items tagged with Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Category: Guest Commentaries
At the public unveiling last month of Quad Cities First - the chamber-of-commerce-controlled replacement for the Quad City Development Group - I ran into Sean O'Harrow, the executive director of the Figge Art Museum.
His presence was a bit of a surprise, given that arts and culture are too rarely mentioned in the same breath as economic development in the Quad Cities. (They weren't mentioned at the debut of Quad Cities First.)
There's a reason for that: The establishment's conception of "economic development" is usually limited to luring employers to our community to create jobs (or at least move them from somewhere else). And the discussion is typically restricted to issues such as tax climate, transportation infrastructure, direct incentives, and workforce.
Yet, as O'Harrow pointed out, a community's culture is essential to attracting people - be they CEOs, workers, or tourists. And he and I wondered whether cultural marketing had been given any consideration as DavenportOne and the Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce took control of external economic-development marketing through Quad Cities First.
The answer, to the surprise of nobody: not really.
That oversight can't be corrected, so let's move into third-rail territory and suggest something truly radical: the long-term goal of a merger of Quad Cities First with the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, creating genuinely unified external marketing with a holistic view of the area - not just business opportunities, but life.
Read More About A Modest Proposal: Merge Quad Cities First And The Convention & Visitors Bureau...
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Category: Local News
On Thursday, July 23, business leaders announced the realignment of Quad Cities economic-development organizations. This will mean the end of DavenportOne and the Quad City Development Group, and the beginning of the Iowa Quad City Chamber of Commerce and Quad Cities First.
Effectively, this shifts control of external marketing and business-attraction efforts from the Quad City Development Group and its board to two chambers of commerce: the Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce and the Iowa Quad City Chamber of Commerce (the successor to DavenportOne, whose staff and resources will be merged into the new entity).
The two chambers' chief executives will run Quad Cities First -- a new organization, taking over the role of the Quad City Development Group -- and the chambers will together nominate 10 of its 17 board members. (Seven city and county governments will each appoint one member.)
Dissatisfaction with the effectiveness and fragmentation of regional economic-development efforts has been brewing for a long time. Three years ago, the Reader published "Note to Self: Why Is the Business Community Threatening Itself About Regional Economic Development?" about a letter that clearly set the stage for this shift.
The Bettendorf Chamber of Commerce has "endorsed" the new economic-development model but will not merge into the Iowa Quad City Chamber of Commerce.
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