Quad Citians have been hit by inflation and buffeted by other economic challenges, but so far the region has been insulated from “the harsher economic swings” experienced on the nation’s coasts.
That was the message John Anderson, CEO of Quad City Bank & Trust, shared when he was featured in an hour-long live broadcast from Davenport’s Front Street Brewery of the CNBC special “Inflation USA.” Audio of the episode is available here.
The show’s anchor, CNBC’s Brian Sullivan, led the live broadcast from the downtown Davenport brewery. In addition to focusing on inflation, the program served to shine a light on the region’s business landscape and attributes of the Quad Cities area, participants said.
Other Quad Citians featured included: Chris Beason, president of Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors, and Front Street Co-owner Tim Baldwin. They and other leaders also weighed in on the impact of inflation in the Quad Cities and other economic challenges in the episode that aired Thursday, May 26.
“We are so excited they would come here and pick our wonderful community to feature in this special,” Mr. Anderson said in a news release.
Mr. Sullivan, the anchor, “announced they were broadcasting ‘live from the Heartland’ and gave recognition to this lively and thriving community throughout his special,” Mr. Anderson added. “Many featured local business leaders spoke to the benefits of living in a community of our size and being somewhat insulated from the harsher economic swings felt on the coasts.”
Mr. Anderson noted that although Quad Cities is seeing both inflation and rising prices, he has not observed large behavioral changes for homebuyers or banking clients.
“At this stage, inflation is talk, not action,” he told Mr. Sullivan and CNBC viewers. That could change, he said, as the negative impact of rising costs on Quad Citians’ budgets increases.
Mr. Beason, whose multi-generation real estate company made a record $1.2 billion last year, addressed the ongoing red-hot real estate market in the Quad Cities. Despite rising prices, he said, demand for homes remains strong in the region. It continues to be “very much a seller’s market.”
But like Mr. Anderson, whose bank partners with Ruhl Mortgage to offer mortgage options to homebuyers, Mr. Beason told CNBC that the Quad Cities has been fortunate to lag in some national trends. For example, the QC market never fluctuated as much as it has in larger communities.
Still, Mr. Beason said he would like to see the market return to stable and healthier 2018-2019 levels.
The CNBC report also looked at the impact inflation and other economic factors are having on small business owners.
Mr. Baldwin shared how his Front Street business is coping with not only rising prices due to inflation, but supply chain disruptions impacting product availability, higher gas prices, and workforce shortages.
Like many small businesses, the brewery, bar, and restaurant has had to make some price adjustments. For example, Front Street raised the price of the beer on May 1 after holding out as long as it could, Mr. Baldwin said. But the combination of inflation, the rising costs of transportation, and a jump in the price of grain fueled by a giant spike in fertilizer costs proved to be too much.
In addition, the company is continuing to find creative ways to cut costs, for example, creating their own lower-cost lettuce mixes.