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Local Chamber of Commerce Isn’t Sweating Clayco’s Move To Chicago

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The local Chamber of Commerce is not too worried about last week’s news that Clayco Construction is moving its headquarters to Chicago.

Regional Chamber and Growth Association Executive Vice President of Economic Development Steve Johnson points out that only Clayco CEO Bob Clark and the headquarters are headed to Chicago, not the entire company.

“You never want to see a company move its headquarters designation to another city but Bob has been living in Chicago for several years now and we take him at his word that the 700 plus Clayco jobs that are in the St. Louis area will remain in the St. Louis area,” Johnson said. “There will be no Monday morning quarterbacking on this, there’s nothing that anybody did right or did wrong.”

Johnson says the RCGA sees continued job growth here in 2013, especially in the area of financial services.

“We are climbing out of what’s been a tough couple of years,” he said. “There a lot of activity in the business recruitment area for potential gains in financial services over the next six to twelve months.”

Johnson’s optimism mirrors that of Mayor Francis Slay who made similar comments Friday.

“Their financial services business has actually dropped by nearly ten percent in New York, while our percent of jobs in the financial service sector has gone up by 85 percent in the past 5 years,” Slay said.

Clark, meanwhile, told KMOX’s Charlie Brennan that one reason for the move is Chicago’s airports, which allow easier access to the company’s projects and Slay agreed, saying, “It’s important that we have a good transportation infrastructure, that we have a quality airport, and that our ports can handle the commerce up and down the river.”

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