The St. Louis Regional Chamber has launched an independent subsidiary focused exclusively on economic development and business recruitment in the St. Louis metropolitan area, the St. Louis Regional Economic Development Alliance. Thompson Coburn Chairman Tom Minogue, the board chair of the St. Louis Regional Chamber, has joined the Alliance’s board, along with 14 other top executives from businesses across the metro region.
The Alliance, backed by extensive research and interviews with business leaders and site selectors in and outside the region, will target some of the missing elements in St. Louis’ business recruiting efforts and focus on accelerating private sector expansion. Comprised of members from the region’s three major business organizations — Civic Progress, the Regional Business Council and the Chamber — the Alliance coordinates these group’s efforts into a shared private sector economic development agenda.
"With national and international competition for jobs becoming more and more intense, the St. Louis region needs to grow faster than we are today," said Tom in a press release announcing the launch. "The Alliance will have strong support from leading businesses to drive regional economic development. And, we'll work collaboratively with state and local organizations to move the region forward – faster and better than ever before."
The Alliance will share administrative and operational space with the Chamber, including taking on the Chamber’s current economic development staff. Suzanne Sitherwood, president and CEO of Spire, will serve as board chair for the Alliance. Using multi-year investments from local business leaders, the Alliance will operate on an annual $4 million budget.
In an op-ed in the St. Louis Business Journal last week, Tom also outlined the Chamber’s role in collaborating with the Alliance:
“Top business leaders have long agreed that growth is one of the biggest challenges we face for our economic future,” Tom wrote in the op-ed. “The difference now is we have agreed on what we can do about it, and a good path to follow.”
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