Think tank proposes institute for Chicago area economy
By Steve Lord firstname.lastname@example.org October 16, 2012 2:30PM
Updated: November 19, 2012 2:20PM
While everyone is aware of the economic woes that have plagued the country since about 2007, people might not realize the Chicago area economy has been slipping since 2000.
Part of the reason for that is that economic development activities in the region often are uncoordinated, ineffective and even conflicting.
“There has been a lot of integration between Cook County and Chicago, but other counties have not been part of the discussion yet,” said Frank Beal, executive director of Metropolis Strategies.
Metropolis Strategies is a Chicago-based think tank dedicated to policies to foster economic and other kinds of growth throughout the Chicago region. Officials from the organization recently held a briefing to go over initiatives they have been pursuing and plan to pursue in the coming year.
One of those is establishment of an Economic Institute for the Chicago region, an independent source for ongoing research, data and analytical work on the economy.
The institute would work with the Federal Reserve.
Establishing such an institute was a recommendation in a March 2012 publication, Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, by World Business Chicago. Metropolis Strategies contributed research and leadership to the steering committee that created the plan.
Beal said a similar economic institute has been established in San Francisco, where it is “viewed as an objective source” for “monitoring the San Francisco economy.”
He also said that Denver has adopted a “non-compete clause” for economic development, refusing to give financial incentives for a company to relocate from one place in the region to another.
“They realize that is not economic development at all,” Beal said.
Beal said that in addition to pushing for the institute, Metropolis Strategies will be looking at the public subsidies given by state and local governments to subsidize individual firms.