As always, thank you to our Leading, Developing and Creating Partners
Events
July 9, 2020
First Friday Coffee
Century Casino @ 7 a.m.
 
Program: Visit Cape Update
 
Registration requested, not required - register here
 
 
Sponsors: 
Insights
Mehner's Meanderings
John Mehner
President and CEO, Cape Chamber

Will the Work Force Situation Improve

In the state of Missouri, it ended at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, June 12. Of course, I am referring to the Governor’s decision to end participation in all federal pandemic-related unemployment insurance programs. In his official press release announcing the decision, the Governor said in his discussions with business owners from across the state, they are struggling with labor shortages not because of the pandemic, but because of excessive federal unemployment programs.

When the original supplement of $600 weekly ended, it was replaced by a $300 per seek supplement to Missouri’s regular unemployment benefits. This means thousands of claimants are receiving more than $600 per week. The unemployment benefit is meant to be a safety net as workers look to reenter the job market. Some believe these artificially high benefits have outlived their purpose and are keeping many from coming back into the work force. 

Locally, many employers have expressed frustration in trying to high enough workers to operate their businesses in pre-pandemic fashion. We hear this from multiple employment sectors including hospitality, manufacturing, the service industry, and others. And a quick glance at local job postings, or a drive around the area, shows hundreds of open positions and many employers trying to hire at starting wages between $13 and $17 dollars per hour.

The next few weeks will tell us a lot. Will the ending of the federal benefit spur reentry into the job market, or are there other factors in play?

As always, if you have questions or input, let me know.
Talking Tourism
Alyssa Phares-Fee
Senior Director of Sales & Strategy, Visit Cape 

This week my family laid to rest one of my father's brothers, Uncle Johnny. My dad had five brothers, so six Phares boys. My dad did not grow up in a wealthy family. They moved around a lot, typically shared a bedroom between all the brothers that were home at the time and learned to enjoy the simpler things in life. How does this translate to tourism? I'll get there. 

As I sat at a local diner with four out of the five remaining brothers and a couple of my closest cousins, we started talking about a reunion. Cape Girardeau has always been on my cousin Aaron's mind for a reunion spot. It's centrally located, there are things to do and I can help assist in planning at Visit Cape. Then, my cousin Jared mentioned there is a band performing during Shipyard that he and his wife Andi would like to see, so they are considering coming up in September from Texas. The list goes on: Classic Car events, motorcycle events, a baseball team (you have that too?), and so forth--- and I got to thinking: Do we, as Cape Girardeau residents, forget to enjoy all these things our city has to offer sometimes? I think so. 

So, perhaps it's time for us to enjoy & appreciate the simpler things in life and the ease at which we can attend all these great events & attractions in our community. The farmer's markets, hiking trails, a Tuesday night baseball game or a quiet stroll along the river. A great way to start will be by attending the Great Race next Tuesday, the 22nd in Downtown Cape. This national event is back for a second time and is free to attend in Downtown Cape. 

I hope to see you and your family there!  
The Inside Line
Aaron Panton
Chairman of the Board, Cape Chamber

After more than 25 years of putting our Membership and Community first, John Mehner has decided to hang it up and pass the torch he has carried so well over the years. John has sure left his mark on our organization and community, and I’m confident he will continue to do so in his next venture, whatever that may be. 

Even though the shoes we have to fill are large, I am confident our community is very well positioned to fill this role. We have some time... not only to conduct a search for our new President and CEO, but to also make sure that we properly recognize John for all he has done in his role for the past 30 years.  Look for more to come on that; even though John prefers to lay low and avoid the recognition he deserves!

What is the plan moving forward? Well I am glad you asked! As the Chairman of the Board, I have the great responsibility and pleasure of leading our Search Committee. I am excited to provide you with an update on where we are and what’s next. Who is the search Committee? The search committee has been assembled and has been very active over the past few weeks. I am pleased with our community representation we have and believe you will be too! The committee along with myself as Chair, is made up of the following generous volunteers

• Angie Umfleet, Arnold Insurance Company
• Jeff Glenn, GlennView
• Maria Sudak, SoutheastHEALTH
• Cliff Brooks, Schaefer's Electrical Enclosures
• Jeff Maurer, Mayson Capital Partners
• Dr. Carlos Vargas, Southeast Missouri State University

The committee has elected to engage in a third party executive search firm to help navigate us through this process and search. An official RFP has been shared, and the committee is currently working through interviews of firms who have expressed their interest and plan to make a decision on who that firm will be as early as next week. 

Although I shared in the Article by Jay Wolz, that we haven’t put a timeframe on the process, I know just how important it is to have a leader in place. The committee is committed to balancing the need of a new leader with the importance of selecting the right person to succeed John.  The process we are expecting to go through with the assistance of a Consulting/Search Firm is one that engages locally, in our membership community, our staff, and key stakeholders from across the region. I am excited to provide you all with updates as we make progress, and will use this format to do so going forward. Please know that my door is always open, and welcome any and all questions- even feedback/thoughts.  
New Column!
Committees at Work

An update from the Transportation Committee
by Committee Chair: Tracey Glenn, GlennView

Transportation infrastructure is a vital part of our regional economy and is one of the top two factors considered when site selectors are seeking locations for companies to locate or expand operations. Investment in Transportation is crucial to our continued success. Reducing congestion and repairing roads and bridges along critical corridors will reduce the costs of goods and strengthen Missouri businesses.

The Cape Chamber Transportation Committee meets monthly to discuss items related to transportation that affect our community and our regional economy. Committee members receive regular updates from SEMPO (the Southeast Metropolitan Planning Organization), City of Cape Transportation Trust Fund Projects, the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, the Southeast Missouri Regional Port, and Missourians for Transportation Investment.

In addition to these regular reports, committee members discuss potential local, state, and federal legislative issues that could have an impact on our region. These updates include information on transportation investment bills and identify opportunities for committee members to demonstrate their support for transportation investment by testifying at public hearings and/or contacting their state representatives and state senators.

This year, the Missouri General Assembly passed the first gas tax increase since 1997, and is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature. Senate Bill 262 will provide much-needed revenue for Missouri's roads and bridges. By gradually increasing Missouri's state motor fuel tax by 2.5 cents per year for the next five years, the measure is expected to generate $400-$500 million in additional annual revenue when fully phased-in. This additional funding will help Missouri to complete projects on the state’s Unfunded Needs Project List which totals around $825 million annually.

The City of Cape and Cape Girardeau County will also benefit from the additional funding as they each receive a percentage of the state motor fuel tax. These funds will stay right here in our community to repair local roads and bridges and improve safety.
Senate Bill 262 does have a rebate mechanism attached. This will allow those who do not wish to invest in the state’s transportation system to receive a rebate on the additional state motor fuel tax paid, while affording those who do want to invest in the state’s transportation system and opportunity to do so.

In other partner news, the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport has received a $17 million grant as part of the CARES Act Airport Grant Program. The Airport is currently finalizing projects to be completed by this additional funding, including a new Airport Terminal building, rehabilitation of Taxiway B, upgrading the airport Fuel Farm, and the construction of 26 new T-hangers.
Additionally, the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport has recently partnered with Southeast Missouri State University as they begin a new 4-year professional pilot degree program with some instruction to be completed at the airport.

If you or any of your employees have an interest in transportation and how it affects our local economy, the Cape Chamber Transportation Committee would welcome your participation. The committee meets at 4 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Cape Chamber Regional Development Center office. Join us!
Spotlights
Creating Partner Spotlight
Ribbon Cuttings
Board & Brush
New ownership
Threadz
New location
Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri
New location
Cape Girardeau Public Library
Wifi in the parks
V.I.P. Loc Studio
Grand opening
Tropical Island Pets
Grand opening
Arnold Insurance Company
50th anniversary
Welcome New Members
Anne Heisserer, DC, LLC
Anne Heisserer
326 S. Mount Auburn Road
Cape Girardeau, MO

Chiropractic and Acupuncture
B&B Media
Austin Bollinger
PO Box 374
Cape Girardeau, MO

Website development. E-Commerce. Digital Marketing. Search Engine Optimization. Content Marketing. 
Bloom Gift Boutique
Jocelyn Anderson
115 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO

Local gift boutique with a wide variety of luxury and locally made items
Campus Auto & Tire
Michelle Hohler
1404 Independence
Cape Girardeau , MO

Auto repair, maintenance and sales of new and used tires
Corner Grocery Store
Mary Gentry
439 Broadway Street
Cape Girardeau, MO

The Corner Grocery Store is a unique neighborhood store in Cape Girardeau, MO. We have groceries, deli sandwiches, salads, and the worlds' best grilled cheese. We also have a delicious line of gourmet candies and chocolates including Kentucky Bourbon Balls, Peanut Butter De-lites, and Rice Krispie Pops.
Design Exclusive LLC
Linda McKinnis
3526 Pheasant Cove
Cape Girardeau, MO

weddings | events | floral artistry?
Design & Planning by Linda McKinnis 
CREATING EXCEPTIONAL BEAUTY
Elevation Chiropractic, LLC
Matt Uchtman
1812 Carondalet Dr, Ste 102
Cape Girardeau , MO

We are a Chiropractic’s and lifestyle wellness center.  
Five 7 Treats
Andrea Dienstbach
408 Fitzgerald
Cape Girardeau, MO

Novelty Ice Cream truck serving the Cape Girardeau, Missouri area, and beyond.
We are also available for a variety of events! Weddings, birthdays, neighborhood yard sales, sport events, and more!
Greenlight Dispensary
Sara Gunther-Jackson
1001 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO
Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Innovative Financial Solutions
Jason Lee
1923 N. Kingshighway, Suite 4
Cape Girardeau, MO

Retirement Planning, Individual or business. Work with businesses to set up or maintain their retirement plans, 401k's, SIMPLE IRA's, SEP, etc., work with employees for successful retirement
Magnolias Bridal Boutique
Renee Clements
307 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO

Specialty Bridal Boutique catering exclusively to the bride. Offering a curated selection of wedding gowns and bridal accessories in an individualized, appointment based experience.
Mead Distributing Intl
Carol Roth
1364 Huron Ln
Jackson, MO

Healthy living technologies, including air purification for occupied spaces; water ionization; laundry appliance: cold water, without soap/bleach; and certified for sport nutrition. 
Minglewood Brewery
Stuart Matthews
121 Broadway St
Cape Girardeau, MO

Local Brewery and specialty pizza
Morning Star Behavioral Associates
Lindsey Radcliffe
338 Broadway, Suite 301
Cape Girardeau, MO

Applied Behavior Analysis
Ms. Dee's Angels
DeeDee Davis
1930 Independence Street
Cape Girardeau, MO

Ms. Dee's Angels offers daycare services in Cape Girardeau. DeeDee also runs a cleaning service called Penny's Demolition and Cleaning Service as well as a BBQ and more restaurant called L.O.L.'s Kitchen located 122 N Winchester, Benton, MO.
Pulse Fitness and Nutrition
Tyler Kemplin
130 Rosewood Lane
Cape Girardeau, MO

Fresh healthy meal prep delivered to you weekly. Personal training.
Rees Books, LLC
Sam Rees
212 Shorty Ln
Chaffee, MO

Bookkeeping
Rock 'N' Roll Drive-In
Sarah Estes
272 Drive-In Lane
Chaffee, MO

Drive-In Movie Theater with movies and live music in a family-friendly atmosphere.
Speakeasy Coffee Co
Suzanne Hightower
811 Broadway St
Cape Girardeau, MO

Speakeasy Coffee Co is a vintage style coffee shop that will stay open late. The business will serve coffee, loose tea, Italian sodas, specialty milkshakes, sandwiches and pastries.
Sure-Response, Inc.
Curtis Baird
300 Broadway, Suite 513
Cape Girardeau, MO

We provide Senior Care communities with two-way radios for staff on a national basis with over 3000 customers. We also build a device that allows nurse call alerts to be delivered to the radios.
The Hester Agency
Matthew Hester
835 N. Kingshighway St. STE 103
Cape Girardeau, MO

The Agency offers Auto, Home, Life, commercial, Renters ect. Insurance. 
Threadz
Kelli Rector
1704 Broadway Street Suite 104
Cape Girardeau, MO

Boutique, gift shop, custom apparel, screenprinting
Tropical Island Pets
Cassidy Stone
631 South Sprigg St
Cape Girardeau, MO

Pet store supplying the community with quality fish, amphibians, and reptiles. 
Welcome New Representatives
Anne Heisserer, DC, LLC
Anne Heisserer
B&B Media
Austin Bollinger
Bloom Gift Boutique
Jocelyn Anderson 
Cape Catfish
Donna Wheeler
Coalter Insurance Group
Eric Lundstrom
Campus Auto & Tire
Michelle Hohler
Coalter Insurance Group
Eric Craiglow
Corner Grocery Store
Mary Gentry
Design Exclusive LLC
Linda McKinnis
Elite Car Wash
Kevin Wilson
Gershman Mortgage
Neal Forester
Elevation Chiropractic, LLC
Matt Uchtman
Five 7 Treats
Andrea Dienstbach
Greenlight Dispensary
Sara Gunther-Jackson
HotShots
Matthew Hotop
Innovative Financial Solutions
Jason Lee
JCS, Inc.
Kathy Swan
Landmark Hospital of Cape Girardeau, LLC
Michael Irey
Magnolias Bridal Boutique
Renee Clements
Mead Distributing Intl
Carol Roth
Minglewood Brewery
Stuart Matthews
Morning Star Behavioral Associates
Lindsey Radcliffe
Ms. Dee's Angels
DeeDee Davis
Organic Remedies Mo Inc
Christina Fry
Pulse Fitness and Nutrition
Tyler Kemplin
Rees Books, LLC
Sam Rees
Speakeasy Coffee Co
Suzanne Hightower
Sure-Response, Inc.
Curtis Baird
The Hester Agency
Matthew Hester
Threadz
Kelli Rector
Tri State Water Power & Air
Robin Keefer
Tropical Island Pets
Cassidy Stone
Thank you to our 2021 Partners!