It’s a simple truth well known by economic developers and community planners: The competition for community vibrancy and relevance isn’t just among neighboring cities—it is among all the cities of the world. And the competition is fierce, whether you are working to attract or retain residents, visitors and businesses.
A global, interconnected economy—coupled with access to transportation and made easier and easier with digital speed—means that people can go anywhere, live anywhere and still be connected. These factors are leading to growing population migrations throughout our country, and with them comes a new competition among cities to provide the greatest quality of life and experience for its residents and visitors. That is why the Greater Peoria 2030 initiative was born: to position our region as a premier community in the United States.
A Community Coalition
Greater Peoria 2030 is a collective supported and funded by the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (Discover Peoria), Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, CEO Council, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, Downtown Development Corporation of Peoria, Morton Chamber of Commerce and Morton Economic Development Council, Pekin Chamber of Commerce and McDaniels Marketing. Through the GP2030 effort, this coalition of community leaders is addressing regional needs through three key branches for success and by asking the following:
- Welcome and retention. How do we provide the best experiences and quality of life for those who are looking to move to or visit Greater Peoria? And how do we continue to engage those who already call our community home in a meaningful way?
- Marketing. How do we share our stories with the world to encourage others to live or visit our community? How do we share the stories with our own community to instill community pride?
- Incentives and programs. How do we provide resources and/or financial incentives to encourage new residents and businesses to choose Greater Peoria? How do we enhance business growth by recruiting new residents and encouraging entrepreneurship?
These questions will be answered through this collaborative initiative as a diverse group of local stakeholders have agreed to work together as one entity—sharing resources to leverage all available local, state and national resources to market the region and invite a range of audiences to “Discover Greater Peoria.” Discover Peoria is the regional brand umbrella under which specific messages will be developed to target distinct audiences to encourage more people to visit, live, work and enjoy the area.
Championing the Region
With those questions at hand, Greater Peoria 2030 is embarking on a strategic, 10-year plan to address the issues put forth and track our progress. The following goals were developed in conjunction with the Greater Peoria Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, created as a tool for organizing and coordinating the region’s economic development goals and influenced by public input through the Big Table initiative. The goals of GP 2030 include:
- Increase the population of the Greater Peoria Area
- Attract businesses to the area with a talented workforce
- Highlight the amenities that make the Greater Peoria Area a desirable place to live, work and play
- Communicate the positive, quality-of-life attributes of the Greater Peoria Area
- Improve the Greater Peoria Area’s reputation in local and national circles.
We hope you will join us in championing the Greater Peoria Area as a leading destination that sparks economic growth by embracing the people who make our home so special. PM