Businesses to Boost Economy
The event was the first of its kind in mid-Missouri. The goal was to bring new business to the area. To do that, 12 counties sent representatives to figure out what it would take to grow the local economy.
Taisir Yanis owns the Coffee Zone in Jefferson City. He demonstrates what new jobs might soon look like for mid-Missourians. He started his own business four years ago, and he encourages others to do the same.
"We do need more business downtown in Jeff City," Yanis said. "The more traffic the better for us."
Economic experts at the summit agree with Yanis. They say traditional job fields like manufacturing are on the decline, so people need to explore other options. With mid-Missouri factories closing economists say entrepeneurial businesses like this one are the future. The experts also say that jobs in technology and service are the types of jobs the area needs. This kind of shared information is the reason for the summit. The hope is that each area can talk about where its successes and failures have been. Other counties can then try to figure out what new ideas and jobs can result for the best economic future of mid-Missouri, with emphasis being the success that comes from a community uniting.
"If we can continue to bring people to the area those affects sort of trickle down and we all benefit from that," said Bernie Fechtel, Jefferson City Chamber.
Ideas discussed during the summit ranged from young people to Fulton, to the success of the casino in Boonville, to the economic growth in the Columbia and Lake of the Ozarks. All for communities to look at the facts and decide what will help business. There were about 200 participants in the summit this year. Organizers hope next year's summit will draw even more. Summit leaders say new jobs will be important for attracting young people to mid-Missouri.