Campaign Highlights Existing Businesses' Headquarters, In Wake of Cat's Departure

Mar 9, 2017

Local businesses based in Peoria are making their presence known on a new social campaign, called Peoria is My Headquarters.

Local business and civic leaders attended the launch at the Civic Center. The My Headquarters initiative comes in the wake of news that Caterpillar is relocating its HQ to Chicago. That announcement last month left some Peoria residents feeling baffled and uncertain about the city’s future.

Attendees of Thursday's campaign launch were invited to take a yellow sign to draw attention to their businesses' local headquarters.
Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

“Caterpillar has afforded us the climate to grow these businesses, and that we’re fortunate for, but we also can’t forget that they’re here in the wake of that,” Brynne Behringer, a project manager at Central States Media said.

She says the initiative includes an online map to illustrate how there are more than one company’s headquarters in town. Green Ford is one of the nearly 50 businesses initially listed on the My Headquarters directory. Owner Ashley Bradshaw says she was excited and “relieved” to hear about the project.

“I’m so tired of hearing, ‘without Caterpillar, what are we going to do?,’” Bradshaw said. “There’s 350,000 people in Peoria and the Greater Peoria area and so many great small businesses in this town.”

Bradshaw says her family's business, started by her grandfather, has been in the area for more than 60 years. Already, she says, the campaign has made her feel more optimistic about the future of the region.

In addition to the website, participating businesses can promote themselves using the campaign’s bright yellow yard signs, decals and social media hashtag, #MyHeadquarters.