Missouri 2030 is an innovative economic vision for the Show-Me State

DanPart of our job at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is telling the world why Missouri is a great place to do business. In my heart, I believe this to be true, and I’ve seen many companies thrive in our state.

However, another part of the Missouri Chamber’s responsibility is to periodically take a step back and examine how Missouri is faring in the global economy.
We spent the better part of 2014 studying this question. What we found has become a serious wake-up call.

For example, did you know that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Missouri lost 17,200 jobs from 2002 to 2012, ranking our state 39th in job growth during that decade?

Did you also know that during the same time, Missouri’s economy increased at a 0.9 percent annual rate—the 47th slowest growth rate among all 50 states, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis?

logoAre you aware that many well-known business and media organizations rank Missouri’s economic climate as mediocre? CNBC called Missouri the 26th most business-friendly state. Forbes ranked Missouri 30th for business friendliness. The Kauffman Foundation said Missouri is 28th in business climate. And The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council ranked us 21st for business climate.

This isn’t where we want to be right now. This certainly isn’t where we need to be for tomorrow’s economy.

With this as a backdrop, the Missouri Chamber contracted with economic data expert and independent consultant Ted Abernathy to help design a plan to turn these numbers around. Ted has led successful strategic planning efforts in a number of states. Meet him in this story.

We also commissioned Gallup to do a survey of more than 1,000 Missouri business executives to find out how our leaders on the front lines feel about the state’s climate for growth. Learn more about Gallup and their work in this story.

From this work, we have created a groundbreaking new strategy, which we call “Missouri 2030: An Agenda to Lead.” As the “2030” implies, we are taking a 15-year approach. I encourage you to read the details.

In many ways, this is the most ambitious and impactful project I have seen the Missouri Chamber undertake. But the Missouri Chamber can’t do this alone. To accomplish our goal—improving our business climate and making Missouri a place where our children will find opportunity—will take support and collaboration from the entire business community.

Already, many of you have helped inform our work by offering your insight during our Gallup survey or sharing your thoughts during one of our many planning meetings across the state.

However, it is going to take substantially more teamwork to take Missouri 2030 from the drawing board to a successful reality.

The Missouri Chamber initiated this effort because it’s the right thing to do, and we feel that the business community is the right team to step forward and take ownership and responsibility for our shared economic future. It’s also the right time. The longer we wait, the further we will fall behind.

We believe that Missouri can have a clear economic vision and a united business community working together for success. And that time starts now.

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