Organization tours downtown Alton, hosts roundtable discussion as part of GSL initiative
By MELISSA CROCKETT MESKE
As part of its initiative to strengthen the region’s local business districts and corridors of commerce, Greater St. Louis, Inc. recently visited Alton, Ill., to tour its downtown district and to hear directly from business owners and local leaders about how its regional initiative can provide support to Alton’s continued growth and progress.
“The STL 2030 Jobs Plan calls for the development of this initiative to strengthen and grow local centers of business across the metro,” said Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis, Inc. “Revitalizing and supporting these key business districts while maintaining the distinct character that makes them so special will help stabilize local communities, revive small businesses, and create new jobs.”
The STL 2030 Jobs Plan notes that areas like downtown Alton are not just hubs of local business activity, but that in many local communities, they also act as centers of civic life.
“At AltonWorks, we are committed to regional growth and believe downtown Alton is an important part of the region’s future,” said John Simmons, CEO of AltonWorks. “We are excited about our ongoing discussions with Greater St. Louis, Inc.”
Hall joined Alton Mayor David Goins, economic development officials, and local leaders and business owners for a tour of downtown Alton businesses, followed by a roundtable discussion at AltonWorks to learn what is working and what challenges local businesses face.
Alton Main Street Executive Director Sara McGibany said, “It was great to hear an emphasis on the importance of historic commercial corridors at the roundtable. Creating a thriving downtown is a good investment, because the small businesses and community gatherings there give your communities their sense of place. We are excited to work with Greater St. Louis, Inc. to bridge the gap between the bi-state area and work as a regional team to attract employers and residents.”
“We appreciate community leaders and business owners who came out today to share their thoughts with us about how to strengthen their community,” added Hall. “We’d like to take some of what we learned today and use that knowledge to help other communities across the St. Louis metro.”
Greater St. Louis, Inc. brings together business and civic leaders to create jobs, expand inclusive economic growth, and improve St. Louis’ global competitiveness. “We speak with a unified voice, lead with a bold agenda, and act as one metro anchored by a vibrant urban core,” the organization noted.
View the full STL 2030 Jobs Plan online at https://greaterstlinc.com/our-work/job-growth/stl-2030-jobs-plan.
This story also appears in the June 2023 print edition of the Illinois Business Journal.