Jefferson City – Governor Mike Parson announced that the Show Me Strong Recovery Task Force has released its final report of recommendations to support small businesses across the state. In the report, the Task Force summarizes its findings and provides potential solutions related to workforce, supply chain, access to resources, broadband, and support for minority- and women-owned businesses.
“As our state’s economy has recovered, it’s important to continue to support our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy,” Governor Parson said. “We appreciate the work of the Show Me Strong Recovery Task Force members and the opportunities they identified to better address the challenges small businesses face. Their efforts have produced thoughtful recommendations designed to benefit hardworking business owners statewide.”
In addition to a seven-city listening tour, the Task Force worked closely with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses across Missouri. The analysis confirmed that businesses in some industries, such as hospitality and retail, were particularly negatively affected, and businesses across all sectors are experiencing ongoing difficulties with hiring, supply chain issues, and workforce challenges.
The Task Force provided recommendations to help alleviate some of these issues. A few of the recommendations are summarized below:
• Improve childcare availability and affordability to aid working families,
• Expand and promote hospitality industry apprenticeships,
• Update and promote Missouri’s Fast Track program,
• Streamline small business interaction with state agencies by creating a “One-Stop Shop” business portal, and
• Promote and enhance existing state programs and services to support small, women-, and minority-owned businesses
“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our state in many ways, and Missouri small businesses are among those hardest hit,” said Anna Hui, Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and Chair of the Show Me Strong Recovery Task Force. “The Task Force represented a diverse array of public servants and business owners who worked hard to understand the difficulties everyday Missourians are facing. Our hope is these findings will be helpful in addressing the needs of business owners and securing a prosperous future.”
“The vast majority of businesses in our state are small businesses, and they’re critical to the health of our economy,” said Maggie Kost, Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “Members of the Task Force put in the work to hear directly from business owners and learn how we can partner with them. Given today’s major investment opportunities, it was vital we took the time to understand their needs.”
The Show Me Strong Recovery Task Force was formed last year through Executive Order 21-06 and was dissolved in December 2021. Its purpose was to study and develop recommendations on ways to support Missouri small businesses, including those that are minority- and women-owned.
To learn more about the Show Me Strong Recovery Task Force or view its report of recommendations, visit https://ded2.mo.gov/show-me-strong-recovery-task-force.