Quad Cities Chamber announced 2022 regional advocacy priorities

Local News

The Quad Cities Chamber wants to strengthen the regional economy and establish public policies to support and enhance growth in the QCA.

The Chamber announced plans in a press rlease:


(Quad Cities Chamber)

The Chamber’s 2022 Regional Advocacy priorities are focused on four key areas that work together to create a prosperous regional economy where all can thrive:

  • Talent attraction and development
  • Placemaking
  • Foster a business-friendly environment
  • Economic recovery from COVID-19

“The Quad Cities Chamber is asking state, local and federal elected officials to pursue public policies in 2022 that will position the Quad Cities region for accelerated prosperity and growth.  Among many priorities, we’re advocating for solutions to help increase workforce availability and to help our region attract and retain much needed talent,” Chamber President and CEO Paul Rumler said.

The 2022 Regional Advocacy Priorities were established through an annual Chamber survey that identified the issues businesses are facing and policy changes that would bolster the region’s success.

Talent attraction and development

To remain competitive, the Quad Cities must not only grow in population but create an educated and skilled workforce that attracts new businesses and ensures current employers have the talent pool to succeed. Public policy that fully funds education and skilled training programs and assists employees in finding affordable housing and childcare will build a well-equipped workforce for regional employers.

  • Expand and incentivize alternative career training pathways that build the workforce and talent pipelines through public-private partnerships.
  • Fully fund current initiatives and develop new policies that connect people to the training and education they need to secure good-paying jobs and careers.
  • Advocate for sufficient funding for PreK–12, community colleges and four-year public and private colleges and universities to build a well-trained workforce.
  • Support criminal justice reforms that provide opportunities for gainful employment and grows the regional workforce.
  • Identify disparities in public benefit programs that create a cliff-effect and disincentivize job and career development.
  • Implement policies that address employee needs, like childcare and affordable housing, to create an environment that attracts and supports workers.

Placemaking

To attract and retain a talented workforce, the region must be a place people and employers want to call home. Using a collaborative approach, placemaking leverages the unique assets that define the community to underscore one-of-a-kind opportunities that attract residents, amenities, and businesses. Supporting partnerships between local and state governments that include sustainable funding sources and develop additional resources to promote placemaking will ensure the Quad Cities is a welcoming place for residents and employers alike.

  • Advocate for Illinois and Iowa to recognize placemaking as a workforce attraction and retention policy priority.
  • Support and expand the existing Enhance Iowa structure to maximize large-scale community placemaking initiatives.
  • Leverage the Mississippi River by developing a unique and cohesive riverfront to provide a holistic regional experience for residents and visitors alike.
  • Utilize existing state incentives such as the Community Attraction and Tourism grant program in Iowa and Illinois’ Main Street and Downtown Capital Program to elevate placemaking projects.
  • Collaborate with regional partners to create safe and vibrant downtowns, neighborhoods and business corridors throughout the region.

Fostering a business-friendly environment

A talented workforce and distinct sense of place allows the region to attract businesses seeking to expand or move. To guarantee the regional economy is competitive on a national scale, it must forge a healthy business climate that advances the Quad Cities as an employer-friendly destination. The Chamber advocates for policies that encourage economic growth, sound fiscal reforms and tax policies that businesses desire so they will invest and grow in the Quad Cities region.

  • Support government programs, tools and investments that foster economic growth and encourage regional cooperation among communities.
    • Historic Tax Credits
    • Maintain Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as a tool for local communities
    • Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) Tax Credit
    • Illinois Angel Investment Credit program
  • Protect programs that attract new business and encourage business expansion and job growth.
    • High-Quality Jobs (IA), High Impact Business (IL)
  • Develop a long-term plan for infrastructure improvements that enhance regional connectivity through multi-modal transportation improvements and additions.
  • Advocate for federal policies that advance the Rock Island Arsenal’s mission and sustain it as a top regional employer.
  • Expand access to community-wide broadband and fiber connectivity.

COVID-19 recovery

Economic recovery from COVID-19 must remain a top priority for elected officials at every level of government to guarantee regional employers remain viable. As businesses continue their efforts to mitigate the spread, governments must address the unintended consequences that mitigation has on the business community and provide flexible relief and clear guidance on employers’ responsibilities as the pandemic subsides.

  • Ensure the burden of vaccine mandates and COVID testing is not forced upon businesses, and offer the financial support needed to ensure a company’s operating ability is not harmed in its efforts to comply.
  • Utilize American Rescue Plan Act funding to replenish the unemployment trust fund to alleviate the burden on businesses.
  • Provide liability protections for employers who follow the established CDC guidelines from claims that COVID-19 was contracted at the place of employment.
  • Extend the Minimum Wage Credit in Illinois for an additional three years by carrying over each tier of credit for an extra calendar year.

The Quad Cities Chamber facilitates business growth to help create a prosperous regional economy where all can thrive. Its work is focused in three strategic areas: business and economic growth; placemaking; and talent attraction and development.


For more information about the Quad Cities Chamber, click here.

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