What is Greater St. Louis, Inc.?
Greater St. Louis, Inc. (GSL) is dedicated to St. Louis’ economic growth and prosperity as a global metropolitan region that expands economic opportunity for all. GSL formed through the combination of 5 organizations as of January 1, 2021: AllianceSTL, Arch to Park, Civic Progress, Downtown STL, Inc, and the St. Louis Regional Chamber. GSL is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of businesses, institutions, and organizations of all sizes that reflect the full diversity of our business community. Through Greater St. Louis, Inc., our civic-minded business leaders plan and invest strategically together. We champion a forward-looking economic vision for the metropolitan region, a focused strategy around which to act collectively, and by implementing the strategy as a business community and in partnership with others. We speak with a unified voice, lead with a bold agenda, and act as one metropolitan region anchored by a vibrant urban core. The Greater St. Louis, Inc. model is built on best-in-class examples of how other metro areas like Charlotte, Denver, Des Moines, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh drive economic development.
How did this idea originate?
The idea began through discussions among the CEOs of the former organizations that combined. Each of those organizations had been responsible for a specific element of generating growth in the St. Louis region. The organizations had worked together extensively in recent years, in particular during the pandemic, and had seen the value of greater collaboration. In fact, since early 2020, all five organizations had been located in the same downtown St. Louis office building. Based on working more closely together, the CEOs took the idea of a more formal collaboration to their boards, who expressed strong support. Through the integration process, hundreds of board members voted to endorse this new best-in-class model for driving inclusive economic growth across the metropolitan region.
Why is Greater St. Louis, Inc. better than what we had in place?
Greater St. Louis, Inc. incorporates the best thinking of how other metro areas like Charlotte, Denver, Des Moines, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh drive economic development. In a very competitive environment for talent and opportunity, all of us who care about the St. Louis region must be working together. Greater St. Louis, Inc. will create greater alignment, engage more people and businesses in creating inclusive economic growth, and allow us to most efficiently use the resources the region has.
Who leads Greater St. Louis, Inc.?
The Board Chairs of the former organizations asked Enterprise Holdings Executive Chairman, civic leader and philanthropist Andrew C. Taylor to serve as Greater St. Louis, Inc.’s Founding Chair. Jason Hall, the previous Chief Executive Officer of Arch to Park, to serve as Greater St. Louis, Inc.’s CEO. Valerie Patton, who previously served as Senior Vice President, Inclusion & Talent Attraction at the St. Louis Regional Chamber, now serves as Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Greater St. Louis, Inc. and President of the Greater St. Louis Foundation. Hall and Patton were selected by the Board Chairs of the former organizations.
What happens to the former organizations?
Greater St. Louis, Inc. will drive inclusive economic growth for St. Louis with a unified voice, a bold agenda and as one metropolitan area anchored by a vibrant urban core. Under this model, Greater St. Louis, Inc. will carry forward certain functions from the legacy organizations, such as the St. Louis Regional Chamber’s diversity, equity and inclusion programming. AllianceSTL will continue its work as a highly focused business attraction initiative of Greater St. Louis, Inc., and ChamberSTL will focus its efforts on public policy and advocacy. Civic Progress and Downtown STL, Inc. wound down their operations.
How is Greater St. Louis, Inc. funded?
Greater St. Louis, Inc. is funded by contributions from investors. We are working closely with those businesses that are investors in the legacy organizations as we transition to the new structure. And, we are looking to increase opportunities for businesses of all sizes to play a role in helping to shape the economy of this region. We are fully committed to ensuring more opportunities for members and investors to engage in advancing inclusive growth in the St. Louis region.
What is the year-one focus of Greater St. Louis, Inc.?
Our work will be centered around eight growth-focused initiatives, which will evolve over time to advance the growth of the region. Within each of these initiatives there will be discrete projects and programs that provide opportunities for business and civic leaders to engage. The eight growth initiatives include:
- AllianceSTL: Recruit businesses to St. Louis
- Center for Civic Research & Innovation: Provide high-quality, objective research and analysis to support economic development and community efforts
- CentralCitySTL: Revitalize the urban core
- ChamberSTL: Achieve pro-growth public policy
- GeoFutures: Champion St. Louis as the global geospatial industry hub
- Inclusive Business Solutions: Develop multicultural and racially diverse business leaders and entrepreneurs
- STL 2030 Jobs Plan: Substantially increase the number of high-quality jobs in the metro area and reduce racial inequities
- STLMade: Manage the metro’s national reputation; amplify an authentic and inclusive narrative through stories of people moving the region forward
We also will be listening to key stakeholders and learning more about their priorities for economic growth in the metropolitan area. We are committed to encouraging and increasing the involvement of stakeholders throughout the community as we all work together to advance inclusive economic growth.
What will be the geographic scope of Greater St. Louis, Inc.?
Our work will cover the 15 county bi-state metropolitan area previously served by the St. Louis Regional Chamber. We will focus our efforts on creating inclusive economic growth in every portion of this region.