To be or not to be aggressive is question for chambers

DeWayne Bartels
The Germantown Hills Chamber of Commerce at a recent meeting.

Outside of Peoria two of the economic development powerhouses in the Tri-County Area are East Peoria and Morton.

Two things set East Peoria and Morton apart from other neighboring communities - an aggressive nature and an asset other communities cannot match which is location, location, location.

Aggressive is not a word Jennifer Daly, executive director and CEO of the Morton Chamber of Commerce and Morton Economic Development Council, used to describe her organization’s efforts. She preferred the word “passionate.”

“I think we are actively and enthusiastically working to achieve our mission and goals for the benefit of our investors and members, our community, and our region. We are very passionate about what we do and eager to make a difference to our stake-holders,” Daly said. “What we do impacts the future of Morton. If we are successful, we strengthen local businesses, create job opportunities, and establish quality of life amenities that allow people to stay and prosper in Morton. Our activities can also broaden our local tax base, alleviating large tax increases for our citizens.”

Rick Swan, executive director of the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, was not so flowery with his language. He termed Morton a “very aggressive” competitor in the area of economic development.

“Yes, they are aggressive,” Swan said.

“All the communities around here have assets to offer. They all have good qualities.”

While nowhere near as aggressive or successful as East Peoria or Morton, there are also economic development efforts going on daily in Washington, Chillicothe, Metamora and Germantown Hills.