Economy & Business news

Hill and Valley Bakery

The city of Rock Island may help the owner of the former Farmall plant with its latest development project. Monday night the city council will consider an agreement with LRC Developers, allowing it to use tif district revenue to fix up an old building.

LRC President Scott Christiansen says he's looking at possible options for a four story building next to the MetroLink facility - one is to open a small business incubator.

Companies that move goods on US rivers, lakes, and oceans need a national plan to immunize their workers against the coronavirus.

That's what Del Wilkins told Congress last month (video below). He's the Vice Chair of American Waterways Operators, a national trade association of the barge industry.

Michelle O'Neill reports.

Deere & Company / Deere & Company

It's difficult to know what shareholders thought about Deere and Company's first, virtual annual meeting. But they're probably satisfied with record, first quarter earnings and an 18% increase in the dividend.

Naeve Family Beef

With help from the state, an eastern Iowa family has decided to build and operate its own beef processing plant. Construction could start this spring in Camanche for Naeve Family Beef.

President Andrew Naeve says about half of the beef cattle to be processed in the new plant will come from his family's farm in Andover in Clinton County, with farmers across the midwest providing the rest. / Deere & Company

Pandemic - what Pandemic ! Despite the coronavirus John Deere has just finished one of the best quarters ever, reporting Friday the highest net income in company history, $1.2 billion.

Spokeswoman Jen Hartmann says during November, December, and January, sales jumped 19 per cent and net income more than doubled.

"Our customers and the industries we serve have really kept cranking. Market conditions have gotten better for one thing, crop prices have risen strongly, and construction activity has picked up." / IDES

Many retailers in Illinois continue to struggle as COVID-19 restrictions limit the number of customers allowed in stores, restaurants, bars, and other businesses.

Michelle O'Neill reports.

QC Chamber Will Manage Downtown Rock Island

Jan 29, 2021
Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce

As it does for downtown Davenport and Bettendorf, the Quad Cities Chamber will manage downtown Rock Island, under a new contract with the city of Rock Island.

Through a $225,000, two-year contract, the Chamber will hire a director who will explore creation of a downtown place management organization; choose a funding model for it; help enhance public spaces, encourage investment and improve quality of life, and market the downtown as a great place to live, work, and play.

Although it's a big improvement from when the pandemic began, unemployment in the Quad Cities rose in December to 5.1 per cent, from 4.4 per cent during the same month a year ago.

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

Quad City International Airport

After surviving a dismal year for air travel caused by the pandemic, officials at the Quad City International Airport see some reason for optimism in the new year. Figures for 2020, show passenger traffic dropped 58 per cent compared to the previous year.

Spokeswoman Ashleigh Johnston says the first positive sign for 2021 occurred last week when United announced it will resume flights from the Quad Cities to Denver, starting next month.

Good Bye Family Video

Jan 7, 2021

One of the last survivors in the video rental business is closing. This week the owner of Family Video announced it's going to close its last 250 stores, including seven in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. 

They're located in Moline, Bettendorf, Davenport, Galesburg, Dixon, Kewanee, and Keokuk. And they'll close once everything in the stores is sold, videos and store fixtures.