Missouri named top 10 pro-business state for fifth straight year

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COLUMBIA - Columbia, and Missouri, are good places to own a business. 

According to the Department of Economic Development the state ranked as a top 10 pro-business state for the fifth year in a row. 

For local businesses, this news is not surprising. 

"Columbia is a growing city," said Michael Urban, Harold's Doughnuts owner. "The economy here is one that isn't so susceptible to macro-economic trends because of the university, and anytime you're in a city that grows at the rate Columbia is growing, the economy is going to be a good one. 

Urban, who went to school at MU, had been dreaming of opening up a doughnut shop from the time he was a student. In its first three weeks business has been so successful the store has sold-out their doughnuts by mid-morning most days. Urban said the community has been very appreciative through their early start.  

"Columbia is home for me and everyone that works here," Urban said. "We know the block real well, we know downtown and all of the local business who have been there for awhile have been really supportive."

Dan Campbell, owner of the Craft Beer Cellar knew Columbia would be the place he wanted his business to go.

"It's sort of where we are all from and where we all want to live because it's a cool little town," Campbell said. "If we wanted to open a business, we wanted to do it at home."

As well, Campbell said the city was supportive throughout the whole process. 

"They were pretty helpful," he said. "All of the licensing went through smoothly without a hitch."

Campbell said his business is marketed through social media and word-of-mouth, and also said its demographics are centered around the young professionals and students in Columbia.  

"People are really excited about new and cool stuff."

In a phone interview a spokesperson for REDI said they are very happy to hear the news that Missouri is still pro-business and thinks Columbia is set up well for business owners. 

Since 2012, the number of new business licenses issued to business inside Columbia city limits has risen every year. In 2014, there were 269 licenses issued. Currently there are 237 new business licenses issued for 2015. The 2015 license year ends June 30.