Joplin City Council hears update on EDA Economic Resiliency Report
An update on the Economic Development Association Economic Resiliency Report was given at the Joplin City Council meeting tonight.
The report documents what the Joplin community looked like prior to the tornado and immediately after.
It also details the city’s current economic condition, which shows great recovery in the business community.
The Medicine Shoppe is celebrating its 30th year in Joplin and its 3rd year at its current location.
The pharmacy was housed on 20th Street until it was destroyed by the 2011 tornado.
“We felt sorry for ourselves for about 30 minutes and then decided what we wanted to do, got right out looking for a place,” said David Starrett, Owner of The Medicine Shoppe.
That is when owners found their new home off 32nd Street.
Through donations and support from the community, The Medicine Shoppe reopened the Saturday following the tornado.
“I had 4 employees that had lost their homes and so we did the best we could to help out,” Starrett said.
Between 4500 and 5000 employees were affected by the 2011 tornado.
While not all businesses reopened as quickly as The Medicine Shoppe, nearly 3,000 employees were kept on the payroll at their workplace in some capacity.
“I would like to thank those businesses for taking such a progressive step forward in doing that,” said Tony Robyn, Disaster Recovery Coordinator. “It was very helpful to this community.”
The EDA Economic Resiliency Report includes estimates that 450 businesses of the 531 that were severely damaged or destroyed have reopened and 150 new businesses have arrived as well.
Robyn says unemployment would have been significantly high if it had not been for those businesses that kept employees on payroll.
“That really had a huge economic impact to the city as well, that we didn’t lose those salaries and those sales taxes and revenues to the city,” he said.
Starett says it was much hardeStarrettome businesses to come back than others.
But for those that did, the sense of community is even stronger.
“We all can identify together to some degree,” Starrett said.
The Economic Resiliency Report will be turned in to the EDA later next month.