Move Builds on Work to Drive Inclusive Growth, Strengthens Chicago’s Bid for Amazon’s Second Headquarters
Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced he has tapped Deputy Mayor Andrea Zopp to serve as the next CEO of World Business Chicago (WBC), a move that will build on the Mayor’s efforts to drive inclusive economic growth throughout Chicago. The move will allow current WBC CEO Jeff Malehorn to focus his time on the city’s efforts to bring Amazon’s second headquarters, and 50,000 new jobs, to Chicago.
Since joining the Emanuel administration, Zopp has overseen a suite of neighborhood economic efforts, including the creation of the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund which uses funds generated by downtown businesses to support economic development on the south, west and southwest sides of the city. To date the fund has used $3.2 million to support 32 businesses across the city, including a vegan restaurant in Chatham, a plant nursery in North Lawndale and an art gallery in West Humboldt Park. A second round of $2.5 million in funding was announced earlier this month.
“Andy is an incredible asset to my administration and a great partner in our work make sure that as Chicago grows, every resident benefits,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This role is the next step in our work towards inclusive economic growth in every neighborhood across the city.”
“I have spent my career working on behalf of Chicago’s neighborhoods,” said Zopp. “I’m excited to continue that work with Mayor Emanuel to leverage the full weight of World Business Chicago to build thriving neighborhoods.”
Malehorn, who has led WBC since 2013, will continue to support WBC’s work as an executive advisor and board member and will spearhead efforts to support the Chicago bid for Amazon’s HQ2. His record at WBC makes him uniquely suited for the role. Through Malehorn’s work with Mayor Emanuel, Chicago has been the top city in the nation for four straight years for corporate relocations, and has led the nation in foreign direct investment for five straight years. WBC has also been named a top economic development group and Chicago Sister Cities International the best sister cities organization twice. Malehorn’s drive to focus WBC on inclusive economic growth set the stage for Zopp’s leadership.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Bruce Rauner recently released the sites included in the Chicago area’s bid for Amazon’s HQ2. The bid was submitted, concluding a month-long process that brought together an unprecedented group of stakeholders to develop and support a bid that makes clear Chicago is the ideal place for Amazon to invest billions of dollars and create an estimated 50,000 jobs.
The bid demonstrates Chicago’s depth of site opportunities that give Amazon the tools and ability to build a future where it can continue to thrive and reach new heights for generations to come. Each site aligns closely with Amazon’s criteria and offers the common strengths of Chicago’s diverse and talented workforce, unparalleled transportation systems and ability to quickly reach any destination in the world. Yet each site also offers a unique set of features that will allow Amazon to tailor a space to meet its needs today, and the needs of the company it will become.
The proposed sites would allow Amazon to be at the very center of a vibrant downtown core, or in an innovative urban district in one of Chicago’s neighborhoods, or in a campus-like environment in our suburbs. A complete list of sites can be found here.