Editorial: Another win for Davenport

Renewal by Andersen
Sam Heer, in middle, owner and president of Renewal by Andersen of Quad Cities, takes part in a ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 16, for a new company facility at 250 Research Parkway, Davenport. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

Congratulations to Davenport and the entire Quad Cities region for the expansion of Renewal by Andersen of Quad Cities with a new $10 million facility planned on the north edge of the city.

“We are just super excited about this day,” Sam Heer, owner and president of Renewal by Andersen of Quad Cities, told the QCBJ before the ceremony.

Mr. Heer added that the Davenport company, now located at 1008 W. 35th St., currently has about 25 full-time employees. The company expects to eventually have about 60 full-time workers when the new facility opens.

The company president, commenting on the ongoing struggle for many companies to find employees, said that recruitment is among his companies’ top goals. “We want to be the best place for people to work. … We are in a war for talent.”

This expansion is another economic win for the region.

Amazon Quad Cities’ future remains uncertain

Amid Davenport’s aforementioned success, the big economic question that remains is the fate of the yet-to-be-finished Amazon Fulfillment Center.

Amazon is continuing its cost cutting measures, which doesn’t bode well for the enormous Amazon distribution facility in north Davenport, which originally was scheduled to open in 2022.

It was reported recently that Amazon is cutting about 10,000 jobs, or approximately 3%, of its corporate staff.

This follows a report in the Wall Street Journal that said that the eCommerce behemoth was curtailing expenses including office space and fulfillment centers.

Amazon so far this year has canceled, closed, listed for sublease or put on hold more than 25 delivery stations and fulfillment centers across the United States and has delayed opening 15 more, according to global supply chain provider MWPVL’s data published in the Wall Street Journal.

It was unclear if the Davenport facility was factored into those statistics.

Additionally, Amazon stopped construction in July on new office buildings amid a hiring freeze. 

We’re hopeful that the economy will move in the right direction and that the new facility will open in 2024. If not, the news certainly foreshadows a problem.

Rural Mainstreet survey continues to slip

One of the economic indicators that we like to track is the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI). It surveys bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy. It is an important contrast to Wall Street’s stock prices fluctuations.

The RMI fell below growth neutral for a sixth consecutive month.

“The Rural Mainstreet economy is now experiencing a downturn in economic activity. Last month, almost one in four bankers, or 23.1%, reported that the economy was already in a recession,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University. 

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