Economy & Business news

What are the implications of the shift from manufacturing to health care jobs in the US?

Businesses hurt by the pandemic can get some help from the city of Moline. It's accepting applications for another round of the Small Business Relief Loan Program.

Community Development Program Manager K. J. Whitley says the forgivable loans are for businesses with two to 50 employees. In the previous round, the city handed out 5,000 dollars each to nine businesses.

"We were able to help nine businesses, many of them were restaurants or bars but we did have some small retail businesses that we were able to help too. "

Unemployment rose in the Quad Cities during February to 6.1 per cent, from 4.1 per cent a year ago.

Tom Austin from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, says the number of people considered unemployed went up while the number of people working went down.

"Those declines are what we would expect when we look at the pandemic, especially affecting such industries as leisure and hospitality, as well as retail trade."

Other job losses occurred in government, manufacturing, and professional and business services.

Property owners in Scott County may be surprised later this month when they receive new assessment notices. Despite the pandemic, property values have gone up.

County Assessor Tom McManus says he thought values might go down because of the slowdown in the local and national economies. Instead, they've gone up with an average increase for residential property in Scott County of 8.5 per cent, and 6.5 per cent for commercial and industrial property.

Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce

A leader for the effort to re-vitalize downtown Rock Island has been hired. The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce has chosen Jack Cullen to be Downtown Rock Island Director.

In January, the city and chamber signed a two-year agreement, similar to downtown management agreements the chamber already has with Davenport and Bettendorf.

QC Restaurant Week 2021

Mar 22, 2021
Visit Quad Cities

One of the hardest hit sectors of the economy during the pandemic has been restaurants. And that's why Visit Quad Cities says this year's QC Restaurant Week, starting Monday, is more important than ever.

President and CEO Dave Herrell says this is a critical part of the local economy.

"Whether you're comfortable dining in or you're more comfortable doing a takeout option or delivery, it's all about how we can rally behind the restaurant community and support them."

Fifty restaurants are participating, with promotions and special offers.

Tyson Foods

On Midwest Week, one year after the pandemic began in the midwest, a look at its impact on meatpacking plants and workers.

Herb Trix's guest is Sydney Czyzon, reporter for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

You can also hear Midwest Week Fridays on WVIK at 6:20 pm during All Things Considered.

Unemployment in the Quad Cities is higher than a year ago, but quite a bit lower since the pandemic began. In January, the jobless rate was 6.8 per cent compared to 4.6 per cent in January of last year.

Tom Austin from the Illinois Department of Employment Security says during the past year, this area has lost more than 11,000 jobs - in education and health, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and government. / NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

Small business owners were slightly more optimistic about the economy last month compared to January. The National Federation of Independent Business reports its Optimism Index rose to 95.8 in February, but its Uncertainty Index decreased five points.

Dr. Kenneth Kriz

The Quad Cities economy started to recover during the final months of last year. That's according to a study done for the Chamber of Commerce by Doctor Kenneth Kriz, Professor of Public Administration at the University of Illinois.

He says here, and across the country, economic activity dropped sharply last spring when the pandemic began, then began to recover during the summer. In the fall though, it slowed down again as COVID case counts increased. Whether that recovery continues as 2021 begins, depends on the virus.