Bill aims to bring international businesses to Missouri

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COLUMBIA - Lawmakers discussed a bill at an executive session Wednesday morning that aims to help attract more international businesses to Missouri.

The bill would establish the Missouri International Business Advertising Fund, which would be administered and managed by the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers or the MOSBTDC. 

Sandra Marin, Business Advisor for SBTDC, said it's important for local and state government to do what they can to bring more international business to Missouri.

"I think the bill will help give more tools to businesses," Marin said. "It will give them the opportunity to grow and increase their working capital."

Tawfiq Thabit, who moved here from Iraq three years ago, is now an employee at the international food market Worlds Foods. He said he'd like to see more international businesses in Columbia like Worlds Foods.

"I think the bill would help more business like ours," Thabit said. "It would be a good idea because Columbia is expanding, and people are coming here from all over the world."

The fund would be made up of contributions and grants to be solely used to attract international businesses to Missouri.

One of the bill's measures states: "The fund may also be used to promote its existence and purpose and to advertise in international business magazines or on social media sites or any search engine that receives international traffic."