For WBC, 2011 marked a year that included increased private sector participation and funding, new performance management and project tracking reporting systems, preparations for significant international events such as the NATO Summit, and the creation of a comprehensive economic growth plan for the region.
“Last year was transformative for WBC and an exciting time to promote Chicago as a global center of commerce and international business destination,” said Rita Athas, president of World Business Chicago. “WBC’s 2011 annual report shows how we are truly collaborating with the private sector in order to advance Chicago’s business-friendly environment and bring jobs to our city.”
WBC’s Chairman, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, expanded the board of directors to 48 business and civic leaders soon after taking office in May 2011, charging them with helping advance Chicago’s business climate.
Consistent with enhanced engagement of Chicago’s business community, WBC’s percentage of private funding has grown substantially, the report notes. In 2011, private funding accounted for 63 percent of WBC revenue - up from 37 percent in 2010. Conversely, revenue from the public sector decreased from 60 percent in 2010 to 35 percent in 2011.
WBC accomplishments highlighted in the report include:
- Played a role in the creation and retention of 15,248 jobs; worked with more than 100 companies considering opening offices in Chicago; assisted 35 companies that confirmed expansions or relocations in 2011
- Helped facilitate major international events including oversight of Chicago NATO Host Committee and assisting with 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates
- Established comprehensive regional economic development plan, WBC’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs
- Created new performance measurement system to track and report on WBC’s business attraction and retention efforts, in addition to regional expansion/relocation database
- Joined forces with Chicago Sister Cities International to increase business development and further expand Chicago’s global footprint
- Launched Site Selector, a web-based mapping tool that combines information from the City’s open data portal with commercial real estate information and quality of life metrics
- Adopted comprehensive policies and procedures to avoid conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts, and ensure that WBC meets the highest standards of transparency and integrity
Additionally, the report includes a special addendum on preliminary, unaudited NATO Host Committee contributions and expenses through June 13 of 2012. The Chicago NATO Host Committee, which operated under the auspices of WBC, raised nearly $36 million of cash and in-kind donations from 66 corporate contributors, based throughout the U.S. The complete audited financial information for the 2012 NATO summit will be included in WBC’s 2012 Annual Report.