Special Session Delivers Results for Job Creators and Opportunities for Missourians
The special legislative session held in August was productive and will be helpful in the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s ongoing mission to help employers and entrepreneurs create and retain good jobs.
Gov. Matt Blunt called legislators back to Jefferson City to pass an economic development bill that included expanding his very successful Quality Jobs Act, extending the cap on the Enhanced Enterprise Zone program and creating a state match for the federal new market tax program.
Created by Gov. Blunt in 2005, the Quality Jobs Act is our most popular incentive program and has helped create 17,000 new jobs in just two years. This innovative program requires businesses receiving assistance from the state to create jobs with wages higher than the county average where they are located and that provide healthcare benefits for employees.
The Enhanced Enterprise Zone program provides state economic assistance for businesses that relocate or expand in economically challenged areas of our state. Enhanced Enterprise Zones are located throughout Missouri and have helped stimulate development and revitalization in areas where it may not otherwise have occurred.
The state match to the federal New Market tax credit will also help bring investment to economically challenged areas. As the director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, I commend the governor for convening a special session to enact these needed changes which will help us continue economic trends that have included the creation of more than 80,000 new jobs since January 2005 and new records for goods exported from Missouri to countries around the world.
We are also pleased to welcome 10 new communities to Gov. Blunt’s Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) initiative. Aurora, Caruthersville, Chillicothe, Clinton, Kirksville, Maryville, Mexico, Poplar Bluff, Sikeston, and Trenton are the 2007 DREAM communities announced by the governor at his annual Governor’s Conference on Economic Development in August.
Selected communities will be active members of the DREAM initiative for three years. During that time they will have streamlined access to available programs including both technical and financial assistance for infrastructure improvements, historic preservation, affordable housing, community services, business development and job creation. Supported by DREAM’s comprehensive approach to concentrate resources and available tools these communities will accomplish their revitalization and redevelopment goals more quickly than ever before.
The first 10 DREAM communities have received a total of $30 million in state assistance to help reach their downtown revitalization and economic development goals.
Gov. Blunt and his administration remain firmly committed to helping Missourians reach their full potential. For more information about the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the services we provide, please visit our Internet site www.ded.mo.gov