The QC is the heart of the Midwest, the sweet spot for industry and creativity, where two states and one mighty Mississippi River are home to a family of communities.
The region attracts investors and entrepreneurs because it holds an inventive imagination that embraces the arts, entrepreneurship and global aspirations. QC offers an open-minded network and drive that make the region a hub of ambition, innovation and creativity for a new generation.
There is an ease of doing business, a workforce skilled in manufacturing, a central location with multi-modal access to the coasts and a supply chain flush with materials for Fortune 500 companies in the region. Its industries, both creative and manufacturing, are made up of good people with good ideas who are seeking to make local global.
Ian Frink benefits from those business advantages. He is co-owner of Crawford Company, a provider of manufacturing, fabrication and installation services. “The Quad Cities’ labor pool is full of qualified, hard workers who genuinely care about their quality of work day in and day out. This, coupled with excellent schools, low cost of living and a vibrant community makes our area an excellent choice for business owners,” Frink says.
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Innovation is huge in the QC business community
“Leading world-renowned manufacturers call the QC home,” says Frink, “and other industry leaders are making leaps in innovation in their respective industries.”
Deere & Company, Modern Woodmen of America and Von Maur, to name a few, are headquartered here. Key industries spurring innovation include advanced metals, materials and manufacturing, professional services, defense, agriculture and logistics.
“The Quad Cities gained momentum right around 2000 and downtown revitalization began. The QC began growing and in the last two decades, there’s been even more traction and development,” Frink says.
It’s easy to get anywhere and everywhere
The QC is within a 300-mile radius of Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Des Moines, Omaha, Kansas City and Indianapolis. However, you do not need to leave the metro area to have a vibrant experience, explains Cathy Edwards, CEO and owner of Edwards Creative. Edwards and her crew of designers and custom fabricators help bring local museum installations, events and one of the largest local fundraisers — the John Deere Classic — to life.
“Every city has its own personality, attributes, things to do and companies. There is a deep history with the museums and cultural activities. We’ve developed into this cool, prosperous area in the Midwest,” Edwards says. When you do want to get out of town, “the airport and interstates are very accessible.”
Short commutes save time and money and are a major draw for talent. A brand new I-74 River Bridge spanning from Bettendorf to Moline makes Frink’s own commute a breeze. “I live in Bettendorf and work in Rock Island. Going from one end of the Quad Cities to the other takes less than 25 minutes. My company has 300 employees living from Geneseo to Clinton, and it’s easy for all of them to get around,” he says.
There’s room to grow
The Quad Cities isn’t immune to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, there's always a silver lining. Through the challenges, the pandemic also created a great opportunity: there’s never been a better time to be a job-seeker or open a business here in the Quad Cities.
“The business community is strong, inclusive and listens to what people coming into the QC are seeking. The Quad Cities Chamber, Rock Island Arsenal, Deere & Company and other business and community partners are creating a region flush with opportunities where everyone can be successful,” Edwards says.