Even before the flood, Paul Rumler, president and CEO of the Quad Cities Chamber, said it’s been an “extremely difficult year for businesses.”
“We had an extremely harsh winter that impacted business viability. We heard about that a lot,” Rumler said. “Now, the spring flood affecting downtown Davenport and Moline, plus all of the detours going on, businesses are being severely impacted. I can’t put a specific dollar amount on it, but they’re being seriously impacted.”
Kyle Carter, executive director of the Downtown Davenport Partnership, called it the “terrible trifecta” — the “brutal winter, long flood and bridge construction.”
“The people with buildings literally underwater are going to have to dry out first. We have to wait for the water to go down,” Carter said. “It’s a significant impact on everyone down here. I don’t know how else to put it. It certainly will hurt the economy.”
Many business owners are working to make their businesses operational as soon as possible, Rumler said, while others are waiting to see what will happen with flooding in the coming weeks.
“Right now, it’s taking an emotional toll on a lot of people, as well as the financial toll of people immediately impacted,” Rumler said. “Those businesses relying on a weekly income, whether a restaurant or retail shop, can they weather a month’s worth of lost revenue or substantially different revenue streams? Hopefully a lot of them have insurance that can cover the costs.”
Rumler said now is the time for “Quad-Citizens to help one another.”
“Make sure you’re supporting area businesses. Now’s the time to reach out and support them,” he said. “Have an extra lunch or schedule a time to go shopping. Because after the floodwaters go away, that’s really the time people will be assessing what happened. It’s time for the Quad-Cities to rally together and support each other, as we do best.”