John Mehner

Host, Let's Talk Business

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

Ways to Connect

The White House/Flickr

The Paycheck Protection Program was certainly used as designed by the businesses in our area.

The program, known as PPP for short, was part of the CARES Act passed by Congress and signed by the President in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program allowed businesses to apply for loans that could be forgivable if certain criteria were met and maintained. The loans were formula based and businesses had to apply through financial institutions. Maximum loan amounts were $10 million dollars and there were no minimums.

Cape Chamber

As we celebrate Labor Day with this segment of "Let’s Talk Business," it is really difficult to get a grasp on the economic climate both nationally and locally.

Tony Webster/Flickr, License:

Last week’s Governor’s Conference on Economic Development provided timely information and necessary optimism.

Of course the meeting was held in a virtual format. Kudos to the Hawthorn Foundation for planning and carrying out event logistics.

We heard from the St. Louis Cardinals organization about the changes this season and the real financial challenges. But, we also learned of several downtown economic development initiatives in St. Louis around Ballpark Village.

Southeast Missouri State University

This is the time of year we realize only eleven cities in the state of Missouri are fortunate enough to be home to one of these important economic drivers.

Cape is home to Southeast Missouri State University, founded in 1873. While Southeast’s primary purpose is to increase the human capital of its students, it also serves as a tremendous economic driver for the region.

flickr user Elvert Barnes (

Many times I’ve heard people say just cancel 2020. It is a lost year.

There is no doubt it is a challenging year. Just as we began, COVID 19 raised its ugly head. As a country, in parallel with the world, we started down a road not traveled during any of our lifetimes. But today, many experts and I urge all of you to not discard 2020.