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Area leaders launch business initiative, ‘Light Up Alton’

From Illinois Business Journal news services

Alton area business leaders met on April 29 for a luncheon to kick off a new set of initiatives aimed at enhancing the business strength of Alton.

Liberty Bank, Bob Ramsey Seminars, RiverBend Growth Association and Simmons Hanly Conroy law firm hosted the event at the Simmons firm in Downtown Alton.

Dale Blachford, president of Liberty Bank, John Simmons of Simmons Hanly Conroy law firm, Bob Ramsey of Bob Ramsey Seminars and Dr. Dale Chapman, president of Lewis and Clark Community College, all presented ways business people can play a vital role in the rebirth of Alton business.

“Light Up Alton” was the theme. New committees were formed and most attendees signed up to chip in and help create more business activities. Key initiatives discussed were: to attract new businesses, to get everyone in town excited about the National Great Rivers Research Center, to attract young professionals, and to fund startups who locate here.

“This is really a shot in the arm for our local businesses” said Monica Bristow of RiverBend Growth Association. “We already have a great business community but coming together to share each others’ vision and make plans for the future is so valuable.”

Light Up Alton grew out of a meeting of the Strategic Circle, a executive roundtable of local business people. Their concern for the community’s business health led to the effort.

“A town can’t thrive or attract quality jobs without good businesses run by good people.” said Jane Saale, president of Cope Plastics. “To really succeed as a community, we need to do all we can to help businesses here flourish.”

Several people took “Light Up Alton” yard signs to help spread the word. “We need everyone in the community to support our local businesses,” said Blachford. “Every business here means new jobs. And that’s good for Alton.”

A new website,, was also launched.


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