Major Industries and Commercial Activity
The Davenport economic base is diversified, with a relatively equal distribution among the manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and services sectors. Manufacturing has traditionally been a principal industry in the city. Davenport is also a primary retail and wholesale trade center, drawing from a market area encompassing a radius of up to 100 miles. Business and industry in Davenport benefit from the Quad City financial community. More than 40 area banks and lending institutions, in conjunction with the state of Iowa, have established a fiscal atmosphere favorable to new business and the expansion of existing firms through progressive and conventional financing procedures. Thirteen industrial islands are located within the Davenport city limits.
Items and goods produced: agricultural implements, construction machinery, military equipment, airplane parts, chemicals, meat and food products, lumber and timber, sheet aluminum, metal products, cement and foundry products, electronic parts, clothing, printing and publishing products
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
City programs include loans and tax abatement programs for job creations and investment in real estate. The city of Davenport currently qualifies to offer the advantages of operating in an Enterprise Zone.
State of Iowa loans/forgivable loans and grants based on payroll and capital investment in plant and equipment. Projects involving larger capital investments and/or higher paying jobs may qualify for property tax exemptions, tax credits and additional training dollars under the New Jobs and Income Program. Additional state funding is also available for infrastructure improvements such as rail spurs, roadways, and others.
Job training programs
Job training programs are available that offset wages and training costs of employees. These programs are paid for through the diversion of payroll and property taxes that would normally accrue to the state/community. They also provide Iowa income tax credits.
A significant development in Davenport and environs was the introduction of riverboat casino gambling in the 1990s. Tens of millions of dollars have been poured into these ventures and tourists have been responding. Other key economic development efforts include the opening of an expanded convention center; a new 220-room hotel; and a 780-car parking garage, surmounted by a $20 million, 10-story building for MidAmerican Energy Company. Just west of these developments are a new Community Health Center, a new Sports Center, and a renovated state-of-the-art educational center for Eastern Iowa Community College District. Davenport's Downtown Partnership has focused on developing the city's central business district by retaining existing businesses, developing opportunities for new businesses, and providing housing for those employed in the urban area. Since 2001, the River Renaissance program has revitalized Davenport's historic downtown through more than $100 million worth of community investment.
Economic Development Information: Quad City Development Group, 1830 Second Avenue, Suite 200, Rock Island, IL 61201; telephone (563)326-1005; toll-free (800)747-7436
Davenport's mid-continent location is favorable to freight distribution, with one-day delivery by highway and rail to points throughout the Midwest. As a U.S. Customs Port of Entry and a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), Davenport is also a center for national and international commerce. Its Quad Cities Container Terminal works with the FTZ to permit materials to be shipped around the world without being unpacked or passing through customs until they reach their final destination. The Quad City area comprises the largest market of any major metropolitan region. A regional headquarters of United Parcel Service is located in Davenport; in all, six air freight carriers process cargo through the Quad City Airport. More than 100 motor freight companies maintain warehouses in the Quad Cities. Four rail carriers provide local switching services. Of the regions nearly 50 private and public barge terminals, more than half offer access by rail and/or highway. More than 60 truck terminals and more than 70 motor freight carriers serve the Quad Cities. Bulk commodity shippers find the Quad Cities barge service to be a highly cost-efficient shipping option.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Davenport claims a productive, skilled labor force that can be employed at a lower cost than the national average. Because of the area's long history as a manufacturing center, the work force possesses many of the traditional skills associated with equipment manufacturing and metal fabricating. The service sector is the fastest-growing, led by the proliferation of gambling casinos and attendant industries catering to tourists.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Davenport-Rock Island-Moline metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.
Size of non-agricultural labor force: 182,600
Number of workers employed in . . .
mining and construction: 8,000
trade, transportation and utilities: 39,800
financial activities: 8,900
professional and business services: 22,300
educational and health services: 22,200
leisure and hospitality: 18,800
other services: 7,900
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $16.17
Unemployment rate: 5.6% (March 2005)
Cost of Living
Davenport offers tax-exempt housing mortgage revenue bonds to prospective homeowners. Health care costs are relatively low.
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Davenport area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $241,035 (Quad Cities)
2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported
State income tax rate: Ranges from 0.36% to 8.98%
State sales tax rate: 5.0%
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: 2.0%
Property tax rate: $32.49 per $1,000 assessed valuation
Economic Information: Davenport Chamber of Commerce, 102 S. Harrison Street, Davenport, IA 52801; telephone (563)322-1706
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