Tuesday, May 06 2014
Quad Cities -- The Quad Cities Chamber won the Best Overall Business Retention & Expansion award from Professional Developers of Iowa. The Chamber was recognized at an awards banquet in Des Moines May 1, 2014. The Quad Cities Chamber won the award for its Business Connections and Critical Talent Network programs.
“This award shows the impact of the alignment our community has worked toward over the past five years,” says Tara Barney, President and CEO, Quad Cities Chamber. “Eighty percent of economic development growth comes from businesses already in the community, and having the tools in place to help local firms add and retain jobs is a key to economic prosperity in the region.”
Through the Chamber’s Business Connections program, chamber staff and local government partners meet with targeted companies to determine business growth obstacles and opportunities, to track trends related to business growth, and to assist companies with potential business expansions.
According to the PDIowa Twitter feed @PDIowa, Governor Terry Branstad stated that “Economic development is a team effort.”
Paul Rumler, Chief Economic Development Director for the Chamber, says “This award highlights the strength of the Quad Cities’ economic development team – including staff at the Chamber, city economic development professionals, workforce partners, schools, and the private sector businesses who invest time and resources toward economic development efforts. All of this offers businesses here a competitive advantage in preparing for growth.”
During the 2012-13 fiscal year, the Chamber met with 152 companies representing 30,198 employees from 19 sectors. The most highly represented sectors were advanced manufacturing, consumer goods producers, and industrial goods. The Chamber identified 416 assistance requests from local firms, which resulted in referrals to local resources including economic development assistance, workforce development agencies, local governments, and business development referrals to other local companies.
An additional resource the Chamber connects businesses to during Business Connections visits is the Critical Talent Network, a Chamber program that has been a differentiator in helping businesses expand. The Critical Talent Network is a group of over 250 retired executives, functional experts, business owners, and entrepreneurs. During the 2012-13 fiscal year, individuals from the Critical Talent Network worked on 22 projects with 17 companies. Some types of projects included software implementation, quality engineering backfill, facilities layout, prototype build and technology licensing, development of a manufacturing sales representative network, process improvements, cost reduction and analysis, and facilities engineering.
The Chamber is midway through a five-year plan to facilitate the creation of 5,000 new jobs in the region, and grow the local gross domestic product (GDP) by $2.8 billion. The Business Connections and Critical Talent Network programs are just two of the strategies the Chamber uses to facilitate job growth. Since the start of the regional growth plan in 2010, the Chamber has assisted 32 companies with expansion and retention projects resulting in 3,558 total new and retained jobs and a $1.4 billion increase in the local GDP.
About: The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization serving the eastern Iowa and western Illinois region, representing nearly 2,000 member businesses. The Chamber provides business and economic development services that build upon our mission to strengthen and enhance the business environment, represent the interests of our members, and foster balanced growth in the Quad Cities region.