We're on the right track to encourage business expansion

Posted by Jeremy Elwood on May 06, 2016

Economic developers are taking the temperature of Springfield and Missouri to determine their health as nurturers of growth, and what they’re finding is good news.

Chamber economic development staff took part in a recent presentation on results of a survey on business expansion. The survey by Site Selectors Guild, an organization of the nation’s top location consultants, indicated they expect increases in projects over the next three years in manufacturing, distribution and back office/shared services.

And which areas have the biggest effect whether a city is selected for a new business or expansion? The Guild survey mentioned these areas most often:

  • Availability of skills and technical talent
  • Total operating costs
  • Transportation and logistics
  • A site’s ability to meet project timelines

The state is performing well in many of these areas, according to Missouri Partnership, a public-private partnership that works to position Missouri as a premier business location.

  • Missouri ranks 17th in overall business climate, according to information from the Tax Foundation, ranking ahead of all but one of our neighbors (Tennessee ranks 16th).
  • The Show-Me State is especially strong in corporate tax and property tax, ranking among the top 10 most attractive for businesses in both categories.
  • Missouri also is counted among the states offering “aggressive” incentives for businesses looking to relocate or expand.

These same areas are the focus of much of the Chamber’s economic development work:

Developing skills and technical talent is critically important to our members and the Chamber has added workforce development as our fourth area of strategic focus, allowing us to grow programs like GO CAPS, and the Talent Attraction Initiative.

Strong infrastructure encourages companies to relocate and expand, which is part of the reason the Chamber strongly supported the April 5 renewal of Springfield’s 1/8-cent and 1/4-cent sales taxes and has strongly advocated for a state-wide transportation funding solution.

The economic development team works with companies to meet proposed project timelines in a variety of ways. This includes searching for and helping to market real estate for development and working with regulators to develop a healthy business climate.

The research shows we’re headed in the right direction. For more information on the Chamber’s economic development arm, visit Springfield Business Development Corporation.

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