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February 10, 1999


SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. George H. Ryan today announced that the state will provide $133,000 to fund eight new efforts designed to help specific Illinois regions market themselves as prime locations for business development.

The grants will be provided to regional economic development organizations in the Quad Cities, Kankakee, Peoria, Carbondale, Springfield, Metro East, Central Illinois and Western Illinois to help officials develop strategies and undertake marketing efforts targeted at business sectors with maximum potential for growth.

"Illinois is a great location for business," Ryan said. "We're a leader in a number of industries including construction and farm machinery manufacturing, cellular phone technology, printing and food processing. But the competition for business growth is tough. You can't just tell people how good you are -- you have to show them.

"These grants are smart marketing. We're going to get folks working together to narrow down which business sectors have the most to gain from the unique strengths of these regions. Then we're going to develop tools that point out those strengths and use them to promote Illinois to the businesses most likely to locate or expand here," Ryan added.

The grants will be provided through the Department of Commerce an Community Affairs (DCCA). Agency staff will work closely with the eight organizations in developing their marketing efforts. The initiative expands upon a first round of target marketing funded last year. Organizations receiving funds during Fiscal Year 1999 include:

Quad City Development Group - $20,000
The organization will work in conjunction with Whiteside County and Galesburg 2000 Development, Inc. to conduct a regional analysis promoting the region to the steel and metal working industry.

Kankakee Economic Development Corporation - $20,000
Funds will be used to conduct a regional analysis to identify targeted Midwestern industries that are candidates for expansion in the area.

Peoria Economic Development Corporation - $15,000
Using data from last year's project, the Peoria EDC will identify and profile industry clusters and target priority prospects in each cluster.

Route 13 Corridor/Carbondale Economic Development Corporation - $20,000
The organization will conduct a regional analysis to promote growth of the plastics industry in the Route 13 Corridor.

Springfield/Springfield Economic Development Corporation - $20,000
As a follow-up to last year's project, the Springfield EDC will compile detailed labor statistics to promote Springfield and Sangamon County as a location for the medical technology industry.

Tri-City Port District - $20,000
Funds will be used to conduct analyses and identify target industries for attraction to the Melvin Price Support Center/Depot.

Central Illinois Corridor Group - $10,000
The organization will conduct a regional analysis and market campaign targeted on the plastics industry.

Western Illinois Corridor Group - $8,000
Funds will be used to conduct analyses and implement strategies targeted toward warehousing, call centers and plastics.


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