Showing posts from 2017


CEFCU is pleased to announce that members now have the ability to access Masterpass™ by Mastercard®, a digital wallet that can be accepted at millions of locations – online, in-store, and in-app.  Any CEFCU Debit Mastercard or Credit Mastercard may be used with Masterpass.                 Masterpass is easy to set up and use.  Simply add your CEFCU Debit Mastercard or Credit Mastercard and make purchases quickly and securely online or in-app wherever you see the Masterpass button. You may also use the Masterpass Android™ app with an Android phone running Kit Kat (4.4) or higher in-store, wherever you see the contactless-enabled symbol.  Masterpass purchases are protected by layers of security and when you pay in-store a one-time number is used instead of your actual credit or debit card number. Users simply click the Masterpass button online or in-app, or tap & pay with a compatible Android device at accepting merchants.             “CEFCU is excited to be able to add Mast

Welcome To Our Newest Member

Cash Store 3324 Court St.  Pekin, IL 61554 1-309-346-2274 Website Cash Store has been a trusted provider of cash loans with competitive terms and high approval rates since 1996. They have over 340 locations in 7 states - providing a better alternative to payday loans. Their loans give you more time to pay back with smaller payment amounts and no overnight wait. Their experienced service team makes it quick and easy for almost anyone to get the cash they need whenever the need arises. The Cash Store is committed to delivering the best customer service possible to assist you with your cash loans.


Illinois Central College will hold several informational sessions for its Highway Construction Careers Training Program, with program applications and TABE testing available at each session. There is no registration or fees required.  The Highway Construction Careers Training Program (HCCTP) at Illinois Central College is a grant-funded program sponsored by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The goal of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program is to increase the number of minorities, women and disadvantaged individuals working in the construction trades. The program is a 12-week free training course that focuses on preparing individuals for a successful building trade application process by increasing math skills, job readiness, and technical skills. Training also includes OSHA 10-hour certification, Forklift and Aerial Lift Certification, and First Aid/CPR certification. Upon successful completion of the program, students will have the skills necessary to seek ca

Tomorrow's Hope Christian Academy


ICC Offers Extended Hours in January for Spring 2018 Enrollment

               Illinois Central College will offer extended hours in January for the convenience of students interested in enrolling for the spring 2018 semester, which begins on Tues., Jan. 16. In addition to regular business hours of 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday, ICC will be open on Sat., January 6 and 13, from 9 am to 1 pm at the East Peoria Campus. The College will also offer extended hours for Quick Start on Mondays at the Peoria Campus and on Tuesdays at the East Peoria Campus.  Offices are open until 7 pm in December and until 8 pm in January for QuickStart events. QuickStart is an expedited way for potential students to get through the steps of enrolling all in one day. No appointment is necessary. Free parking is available in Lots A and B on the East Peoria Campus, as well as the Visitors Lot. ICC is closed December 23 through January 1 for the holidays. Classes start Tues., January 16. The class schedule is available online at .


Groundbreaking new initiative will equip 1.2 million people with vital digital skills and Goodwill, the United States’ leading workforce development nonprofit, have announced the launch of the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator. Funded by a $10 million grant from and with the assistance of 1,000 Google volunteers, the new Goodwill initiative will enable more than one million people — including people with disabilities and disadvantages, youth, older workers, veterans and military families, and people who are transitioning back into society — to receive digital skills training over the next three years. To launch the initiative, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and President Jacquelline Fuller visited with Goodwill Industries International President and CEO Jim Gibbons and Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania President and CEO Mike Smith at the Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania headquarters in Pittsburgh to participate in a Digital Skills Career Day, a


Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois has received a $2,000 grant from Ameren Illinois to be used for Goodwill’s GoodJobs program. The GoodJobs program provides young adults, ages 16-19, with employment resources and job skills training. During the two week program, participants attend soft skills courses, receive assistance with resume writing, participate in mock interviews and complete on-the-job training at one of Goodwill’s retail stores. The program culminates in a hiring event that features employers specific to the 16-19 age group. The program is free of charge and also includes on-going support; weekly job leads lists and access to future monthly hiring events. “This grant will help us give our young people the best possible start on entering the workforce and taking the first steps to successful a career,” said Samantha Kinsey, Goodwill Youth Services Program Manager. The grant was made through the Ameren Cares program, which connects Ameren Illinois to the communities

Central Illinois Solar Training Pipeline Program

Central Illinois Solar Training Pipeline Program --- Tues., Dec. 19, 2017 11 am --- ICC Peoria Campus Arbor 112 (Multi-Purpose Room) 5407 N. University St., Peoria Thanks to a $1 million grant from Commonwealth Edison, Illinois Central College, along with more than 15 community organizations and businesses, will offer a program designed to build a workforce training program for solar technicians. ICC will serve as fiscal and lead agent for the Central Illinois Solar Workforce Pipeline Training Program , with Illinois People’s Action/Heaven’s View Community Development Corp. and Tri-County Urban League acting as key partners. Additional information, including a news release, will be available at the press conference. Featured speakers: Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey – President, ICC Dr. Rita Ali – Vice President of Diversity and Community Impact, ICC Rev. Tony Pierce - Illinois People’s Action / Heaven’s View Community Development Corporation Lar

ICC Opens Scholarship Application January 15 for 2018-19 Academic Year

Illinois Central College is encouraging students who intend to enroll for the fall 2018 semester to apply for its scholarships. The ICC Educational Foundation offers more than 600 scholarships worth more than $750,000 to students attending in the coming academic year. Students may apply for the scholarships from January 15, 2018, until 11:59 pm on April 1, 2018 , using the online application system. Please note: The link will be active as of January 15, 2018.                           The online application process is simple, and by completing one application, students are automatically considered for every scholarship for which they are eligible. Go online to view a complete listing of all available ICC scholarships at . Questions about scholarships or the application process may be directed to Stephanie Holmes at (309) 694-8420.

December Grand Prize Winners

Congratulations to all of the Grand Prize winners.  The big door prize drawing was held at the December Puttin' on Pekin breakfast.  Each of the 12 prize packages were valued at over $375.  (See list below of  those who donated.)  All of the entries from the previous 2017 breakfasts were entered into the drawing and you had to be present today to win. Renna Hadsall, the events manager for the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce presented the winners with their prizes.  Congratulations to Joel Catlin, Dave Osborn, Ken Coulter, Manda Brown, Cathy Gray, Baylee Gambetti, Amy Hasty, Jim McClary, Kim Bunting, Heather Calvin, Greg Ranney, and Drew Lockwood. Click here to pictures of all the winners: A huge thank you to these businesses who contributed to the big door prize packages:  Alexandra Sinacori, Associated Bank, Beachbody/Teresa Mack, Big R of Pekin, BodyWealth Massage, CEFCU, City of Pekin, Classy Girl Boutique, Commerce Bank, Corn

December Puttin' On Pekin Recap

100 chamber members and guests attended the December 8th Puttin' On Pekin breakfast held at the Avanti's Dome  Events and Sports Center.  The Grace United Methodist Church players presented a preview of their upcoming Christmas program.  The emcee, Drew Lockwood from Velde Lincoln Volvo of Peoria, presented the Early Prize to Dave Osborn from Trouble Free Heating & Cooling.  Committee member John Plunket presented the Spotlight on Business Award to Debbie Fornoff Interior Design & Draperies.  Committee member Debbie Fornoff presented a Blue Ribbon Award to Vince Udry from Udry Jewelry.  Committee member Manda Brown presented a Blue Ribbon Award to Brigette Sullivan from Classy Girl Boutique.  Committee member Greg Ranney presented the Sunshine Award to Brian Byrne and Lynn Johnson from the Pekin Outreach Initiative.   The Late Prize went to Jordan Matthews from OSF.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

December Business After Hours Recap

Inspired Style Company and Hot Shots Pizza and Slots co-hosted the December Business After Hours.  The two Sunset Plaza businesses offered tours, and provided a great holiday atmosphere, including pizza, cookies and drinks. Michelle Bohm (Inspired Style Company) and Ryan Wozniak (Hot Shots Pizza and Slots) also shared with the attendees additional information about their businesses.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Neighborhood House Toy Shop

There is still time to register for the Neighborhood House Toy Shop! Neighborhood House is making Christmas brighter for kids.  Different businesses and organizations are busy collecting toys for the 82 nd Annual Toy Shop. Parents who are working or going to school can pre-register for the Toy Shop November 20 through December 8 at Neighborhood House, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and the cost to register is $10. Those that wish to register must bring the following documents: 1) Photo ID 2) Birth certificates for all children or proof of guardianship (insurance or medical card with your name and children’s names) and 3) Proof of employment or paystub, school enrollment, or current unemployment statement (not required for retired grandparents). Neighborhood House is proud to continue our tradition of helping families, help themselves this holiday season. 

Breakfast with Santa 2017

Gather your family for a delicious pancake and sausage breakfast at Soldwedel's annual Santa Breakfast! Get your picture taken with Santa, bundle up for a sleigh ride and enjoy Reindeer games and a holiday craft to take home! Just $5 per person, children under 2 are free! Saturday, Dec 9th at Soldwedel Program Center from 8:30am to 11:00am. Tickets can be purchased in person the day of or online at Soldwedel Program Center is located at 207 McNaughton Park Rd, Pekin, IL just outside of Pekin off of Route 98.

Are You Paying Your Employees Correctly?

December 14 @ 1 p.m. EST  / 10 a.m. PST December 14 @ 1 p.m. EST  / 10 a.m. PST Is your small business compliant with employee payment laws? In this webinar, Jessica Hubbard-Davis and Julia Darcy of Paychex will cover the most critical components of paying your employees. Register Now »

Stegers Renovations

Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin held a ribbon cutting at Steger's Furniture on December 1.  The Steger family and staff were celebrating the recent completion of the major renovations of their store at 818 Court Street.  More pictures from this event can be seen at:

Hopedale Medical Complex honored for excellence in quality of care, top performance.

The Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) recently recognized Hopedale Medical Complex for its ongoing commitment to exceptional quality of care, during a ceremony held November 14th at the I Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign, IL. As part of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Program (MBQIP), Hopedale Medical Complex and other critical access hospitals were asked to voluntarily participate in four defined domains of quality outcomes. These four domains include: Patient Safety/Inpatient; Patient Engagement; Care Transitions; and Outpatient Measures. “Often, in rural hospitals, having a devoted staff member to abstract and submit this data can be both time-consuming and burdensome,” said Angie Charlet, ICAHN Director of Quality, Educational Services, and Compliance. “Hopedale Hospital realizes how important quality of care and an engaged staff is for its patients…From its top leadership on throughout the facility, each

Hopedale Hospital COO receives ICAHN’s President’s Award

The Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network recently awarded Mark Rossi, President and COO of Hopedale Medical Complex, its highest honor, the President’s Award for his longstanding and dedicated service to the statewide hospital organization. Mr. Rossi has been actively involved with ICAHN since Hopedale Hospital became a member in 2003. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 2012 and then later elected President-Elect in 2015. He assumed the President’s role in the summer of 2015, when Tom Hudgins retired. Mr. Rossi served as President through December, 2016 and now serves as Past President. Pat Schou, Executive Director of ICAHN said, "Mark is an exceptional leader and a visionary, and he was at the helm in accomplishing some major growth for us these past two years, including the forward motion of the Illinois Rural Community Care Organization, a statewide rural Accountable Care Organization. We cannot thank him enough for his commitment and support. This honor is

Welcome To Our Newest Member!

Rocket Wood Products 1520 N. 8th Street Pekin, IL 61554 1-309-361-5502 Website Steven Laatsch, Owner Caroline Laatsch, Co-Owner Rocket Wood Products specializes in re-purposing the forest and bringing it in to your home for generations. They are a full service woodworking shop with cnc wood carver, lumber and live edge slab sales. Custom furniture and unique design statement work for your home or business.

Welcome To Our Newest Member

Jimbo's Jumbo, Inc. 1007 N. 8th Street Pekin, IL 61554 1-309-353-9757 Website Danny Lohman, President Tracy Lohman, Vice President Great Italian food including a variety of Italian sandwiches, pizza, pasta, wings, fresh salads, and appetizers including our legendary Italian Steak n Cheese and fresh home made salads. Take out, delivery, and limited dining in available. Call ahead for friendly no wait service and quick delivery. They have a 10% Student, Senior, and Military discount. Give Mom a break and bring home some JIMBOS 2 GO. 

November Biz Barometer


Welcome To Our Newest Member

Rocket Wood Products 1520 N. 8th Street Pekin, IL 61554 309-361-5502 Website: Email: Rocket Wood Products specializes in re-purposing the forest and bringing it in to your home for generations. They are a full service woodworking shop with cnc wood carver, lumber and live edge slab sales. Custom furniture and unique design statement work for your home or business.

Udry Jewelry Ribbon Cutting

Congratulations to Vince & Hope Udry and their staff on the grand opening of their new Udry Jewelry location. They celebrated their grand opening at 1712 Court Street on Saturday, November 18th. You can see pictures of the event here:

Illinois Central College Now Accepting Applicants for Fall 2018 Health Careers Programs

Illinois Central College currently is accepting applications from potential students for its Health Careers programs. The deadline to apply for the Health Careers programs for the Fall 2018 semester is Jan. 15, 2018. Enrollment also is now open for pre-requisite courses for the Spring semester, which begins on Tues., Jan. 16, 2018. Acceptance into an ICC Health Careers program is competitive and based on an earned point total, including grade point average, ACT score, previous degrees, work experience, and other factors. Successful applicants must meet eligibility criteria specific to each program to which they apply. Detailed information on programs ICC offers, how to apply for any of these programs, and specific eligibility requirements are available at . Steps to Apply Applicants should first complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form online at and enter ICC’s school code of 006753 . Potential students must apply to IC

Trained Heartland Health Services Enrollment Specialist to Provide Free and Confidential Help

It’s that time of the year again when people can sign up for health coverage with Heartland Health Services. Because of the shortened Open Enrollment period, it’s more important than ever that people understand their options and get the help they need. Professionally trained Assisters will be hosting “Heartland Health Services Get Covered Days” insurance enrollment event November 28, 2017 to help people in Peoria/Tazewell County sign up for affordable, quality health coverage. At the event, individuals and families can meet for free with trained enrollment specialist to review coverage options, find out if they qualify for financial assistance, and sign up or re-enroll in a plan that meets their needs. In addition, Medicare Enrollments and Medicaid assistance will be provided. When: November 28, 2017 Where: Carver Community Center 710 W. Third Street Peoria, Il 61605 Time: 9 AM – 4 PM What: Heartland Health Services Enrollment event to help people in Peoria/Tazewell County learn

SCORE Peoria has moved!

On Tuesday, November 28 th  , SCORE Peoria offices, along with the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, CEO Council, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, Peoria Downtown Development, Alignment Peoria will move to the Historic Judge Jacob Gale House at: 403 N. E. Jefferson Peoria, IL 61603 Our phone number (309-676-0755) will remain the same.

Inspired Style Boutique Small Business Saturday

Inspired Salon & Boutique encourages you to shop your Pekin Area Businesses this holiday season and is offering Pekin Chamber Members a gift card just for stopping by Saturday, November 25th from 10am-2pm. Ask about our corporate gift giving solutions for your employees and clients.  (Link for that is )

Insurance Lunch N' Learn


Ray Dennison Chevrolet


Comcast Business Support Small Business Saturday

Dream Big. Shop Small. As a small business owner, you need to wear many hats. But it’s tough to be an expert in everything, and that’s why partners can be a valuable asset. Comcast Business has assembled a collection of articles on a special Resource Center that offers tips and advice from a wide range of experts to help you build, run, and grow your business effectively.

Central Illinois Ballet, In Residence at Illinois Central College, Presents Four Performances of The Nutcracker

Performance will feature CIB professional dancers and guest dancers from around the country Central Illinois Ballet, in residence at Illinois Central College, presents four performances of the holiday classic The Nutcracker December 15, 16 and 17 in the Illinois Central College Performing Arts Center, located on the East Peoria Campus. This is the fourth consecutive year Central Illinois Ballet has presented this holiday classic. This year’s production boasts a cast of nearly 100 members ranging in age from 3 years old to adult. CIB has its first international dancer this season with Jiwon Ha of South Korea dancing the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Additionally, guest artists Adam Kittelberger and Ben Rabe from the Rochester City Ballet in New York will perform in the production. Both performed in past CIB performances. To accommodate growing demand, a fourth performance was added this year. Shows take place December 15 at 7 pm, December 16 at 2 pm and 7 pm, and December 17 at 2

Hopedale Medical Complex offering innovative acid reflux procedure which brings permanent relief to patients with acid reflux

Hopedale Medical Complex is now offering its patients Linx® outpatient surgery, a minimally-invasive procedure that brings permanent relief to many patients who suffer from acid reflux.  HMC staff surgeon Matthew B. Rossi MD, FACS, is believed to be the first physician to perform the procedure at a Critical Access Hospital in Illinois.  “ I have been studying and treating GERD for over 30 years, and I have been following the Linx® technology for nearly 10 years now. With over 10,000 implants worldwide, I feel this device is extremely safe and effective, a real game changer in our approach to acid reflux and regurgitation.  I believe in properly selected patients, that the Linx® device has become the preferred method of treating severe GERD” said Dr. Rossi.  “The greatest advantage of the Linx® device is that it replicates the normal sphincter muscle function of the lower esophagus.  Unlike the traditional operations for GERD, the Linx® will not be disrupted by an unexpected severe vom

Openings Available at Residences of Rosemary Crossing


Steger's Better Than Black Friday Offer!



            Audience members can enjoy an evening of holiday-themed laughs and earn a chance to win free tickets to a future event by helping a worthy cause when The Second City presents its Non-Denominational Christmas Show on Saturday, November 25 at 7:30 pm in the Illinois Central College Performing Arts Center, located on the East Peoria Campus.             The highlighted community partner for the event is Toys for Tots. Attendees of the show who donate a new, unwrapped toy or make a monetary contribution to Toys for Tots will be entered into a drawing for two tickets to a future event.             The drawing will take place following intermission of the November 25 event; in order to be eligible for the drawing, donations must be made before the conclusion of intermission at the show. Anyone can participate in the drawing by donating to Toys for Tots while the box office is open in the days leading up to the show, even if they will not be attending the Second City event.

#ShopSmall at BodyWealth Massage


Enviro-Dry Clean Carpets

In recognition of #SmallBizSaturday, Enviro-Dry Clean Carpets is offering 10% off all carpet, tile and upholstery cleaning booked during the month of November.  Call 267-6253 or email to schedule your free estimate.  #ShopSmall on November 25th and support your local small businesses throughout the year!

Shop Small at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard

Celebrate #SmallBizSaturday when you #ShopSmall at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard.  Receive 10% off your gift shop purchases and receive a free logo wine glass if you tell the staff "Small Business Saturday ROCKS!"  For more information about this great central Illinois business, visit:


The Heart of Illinois Chorus, in residence at Illinois Central College, is seeking females who would like to join the group to sing Christmas carols at area nursing homes. This is a free outreach program offered by the Heart of Illinois Chorus with no long-term commitment as a way for women to express themselves through song and help spread Christmas cheer. The chorus rehearses Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the ICC Performing Arts Center, located on the East Peoria Campus. Those who would like to participate are asked to attend the remaining rehearsals in November to learn Christmas carols in barbershop style, four-part harmony. The group will visit sites such as area nursing homes the first two Tuesdays in December to carol to residents. The Heart of Illinois Chorus was founded in 1982 and is a member of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide non-profit organization dedicated to women’s a cappella, four-part harmony arranged in a the barbershop style. The group ha


Illinois American Water today announced efforts to stand with its fellow water, electric and natural gas utilities and respective trade associations in support of Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS), a consortium of more than 100 U.S. and Canadian utilities. UUAS will observe the second annual Utility Scam Awareness Day, on Wednesday, November 15, as part of a weeklong advocacy and awareness campaign, November 13–17. Illinois American Water joined UUAS to help expose the tactics scammers use to steal from utility customers and educate customers on how to protect themselves. Many water, electric and natural gas customers throughout the country are being targeted by impostor utility scams each day. Scammers typically use phone, in-person, and online tactics to target customers. Scammers pose as water, electric or natural gas company employees and sometimes threaten that customers’ services will be shut off if they fail to make an immediate payment. Scammers can be very convincing and


            Creative works of Kevin Myers will be on display in an art show opening Wed., November 29 in the Illinois Central College Performing Arts Center Gallery, located in the lobby of the facility on the East Peoria Campus.             A free, public reception is scheduled for November 29 from noon to 2 pm in the gallery, with an artist talk taking place at 12:30 pm.             Myers has been teaching and creating art for more than 25 years. He has taught at several colleges and universities, including the Missouri Southern State University, Paducah School of Art & Design and Grand Valley State University. He has developed his own technique over the past 20 years, which ties the theme of his artwork--excavation--together. His works have been exhibited and sold throughout the nation. He earned a bachelor degree in art from Calvin College in 1978 and a master degree in fine arts from Fontbonne University in May 2017.             The exhibit will be on display at

The Hope Chest of Pekin Toy Drive


Are Your Water Meter & Pipes Protected from the Cold?

Illinois American Water offers helpful tips to help you avoid the unwanted expense and frustration of a frozen water meter or broken pipe. Illinois American Water reminds homeowners that now is the time to safeguard their home plumbing to prevent water damage from frozen and burst pipes. Tips also address frozen water meters, which can bring costly plumbing repairs and replacement fees along with headaches and unexpected expense for homeowners. “We want to remind customers that sub-freezing temperatures for an extended period can cause pipes in vulnerable areas to freeze and burst, resulting in costly damage,” said Mike Smyth, vice president of operations. “By taking the proper preventive steps now, customers can avoid frozen pipes and water meters and the need to make expensive repairs to damaged plumbing inside and outside of the home.” Illinois American Water encourages residents to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of freezing and bursting pipes: Before frigi