Merry XMAS

Merry XMAS and Happy New Year

from York, England

We decided to come over here at the last minute - free military flight on Space A. Trying to remember why we left sunny Florida for cold snowy England.

Checking out Beth's Barrow family heritage in Lancashire, England.

Fed Flash
Diane Swonk, Chief Economist, Mesirow Financial

Diane Swonk

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - 9:35 a.m. Central Time

Home Sales Rebound on Tax Credits and Low Rates

Existing home sales rebounded in November to 6.54 million units, its strongest rate in three years. Home prices continued to fall, as first-time buyers re-entered the market and snapped up bargains. Everything from record low rates to record high affordability and the first-time buyer tax credit aided sales.

The jump in sales, coupled with revisions downward to earlier data, reinforces the view that growth is accelerating as we move toward the end of the year. Much of the pickup in activity we are seeing, however, remains tied either directly or indirectly to government stimulus. We still have a way to go before we can count on carrying this recovery without the support of the government, but the trend is in the right direction.

Mesirow Financial
353 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL, 60654 USA

Search for Sales Center

A company in the moving & storage industry that is evaluating Peoria as a potential location for an inbound sales center is looking for an office building approximately 25,000-30,000 square feet.  

Their timeline is tight, so they are looking more for a “move in ready” property, if possible.
If you know of anything in addition to what is listed above that meets the specifications, please let Katie know.

Katie Rasmussen

Economic Development Council for Central Illinois
100 SW Water St.
Peoria, IL  61602
Phone:  (309) 495-5921
Fax:  (309) 676-7534

Green Plays in Peoria

The efforts of the City of Peoria Commission on Sustainability and Green Technology are on line at.

World Business Chicago

World Business Chicago is the not for profit Economic Development Agency for Chicago. Check out their excellent web site.

Congratulations, Chicago.  Good news.  And good news for all of Illinois as well.

Social Media in Economic Development

Interesting information from the American Planning Association about the use of Social Media in Economic Development.

Peoria Magazines

Peoria Magazines is a tremendous resource for Peoria and provides great information.

iBi: Focus on Finance

December 2009 iBiThe December issue of iBi is online and will start to hit mailboxes today. This issue focuses on financial issues, from the impact of "The Great Recession" to central Illinois' new angel investors group and much more! for the latest!

Featured in this issue....
Central Illinois Angels: The Double Bottom Line
Formed earlier this year, the Central Illinois Angels investment group is officially open for business. There are currently 46 members of the group who are looking to invest in new companies in the Peoria area and beyond. The Angels will bring expertise, experience, contacts and capital to help emerging and growing businesses.

Riding Out the Storm
by Jan Wright, Publisher

The end of the year has arrived—-thank goodness! No doubt about it, 2009 was a challenging year, and 2010 will be as well. But thankfully, the fear that the world economy would come crashing down—-a common notion just a year ago—did not come to fruition.

Navigating the Great Recession: Area Bankers Assess Economic Impact
iBi asked seven area bankers for their perspectives on the Great Recession, TARP and other federal programs, new and proposed regulations, and the outlook for next year.

The World Economy: Pulling Back From the Brink
by Don Johnson, Caterpillar Inc.

During the past year, the world economy faced its greatest crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, with a repeat of that unfortunate experience uncomfortably close.

Roth IRA Conversion: A Roundtable Discussion
To gain a better understanding of the issues surrounding the conversion of an IRA into a Roth IRA, we have brought together a roundtable of tax, estate planning and investment professionals to provide their insights on this topic.

Show Me the Money!
by Ken Klotz, Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University

Borrowing money is usually the last thing a business owner or aspiring entrepreneur wants to do. But sometimes a business owner must borrow money to grow a business, start a new venture or simply survive hard times.

Recession Rewind: What happened to our economy, and what should investors do now?
by Jeff Secord and Jeff Huizenga, Clifton Gunderson Wealth Management

If the U.S. economy were a medical patient, the attending doctor might conclude that some of its vitals are strong, and some are definitely improving.

Business and Government: What Can We Learn from One Another?
by Erik Bush, Peoria County

One of the more popular witticisms has been “government should be run like a business.” Very rarely does one see a similar claim that business should be run like government.

Financing the Developing World: Microcredit Spurs Entrepreneurship

by Jon Kindseth & Tim Crawford, Ekkekko Microfinance Association

Thanks to a chance meeting between an ambitious Peruvian woman and an ISU student, Ekkekko will soon be providing microcredit to entrepreneurs who would otherwise have no chance of receiving financial services from the formal banking sector.

Tracking the Housing Market
by Cathi Hawkinson, Peoria Area Association of Realtors

The Peoria area has not followed the national trend at any point in the downturn, and there is some doubt that we will follow it in the recovery.

Navigating the Financing Matrix with EDC as Your GPS!
by Vickie Clark, Economic Development Council for Central Illinois

TIF, EDA, SBA, IFA, IFF, GAP, RLF, BDF, HCDC…Are you feeling a bit lost in the alphabet soup?

Proud to Be a Credit Deadbeat
by Morgan Gee, Chestnut Credit Counseling Services

On a daily basis, I listen to and counsel individuals carrying the burden of credit card debt.



Thursday, December 3 @ Chateau on the Lake, Pekin
TransPORT holds “Wind Energy and Illinois,” its 2009 Fall Stakeholder Luncheon from 11:45am to 1:15pm. Featured speaker is Bill Whitlock of Horizon Wind Energy, with opening presentation by Pekin Mayor Rusty Dunn. Call 495-5970.
Thursday, December 3 @ Enchanted Florist, Shoppes at Grand Prairie
Enchanted Florist will host a VIP shopping night to benefit the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois from 5pm to 7:30pm at the newly expanded Enchanted Florist at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie. Shoppers can enjoy special wine, appetizers and special discounts on select merchandise. A portion of the proceeds from the sales will benefit the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois.
Thursday, December 3, thru Sunday, December 6 @ Exposition Gardens
Crittenton Centers’ Festival of Trees begins Thursday with “Jingle and Mingle”, a cocktail party open to Crittenton supporters with advance ticket purchase. Events are open to the public on Friday and Saturday from 10am to 8pm. Highlights include a variety of trees and wreaths on display and for bid, kids pajama party, raffle tree, out-and-about gift certificate tree, cookie shop, ongoing entertainment and more. On Sunday, the event is open to the public 10am to 5pm, with a special family luncheon at 11am. Admission to the trees exhibit is $5, but many of the events are available at no charge. Call 674-0105 for more information.
Saturday, December 5 @ Ballance-Herschel House
The Junior League of Peoria will host its 2nd annual Victorian Christmas Celebration featuring home tours, Christmas teas and a Christmas marketplace featuring unique gifts from local artisans and merchants. Home tours run from 5 to 7pm; tea times are 11am and 2pm. Call 685-9312 for more information.
Saturday, December 5 @ Luthy Botanical Garden
Luthy Botanical Garden will present “Jinglin’ Jazz”, an annual holiday celebration from 6:30 to 9pm. Enjoy a festive evening of jazzy tunes by Joe Metzka & Friends, delicious hors d’oeuvres and an outstanding selection of auction items. Advance tickets are $20/members and $25/non-members and $30 at the door. Call 686-3362.
Monday, December 7 @ Five Points Performing Arts Center
The Peoria POPS Orchestra presents "Christmas with the POPS", an evening of fun and musical entertainment, at 7pm at Five Points, 104 S Elm Street in Washington. Tickets are $12/seniors and youth and $15/adults. Call 444-8222.

Tuesday, December 8 @ Bradley University
The Peoria Area World Affairs Council presents a webcast featuring Dr. Kurt M. Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, discussing U.S.-China relations, followed by a local presentation by Dr. James Schopf, professor of International Studies at Bradley. Webcast begins at 7pm in the Marty Theatre, Bob Michel Student Center at Bradley. The event is free and open to the public. Call 677-2454 or visit

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs recently launched a new website,, and blog to connect individuals in the Midwest who are developing regional responses to today’s global challenges. The site is part of the Council’s Global Midwest Initiative, a regional effort launched in October 2008 to promote interstate dialogue and serve as a resource for those interested in the Midwest's ability to navigate today's global landscape. It includes links to critical reports covering global issues affecting the Midwest, and a database of experts and organizations undertaking work on key Midwest issues such as agriculture, economic development, energy and transportation.

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Contact Craig Hullinger AICP

If you have an interesting story or a question about city planning 
or economic development, please contact me at:

309 634 5557

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Pirate Stock Exchanges - Reuters

A Heart Warming Story about Free Enterprize and Piracy Stock Exchanges

Thanks to Don Martensen for sharing

"Piracy investor Sahra Ibrahim, a 22-year-old divorcee, was lined up with others waiting for her cut of a ransom pay-out after one of the gangs freed a Spanish tuna fishing vessel."

"I am waiting for my share after I contributed a rocket-propelled grenade for the operation," she said, adding that she got the weapon from her ex-husband in alimony."

"I am really happy and lucky. I have made $75,000 in only 38 days since I joined the 'company'."

Read the full news story: