Joplin Chamber hosts annual Economic Growth tour

JOPLIN, Mo. – Members of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce and other city leaders got on a bus today to tour examples of economic growth in the city.

Each year the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce hosts an Economic Growth tour. It’s an opportunity for business and city leaders to see progress in the city and learn what’s coming up in the future.

The tour made many stops the first one was at the Empire Market which has had to make significant adjustments to how it operates due to the pandemic. However, they say their changes are working and setting an example. Market Coordinator Ivy Hagedorn says “Our sales, our vendors revenues have actually been higher overall this year, since the pandemic hit, and I think in part it was because, all of this with the food supply chains and all of that made people realize how important local is.”

Another stop on the tour was Midwestern Interactive a software solutions company, among other things. Their piece of the pie to share is their international clients and demonstrating that Joplin businesses are as good as, or better, than competitors from larger cities. Midwestern Interactive Co-Founder Matt Johnson says “I think some people have an idea that Joplin, Missouri is behind the times and Joplin, Missouri can’t keep up with the quality that comes from the coastal cities but we prove that wrong time and time again with the clients that we work with.”

The tour continued to KCU’s Joplin campus, where the new dental school was discussed, an expansion at a recently opened convenience store, then on to the industrial parks to talk about a major expansion for Jasper Products and Don’s Cold Storage, as well as other projects coming up down the road. Liberty Utilities Territory Manager Jordan Bolinger says “So to be able to hear about all of these exciting projects and then physically go out there when we get to see, so we get to see the dirt being moved, we get to talk to the people who are in charge of these big plans, just getting out there and seeing Joplin come to life is great.”

For the city, it’s an opportunity for them to see what the economic development contract with the chamber actually produces. Joplin Mayor Ryan Stanley says “Well we see the scale of what the opportunity is but we also get to see the fruits of the work and all the things that we’ve done and how that has led to new developments.”

The tour also discussed a few new projects in development, one of which is expected to bring in more than 100 new jobs in the future.