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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., John Mehner provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. John is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber. 0000017b-d583-d84a-afff-fdd77fc70000Local support for Let's Talk Business comes from First Midwest Bank -- offering banking solutions for all stages of life. Online at onemidwest.com. Member FDIC.

Let's Talk Business: Mixed News on the Business Front

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This week brought mixed news to our area as the Governor extended Phase One of his Show Me Strong Recovery Plan.

The state of Missouri remains in Phase One until at least June 15th at which time Governor Parson will announce our next steps and what they mean for businesses and our communities. In the meantime, we are all urged to follow the recommendations outlined in his plan.

As expected, unemployment news this week was not good. Cape County unemployment climbed to 9.5%. Perry County has a rate of 14.8% and Scott County is at 7.6%. As we reported earlier, the state of Missouri unemployment rate is 9.7%. It appears all of these are record highs.

So, what’s the good news? Well, several things.

First, more testing will be available in all areas of the state. This will help us continue to get a better handle on the prevalence of the virus. That information will help citizens and businesses make good decisions moving forward.

In the retail world, Kohl’s and Macy’s both reopened and it appears our JC Penney made the cut and will reopen this week. Century Casino will open today. And several manufacturing and service businesses are reporting strong revenues.

We know this is not the case for all of our area businesses. Please remember the Reclaim Our Region Pledge and continue to follow the guidelines and look for ways to do business locally.

As we prepare for the next steps, continue to protect your employees and your patrons.

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