Article by Mark Sutherland, Chief Marketing Officer of Missouri Partnership
Missouri is not just at the centre of the USA, it is at the centre of global industries such as agritech, financial services, and advanced manufacturing. Last year the state jumped from 23rd most attractive US business climate to 14th. Additional gains are expected this year as the state’s corporate tax rate has dropped to 4%, giving it the second lowest rate in the US.
“Today, we are doing much more to attract the interest of growing companies,” Subash Alias, CEO of Missouri Partnership, said. “Many businesses have not been aware of Missouri historically, but when they realise just how many global companies are headquartered here, and the infrastructure that is already in place, they quickly gain interest.”
Those global headquarters include iconic companies such as Anheuser-Busch, Bass Pro Shops, Centene, Cerner, EaglePicher, Edward Jones, Emerson, Enterprise, H&R Block, Nestle Purina PetCare, Rabo Agrifinance, RGA, Stifel, and Wells Fargo Advisors. And many others have their North American or US headquarters in the state such as AB Mauri, Bayer Crop Science, Bunge North America, Hartmann, KWS, and Mallinckrodt. Other major corporations have extensive operations in Missouri, including Boeing, Boehringer Ingelheim, General Motors, Ford, Nucor and Square.
The infrastructure that exists in Missouri is one of the many reasons these companies are successful. Every US Class 1 railroad comes to Missouri, allowing easy movement of goods and raw materials throughout North America. Add to this unrestricted access to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River with the northernmost ice-free ports. Then add highways in every direction, two international airports and foreign trade zones, and you can see why Missouri is such an attractive investment destination.
Additionally, the state has created new programmes to ensure companies’ talent pipelines are full. The new Missouri One Start programme is making the state a top contender in workforce development, leveraging a coordinated statewide network of colleges and training centres to design and deliver customised pre-employment screening, employment marketing and job-specific training. Combined with other programmes, such as Fast Track and the A+ programme that offer free community college across the state, along with work-training programmes for released offenders and internationally ranked universities, and Missouri is meeting the talent supply demands of innovative companies across the state. Missouri has also created new automotive incentives and a new deal-closing fund.
For international companies considering their next US expansion, the “Show-Me” state certainly has a lot to show off.