State Rep. Bob Flider (D-Mount Zion) is hopeful that Central Illinois businesses will benefit from a new economic development group created under a proposal sponsored by more regional focus on growth and development in Illinois,” Flider said. “Central Illinois and Macon County can benefit from such a group with a regional perspective providing long term development plans. Since serving as state representative, I have worked with local business officials, local chambers of commerce and elected officials to find ways to stimulate growth in the local economy and this new law gives us another arrow in our quiver.”

Public Act 94-0995 creates the Central Illinois Economic Development Authority (CIEDA). The group would have the ability to purchase and sell property and issue up to $250 million in bonds to spur economic development projects and create jobs. Bonds issued by the authority can be used to address local development needs, including the construction or improvement of projects, venture capital agreements with businesses and the purchase of useful property.

The regional development authority may also enter into intergovernmental agreements and share employees with other governmental agencies. Similar authorities around the state have provided financing ranging from a few thousand dollars to assist a micro-business with startup costs to several million dollars for major corporate expansion and relocation. Similar groups created in the state have led to the creation of over 1,000 jobs.

“The Central Illinois Economic Development Authority only adds to our ability for our area to determine its future,” said Randy Prince, President of the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce. “This is another tool to use to create a better future for the Greater Decatur area.”

The authority would be governed by a board, the members of which would include the Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and one member from each of the participating counties of Macon, Montgomery, Sangamon, Menard, Logan, Christian, DeWitt, Macoupin, Calhoun, Greene, and Jersey. Traditionally, boards for those authorities consist of members from the business community, organized labor, financial institutions and elected officials.

Moultrie and Shelby counties, also represented by Flider, are currently represented in the Eastern Illinois Economic Development Authority.

For more information about Flider’s law, please contact his office at (217) 428-2708.

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