A 41-member special committee assigned to chart the state’s course for a long-term sustainable growth economy for Missouri has about six weeks to make some preliminary recommendations. 

The steering committee of the Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth has held six regional meetings to take the pulse of business and labor leaders.  Those leaders think Missouri’s most competitive strengths are the state’s quality of life, its fair and balanced corporate tax structure, and its education  system. State economic development director David Kerr says people in southwest and northwest Missouri, Kansas City and St Louis say their regions are highly attractive to business, compared with the rest of the state.  People in southeast, northeast, and central Missouri don’t think they are as strong.

But Kerr says there are offsets–restrictive costs of doing business.  He says the number one answer was “healthcare costs,” with “labor costs,” and “taxes and fees.”  

Kerr says the committee will have some preliminary findings for the Governor by December first.  It plans more regional meetings in December and January to identify tactics to support the strategic initiatives it’s drafting.  The final report is due March first.

All of the presentations from the six regional meetings and all of the recommendations from the six regional committees are at a link from the Department of Economic Development website:  ded.mo.gov.

 David Kerr and Bob Priddy talk 10:13 mp3