The U.S. Midwestern state is seeing unprecedented growth, and there’s no signs of things slowing down
There seems to be a common figure in Missouri right now – and that’s $800m. The state recently welcomed not just one, but two different projects that committed to investing $800m to build their first facility in Missouri. American Foods Group just broke ground on a new $800m beef processing facility in rural Missouri, adding to the state’s already robust $94bn agriculture industry.
Tech giant Meta, formerly known as Facebook, grabbed headlines when they announced plans to build a new $800m hyperscale data centre in Kansas City, Missouri. Construction is currently underway at the data centre, which will cover nearly 1 million sq.ft (approx. 92,903 sq.m).
Low taxes and business friendly environment
It is no coincidence leading global companies are selecting Missouri. The Midwest, particularly Missouri, is strategically positioned to welcome companies searching for more talent and affordable real estate.
The state is ranked No.1 in the U.S. for low cost of doing business – making it the most affordable location in the country. Missouri is aggressively pursuing new investment from businesses by creating an environment where companies can grow and thrive at a reasonable cost.
Missouri was recently recognised by The Tax Foundation for its low taxes, including: 3rd Best Corporate Tax Index, 4th Lowest Unemployment Insurance Tax, and 7th Lowest Property Tax.
Commitment to FDI supported by top talent
Missouri is strategically located in the centre of North America, making it an ideal location for businesses from across the globe. The state is home to more than 700 international companies, and the list keeps growing. Missouri provides unmatched logistical advantages, putting businesses within 600 miles of over 135 million potential customers.
In October 2022, Ireland-based James Hardie announced plans to build a 1 million sq.ft state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Missouri. The company plans to hire 240 people, and the world leader in fibre cement siding and exterior design solutions will have a large talent pool to choose from thanks to Missouri’s workforce development efforts.
With new industries finding a home in the state, Missouri has made workforce development a key statewide focus. Missouri One Start partners with employers in the state to deliver tailored workforce strategies. Through a combination of customised training, world-class colleges, creative recruitment systems and apprenticeships – Missouri is committed to filling talent pipelines with the best and the brightest workforce. In fact, Missouri ranks first in the nation for on-the-job-training and second in the country for completed apprenticeships. Employers in Missouri have prepared talent with an incredible work ethic – something often fondly referred to in America as “the Midwestern work ethic.”
Preparing talent in various industries is essential to the success of businesses in Missouri. The state has extremely diverse industries. These include:
- Automotive Manufacturing – Missouri talent drives innovation in automotive manufacturing. $4.1bn has been invested in Missouri’s automotive facilities since 2010. With significant production from both Ford and General Motors, the state is a hub for automotive manufacturing. Ford has operated in Missouri for decades, and they recently invested $95m to boost production of both the Transit and E-Transit vans in the state, positioning Missouri as a leader in the electric vehicle space.
- Logistics & Distribution – Of course, Missouri continues to be a leading choice for new distribution centres. The state is home to more than 21,000 transportation and logistics companies, and that number is increasing. Hallmark, Walgreens, and Chewy are some of the latest companies to open new distribution centres in Missouri. And according to Site Selection Group, Kansas City and St. Louis were both among the top 25 metro areas for distribution centres in 2021. Missouri’s location in the centre of the U.S. coupled with access to every Class 1 railroad, international airports, and the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, make Missouri an ideal location for businesses that need to get their products to customers quickly and efficiently.
- Food Solutions – Missouri exports more than $1.5bn worth of agricultural products annually. Several leaders in food solutions operate in Missouri, and new investment from companies such as Deli Star are strengthening the industry in the state. Deli Star recently opened its new headquarters in St. Louis, investing $99m and creating 475 jobs in the region.
Preparation is key
Preparedness is crucial to maintain the state’s status as a top location for businesses across various industries. In Missouri, leaders are preparing for the future. With companies expanding into the state and investing hundreds of millions of dollars, Missouri continues to take a proactive approach to ensure their success. For example, with the increase of remote work due to the pandemic, the state is investing heavily in broadband infrastructure to keep companies and their workforce connected no matter where they are.
Missouri understands it needs to pivot and be flexible to meet the needs of companies. And if they continue to build on the innovative ecosystems across several industries, the state will attract even more global powerhouses searching for the perfect location for their business.