By Janelle Higgins, Missouri Partnership
Missouri is grabbing headlines thanks to major new investments from global business powerhouses. The state made a splash when Meta, formerly known as the Facebook company, announced plans to build a new $800 million hyperscale data center in Kansas City, Missouri. The company went public with the big news of their new, nearly one-million-square-foot data center in Missouri in March 2022.
“Meta is excited to call Kansas City our new home,” said Darcy Nothnagle, Director of Community and Economic Development at Meta. “It stands out with so much to offer – good access to infrastructure and fiber, a strong pool of talent for both construction and operations, and more than anything, great community partners.”
The tech scene is innovative and rapidly growing in the state. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is currently building its new western regional headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Scheduled to open in 2025, NGA West represents a $1.75 billion investment – solidifying Missouri’s position as one of the most attractive locations for startups and growing businesses in the geospatial industry. Missouri was recently ranked in the top 10 for women in tech, and with innovation communities statewide, the tech ecosystem is strong in every region of the state.
The state’s location in the center of the U.S. attracts companies searching for a strategic location in the middle of the U.S. with solid infrastructure. With the rise of e-commerce, companies have leveraged the state’s position in the core of the Midwest to help them get products to customers quickly. Missouri was recently selected for Hallmark’s new $65+ million distribution center, and Walgreens announced plans for a $30 million distribution center in Liberty, Missouri.
“Hallmark’s decision to grow in Missouri is a true testament to our state’s position as a leader in distribution and logistics,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Our strategic location in the center of the United States provides companies like Hallmark with easy access to global markets. We are proud to be the home of Hallmark’s headquarters, and we will continue to provide Missouri businesses with the tools they need to be successful in the state.”
The state has always been a top location for growing companies thanks to its extremely business-friendly environment. Missouri is ranked 2nd in the U.S. for the lowest corporate income tax rate, and it ranks 5th in the nation for the lowest cost of doing business. Missouri is also affordable for residents – it rounds out the top 5 for the lowest cost of living in the U.S.
“The favorable environment, availability of resources, and the freedom to operate efficiently, make Missouri an ideal location for business and continuous growth,” said James Diel, Founder and CEO of Textel, Inc.
In addition to keeping costs low for companies operating in the state, Missouri is taking a proactive approach to supporting businesses through its workforce development programs. In fact, Missouri was ranked 1st in the nation for on-the-job training by the U.S. Department of Labor, and 3rd in the U.S. for most completed apprenticeships. Missouri One Start is the state’s primary program that provides a tailored workforce strategy to address the needs of companies in the state. Missouri also offers free community college for various segments of the population.
In addition to implementing programs to ramp up and train available talent, the state is committed to identifying available real estate and preparing it for companies. Essentially, Missouri wants to reduce the risk as much as possible so businesses can dig in with confidence. Missouri’s robust Certified Sites program ensures all sites have been vetted and are ready for companies the moment they want to begin construction.
With low business costs, an unwavering commitment to workforce development, as well as several shovel-ready Certified Sites readily available for growing companies, Missouri has strategically positioned itself as a top state for expanding businesses.
Missouri – it’s the place in the center of the U.S. where companies can find more of what they need for future growth, innovation and success.