Economic Alliance Supports Proposed Casino Plan
The Economic Alliance supports the specific initiative of a local investment group to bring casino gaming to the Cedar Rapids area. The proposed development, investment and ownership structure help ensure this casino would benefit the Cedar Rapids regional economy by creating good jobs, contributing to community development and encouraging additional economic redevelopment and investment. Our support of this initiative is consistent with our mission to serve as the catalyst for economic diversity, growth, and prosperity for our region.
Policy Board members were very deliberate in their consideration of this proposal. The Economic Alliance has worked hard to keep its efforts narrowly focused on core functions of business support, community development, economic development and public policy. There are many initiatives - including some past gaming initiatives - the Economic Alliance (and/or its legacy organizations) does not involve itself in because we want to stay true to a very specific vision centered on economic growth.
The board asked for research and experiences from other communities and looked closely at the economic data. It also asked the Economic Alliance's Business Support Innovation Council to take a look at the proposal, a move that brought in viewpoints from many locally-owned and small businesses. The Innovation Council unanimously supported the initiative, and the Policy Board then ratified that conclusion, also in a unanimous way.
Innovation Council and Policy Board members were greatly moved by compelling economic data:
- 360 new permanent jobs with an average wages and benefits of $42K
- 130 high-paying construction jobs during the casino building
- $2.4-$4 million in yearly grants to worthwhile projects throughout Linn County
The Economic Alliance is happy to add our support for the initiative.