As always, thank you to our Leading, Developing and Creating Partners
June 4, 2020
First Friday Coffee
Century Casino @ 7 a.m.
Program: Legislative Update
Join approximately 300 Cape Chamber Members at First Friday Coffee, an early morning networking opportunity featuring a short program. Doors will open at 7:00 a.m. with the program beginning at 7:40 a.m., continental breakfast provided. 

Safety Precautions in place due to current pandemic:
  • Masks are required by all attendees per Casino regulation
  • Seating is limited to 160 and registrations and will be closed as of 2:00 PM the day prior to the event (check-in at entry will be required)
  • Seating will be limited to four, socially-distanced individuals per table (please do not rearrange seating)
  • Food will be served in a grab-n-go style to be eaten at your table
  • Beverages will be dispensed and handed to you by a Cape Chamber Ambassador who is masked and gloved
  • Hand sanitizer will be abundantly available for attendee use
  • Sponsor comments and the program will be visible on Facebook Live for those unable to attend in person - please tune-in!
Registration required - register here
Mehner's Meanderings
John Mehner
President and CEO, Cape Chamber

Local Talent Pipeline

While the month of May is known for many things, one of these is a real benefit for our regional business community.

May is the biggest graduation month. In the Cape/Jackson metro, we are blessed to have numerous public, private, and parochial high schools as well as Southeast Missouri State University. These institutions serve as a direct pipeline of talent local employers need to recognize and take advantage of.

Our area high schools produce between 750 and 1000 graduates annually and statistics show more than one third of those do not go on to higher education environments. Southeast Missouri State University graduates around 2,000 annually with either undergraduate or graduate degrees. That represents around 3,000 graduates a year with between 2000 and 2500 looking for work.

There are numerous ways for employers to take advantage of opportunities to tap this potential workforce. The University has a placement office charged with helping graduates find employment. They also sponsor job fairs and work to facilitate internships.

Local high schools participate in several different programs with the business community designed to raise awareness of job opportunities for their students. Both the Show Me Careers Educator Experience and Connect Cape have benefits for employers, students, and educators.

In this continued time of a tight labor market, we are fortunate to have resources to help us with an ongoing supply of workers. However, we all must partner to find the best way to maximize opportunities and benefits.

As always, if you have questions or input, let me know.

Talking Tourism
Brenda Newbern
Executive Director, Visit Cape

The first week of May is designated as National Tourism Week! During the week of May 2-8, the time to celebrate the value of travel for our economy, business, and personal wellbeing. During 2020 tourism expenditures (as defined by the NAICS codes) had a $14.5 billion economic impact and generated $479.1 million in state tax revenue from July 2019 thru June 30, 2020.  Cape Girardeau County was $190 million, $2.8 million tax revenue and employed 4,300 during an extremely difficult time. The pandemic highlighted the impact of not having tourism and across the country we are moving forward and anxiously optimistic as we continue to showcase Cape Girardeau and the surrounding county as a great place to experience! In the preparation for tourism return. Research shows that some 67% of travelers are likely to take a trip by car and drive 500 miles for a leisure trip and we want to be ready for them.  

As the wildflowers bloom and the meadowlarks are nesting nature is reminding us that things are awakening and so is the ability to travel and experience other destinations. The exponential change due to the pandemic has driven technology and digital adaptation to increase by 80%. The quarantine and digital magazines made it easy for visitors to download guides and immerse themselves in imagining being in their next travel experience.  This is allowing them to get ready, make plans and anticipate their visit to Cape Girardeau! Statistics say that travel has changed to how far can one go on a tank of gas, outdoor activities and creativity have increased as the top new destination trends. Cape Girardeau has all of that for those that dare to give us a try.

As we move to the next normal let us increase our hospitality footprint and join in as many collaborative ways possible to build memorable experiences for our visitors. Bring the next big conference for your organization to Cape Girardeau and show off the beauty you found in your own back yard. VIsitCape is here to assist you just contact us at

The Inside Line
Aaron Panton
Chairman of the Board, Cape Chamber

After a year of modified and postponed plans, we continue to see a light at the end of the tunnel! Things are picking up speed at the Cape Chamber and the team continues to remain nimble and adjust to the ever changing environment. One thing hasn’t changed, and that’s the commitment our Chamber has to its members, and things are beginning to look… dare I say it… normal! Women’s Network kicked off last week with their first in-person event, Leadership Cape is back in full-swing, and we’re just days away from our annual Membership Drive!

As we approach the kickoff of the Membership Drive on May 26, I encourage you to think back to this time last year. In a time filled with uncertainty, the Cape Chamber was there, helping keep our businesses open and feeding us the most up-to-date information. The Chamber team has worked especially hard to provide more value now than ever, and as a current member, your recommendation speaks volumes to those considering membership. Please take a moment this week to share the Cape Chamber with other businesses in our community and encourage them to become a member during the drive – there truly is no better time to join! From 8:00 AM Wednesday, May 26 through 4:00 PM Thursday, May 27, all businesses who become a member have their enrollment fee waived and receive a complimentary ribbon cutting, social media feature and premiere introduction at the Membership Drive Reception during Business After Hours.

All of the Drive details are neatly packaged on the Chamber’s website – just click here and share!

Creating Partner Spotlight
Ribbon Cuttings
La Luna
1st Anniversary
Saxony Lutheran High School
Grand opening of new track
Be Chosen Academy
Grand opening
Inspire Boutique - Saint Francis
Grand opening
Legacy Hospice
Grand reopening and rebranding
Welcome New Members
Belladona Salon & Spa
Becky Davidson
2502 Tanner Dr Ste 101
Cape Girardeau, MO

Full Service Salon & Spa
Belladona Salon & Spa | B Boutique
Blake Springs
201 S Mount Auburn Rd Ste F
Cape Girardeau, MO

Belladona is a full service Salon & Spa. B Boutique is a specialty store providing the...
Blackbird Monogram & Gift 
Nikki Burton
1812 Carondolet Drive, Suite 104
Cape Girardeau, MO

Cape Girardeau’s hometown gift shop and boutique, specializing in custom...
Blue Sky Center for Autism and Behavioral Services
Amanda Calhoun
1736 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO

Independent Living Skill Development and Employment Services for adults with...
Board & Brush
Brittney  Swicionis
20 North Main Street Suite 101
Cape Girardeau, MO

At Board & Brush, our goal is to turn you into a “DIY master” by educating you to...
Cooper Law Firm, LLC
Brandon Cooper
106 S. Farrar Drive, Suite 103
Cape Girardeau, MO

Law Firm practicing in Southeast Missouri in the areas of Personal Injury and Workers'...
Gershman Mortgage
Neal Forester
1733 N Kingshighway St
Cape Girardeau, MO

We are a mortgage company what offers FHA, VA, USDA, and Conventional loans...
Legacy Hospice
Nicole Zoellner
1435 N. Mt. Auburn Rd.
Cape Girardeau, MO

Legacy Hospice Benefits Include:
• In the first week, beginning at initial home...
Welcome New Representatives
Adam Gohn ESQ
Adam Gohn
Begley, Young, Unterreiner & White LLC
Abigail  Farris
Belladona Salon & Spa
Becky Davidson
Blackbird Monogram & Gift 
Nikki Burton
Board & Brush
Brittney  Swicionis
Belladona Salon & Spa | B Boutique
Blake Springs, Linda Springs
Blue Sky Center for Autism and Behavioral Services
Amanda Calhoun, Cheryl Smith, Kevin Smith
BOLD Marketing
Maria Swan Childress
Cape Pride Inc.
Maurice Carter
Alan Schoen
Community Counseling Center
Wendy Ice
Capetown Independent Living, Assisted Living & Memory Care Assisted Living by: Americare
Colby Simpkins
Centenary United Methodist Church
Kara Filbeck, Kristi Howard, Jennifer Long, Brodrick Twiggs
Cooper Law Firm, LLC
Brandon Cooper
First Midwest Bank
TJ  Bierschwal, Melissa Hammontree
Girl Scouts of Missouri Heartland
Wendy Whelan
Kristie Giompoletti-Shamoun
Caleb Hadler, Connor  Meredith
Landmark Hospital of Cape Girardeau, LLC
Deborah Sabella
Legacy Hospice
Nicole Zoellner
Main Street Title
Rhonda Neels
Mayson Capital Partners
Lindsey Curtis 
MRV Banks
Brady Wright
PDQ Quality Printing
Mark Evans
Pepsi Mid America
Ashley Skeen
Premium Mechanical and Automation, Inc.
Shelly Engert
ServiceMaster Professional Cleaning Services
Jody  Underwood
Southeast Missouri Food Bank
Heather Collier, Neisha Ivory
Southeast Missouri State University - Enrollment Management & Student Success
Amy Aldridge, Joshua  Russell
Becky  Poteete
The Cleaning Co
Richard Blakenship
Tipton's Linen Service, Inc.
Jeff Tedrick
W.E. Walker-Lakenan
Joe  Stahly
Waste Connections
Jason  Johnson
Thank you to our 2021 Partners!