The Rockford Chamber and RAEDC vote to join forces

RAEDC and Rockford Chamber join forces to create a new unified team.
RAEDC and Rockford Chamber join forces to create a new unified team.(WIFR)
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 6:18 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Two Rockford organizations took a vote to unify their groups and provide better resources for the community.

“This will allow us to bring our business community and leadership together under one common agenda,” said Jeff Hultman, Task Force Chairperson.

Businesses small and large in the Rockford region will have one place to go when in need of resources Now that the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce voted to join forces.

“Which is called an umbrella partnership model where you create a new entity that both organizations are a part of but they keep some autonomy,” Hultman said.

Over the past 18 months, a task force reviewed 10 models for unifying and felt this was the best fit to focus on each organization’s strengths.

“The EDC is responsible for getting them here and helping them grow and the chamber is helping be responsible for helping them thrive longer,” Hultman said.

Hultman says the task force will then work on the big picture.

“The group would look at strategic oversight, resourcing, community agenda, business voice,” Hultman said.

Rockford Chamber President Einar Forsman is excited about the decision to unify.

“We think this move will strengthen the business community’s voice and role in our future to achieve prosperity for all,” Forsman said

Transform Rockford is also in support of the decision.

“The outcome is business growth and that is retaining business, attracting new business to our region so having a great alignment across multiple partners is very important, " Said David Sidney, Transform Rockford executive director.

“I think this is the best chance to be more impactful and successful long term,” Hultman said.

Over the next six months, the groups ask that businesses reaffirm their commitment to the organizations as they go through the transition.

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