The board of directors for Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County gathered for their quarterly meeting Wednesday at noon at the US Bank Building, 3615 W. Broadway.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

Executive Director Jessica Craig noted that EDSPC is currently working with eight hot prospects:

"We have about eight projects in the pipeline. Of those eight, two of them do not currently have a location here in Sedalia or Pettis County... the other six are expansions or potential expansions of companies that have a footprint within the area," she said.

Craig also talked about the requests by some of the companies.
“We're seeing a general trend for larger tracts of land throughout Pettis County. Some of those companies require rail service, utilities availability, etc.,” she said.

Even when the corporation receives a rejection notice, Craig said that something can be learned from the process.

“Those companies that eliminate this community for one reason or another, typically, it's because of site issues. But we learn from that That tells us what we need to do to be ahead of the game,” she noted.

A good relation with a site consultant (hired by the company) is very important as well. “It's important for them to know that Sedalia, Pettis County and Central Missouri is, and that this is a great place to do business and to grow companies, and maintaining that relationship is extremely important,” Craig said.

Economic activity in this area is stronger now that it has been the past 18-24 months, Craig stated.

The EDSPC director also noted that she attended the one-year anniversary of 1 Million Cups Wednesday morning at State Fair Community College's Thompson Conference Center.

The 1 Millions Cups program was launched locally 12 months ago to feature area entrepreneurs who are given time during the meeting to present their ideas and gain input from others. Craig said that today (Wednesday) representatives from the Kauffman Foundation attended the meeting, adding that the program, one of 114 in the nation, has attracted local, state and national attention. Those reps later visited the new Craft Beer Celler in downtown Sedalia to gather information they could report back to the Foundation.

"We are absolutely on the map," she said. "We are a known factor and it's a great program." Craig added that 11 of the previous presenters came back on the one-year anniversary to share updates on their progress.

Craig also praised the contractual agreements EDSPC has with Pettis County and Sedalia. The County of Pettis gives EDSPC $50,000 annually, while the City of Sedalia donates $132,500 to the corporation that works year-round to bring new industry to the area and also take care of existing industry, helping them to expand whenever possible.

The next big event for EDSPC is the annual and quite popular "Works For You" banquet, scheduled for Thursday, April 20 at the Sedalia Country Club.  A total of 185 people have RSVP'd for the event so far, according to administrative assistant Betty Wood.

The event acknowledges two individuals or organizations who are strong supporters of economic development in the area, Craig explained. "These are people who allow us to do what we do on a daily basis," she said. "Sedalia (and Pettis County) is such a unique community, in that we come together to support economic growth, and that shows anytime we have a prospect in hand or anytime we that we come together to celebrate our successes as well."

Bothwell Regional Health Center CEO Jimmy Robertson attended his very first EDSPC meeting as a board member, and was welcomed by the dozen or so in attendance.

The next regularly-scheduled meeting of the board will take place July 12 at noon.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

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