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.