economic activity in a recovery zone

Expenditures for job training and educational programs

The City of Peoria issues bonds for a variety of projects throughout the year. The City issues G.O. or revenue bonds for its own governmental purposes. The issuance of RZEDBs could provide the City with a more economical alternative for financing its own governmental bonds. The City also provides revenue bond financing for housing, manufacturing and industrial companies which may be either tax-exempt or taxable. The creation of RZFBs broadens our ability to issue tax-exempt revenue bonds for projects that previously would have been done on a taxable basis. For example, if a company were proposing to build a mixed-use commercial building within the Peoria Recovery Zone, we would now be able to issue tax-exempt revenue bonds at a lower interest rate for the project.

The use of Recovery Zone Bonds is just one piece of our economic recovery efforts. As Economic Development Staff develops potential users for the bonds, we will bring forth the requests to the City Council just as we currently do for other forms of revenue bond financing.

RECOMMENDATION: It is staff’s recommendation that the attached City of Peoria Recovery Zone Map designating the City of Peoria a Recovery Zone be approved.

Financial Impact: Broadens the City’s ability to issue tax-exempt revenue bonds for projects that previously would have been done on a taxable basis. Provides lower cost borrowing for private sector development.


Impact if Approved: The City would now be able to issue tax-exempt revenue bonds at lower interest rates for projects. Private borrowers would be able to access lower interest bonds.

Impact if Denied: The City would not be able to issue tax-exempt revenue bonds at lower interest rates for projects.

RELATIONSHIP TO THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: The establishment of the City of Peoria Recovery Zone is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.


GOAL: A. Provide an economic environment that supports existing and new businesses.


The One State Together in the Arts Conference

The One State Together in the Arts Conference is rapidly approaching and we invite each and every one of you to take part in this one of a kind experience at the Hotel Pere Marquette on June 1 and 2.  



Developing Downtown as a Key Economic Driver

Be a part of the change you wish to see in your community. Learn firsthand about the joys and challenges of developing a vision and strategy for revitalizing downtown through the arts, and hear from experienced developers and city officials how to navigate the ins and outs of transforming a downtown area into a thriving neighborhood for the arts and business.

Pat Sullivan
, Local Developer and Business Owner
Craig Hullinger, City of Peoria
Jim Richerson, Lakeview Museum


Information on the American Planning Association

Apollo Theater

Harriet Beecher Stowe will be performing at the Apollo Theater in downtown Peoria this Sunday, May 31 from 6-6:45 p.m.  Edith Barnard (http://www.VoicePowerDiva.com ) has portrayed Harriet for over twenty years touring New England "playing Harriet" under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institute.  

The show is a fund-raiser for "Look It's My Book" (started by our own dynamo Peoria lady, Janet Roth)  Intermission will feature wine, soft drinks and treats.  

Mitch Williams, internationally acclaimed magician, will mesmerize us with his amazing feats of magic after intermission. For more information go to: 

This show is the launch event for the two day state-wide arts conference on June 1 & 2 at the Pere Marquette.
Hope to see you all this Sunday evening!
Edith Barnard

Phone: +1 309 922 9058
"Find your voice, change your life!" --Edith

Revolving Loan Fund

The City of Peoria developed a Revolving Loan Fund ( RLF) in 1988 with a $500,000 grant from the Federal Economic Development Administration matched by $269,232 in City funds, for a total fund of $769,232.00.  

Since inception the City has made forty (40) loans that totaled $3,477,966.50. 

Twenty five of those loans have been paid back in full which, with the repayment total of $1,816,716.50.

As of April 30, 2009 the amount currently lent to Peoria companies is $1,527,250.00. The City has an additional $367,566.17 available for Peoria businesses.

More information about the program at:


Central Illinois Angels

A group of local business and professional leaders plan to become a primary tool for entrepreneurs needing equity and advice. They are seeking members.

Read about it at:

Peoria Landmarks


Census Facts on Peoria

Illinois Government News

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Information re the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) from the Illinois Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) re the Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP) as it pertains to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("ARRA") which has an application deadline of June 5, 2009 –

This discussion is limited to the economic component of the program:

CDAP grants are available only to units of general local government that are not “entitlement” communities (in the Peoria MSA that includes the cities of Peoria and Pekin).  In Illinois, only municipalities, townships and counties are eligible to receive CDAP funds.  Those entities can pass through funds to special purpose districts for eligible projects, but the applications must be identified “on behalf of” to avoid the risk of not being disqualified. 

After reading the synopsis of the situation below, any interested party is urged to contact the EDC for a quick evaluation of a potential project.  A determination would have to be made on a case-by-case basis whether a project may be eligible and satisfy the rating criteria. Also, it is important to point out that it is will be infeasible to prepare but very few applications because of the short time available.

For economic development projects, some of the rules have been relaxed, but not all.  The requirement for LMI (determined differently from the infrastructure program above) will not be imposed and neither will the dollar-per-job apply. However, the requirement for matching funds still applies.  The funds can be used on many things, but refinancing of existing debt is not one of them. Whether what a business might want to do with the funds qualifies would have to be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Consultation would be required.  The basic applicant eligibility mentioned above applies to all CDAP components. 

A list of eligible activities includes:


Financial assistance to pay for the expansion of a factory or commercial business, or the establishment of a new facility or business. Under this provision, there are no restrictions for how this financial assistance might be structured. For example, the CDBG funds could be given to the company with which to:

Purchase land;

Construct a building or other improvements;

Renovate an existing building to accommodate the business;

Construct tenant improvements/finishes;

Lease space in or purchase an existing building;

Purchase capital equipment;

Purchase inventory;

Use as working capital;

Provide employees with higher wages or fringe benefits (such as health insurance) that the company would not otherwise provide; and

Provide job training to newly-hired employees who otherwise would not qualify for those jobs. 

Activities that are ineligible include:


Activities generally prohibited under regulations governing the regular CDBG (CDAP) program, are also excluded under ARRA, including:

·         Construction of buildings or portions thereof

·         Facilities used predominately for the general conduct of government (e.g., city halls, courthouses, jails, police stations)

·         General government expenses

·         Operation and maintenance costs

·         Servicing and refinancing of debt

For more information on the program or to discuss a potential project, please contact us at: 

Jim Cummings, 495-5957 or Sally Hanley at 495-5953.




An overwhelming majority (88%) of marketers in a recent survey say they are now using some form of social media to market their business, though 72% of those using it say they have only been at it a few months or less, 
according to a social media study by Michael Stelzner, sponsored by the upcoming Social Media Success Summit 2009.

Full story below:

Peoria City Codes

Peoria City Codes on line at:

Online Library   http://www.municode.com/


Make No Small Plans


More info at 

Economic Stress Nationwide

Interesting map showing Economic Stress Nationwide. Dark is higher stress.

Click on the link below for the interactive map.

Government Blog

For those interested in the strategies for starting a government blog.

"Using Government Blogs to Effectively Communicate with Your Citizens"
Thursday, June 4, 2009, 1:00 PM ET


So far, blogging has worked pretty well for me. One of the principles of good government is to keep citizens informed.  The media and private bloggers do it.  By writing our own set of blogs, we get to tell citizens when and why we do something.

Of course, writing a blog is a pretty good way to get in trouble.  But it is also a way to explain an action to the public.  



Interested in Starting a Company?

Move to Peoria

Interesting article in Forbes. It is high time to think about moving your business and home to Peoria. 

Typical morning commute is 10 or 15 minutes. Housing is much more affordable. You can keep your boat in the lake for a fraction of the cost in Chicago. And you can be in the beautiful boondocks along the Illinois River in minutes.

 "Residents of the second-most overpriced metro area, Chicago, get sweltering summers and near-Siberian winters on top of a 9.4% metro area unemployment rate and a cost of living trailing only Los Angeles and New York."

Such a Deal !!

Typical of the great homes for sale in Peoria at an affordable price 


1154 Square Feet

PEORIA, IL  61604 
MLS #1105910


How Green is Your Municipality?

City Clerk Mary Haynes has requested that we develop a presentation for the International Clerks on: 

How Green is Your Municipality?

Seminar for the:

International Institute of Municipal Clerks Conference

Thursday May 21, 2008 10:00 am to 12:00 Noon

Palmer House Hotel Chicago, IL

Moderator Mary Haynes, Clerk, City of Peoria, Illinois


Presentors - in Order of Presentation

Charles Eckenstahler CEDc - Farm land & open space preservation, Green Checklist

Allen Morris Vice President, Teng Development - LEED, Public Buildings, building retrofits

Chris Setti, 6 Sigma Black Belt and Special Projects manager for the City of Peoria "Green Process", Peoria Urban Living Iniative

Craig Hullinger AICP - Green Land Planning, Sustainable Development, Economic Development


 Biographies of Presentors

Chuck Eckenstahler is a Senior Consultant with McKenna Associates a,Northville Michigna based municipal planning consulting firm serving clients in Micihgan, Ohio and Indiana. He is a 35 year veteran real estate and municipal planning consultant who teaches economic development subjects in the Graduate School of Business at Purdue Northwest, Westville, Indiana and serves on the faculty of the Lowell Stahl Center for Commercial Real Estate Studies at Lewis University, Oakbrook Illinois. He holds two Masters' Degrees, one from Governors State University and the other from the University of Notre Dame. He is an active writer, having more than 100 articles published on various economic development, land use planning and real estate development topics. He can be contacted at ceckenstahler@mckc.com or by phone at 219-861-2077.  http://www.mcka.com/

Allen Morris Vice President, Teng Development.  He has extensive experience in the planning and construction of major public buildings, and has participated inthe development of numerous with LEED and "green technology buildings. He has also worked on project planning and development.    http://www.teng.com/ 

Chris Settis the Special Projects Manager for the City of Peoria.  He is a 6 Sigma Black Belt and formerly the City's Senior Economic Development Specialist.  In his current role at the City, Chris spearheads the City's energy efficiency efforts, including coordinating the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.  Chris has also helped lead the Peoria Urban Living Initiative, an effort to increase home ownership in older neighborhoods in Peoria.  Chris has a Bachelor' degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in Public Administration.


Craig Harlan Hullinger AICP, is the Economic Development Director for the City of Peoria, Illinois. He has developed numerous successful “Green” developments, and is currently guiding Peoria’s efforts to create new urban mixed use development in the downtown area along the Riverfront. Craig has a BA Degree in Public Administration and a Master's Degree in Environmental Planning. He can be contacted at 309 494- 8639 or Hullingerc@gmail.com.com. More information can be found at http://www.peoria.blog.com/


Presentation Summaries 

Green Land Planning, Sustainable Development

 Craig Hullinger Presentation

There has been an ongoing evolution in land planning to safeguard and improve the environment.  Over the past 40 years cities and counties have become much more sophisticated in requiring storm water retention, wetland conservation, open space, and pedestrian walkways and bikeways.

Planners have also become more sophisticated in trying to reduce traffic congestion, and improve connectivity among residential, commercial, industrial, and insitutional land uses. Minimizing the use of energy and the increased use of "clean" energy is also a trend. Hullinger will present these developments.






Charles Eckenstahler Presentation
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Craig Hullinger Presentation