DAVENPORT, IOWA (August 12, 2021) — The Quad Cities Chamber held its Annual Meeting, presented by TBK Bank, on Wednesday, August 11, at Rhythm City Casino Resort. During the luncheon event, which also was livestreamed, Chamber leaders highlighted the organization’s accomplishments from the past year and outlined plans for the future.

Quad Cities Chamber President and CEO Paul Rumler was joined A J Loss, Chamber Board Chair, and Cathy Edwards, Chamber Past Chair, for an interview-style program facilitated by emcee Brittany Kyles, KWQC morning reporter/OTT anchor. The keynote speaker was John May, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, Deere and Company.

“To win the race for talent and economic prosperity, the Quad Cities Chamber has adapted our business model to not only provide relevant services, but to create an essential impact on the Quad Cities region,” Rumler said.

Acknowledging the challenges COVID-19 presented for our businesses, organizations, and communities, big and small alike, Rumler said, “The good news is the Quad Cities is emerging stronger than before and the future looks bright.”

“We’re embracing our role in placemaking by creating a way for Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, and future partners to enhance how downtowns and commercial neighborhoods facilitate economic growth. We’re talking about how small- and medium-business development is just as important as attracting Amazon to the Quad Cities region — the largest economic development project in our history,” Rumler said. “And, above all else, we’re only as good as our people, which is why it’s critical more people choose to live in the Quad Cities region to create the customer base and workforce pipeline to meet business needs.”

Chamber leaders outlined the priorities moving forward as well as shared the accomplishments of Fiscal Year 2021:

Chamber’s Goals

The Chamber is dedicated to our region’s growth, and its three ambitious goals are aligned with the Q2030 vision.

  1. Grow the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to $35 billion; currently at $27.7 billion (2019)
  2. Grow its population to 500,000; currently at 470,973 (2019)
  3. Engage with 25% of area businesses; currently at 10% (2021)

Highlights in the Chamber’s three core areas of work since July 1, 2020, include:

Business and Economic Growth

  • Involved with 88 new active projects including 62 business attraction and 26 business expansions representing $197,995,242 and 1,361 jobs for our six-county region.
  • Assisted in six major economic development wins including Amazon, which will build a new Robotics Fulfillment Center in Davenport; divvyDOSE’s expansion to downtown Davenport; RubberStamps.Net’s relocation to downtown Davenport; Rock Island-based Crawford Company’s acquisition of Seaberg Industries; and Service Steel’s major capital investment in East Moline.
  • Participated in 610 company outreach connections, 1,354 resources assists, and 43 ribbon-cuttings and ground-breakings with our region’s businesses.
  • Launched Quarterly Market Reports to provide summaries of our economic position and the contributions and impact of our region’s business sectors.
  • Expanded region’s ecosystem of experts partnering with Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), SCORE Quad Cities, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), and its Iowa counterpart, Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS).
  • Launched Keep It QC to bring awareness to the power of doing business locally.


  • Launched the Quad Cities Community Partnership to increase coordination and communication between the Quad Cities Downtowns, including Chamber-led initiatives in Bettendorf, Davenport and Rock Island.
  • Celebrated successes with the Downtown Bettendorf Organization (DBO) including the completion of two new projects totaling $32 million, the opening of the Iowa-bound span of the new I-74 Bridge and opening of 11 new businesses.
  • Celebrated successes with the Downtown Davenport Partnership (DDP) of 32 new and expanded businesses and the completion of fourteen projects, representing $27.5 million of new investment.
  • Completed a new Davenport Downtown Master Plan and initial flood survey with the City of Davenport.
  • Launched a Hospitality Ambassadors pilot program in downtown Davenport to interact and assist visitors, residents, and downtown employees.
  • Approved a contract with the City of Rock Island to provide downtown place-management services and hired a director to explore the creation of a place-management organization with a sustainable funding model.

Talent Attraction and Development

  • Partnered with United Way on a Regional Talent Study which identified five priorities to aid the Quad Cities in building a successful talent machine: Preschool for all, career connections, high school graduation — career/college ready, talent attraction, and career pathways.
  • Hosted a Signing Day event with education and industry partners for more than 50 high school students involved in apprenticeships with fifteen area companies.
  • Partnered with IowaWORKS and area school districts on QCA Hiring Fair. 

The Chamber’s Annual Meeting is presented by TBK Bank and sponsored by Edwards Creative, IMEG Corp, Rhythm City Casino Resort, TAG, UnityPoint Health — Trinity, Genesis Systems Group, Smart Auto of Davenport, Sterling Commercial Roofing, Bethany for Children and Families, GreenState Credit Union, KWQC, and dphilms.

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