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October 1, 2001

Governor Ryan Welcomes the Plastics USA Convention to Illinois
Extends red carpet treatment to first major convention since 9/11

CHICAGO -- In a show of support for one of Chicago and Illinois' most important industries, Illinois Governor George Ryan and a delegation of convention executives welcomed the first major trade show since the September 11th terrorist attacks.

"There is no question that trade shows, conventions and business meetings are a significant industry to this City and this State," Governor Ryan said at O'Hare International Airport where the plastics industry executives are arriving to Chicago. "Over the past two weeks, we have seen what life is like without these visitors and today I am pleased to say, 'Welcome to Chicago and Illinois. We're glad you're here.' "

Governor Ryan was joined by Lt. Governor Corinne Wood and top association and trade executives, all of whom will bring their meetings to Chicago in the next few months. In particular, he welcomed the Plastics USA and the Motivation Show. Both take place over the next two weeks and are expected to bring a combined total of 50,000 attendees to the city. Next month, Chicago will host the annual Radiological Society of North America Conference and Exposition (RSNA), which is expected to attract 60,000 attendees.

"The City of Chicago, the State of Illinois, our legislature, and private industry have and will continue to invest tremendous resources in an infrastructure that will support and also allow us to grow these trade shows. And we need to. They are worth in excess of $6 billion annually to our state economy and they account for hundreds of thousands of jobs. The individuals standing behind me represent a good chunk of that industry, those attendees and those revenues," Governor Ryan said.

Between October, 2001 and January, 2002, more than 615,000 people will participate in 120 conventions and spend $800 million in the local economy, or about $1,300 in spending by each visitor.

Governor Ryan also announced that he would be leading a delegation of business leaders to New York on Tuesday morning to meet with Gov. Pataki and Illinois companies directly affected by the events of September 11th. The delegation will meet with Governor Pataki at 1:30 p.m. EST, Tuesday, Oct. 2 at the Governor's Manhattan offices.

"We will meet with Governor Pataki and pledge our support for him, his state and for the people of New York City. And we will show that the great business center of Illinois is back at full power and ready to do business with New York," Governor Ryan said. We will fly there on United Airlines and return home on American Airlines. And we hope our business trip will be just one of hundreds of thousands of such trips that Americans take in the days and weeks ahead. "


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