A roundtable, co-sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), was held on July 9, 2012, to analyze and discuss World Business Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs (the Plan). The roundtable brought together nearly 50 local bankers, regulators, and economic development practitioners to discuss the Plan’s strengths, as well as barriers to success. This article summarizes the content shared by the participants and provides recommendations from the regulatory agencies on what financial institutions can do to further positively impact the Chicago region’s strategy for economic growth.
The Plan, released in March of 2012, is the product of a cross-functional representative partnership to develop a coordinated approach to economic development that allows for the public and private sectors to better align their interests and actions. The Plan is divided into five chapters discussing the region’s foundations for growth, the current local economy, the opportunities for success and the outline of the institutional and regional structures that are needed to support this effort. The roundtable discussion, however, was focused on the third chapter, which identifies ten city and regional economic growth strategies as a platform for what the Plan defines as “contextualizing” and coordinating current efforts. The ten strategies, listed below, presuppose that Chicago is a “magnet” for the midwestern economy and a “global city,” attracting international interest in businesses, goods, and ideas.
- Become a leading hub of advanced manufacturing
- Increase the region’s attractiveness as a center for business services and headquarters
- Become more competitive as a leading transportation and logistics hub
- Make Chicago a premier destination for tourism and entertainment
- Make Chicago a nationally leading exporter
- Create demand-driven and targeted workforce development
- Foster innovation and support entrepreneurship
- Invest to create next-generation infrastructure.
- Develop and deploy neighborhood assets to align with regional economic growth.
- Create an environment in which businesses can flourish.