I’ve been asked recently how AllianceSTL is “pivoting” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the basic shutdown of the global economy. The impact of this crisis on everyone’s lives is very significant and we probably don’t yet fully understand its true scope. But I’m convinced the best thing AllianceSTL can do for the region is to remain true to the purpose for which we were created just over a year ago.
Of course, we’ve stepped in to assist our community where we can in response to this crisis. We’ve connected individuals and businesses to healthcare supply chain leaders to facilitate donations and/or new sources for personal protective equipment. We’ve joined with our partners at other civic organizations to speak with one collective voice to elected leaders. However, we will eventually transition to recovery mode, and the most important thing we can do for the region is to ensure we have momentum coming out of the curve. A plan for resurgence, so to speak.
As I write this, our team is constructing our response to a $120+ million manufacturing opportunity we received last week. The competition is spread over five states and multiple metros. We are also finalizing our proposal for an incredible industrial project that we realize is a long shot, but one we will take every time. And we’re cautiously optimistic we’ll be able to share some good news about a significant tech-related win for the region sometime over the next month or so. This is just a glimpse of what’s in the pipeline.
Here’s the best part, we’re working together as a regional economic development community as never before. Our partners on the city and county level are absolutely buried with helping their existing businesses survive and recover. The most helpful thing we can do for them is to identify and explore every possible opportunity for growing the regional economy when this present crisis passes. I believe that what comes out of this is a new level of collaboration and cooperation based on the regional partnerships and communication that are quickly becoming the norm. Someone once told me “chaos breeds collaboration,” and we’re witnessing that firsthand.
I have an incredible team of professionals at AllianceSTL to work with who continually explore ways to advance the agenda for the St. Louis region. We’ve grown accustomed, as most of you have, to staying in touch through virtual meetings—every day at 10:30 am via Zoom. And every day, I realize how fortunate I am to be doing this kind of work for a region full of people who care so very much for St. Louis, and to be surrounded by friends and colleagues who all want the same.Time to go…it’s almost 10:30.