Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Kuhl Virtual Seminar: Control Healthcare Like a Fortune 100 Company


At Kuhl Insurance, we believe in bringing creative and new ideas to business leaders in our community.

The employee benefits landscape has never been more complicated and we believe it is our responsibility to evaluate and present options in employee benefits program design and funding. It is an area of every business where successfully evaluating options now is necessary for the future of your finances and employee satisfaction.

We are proud to bring to you a captive in the marketplace, Pareto, along with a Third Party Administrator, Consociate. Please join us for an engaging review of how a captive can have a dramatic impact on your healthcare spend and the health of your employees and their families.

We are happy to announce Steve Hansen, Regional Vice President with Pareto Captive. Steve has been a part of the health insurance industry for 10 years, working with both self-funding and fully insured clients. Steve has helped double Pareto's membership, and brings stability and a proactive strategy to smaller companies looking to take control of their healthcare spend.

We are pleased to welcome Darren D. Reynolds, JD, CBWA, President and CEO of Consociate Health as a presenter. Darrin is co-founder of Consociate Health, and has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Millikin University and a Juris Doctorate in Law from the Southern Illinois University School of Law. He has also achieved designation as a Certified Benefit & Wellness Advisor (CBWA).

When: September 24th, 2020
Time: 9am - 10am
Location: Webinar

Illinois Central College and Midwest Community Colleges Join Forces with NRCS; Sign National MOU

         The United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is partnering with Illinois Central College and eight additional Midwest community colleges to support hands-on student learning in the field, to develop future conservation-minded farmers and ranchers and to cultivate more graduates interested in pursuing careers with NRCS. 


On Monday, September 21, representatives of the Community College Alliance for Agriculture Advancement (C2A3) and NRCS held a virtual ceremony to formally sign a national memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop a cooperative framework. The framework aims to enhance and accelerate training and adoption of technologies and best practices for improved agricultural productivity and natural resources stewardship.  


“Through this partnership, NRCS and member institutions are developing local plans to address regional and statewide challenges as well as support student internships and other training opportunities for college faculty, NRCS employees and producers,” said ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey. “This MOU provides the necessary framework to work together on common needs from a national perspective, while also providing the flexibility to address local concerns.” 


The C2A3 collaboration was born out of a mutual desire to provide ongoing education, training and demonstration projects to future farm producers and agricultural service providers with the goal of improving the health, and therefore the long-term productivity, resilience and sustainability of the soil. 


“Community colleges educate nearly half of all under-graduate students in this country and yet, our agriculture programs have been an under-utilized resource within USDA,” said Dr. Tracy Kruse, C2A3 board chair. “The majority of our students are the producers in fields. They are technicians in our local co-ops and implement dealers; and they are our agronomy and seed sales professionals. Through these efforts, we hope more of them will also become the soil health specialists and conservationists for local NRCS offices.”  


All C2A3 member institutions, including ICC, have college farms and can utilize their land resources for the implementation of conservation practices to help educate and inform students and producers. The goal of the cooperative agreement is to accelerate the adoption of conservation practices in the education of current two-year agriculture students and disseminate information to the broader community through field days and other college events and partnerships.  


In addition, the colleges are utilizing the network to share resources, knowledge and expertise. Collectively, they are working on a grant through USDA’s North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which seeks to increase awareness, knowledge and skills related to soil health, cover crops and no till agriculture. The development of content such as videos and case studies for the classroom is a critical component to help illustrate concepts of profitability, sustainability and productivity. These assets will be shared across the network for the benefit of all member institutions. 


In addition to ICC, C2A3 member institutions include Central Lakes College (Staples, Minn.), Clark State Community College (Springfield, Ohio), Ivy Tech Community College (Lafayette, Ind.), Northcentral Technical College (Wausau, Wis.), Northeast Community College (Norfolk, Neb.), Northeast Iowa Community College (Calmar, Iowa), North Dakota State College of Science (Wahpeton, N.D.), and Richland Community College (Decatur, Ill.). 


For more information about C2A3, visit the organization’s website at 



Thursday, September 17, 2020

Heartland Health Services Offers Health Fair


 Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG)

The Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program is a $636 million program developed by Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly to provide economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19.BIG leverages federal funding provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses. funding may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs; rent; utilities; and other operational costs as defined in the eligible cost list found below.Program Updates.

New to BIG – applications for a second round of funding are set to go live September 17. A total of $220 million will be made available for small businesses of all types in Illinois.

More details on the latest round of funding and how to apply can be found here.



Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday, September 29

12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Mobile Bus- 402 Court St.


All donors are required to have an appointment and wear a facial covering.


All donors will earn a Gift Card OR retro inspired T-shirt!

Avanti's Event Center to host CO-ED SOFTBALL & KICKBALL Fall Leagues!


City of Pekin considers TIF and BDD Creation

The use of both Tax Increment Financing and a Business Development District will be essential tools to help address some of the major issues facing the community that include:

  • deteriorating infrastructure;
  • blight and deterioration; and an
  • economic downturn aggravated by COVID-19.  
Illinois municipalities have available to them the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts and Business Development Districts (BDD) to address such issues.  Each is described below.  
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts
TIF Districts provide a means in which communities can financially assist in the development or redevelopment of a site or area. Cities can utilize the incremental increase in property tax revenues as a result of a redevelopment project to assist with qualifying development projects.  TIF Districts can only be established in municipalities, and as such, municipalities often consider creating TIF Districts to assist with specific redevelopment projects. 
Other times, cities will establish a TIF district to catalyze economic activity in a blighted area.  Using the incremental revenues in the TIF, a community can undertake economic development activities or provide incentives that otherwise might not be possible in order to encourage job creation, increase property values, and to protect the local tax base. Eligible project costs in a TIF can include, but is not limited to: 
  • Rehabilitating, reconstructing, remodeling of existing structures; 
  • Costs of construction of public infrastructure improvements; 
  • Architectural, engineering, legal, financial services; and
  • Property assembly costs such as acquisition, demolition, clearing and grading. 
Business Development Districts (BDD) 
A Business Development District is a legally defined contiguous area of a municipality that has certain powers and authorities different from other parts of the municipality. The purposes of the Business District Development is to strengthen the tax base of the Business District area; to assure opportunities for district development or redevelopment; and to attract sound and stable commercial growth in the District.  A BDD is a defined area within which businesses can levy an additional sales tax on eligible goods sold.  Municipalities may elect to impose this additional sales tax in increments of 0.25% up to a maximum of 1.0%.

As with TIF Districts, the BDD is in place for up to 23 years. Funds generated as a result of this sales tax can then be used for certain eligible costs within the district as prescribed by the Business District Act.  Examples of eligible costs (similar to that of TIF) include: 
  • Building construction costs, including reimbursement payments to private developers;
  • Rehabilitating, reconstructing, remodeling of existing structures; 
  • Costs of construction of public infrastructure improvements; 
  • Architectural, engineering, legal, financial services; and
  • Property assembly costs such as acquisition, demolition, clearing and grading. 
One benefit of the BDD over TIF is that it can help assist on new construction where TIF cannot. In combination, both the TIF and BDD can effectively be used to help fund eligible public works projects such as the restoration of Court or Derby Streets; various sidewalk repairs; or storm water management projects. Funds can also go to help new and existing businesses renovate, expand operations or relocate to a more suitable location.  Additionally, there are no restrictions for TIF or BDD funds to help neighborhoods with housing stabilization, demolition of vacant structures or emergency repairs, as long as, the neighborhoods are located within the TIF/BDD District. 
Below are links showing the proposed study areas where a new TIF and BDD may be located in the city.
Click on the following link for the TIF District Redevelopment Plan
Click on the following link for the Business Development District Redevelopment Plan

Watch the city's website for information relative to the next Public Hearing!


The Big Table: Greater Peoria 2020

 The Big Table goes Virtual!

October 19-22

from 11:30am-1:00pm

via ZOOM

The Big Table: Greater Peoria launched in 2019 as a day of regional community building through conversations designed to strengthen and connect communities. By continuing these open, thoughtful conversations that focus on how we can strengthen our region, we will spark new relationships and new ways for working together by deepening our understanding of each other and what our region needs.

Join us in October for a 4-day series of virtual lunchtime conversations around the important issues in our community. This year’s big event will be hosted completely virtually via Zoom. Register for any sessions that you are interested in. There is no cost, but registration is required.


Visit to register.

Topics of discussion:

·     Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

·     Workforce & Education

·     Innovation & Entrepreneurship

·     Quality of Life & Place

 10.19.20-10.22.20 | 11:30AM-1:00PM | Virtual ZOOM | FREE 

 Please Register in advance. 

The conversation will be recorded and posted for viewing later.




Wednesday, September 2, 2020

2020 Taste of Marigold Schedule of Events

    MONDAY, AUGUST 31           

    12:00 pm -- Pepsi Marigold Medallion Clue #1 Released – additional clues to be released         each day until the Medallion if found.  No clue will be released on Sunday, September 6.


12:30 pm -- Marigold Golf Outing sponsored by UnityPoint Health, East Court Village, Pekin Community Bank, Commerce Bank, & Reditus Laboratories, held at Sunset Hills Golf Course 


10:00 am - 12:00 pm  -- Kids Experience Packet Pickup - Vonderheide Floor Coverings 105 N. 14th Street, Pekin

2:00-4:00 pm -- Kids Experience Packet Pickup - Vonderheide Building 290 Derby Street, Pekin


5:00 – 8:00 pm -- Business After Hours Wine Tasting - Pekin Country Club


7:30 pm --Dan Pfeifer State Farm Drive In Movie - Mineral Springs Park                       


9:00 - 11:00 am -- Busey Bank Drive Thru Parade - Mineral Springs Park

11:00 am - 4:00 pm -- Pekin Insurance Festive Foods & CEFCU Marigold Mugs - First United Methodist Church Parking Lot

7:30 pm -- Dan Pfeifer State Farm Drive In Movie - Mineral Springs Park


12:00 - 4:00 pm – Pekin Insurance Festive Foods & CEFCU Marigold Mugs - First United Methodist Church Parking Lot

12:00 - 4:00 pm – NRG Powerton Generating Station Chalk Walk

Wednesday, August 26, 2020



PEORIA, IL  The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Peoria residents to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® on Saturday, October 3, 2020.


The Peoria Metro Walk to End Alzheimer’s continues, but instead of hosting a large gathering, the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging participants to walk as individuals or in small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across Peoria.   


“This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be everywhere,” said Wendy Vizek, Vice President, Constituent Events at the Alzheimer’s Association. “The pandemic is changing how we walk, but it doesn’t change the need to walk. This year, more than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia. With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to provide care and support to families during these difficult times while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.”


Time-honored components of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s are being replicated. On Walk day, an Opening Ceremony will feature local speakers and a presentation of Promise Flowers to honor the personal reasons participants join together to fight Alzheimer’s and all other dementia, all delivered to participants' smartphones, tablets and computers. A small group of Alzheimer’s Association staff and volunteers will create the iconic Promise Garden in a “view only” format on Walk day at Marshall Plaza to honor all those impacted by Alzheimer’s.


To enhance the participant experience leading up to the event and on Walk day, new features are being added to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app to create an opportunity for the community to connect. Participants can use the app and new “Walk Mainstage'' to track their steps and distance, follow a virtual Walk path, manage their Facebook fundraisers, and access information and resources from the Association and Walk sponsors to help individuals and families affected by the disease. A new audio track is available to encourage participants along the way and to congratulate them upon completion of their Walk.


“Alzheimer’s is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither are we,” said Mary Sorensen, Senior Statewide Director for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter. “We must continue Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and we are working with all participants to ensure they have a powerful and moving experience that is felt when we are together. Many of our constituents are at higher risk when it comes to COVID-19 and we know that our volunteers and participants appreciate our commitment to keeping all involved healthy and safe.”


More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease – the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In Illinois alone, there are more than 230,000 people living with the disease and 587,000 caregivers. 


To register and receive the latest updates on this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit: 


Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.  Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®; now the Alzheimer’s Association is continuing to lead the way with Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s.  


About the Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter:

The Alzheimer’s Association® is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s research, care and support. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. The Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter covers an 87-county area with offices in Chicago, Joliet, Rockford, Springfield, Bloomington, Peoria, Quincy and Southern Illinois. Since 1980, the Chapter has provided reliable information and care consultation; created supportive services for families; increased funding for dementia research; and influenced public policy changes. The Illinois Chapter serves more than half a million Illinois residents affected by Alzheimer's disease, including more than 230,000 Illinois residents living with the disease. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's®. For more information visit or call our free 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.


August 25, 2020 – Did you know that 1 in 5 children in the Peoria area struggles with hunger, wondering where their next meal will come from? 

The Junior League of Peoria will launch a weeklong effort August 29 - September 4 to start a community-wide conversation about poverty and food insecurity and to raise funds to make a difference. 

The Little Black Dress Initiative boosts awareness about the impact of generational poverty in our community through social media sharing, personal conversations and events. 

“Peoria is home to the second most economically distressed zip code in Illinois, and the 48th most economically distressed zip code in the nation,” says Andrea Tortora, Junior League of Peoria president. “The Little Black Dress campaign is one way we can begin to tackle poverty in our own backyard.” 

Funds raised will help relieve family stress around food insecurity by expanding the hands-on Kids in the Kitchen program and other Junior League projects. In addition, Junior League members receive leadership training that empowers them to advocate for the cause. 

How the Little Black Dress Initiative works: 

Anyone can participate. 

o Complete the LBDI Participation Form to express your interest

o Wear the same black outfit all week, to illustrate the lack of options 

faced by someone living in poverty 

Encourage your contacts to make a donation to the Little Black Dress campaign 

Share your experiences on social media with daily posts, using the hashtags #JLP #LBDIpeoria 

Support one or more Little Black Dress events 

Donate online TODAY

With strong support from Peoria businesses, we are able to harness the power of our community in this effort. The week’s events include: 

Saturday, August 29 | All Day: Fox Pub & Cafe Saturday Spotlight. Order ahead or dine in any time on Saturday at Fox Pub & Cafe and a portion of all food sales will go back to the LBDI Campaign. RSVP on Facebook 


Contact: Andrea Tortora, President

Direct: (513) 470-3631


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

City of Pekin to Provide 3rd Funding Round of Small Business Grants

Pekin, IL: The City of Pekin is now accepting additional applications for grant awards using the allocation made available through its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These grants are intended to support qualifying local businesses in the Pekin community that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the first and second rounds of funding, the City of Pekin awarded grants to 138 local businesses and self-employed individuals. Funds under this program are available but are limited and it is the City’s intent to focus the remaining resources to supplement existing federal or state programs already available to effectively support local Pekin businesses that retain the employment of citizens. Since the use of CDBG grant funding is governed by federal regulations, grant dollars will be directed to primarily benefit individuals with low and moderate income (LMI). The City also has an “Urgent Need” category to address businesses not directly assisting individuals with LMI. Grant funding under the “Urgent Need” category shall only occur as long as those funds are available. To qualify and be eligible for available grant funding, businesses must meet certain requirements that include, but are not limited to:

•Having a location in Pekin city limits.

•Having less than $1 million in annual gross revenues.

•Having fewer than 50 W-2 employees.

•Being a for profit business.

•Being in operation on or before July 1, 2019.

•Participation in one or more federal aid programs to enhance cash flow availability.

•Continued payment of employee payroll or health insurance, or certification that previouslyfurloughed/terminated employees will be rehired.

Businesses meeting the requirements above shall be first considered eligible for a:

•$5,000 maximum grant award for businesses with W-2 employees;

•$5,000 maximum grant award for businesses with a commercial location (excluding home-based, booth rental or workstation rental) that provides services consisting of direct or closecontact with customers such as fitness centers and salons (with or without W-2 employees);or

•$2,000 maximum grant award for self-employed individuals and businesses that do not haveW-2 employees.

The City will try to fund as many qualified applicants as possible. Should the number of applications received exceed available funding, the following criteria will be utilized to prioritize applications:

•The level of participation by businesses in other federally-funded programs such as thePayroll Protection Plan and/or Small Business Administration’s Economic Disaster InjuryGrant and Loan Programs.

•The number of jobs retained as of the date of the application, as well as, the number of jobsthat are planned to be rehired due to the assistance from the City and other federally-fundedprograms.

•The degree to which businesses have been directly impacted by new public healthrequirements (social distancing) related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

•The degree to which businesses have been impacted due to being considered “non-essential”and have lost their sources of revenue.

•The degree to which businesses are public-facing.

•Whether businesses operate within any of the following critically impacted industries:


    oBuilding Material and Garden Supply Stores;

    oClothing and Clothing Accessories Stores;

    oElectronic and Appliance Stores;

    oFood Services and Drinking Places; and

    oFurniture and Home Furnishings Stores;

    oGeneral Merchandise Stores;

    oHealth and Personal Care Stores;

    oMiscellaneous Store Retailers;

    oMotor Vehicle and Parts Dealers;

    oPersonal and Laundry Services;

    oSporting Goods, Hobby, Book, and Music Stores;

    oSupport Activities for Transportation; or

    oTransit and Ground Passenger Transportation.

Grant funds may only be used by awardees for working capital expenses that include employee salaries, general operating expenses (rent or utilities), inventory, and advertising/marketing expenses. Business owners may start the application process by reading the full grant requirements at and then clicking on the website link for the online application portal. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 AM on Monday August 31, 2020. Grant recipients should be notified soon thereafter with funding disbursements anticipated in September, 2020. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The 2020 Discraft Ledgestone Insurance Open returns to Greater Peoria for its 10th annual event this week.

The competition begins Thursday, August 13, for the top male and female professional players. The women’s division will play four rounds at Sunset Hills in Pekin, while the men’s division will play two rounds at Northwood Park in Morton and two rounds at Lake Eureka Park in Eureka. Defending champions Paul McBeth and Paige Pierce return to defend their 2019 wins, with Paul going for his third  Ledgestone title and Paige going for her second Ledgestone title. The 2020 event will once again be featured on the Disc Golf Pro Tour, with live streaming coverage on the Disc Golf Network. With a professional purse exceeding $100,000, the tournament will once again benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Due to the pandemic, spectators will be limited.

Monday, August 10, 2020


Savant Unveils New Name, Brand to Better Reflect its Deep Bench of Expertise and Holistic Approach


PEORIA and BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (Aug. 3, 2020)Savant Wealth Management (formerly Savant Capital Management), a nationally recognized, fee-only advisory firm headquartered in Rockford, with locations also in Peoria and Bloomington, today unveiled its “Wise Counsel” rebrand that includes a new company logo, color palette, website, name change, and tagline.

Savant’s fresh approach to delivering wealth management sets itself apart from competitors and was the driving force behind the rebrand efforts. Functioning much like a forward-thinking medical center, Savant leverages its deep bench of financial advisors and in-house estate planning, taxation, trust, insurance and accounting specialists to collaborate, provide valuable insights, and develop a plan of action to address the unique situation of each client.

“In an industry where everyone calls themselves a financial advisor it’s hard for clients to know who is really in their corner, and who is truly unbiased. Today’s clients are looking for wise counsel,” said Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant. “It’s difficult to select a financial advisor when it seems like all firms look, talk, and act alike. We believe Savant’s Wise Counsel brand will point investors toward a firm that is truly on their side every step of the way.”

The name evolved from “Savant Capital Management” to “Savant Wealth Management” to better describe the comprehensive wealth management services it provides and the continually expanding value proposition it offers clients since its founding.

When designing the new brand, the firm started with the meaning of its name. A savant is a “learned, wise scholar” which speaks to Team Savant and its quest for continued, lifelong learning. From there, the concept evolved into the “Wise Counsel” tagline, which is represented by the logo that is an owl shaped like a shield. With this symbolic shield as its guide, Team Savant stands ready to provide the wise counsel necessary to build ideal futures for its clients, family, and the communities it serves.

Savant serves as a trusted advisor and fiduciary, working in defense of its clients’ best interests by walking alongside them on the path to reach their financial goals. As part of this journey, Savant offers its proprietary Ideal Futures Financial Health AssessmentSM that provides an objective and wide-ranging audit of an individual’s financial situation. It focuses on 10 key areas to prioritize aspects of an individual’s financial situation that need attention to help create a plan of action, unique to each client. This helps to deliver customized plans for clients to move further along the path toward their ideal futures. Savant’s new website offers a lite version of the full assessment tool to help individuals identify potential gaps or items needing the help of a financial advisor.

The new brand communicates Savant’s wise counsel as one that is approachable and offers an evidence based and common sense approach to wealth management. It is wide and deep, constantly learning and evolving, and it never assumes that the same approach will solve similar problems. Wise counsel comes from its collective education, experience, wisdom, and spirit of Team Savant.

For more information about Savant Wealth Management, visit

About Savant Wealth Management

Savant Wealth Management, formerly known as Savant Capital Management, is a leading independent, nationally recognized, fee-only firm serving clients for 30 years with more than $8 billion in assets under management. As a trusted advisor, Savant Wealth Management offers investment management, financial planning, retirement plan, and family office services to financially established individuals and institutions. Savant also offers corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through its affiliate, Savant Tax & Consulting. 

Savant Wealth Management (“Savant”) is an SEC registered investment adviser headquartered in Rockford, Illinois. SEC registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. This material is for general educational purposes only and is not intended as personalized investment, legal, or tax advice. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Please Note: "Ideal" is not intended to give assurance as to achieving successful results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. Please see Important Disclosures at

Savant is headquartered in Rockford, with locations in Bloomington, Chicago, Downers Grove, Freeport, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnshire, Naperville, Peoria, St. Charles, Sterling, and Wilmette, IL; Phoenix, AZ; Santa Fe, NM; Madison and Park Falls, WI; and McLean, VA.