May 7, 2018
With temperatures this week climbing into the 80's, it's a great time to get outside and check out some of the exciting developments garnering media attention across Southwestern Illinois. 
Another 750,000 square-foot building is under construction in Edwardsville at Gateway Commerce Center, which is celebrating 20 years of activity that has transformed it from open farmland into 15 million square feet of prime industrial space. Icon Mechanical just broke ground on a new 14,000 square foot facility in Granite City; and defense communities, such as those that surround Scott Air Force Base, could be poised to pick up financial assistance from the Dept. of Defense for infrastructure projects. The continued impact of recent investments in the healthcare sector is also in the news, as are other acquisitions, consolidations and proposals to spur economic growth in the region. 
The Leadership Council was pleased to recently team up with Dupo schools for a first of its kind career conference where over 1,000 students in grades 7-12 learned about careers in a variety of fields from over 40 industry and military speakers. A big THANK YOU to all Leadership Council members who participated in this inspiring event! You can read all about that and more below. 
We also want to call your attention to an upcoming opportunity that should be of interest to local businesses. The Southwest Illinois Trade & Investment Council welcomes existing and future exporters to participate in "Discover Mexico," a five-day outbound trade mission to Mexico City and surrounding industrialized areas. This nonprofit organization is actively assisting Metro East companies in growing their export business by inviting them to travel on a customized trade mission to Mexico. If your firm is interested in learning more, please contact Silva Torres Bowman, Director, Illinois SBDC International Trade Center, SIUE, at (618) 650-2452 or at   Additionally, the Leadership Council partnered with this group to support a bus tour for Chicago International Embassy Representatives from 12 countries that will be touring our region on May 15-16. We are excited to bring this group to see our regional businesses and investment opportunities directly.

Have a great week!

Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois

Gateway Commerce Marks 20 Years, 15 Million Square Feet of Bulk Distribution Development
(Construction News and Review, 25 April)
As Gateway Commerce Center celebrates the 20th anniversary of the arrival of its very first warehouse-distribution tenant, developers of the 2,300-acre bulk distribution park in Madison County, IL are reflecting back on its genesis, its progress and its unique space in the market. ( Read More)

Fueled by E-Commerce Fulfillment, Industrial Bulk Distribution Development Momentum Continues
(Construction News and Review, 26 April)
Speculative industrial warehouse and distribution construction remains alive and well across the St. Louis MSA, as evidenced by new construction activity and high-tech robotics upgrades.  Kadean Construction of Fenton is building "Building 5," a 759,000-square-foot speculative building in Lakeview Commerce Center, Panattoni Deveopment's 750-acre bulk distribution park in Edwardsville. (Read More)

Alton Steel adds to product line
(Advantage News, 24 April)
Alton Steel Inc. has produced the first bar-in-coil through its newly installed Garrett-style coiler. The $4.75 million project was approved in July 2017 by Alton Steel's Board of Directors.  The equipment addition complements ASI's existing offerings of hot-rolled, cut-to-length SBQ (special bar quality) bars and boosts support for customers in the cold-drawn steel bar industry, as well as other manufacturers who use coiled bar as raw material. (Read More)

Company breaks ground on industrial fabrication shop
(Advantage News, 20 April)
More than 70 attendees gathered to commemorate the groundbreaking for icon Mechanical's newest building, a 14,400-square-foot "heavy metal" industrial prefabrication and modularization facility. The newest building at the company's Granite City headquarters joins nearly 125,000 square feet of prefabrication, assembly and modularization spaces and is scheduled to be completed in July. ( Read More)

Illinois American Water agrees to buy Alton's regional wastewater system
(Illinois Business Journal, 14 April 2018)
Illinois American Water agreed on Friday to buy Alton's regional wastewater system, and approval will now be sought from the state.  The total value of the proposed transaction is approximately $53.8 million, subject to certain adjustments provided in the agreement. (Read More )

Haine passes proposal to spur economic growth
(River Bender, 23 April)
To help spur the continued economic growth of communities in Madison County, State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) passed legislation to extend Tax Increment Financing districts for the communities of Edwardsville and Granite City.  These districts allow local governments to re-invest property tax dollars into the development of the community. (Read More)

Students in Dupo learn about career opportunities
(Illinois Business Journal, 30 April)
Local businesses came together for multiple presentations to students in Dupo on career opportunities.
Dupo schools and Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois partnered to bring businesses and students together for a career conference on Friday, April 27. At the career conference, Junior/Senior High School students, grades 7-12, learned about careers in a broad variety of fields. (Read More)

DOD Could Fund Off-Base Infrastructure Projects under Proposed Authority
(Association of Defense Communities, 26 April)
Defense communities could pick up critical financial assistance for infrastructure projects which support neighboring installations under a new authority the House Armed Services' Readiness Subcommittee included in its mark of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill. ( Read More)

Six months after opening, St. Elizabeth's is giving a boost to surrounding businesses
(Belleville News-Democrat, 26 April)
Owners of Bella Milano restaurants in Edwardsville and Springfield decided to open an O'Fallon location along Interstate 64 in 2012 because the area seemed poised for growth.  Little did they know that a $300 million, 144-bed hospital would be built in the neighborhood five years later. (Read More)

HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital Highland generates $86.8M annual impact
(Illinois Business Journal, 27 April)
A new report says HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital Highland is making a community impact, with 198 full-time equivalent health-care professionals, resulting in 260 additional jobs and a total annual impact of $86,782,045 on the local and state economies. ( Read More)

Mayors discuss growth at Chamber breakfast
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 26 April)
The mayors of Glen Carbon and Edwardsville delivered positive messages about growth at the Annual Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce Mayors' Breakfast held Thursday morning.  Speaking before a large crowd of regional business leaders in the Leclaire Room at the N.O. Nelson Complex, Glen Carbon Mayor Rob Jackstadt and Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton discussed past successes and future plans for grown in the area. (Read More)

Alton council agrees to tax-supported redevelopment of mall
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 26 April)
The Alton City Council on Wednesday night approved using tax increment financing to redevelop the Alton Square mall.  Hull Ownership Group of Augusta, Ga., is the developer and officials point to the firm's expertise in revitalizing shopping malls as reason for optimism. (Read More)

Workshop to focus on minority entrepreneurship
(Advantage News, 19 April)
The Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will host a workshop on Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship in May.
This workshop is open to all entrepreneurs in the community and will focus on general topics designed to instruct new business start-ups as well as individuals who have an interest in entrepreneurship. ( Read More)

SIHF Healthcare to consolidate three Alton centers
(Advantage News, 23 April)
In an effort to provide the best care and access to health care services possible, SIHF Healthcare is relocating three of its Alton health centers to one location on the campus of Alton Memorial Hospital, 4 Memorial Drive, Building B, Suite 210. ( Read More)

EdgeWild to open third location in Edwardsville
(St. Louis Business Journal, 25 April)
Husband-and-wife duo Dee Dee and Andy Kohn are taking their EdgeWild Restaurant & Winery and EdgeWild Bistro & Tap concepts across the river this summer.
The duo will open EdgeWild, a combination of the two existing restaurants, at 1071 State Route 157 in Edwardsville, Illinois, this June. ( Read More)

Opening of new Baker's and Hale restaurant is creating quite a stir around Godfrey region
(River Bender, 24 April)
A new restaurant named Baker's and Hale is creating a lot of excitement and anticipation around Godfrey. The restaurant at 7120 Montclair Ave. in Godfrey, the old Rotten Apple location, is expected to open within an estimated month. ( Read More)