New investment continues to roll into Missouri – even as the world grapples with the impacts of the pandemic.
Over the past few months, Missouri has seen significant investment from several global companies. The state’s business-friendly climate earned it high marks on a new study from the Tax Foundation and KPMG LLP.
“We are thrilled that Missouri is 10th in the nation for firms looking to establish a new presence within a state,” Subash Alias, CEO of Missouri Partnership, said. “And our ranking as 4th in the nation for new labor-intensive manufacturing facilities confirms that Made in Missouri is a solid decision for growing companies looking for their next location.”
The state has a long tradition of dominating certain industries such as advanced manufacturing. Major players like Ford, GM and Boeing have been thriving in Missouri for years. With more than 100,000 farms and cutting-edge research facilities across the state, Missouri has been dubbed the global leader in agtech over the past decade.
While the state continues to attract and support companies in these industries, other sectors are growing rapidly in the state.
It’s no secret that the tech industry is in the midst of a major transformation. As the workforce shifts to a remote setting, prominent companies are exploring more affordable real estate options in the Midwest. This provides new opportunities for rising tech hubs to emerge. Missouri is quickly becoming the newest destination for tech companies. For example, Accenture Federal Services recently announced plans to open a new Advanced Technology Center in the state. The new operation is bringing 1,400 new tech jobs to the St. Louis region.
“The region’s skilled talent, vibrant technology ecosystem and strong commitment to collaboration between government, civic, business, academic and community partners made St. Louis the ideal location for our new Advanced Technology Center,” said AFS CEO John Goodman. “By expanding our operations in this area, we will provide our people and new hires a great place to live and do work that matters.”
In June 2020, advertising tech startup Advocado announced plans to establish its headquarters in Missouri. Advocado’s executive team evaluated multiple markets for the company’s expansion and ultimately decided to grow in Missouri despite pressures to expand their business in a traditional coastal tech hub.
Missouri’s world-class universities are feeders into the tech talent pool, and organizations like LaunchCode and Claim Academy are delivering tech talent at an accelerated rate for Missouri employers. Apprenticeship Missouri, which ranks 2nd in the U.S. for completed programs, also strengthens the tech talent in the state by providing a combination of job-learning experiences and coursework.
Missouri’s commitment to keeping its home-grown talent aware of job opportunities is evident through the Missouri One Start Division. One Start also helps businesses recruit the best talent—making it a beneficial program for both employers and job seekers.
Missouri’s success in the tech industry didn’t happen overnight. While other markets have touted their accomplishments in the tech scene for years, Missouri has been quietly building its tech ecosystem from the ground up. The state’s unmatched collaboration among private individuals, local officials and universities has helped the tech industry steadily grow in Missouri. From downtowns establishing coworking spaces to support remote work and tech companies, to tech incubators sprouting up in various cities and venture capital firms investing in Missouri companies, the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit in the state is evident.
And that spirit isn’t limited to a few urban areas in the state. In fact, five cities across Missouri were recently recognized by the Best of the Midwest Startup City Rankings – St. Louis (5th), Kansas City (12th), Columbia (29th), Springfield (37th), and Jefferson City (54th).
Tech powerhouses such as Square, Cerner Corporation, and World Wide Technology are in the state – solidifying Missouri as top destination for companies that need the brightest talent in a business-friendly and affordable environment.
“Square is proud to be from Missouri and thrilled to expand our presence here, where we’ve exceeded our growth expectations thanks to the wealth of local talent,” said Jim McKelvey, Co-Founder and Director of Square.
North America’s Logistics Center
While Missouri has strategically placed itself in the center of this emerging new tech hub in the U.S., the state remains at the center of something else – the nation’s population. For the last 40 years, a Missouri city has been named the center
of the U.S. population. It’s more than just a fun piece of trivia, it’s a huge advantage for any company that needs to distribute products to customers quickly.
E-commerce has grown tremendously during the pandemic, leading online retailers to explore new locations for their fulfillment centers. Missouri is a top choice for companies such as Amazon, CVS Pharmacy, and Dollar Tree, not only because of its central location, but also due to its infrastructure.
Major online retailers are taking a closer look at how they can leverage the state’s strengths in this field.
E-commerce giant Chewy, Inc. recently announced plans to build one of its largest fulfillment centers in Missouri. The company sells a variety of pet-related products online and is currently building a new 800,000-square-foot facility in Belton, Missouri.
“We are thrilled to open our first fulfillment center in Missouri and continue to grow our team. We’re so excited to be a part of this community and look forward to having a presence in the region,” said Diane Pelkey, Vice President of Communications and PR at Chewy.
Missouri Is Looking To The Future
Missouri is a destination for new investment. As the home to several world-renowned companies, and with leading businesses showing confidence in the state by investing millions of dollars in new facilities, Missouri is moving forward and plans to
continue to find ways to exceed companies’ expectations when they invest in the state.
If you’re interested in locating your business in Missouri, please contact Missouri Partnership at 314.725.0949 or visit missouripartnership.com for more information.