Peoria Public Radio News
12:50 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Discussion on improving the regional economy

Peoria area representatives of education, big and small businesses, healthcare, and manufacturing came together to discuss how to improve the regional economy. 17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos is holding three such meetings across her district. She says the goal is to form a vision for economic success and come up with issues important for economic development.

Bustos says she’s hearing about issues hindering business and job growth from the meetings.

“A statement was made by somebody who works with small businesses that it is darn hard to start up a business in central Illinois. Number one, I don’t like to hear that. And number two, my instincts are to say if it’s hard to start a small business then what do we need to do to make it easier. It is my job to identify impediments to success and remove those.”

Bustos says improving economic development is more important than ever as a recent analysis from the U.S. Census Bureau showed the 17th district as the second poorest in the state. It also has the lowest percentage of college graduates.

Bustos says she will next seek public input on economic development through her website, social media and her five offices. There will be an economic summit in the fall.