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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber. Local support for "Let's Talk Business" is provided by Carved + Crafted Catering. (573) 651-2569

Let's Talk Business: Location is Critical to Economic Development

Cape Chamber

Location, location, location – the phrase is well-known in real estate AND in economic development

Missouri is in a great geographic position with its location in the center of the United States. This should be a huge advantage in economic development. We are rich in many transportation resources including rivers, rail, highways, airports, and river ports.

Within 500 miles of the state of Missouri is 43% of the U.S. population, 41% of buying power, and 44% of both wholesale trade and manufacturing plants. However, our infrastructure has been deteriorating. That is why the Missouri Legislature acted this past session and passed the first fuel tax increase in decades. We have the seventh largest transportation system in the nation and increased revenue will help restore and improve our roads and bridges.

Locally, we have several positive transportation updates to note. The Center Junction interchange is nearing completion and should be open in November with its new diverging diamond design. Boardings are increasing again at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, and takeoffs and landings are up dramatically with the addition of the new University flight training program. The SEMO Port is continuing work on the construction of a $20 million dollar loop track enabling the Port to handle unit trains. And discussions are continuing on the possibility of container to barge shipping in the future.

Transportation remains a critical issue for our region and our state

John Mehner is the former President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.
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