Regional chambers of commerce are uniting to create one voice to work on legislative issues that affect our regional businesses community. The chambers in Chillicothe, East Peoria, Morton, Pekin, Peoria and Washington have created a coalition called CIRCLE (Central Illinois Regional Chambers Legislative Effort). CIRCLE is sponsored by AT&T.
CIRCLE has identified five key issues that affect this region’s business climate and members plan to work closely with legislators in Springfield to bring about forward movement on those topics. The issues are: pension reform, funding of the capital bill, worker compensation, timely payments to vendors from the state, and education.
Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce President Roberta Parks says there are over 7,500 companies in the combined service area employing about 185,000 people. “Those businesses care less about the geographical boundaries and more about the issues that affect their business. For example, a manufacturing company in Peoria is impacted by state government no differently than a manufacturing company in Chillicothe.”
Bill Fleming from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce says chambers need to capitalize on combined strength and CIRCLE will allow that. “This allows our regional chambers to work together on issues and projects that impact the local business community and we have more clout and influence than any one of the chambers could have individually.”
CIRCLE has coordinated a trip to the state capital on March 2nd from 8am to 2:30pm. Regional residents are invited to meet with key leaders on key issues. “Most of our local legislators already know how important these issues are for our region, this event will give us a chance to meet with other influential leaders from around the state and share our concerns and our ideas with them” and Karen Moewe from the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce.