We just held our Second Annual Business Awards Presentation in conjunction with East Central Illinois Development Corporation, a nine county ED group. It is an idea that impressed me in Idaho and we copied it for our region. I hope that you might use it in yours.
We had each county ED group select one business that they wanted to honor with the criteria that they contribute to the economic growth of the county, are environmentally conscious and are a good neighbor. We give each of them a plaque and have them say a few words about their company after lunch. It is a wonderful event, I always learn something new.
This year’s winners included a local newspaper, a couple of retail businesses (restaurant, candy kitchen and auto dealer), two high tech businesses (photonics and software design) and three manufacturing companies. I was very pleasantly surprised at the two high tech companies, Trace Photonics and Software Solutions Integrated, which have 60 employees but had flown under my radar screen until this event.
When I added up all of the jobs represented by these companies it totaled 716. Putting that number of jobs through an economic development metric shows that those jobs turn into 2971 total jobs due to the multiplier effect; $91 million in more personal income/year; $36 million in more bank deposits; 50 more retail stores; $55 million in retail stores; $3.87 million in added tax revenue; and $14 million in additional service receipts. All in all, quite an impact in our area!
We often overlook these type of businesses in our communities, but their impact is incredible.