Rauner Highlights Tech, Biz Startups During Stop in Peoria

May 3, 2016

Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner visited The Nest Coworking, a shared workspace for startups, in Peoria Tues., touting his pro-business agenda.

Rauner greeted a room of young business owners, software developers and designers essentially by saying, “I was like you once.”

“I was a venture capitalist myself for 32 years before going into public service. I know firsthand how hard it is to start a business and build a business, how much risk and sacrifice and sweat and worry is involved in it,” Rauner said.

Except, Rauner says, he was investing millions of dollars and getting hundreds of millions in return.

Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The governor repeated something he’s said often during the 11 months the state has gone without a budget.

“My job as governor is to create an environment where business can thrive,” Rauner said.

He says his plans, like lower property taxes, would lure more entrepreneurs, like those in the room, to Illinois.

“Where businesses can compete, where their cost structure is reasonable, where they have a great trained workforce that’s highly educated and highly skilled, so they can bring that talent in to help their businesses thrive,” Rauner said.

Rauner says his plans, like cutting costs related to workers compensation, and eliminating “red tape” is also part of the solution. That’s why one particular startup present caught the governor’s eye. It’s a back-end software program designed to eliminate paperwork required in filing government forms. Rauner put that business owner in touch with the state’s economic development agency.  

After Rauner left, one software developer said he would have liked to have heard more details about the budget. Others nodded in agreement.