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Get ready for company, Chamber members told

NCI economic development chief speaks in Princeton

PRINCETON — “Being Ready for Company” was a key theme presented at the Princeton Chamber of Commerce’s Thursday meeting by Ivan Baker, president of North Central Illinois Economic Development Corporation (NCI)

“All of us want to encourage new business investment and attract new jobs,” Baker said, “but we have to show our pride, be prepared, and always be ready for company.

“Just like Grandma cleans up the house and prepares for company at Thanksgiving, our cities and region must do what is necessary to be ready for company,” he said.

NCI is the only public-private partnership marketing for new, quality jobs and business investment in Bureau, Putnam and LaSalle counties.

The organization was organized in 2016, and is supported by county, city, and business leaders throughout the region.

Baker pointed out that all proud citizens in the region can play a role in maintaining our hometowns, and promoting North Central Illinois for more business.

“For the first time ever, NCI is filling a void by promoting the entire region to prospects, consultants, brokers and executives,” Baker said. “Marketing is our focus, and encouraging more opportunity for our citizens is our goal.”

Baker told the 30 Chamber members in attendance that, surprisingly, many top executives, brokers and consultants simply did not know anything about North Central Illinois or even Starved Rock.

“In many ways, we have had to start from scratch and explain where we are, and what our competitive region has to offer for business,” he said.

NCI is promoting at Midwest real estate association meetings, representing the region at national trade shows, conducting multimedia advertising and public relations campaigns, participating in cooperative marketing promotions with the state and utility allies, and having regular private meetings with top brokers and site consultants.

“With our unmatched network and experience, nobody else can do, or will do, what NCI is doing to promote the region for more business,” Baker told the audience.

“The NCI program proves that we can accomplish so much for our citizens by working together as a region,” Kim Frey, Princeton Chamber executive director, said.

Upcoming NCI marketing programs are being planned with CoreNet Global Real Estate Association, Chicago Industrial Properties conferences, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, Association of Industrial Real Estate Brokers, and Intersect Illinois.

More information can be found online at, NCI’s website.

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