Missouri Department of Economic Development Acting Director, Rob Dixon, spoke at the Cape Chamber's First Friday Coffee on Friday, October 6, 2017.
Acting Director Dixon shared several key things the Department has planned, perhaps the most important being geared toward existing businesses.
"We’re launching new programs and initiatives that are really designed to strategically focus the way the State of Missouri conducts existing business support. I think we can do a lot to help provide information and data and target resources so that we are out there from an economic developer perspective. We're out there literally knocking on the doors of businesses, identifying those that really drive our economy, identifying things that stand in their way to helping them, standing in their way to growth or helping them to take advantage of opportunities that might be out there."
One of the more important things Acting Director Dixon mentioned during his visit was the overall change we are seeing in our state government.
“I can't remember a time, frankly, when multiple cabinet directors -- actual members of the governor's leadership team -- would sit down and engage with a business to help them either locate or grow here. A perfect example of this, a couple of weeks ago, I got on a plane and flew across the country with my counterpart from the Department of Natural Resources and we sat down with a business, walked them through the permitting process, she walked them through the permitting process on the DNR side. We talked about the economic development side, had our local partners there, we had some of the folks from the utility there. This is what a team approach looks like for this and this is happening all across state government.”
As one of those local economic developers, I can say this is certainly true. I have been impressed with all the state department heads and their focus on improving our economy. But perhaps most importantly, we are fortunate to have Rob Dixon at the helm of Economic Development in Missouri.