The findings of The Virtual Big Table: Greater Peoria 2020 event were announced today. The second annual regional community-building event was held virtually over a four-day period from October 19 - 22. Today’s zoom press conference revealed the demographics and trends from conversations of nearly 800 residents from 55 zip codes.

“We are thrilled to gather everyone back today to share the results of this year’s Big Table: Greater Peoria,” said Joshua Gunn, CEO of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce. “This report provides insight into the broader community about what steps we’ve taken forward since last year’s event and where we need to continue our focus to help propel our region forward.”

Discussions focused on four major areas: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Workforce & Education, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Quality of Life. Through small breakout groups facilitated by trained volunteers, conversations examined these topics from a regional perspective in order to generate ideas on how to create a healthy and thriving region.

Due to the overwhelming response to this year’s virtual event, future Big Table events will continue to happen to further generate feedback, ideas and actions.

"After having to pivot with our approach to this year’s Big Table event in October, it was incredible to see that our community was still actively trying to make our region better, even during a time of uncertainty,” said J.D. Dalfonso, President/CEO of Discover Peoria. “We are looking forward to sharing information about what we heard over the four days, but more importantly working together to take action on what we heard."

Between the 2019 Big Table: Greater Peoria and the 2020 event, Big Table continued having important conversations with Gather Around Justice: A Big Table Discussion series that took place three times between the months of June and September 2020 with a total of 444 participants. Gather Around Justice’s goal was aimed to foster mindful conversations around how we can use our individual power and privilege to make the change our region needs to correct historic racial, economic and social inequalities.

The full report can be viewed by visiting www.bigtablegp.com.

The organizations involved in future events include CEO Council, Peoria Area Chamber of commerce, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, Peoria Area Convention and Vistors Bureau, Black Business Alliance, Peoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, MortonChamber of Commerce, East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, Pekin Chamber of Commerce, Washington Chamber of Commerce, and the Peoria Heights Chamber of Commerce.