The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is hosting a Friday event in Moberly aimed at helping to promote community and economic development. It’s called “Tool and Techniques for Rural Development,” with the Fed joined by the University of Missouri Extension and Moberly Area Community College.
Glenda Wilson, Assistant Vice President and Community Affairs Officer for the St. Louis Fed, sees this one-day event as an opportunity to zero-in on the future of community and economic development – particularly in rural Missouri.
“We partly do that (promote community and economic development) by partnering with organizations like the University of Missouri Extension and Moberly Area Community College to really reach out and talk about issues and try to bring in examples of financing and programs that work to try to help address those economic development issues,” said Wilson in an interview with the Missourinet.
Agriculture is certainly a part of what is being discussed, but only a small part.
“Part of this might touch on agriculture,” said Wilson. “But it’s more entrepreneurship, small business development and workforce development.”
Problems attracting investment are not unique to Missouri or the Midwest but could have a bigger impact here.
“It can be a greater issue for us here in the Midwest, particularly like in Missouri,” said Wilson. “We do not have the same number of venture capitalists that they have on the two coasts. So, sometimes we’re at a disadvantage because we don’t have the venture funds available to help with start-ups.”
While the Fed is often thought of as the entity that sets interest rates, it is clearly much more.
“We are out and involved in the community in trying to really help foster economic development projects, try to help bring commercial bankers, government agencies, community organizations, community leaders all together to try to address these kinds of issues,” said Wilson.
The event, which runs from 10 am until 3 pm at Moberly Area Community College, is free and open to the public.