ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Some with the St. Louis Regional Chamber think the tide is slowly shifting, major businesses are opting for space in the city instead of the county.

Jim Alexander, Senior Vice President of Economic Development, cited a couple of examples, including big names like Nestle.

“They decided to concentrate their North American IT operations in St. Louis, and they’re doing that in downtown St. Louis,” he says.

KPMG recently consolidated its North American IT operations downtown as well. Alexander says such decisions come from the close relationships the chamber forges with companies from around the world, but attracting major companies is a long process.

“The key for us and our economic development strategy is to build very broad very deep relationships with executives that are leading companies within our four target industry clusters,” he says.

Clusters that include financial services, bio sciences, logistics and health insurance. While St. Louis didn’t get health insurer Aetna in their move, healthcare and insurance comprise one of the region’s major employment pillars.

“Having worked with some east-coast based insurance firms, and some very large ones, we’re on their radar because many of them have offices in St. Louis already,” Alexander says.

He says some firms have come to St. Louis and cut their costs across the board by up to a quarter.

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