Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce convenes in East Peoria

By Audrey Wise

August 21, 2013 Updated Aug 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- About 350 business owners and leaders are coming together to network and learn how to take their businesses to the next level.

Wednesday night, the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce kicked off their 8th annual conference at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria.

Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce President Larry Ivory said the mission of the organization and the conference is to create sustainable businesses and communities.

"We have a real heavy focus on how to strengthen communities and how to make communities more attractive," he said. "We do that by helping to make business grow, create jobs and opportunities and when you've got job growth, job development, you can reduce crime, reduce unemployment and you have a more attractive community for everyone."

The two-day convention continues Thursday with Governor Pat Quinn speaking at 8:30 a.m. followed by specialized workshops.

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