Showing posts from January, 2014

Hair Cuttery Grand Reopening

The Hair Cuttery, 531 S. Parkway Drive, celebrated their grand reopening today and the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce was there to commemorate the event with a ribbon cutting.   Hair Cuttery is the largest family owned and operated chain of hair salons in the country, with nearly 900 company-owned locations on the East Coast, New England and the Midwest. A full-service, value priced salon, Hair Cuttery offers a full complement of cuts, styling, coloring, waxing and texturizing services with no appointment necessary. They also offer a full line of professional hair care products.  In Pekin you can reach the Hair Cuttery at (309) 353-9415 or on the web at  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Speakeasy Spring Bus Trip


Greater Peoria Regional Food Summit

Seeds2Success Greater Peoria Regional Food Summit   Planning for Community Sustainability February 22, 2014 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. RiverPlex Recreation & Wellness Center, Peoria Sustainable local food systems balance economic prosperity, environmental preservation, and public health while moving agricultural products from farmer to consumer. Join us for a conversation with key leaders from Homegrown Minneapolis , as we explore strategies to strengthen the local foods movement in our region. Register online Event sponsors include : Peoria County Board, City of Peoria, Peoria LISC, Peoria County Health Department, Peoria County Farm Bureau, Illinois Department of Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Committee, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University, Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education ( SARE )   Program, University of Illinois Extension,  and University of Illinois Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

Unland’s Smart Choices™ Marketplace Makes Shopping for Health Insurance Easy

The Unland Companies is making it easier to buy health insurance by offering ConnectedHealth’s Smart Choices™ Marketplace – a private insurance shopping site that provides access to virtually all health plans available on and off the public marketplace. “Under the new law, all citizens must have health insurance or pay a penalty,” Bill Shock, Executive Vice President of Unland’s benefits department, said. “Smart Choices is a great tool for those who are looking for an alternative to the public exchanges and want to select the benefit options that are important to them.” He explained that both individuals and businesses will benefit from this service, enabling them to make informed options. “Businesses that don’t offer health insurance, or those with non-benefit eligible employees, can show their whole team they are appreciated and valued for the services they provide.”  The Smart Choices Marketplace is simple to use and navigate, providing convenient online resources to clar

Biz Barometer

J A total of 444 homes were sold in Pekin in 2013.  That’s a 3.7% increase over 2012. L The average sales price of a home in Pekin in was $107,999 in 2013.  That’s down 1.5% from 2012’s average price. L The unemployment rate in Pekin was 10.5% in December, up from 10.1% in November and 9.4% a year ago. J 15,508 people were employed in Pekin in December .  That’s up 21 from November. L Pekin’s January sales tax disbursement from the state was down 15.1% compared to a year ago. J Pekin’s sales tax disbursement for the past 12 months is 2.2% greater than the previous 12 months. K The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased  0.3 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis.  Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.5 percent before seasonal adjustment. (Source:  Peoria Area Association of Realtors, Illinois Department of Revenue, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois Department of Employment Security)

Membership Renewals

Thanks to the following businesses, organizations and individuals who have renewed their investment in the chamber… 5-Star MVPs :  Enviro-Safe Refrigerants ~ Pekin Insurance 4-Star MVPs :  Herget Bank ~ South Side Bank 3-Star MVPs :  East Court Village ~ Excalibur Seasoning Company ~ Illinois American Water ~ Liberty Village of Pekin ~ Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory 2-Star MVPs :  Commerce Bank ~ Excel Foundry & Machine ~ Illinois Corn Processing ~  McDonald’s ~ Pekin Times ~ Tazewell Machine Works 1-Star MVPs :  Brewers Distributing ~ Comcast Business ~ Golf Green Lawn Care ~ Hallmark House Nursing Center ~ Pekin Community High School ~ Peoria Chiefs ~ Servpro of Peoria & North Central Tazewell ~ Syngenta ~ Timbercreek Rehab & Health Care Classic :  Ace Hardware ~ Allegra Print & Imaging ~ CJ's Café ~ Dreamscapes Landscaping ~ EMEX Power ~ Enviro-Dry Clean Carpets ~ Facet Technologies, Inc ~ Goodwill Industries ~ Greenhouse F

Illinois American Water Announces 2014 Environmental Grant Program

Illinois American Water announced today that the application process is now open for its 2014 Environmental Grant Program to support innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies through partnerships. The company will award grants of up to $10,000. The program is designed to support diverse types of activities, such as watershed cleanups, reforestation efforts, biodiversity projects, streamside buffer restoration projects, wellhead protection initiatives and hazardous waste collection efforts. "Illinois American Water is committed to protecting our water supplies through outreach and education. This program is another way we can help communities play an active role in this important effort,” said Karla Olson Teasley, Illinois American Water President. To qualify, proposed projects must be located in an Illinois American Water service area and: ·         address a source wa

Tech Tip Tuesday: Best/Simplest Strategy to Keep Your Inbox Empty

Managing the volume of emails you receive each day can be a challenge.  We're talking about real, business-related emails, not spam (that's a whole different topic and strategy). Here's the best and simplest strategy to keep your inbox empty:  Don't reply to emails unless it's important. We've all seen it.  You receive an email and you send a reply (maybe even a "reply to all").  Then you receive replies to your reply, which require you to send another reply, which generates more responses.  More replies, more responses, and it continues all day.  It's true - emails breed emails.  People will not consider you impolite if you do not acknowledge every email they send you.  In fact, they should be grateful you don't! And if you must reply to an email, stop and consider if it is really necessary to "reply to all" or just a reply to the sender.


Goodwill of Central Illinois has partnered with Spoon River College to offer free computer and job readiness workshops to the residents of Canton, Macomb and the surrounding communities. Classes are held at the Spoon River College Outreach Centers in Canton and Macomb. The workshops are designed to improve the skills that are valuable in finding employment or finding better employment. Three workshops are available. Computer Skills for the Workplace teaches basic computer skills, including use of Microsoft Word and the Internet. Get Your Skills Together focuses on creating an effective resume and how to navigate online job sites. Nail the Interview covers techniques and skills needed for a successful interview. Individuals can take just one workshop or attend all three. Independently, Goodwill is also offering veteran’s services in these communities. These services are designed to help homeless veterans and veterans in need overcome barriers to employment. Veteran’s services are ar

Family & Business Showcase

The chamber's Family & Business Showcase was held on a cold, blustery night at the Avanti's Dome. 43 vendors displayed their products and services to the public. Blue-Ribbon winning vendors included Liberty Village of Pekin, Pekin Hospital, Thirty-One/Kay Bloodworth and First Pekin Savings Bank.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Celebrate Valentine's Day With the Ashland House!


18th Annual John M. Evans Scholarship Golf Tournament

Mark your calendar for this special event! The John M. Evans Scholarship outing will be held, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. More information will be available around March 15th.


Last year, NASH FM 97.3 listeners donated over 2,000 teddy bears to Children’s Hospital of Illinois that were delivered on Valentine’s Day. NASH FM 97.3 hopes to beat last year’s total and continue to supply Children’s Hospital of Illinois with teddy bears for patients throughout 2014.   The Teddy Bear Drive will run from Monday, January 20th through Wednesday, February 12th. The Nash FM 97.3 staff will deliver the bears to the Children’s Hospital of Illinois on Friday, February 14th for Valentine’s Day. Donations may be dropped off at NASH FM 97.3/Radio Peoria, 120 Eaton Street in Peoria, during regular business hours: Tuesday – Friday from noon to 5pm. All bears must be new.  Morning show host Jenn Smith explained what motivates the station to continue the drive every year: “It’s scary enough for an adult to be in the hospital. It’s even worse for a child. Being sick, in a strange place with people you don’t know coming in and out of your room. We want to give those children a l

American Water Charitable Foundation Provides Illinois Triad organizations with Public Safety Grants

The American Water Charitable Foundation is providing Illinois Triad organizations $12,000 in public safety grants. “Triad is dedicated to keeping senior citizens safe and improving their quality of life,” said Illinois American Water President Karla Olson Teasley. “We want to recognize them and through these grants, assist in providing some of the resources they need.” A total of $12,000 will be distributed evenly among Triad organizations including: - Tazewell County Triad - Naperville & Lisle Township Triad - Whiteside County Senior Center - Peoria County Triad - Champaign County Triad SALT Council - DuPage County SALT Council The National Association of Triads is a partnership of three organizations—law enforcement, older adults and community groups. The purpose of Triad is to promote older adult safety and to reduce the fear of crime that older adults often experience.  Some examples of Triad projects that may be supported by American Water Charitable Foun

Medical Explorers Meeting Planned

Local high school students interested in health careers are invited to attend a Medical Explorers Meeting on February 11 from 6 – 8 p.m. at Illinois Central College located at 115 S.W. Adams Street in Peoria. Cathleen Korondi, CDA, RDH, Ed.M., will discuss dental careers. Pekin Hospital is partnering with the W.D. Boyce Council, Boy Scouts of America to offer a Medical Explorers Post in Tazewell County.  The program’s goal is to provide young men and women the opportunity to receive hands-on, work-related experience and to explore health careers they may never have otherwise considered.  The program is open to young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years old who are interested in learning more about health careers.  The cost to join is only $10 per person. For more information on the Medical Explorers Program, please call (309) 353-0763 or visit

Tech Tip Tuesday: Do you talk to your phone?

Did you get a new Android phone for Christmas?  Have you mastered the Google voice commands?  has an awesome list of commands...some are very useful, and the Easter Eggs are just plain entertaining!

Go 2 Girl Launches New Website

Check it out at .  You can also follow her on Facebook at:  

Gold's Gym Express Grand Opening

Gold's Gym Express held their grand opening celebration and the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce was there for the ribbon cutting.  Located at 3455 Court Street, Gold's Gym Express believes that better fitness should be within reach for everyone. They've created an environment that’s friendly, not intimidating. Affordable, yet uncompromising. And focused on real results, not empty promises. Gold’s Gym Express offers the equipment variety and quantity you would expect to see in a full service gym. The only thing Express about them is your ability to work in a workout on your schedule!  They can be reached at 346-2323 or .

Pekin Hospital Remodels 6 North

Pekin Hospital celebrated the completion of their remodeling project on 6 North with a ribbon cutting, reception and tours.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Central Illinois Business Publishers Inc. Joins the Chamber

Central Illinois Business Publishers Inc. 5005 N. Glen Peoria, IL 61614 (309) 683-3060 Jan Wright, CEO Jonathon Wright, Managing Editor Kelly Walz, Client Coordinator Central Illinois Business Publishers is the area's business social and arts resource in the area. Publishers of IBI, Art & Society, Peoria Progress and Perspective enewsletter. Central Illinois Business Publisher also produces several events, including 40 Leaders Under Forty!

Mashie's Ladies Night Out


Small Business Health Coverage Options from Get Covered Illinois

Get Covered Illinois has information about new opportunities for small businesses to access health coverage for their employees. If you or other members of your organization would like to receive additional updates from Get Covered Illinois, please sign up at: Over the last several weeks, there have been many rule changes to the Affordable Care Act affecting small businesses. To help clarify those changes, Get Covered Illinois is happy to share updated information about the health insurance Marketplace, financial assistance available to small businesses and what steps Illinois businesses and individuals can take to find a health plan right for them. Please click on the following link to access the toolkit for small business owners who may be interested in learning more about the Small Business Health Options Marketplace (SHOP) and the Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credit, worth up to 50 percent of an employer’s contribution to

January After Hours at the Avanti's Dome

About 50 hearty business leaders braved the elements to attend the January 9th Business After Hours held at the Avanti's Dome. They enjoyed great food and a presentation from Bob Adams on upcoming events and activities at the dome.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at

Gold's Gym Express Ribbon Cutting


YWCA of Pekin's MLK, Jr Celebration


DIOSHDay 2014

DIOSHDay (Downstate Illinois Occupational Safety & Health Day) is March 5th at the Peoria Civic Center. It is for employers, employees, and all others interested in safety and health. Experts in the field will present a program on the most current issues in safety and health today. Many governmental agencies will have booths in the exhibit area. This is a great opportunity to get your workplace safety questions answered in a neutral setting.  Information and registration is at

IRS Announces 2014 Standard Mileage Rates

The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2014 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 56 cents per mile for business miles driven 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations The business, medical, and moving expense rates decrease one-half cent from the 2013 rates.  The charitable rate is based on statute. The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs. Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

Pekin Hospital's Ribbon Cutting for 6N Renovation


Medical Explorers Meeting Planned

Local high school students interested in health careers are invited to attend a Medical Explorers Meeting on January 14 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Parkside Athletics in Pekin.  Kaitlyn Leigh, M.S., Director of Fitness, will discuss fitness health careers. Pekin Hospital is partnering with the W.D. Boyce Council, Boy Scouts of America to offer a Medical Explorers Post in Tazewell County.  The program’s goal is to provide young men and women the opportunity to receive hands-on, work-related experience and to explore health careers they may never have otherwise considered.  The program is open to young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years old who are interested in learning more about health careers.  The cost to join is only $10 per person. For more information on the Medical Explorers Program, please call (309) 353-0763 or visit

Professional Duo to teach Communication Techniques at Annual Caregivers Celebration Event Jan. 11th in Peoria

Do you wish you could communicate better with your loved one with dementia? Gerontologists Marilyn Woelke and Linda Gilman with GeriEd Services in Bettendorf, Iowa, will role play the “do’s” and “don’ts” of effective communication techniques with persons with dementia on Saturday, Jan. 11th in Peoria. The program is an event of the Alzheimer’s Association® – Central Illinois Chapter Annual Caregiver Celebration. Presenting Sponsor is OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. The 90-minute program will be held from 10:30 a.m. – Noon, at the Alzheimer’s Association, 606 W. Glen Avenue, Peoria Brought back by popular demand, Gerontologists Woelke, MS, LCSW, and Gilman, MS, LPC, were the featured speakers at the Chapter’s April 2013 Education Conference in Peoria. There is a $5 registration fee per person. To register, please call 800.272.3900. Attendees will receive a free caregiver's gift. The Alzheimer’s Association - Central Illinois Chapter is a donor supported, not-for-profit