Blog Home > Archive (April, 2017)
Entrepreneurship in Cape

Cape’s future economy will rely heavily on entrepreneurship. Fortunately, when I speak with other small metro market leaders, it’s clear this is one area where we really shine. Cape has a rich history of entrepreneurs. Today, the heartbeat of that activity is in the Marquette Tech District and nothing exemplifies this more than the 1st50k Startup Competition.

Since 2015, there have been four winners chosen from over 250 applicants representing 31 states and 39 countries. Edible Education, one of the recent recipients, now based out of Codefi, went on to win the Delta Challenge pitch competition and is projected to hit $1 million in sales this year. They have also added to the team retired White House chef, Quincy Jackson, who served under Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton.

All the applicants and recipients are very impressive, but what really sets us apart is the incredible group of individuals who have come together to create the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Our culture of entrepreneurship has been built by entrepreneurs themselves, many of whom are choosing to take time away from successful businesses to be a part of it. They see a future most don’t yet see and believe Cape can play a substantial role. And I believe they’re right.

The fourth round of the 1st50k competition is currently underway. Applications must be submitted by May 31. Pitch Day is planned for July 28 as the finale of the second annual TechWeek. 

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Retail in the Region

The cities of Cape and Jackson recently came together to hire a retail consultant. The reports are in and we are moving on to the next phase. Today, I want to share a few items from the Cape Girardeau report.

As a part of the market analysis, Cape’s Primary Trade area is defined as a 31-minute drive-time. These are the people who are most commonly shopping in the city. The population for that area is just over 106,000 with a residential purchasing power of $4.6 billion dollars. These numbers are projected to continue growing.

The report goes on to give detailed breakdowns of age, race, educational attainment and more. With this info, they were able to identify known spending patterns of these individuals. Ultimately this leads us to a point where we can understand demand and compare it to supply. For instance, we might see that there is a demand for 200,000 square foot of space in a given retail sector and we currently only have 170,000 square foot of space. This arms us with critical information to recruit in that sector. And that’s what we are doing now. The consultants have generated a list of businesses that best fit the gaps in our market and the recruitment process has begun. We expect to work with several new retailers this year and hopefully score some big wins for the region.

If you are interested in starting a retail business in the Cape Girardeau area, we would be happy to talk with you about the needs of the region.
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Jim Drury WayThe Cape Chamber, in conjunction with the City of Cape Girardeau and the Drury family, celebrated the new roadway built in front of the Cape Girardeau SportsPlex, Jim Drury Way. Thank you to all those involved, especially the Drury family, for helping make this new expansion possible. Partnerships like this continue to improve the economic impact of our region.

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We celebrated the official ribbon cutting for a new location of Sign Master on Thursday, April 13.

Founded in 1989 on Broadway, they later moved to their second location on Kingshighway, where they have spent the majority of their time in business.

In 2011 a long-time employee purchased the company from the original owners. This locally owned and operated business has three employees with more than 30 years experience in their industry.

Customer, Lindsey Wagoner had this to say about Sign Master, “they take the time to learn what our brands are, whether it’s Rhodes Convenience Stores, Baristas Coffee Bar or Primo Vino and Cask. They make suggestions on how different signs can complement those brands, enabling us to put our best faces forward.” 
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Empower Conference

Empowering today’s professionals to handle tomorrow’s challenges!
Register today!

WHEN:  Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WHERE: Isle Casino 

Hosted by SHRM of SE Missouri and Cape Area Personnel Association


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Getting clear about strategy is the most important challenge business owner’s face. Here’s What You Will Learn:

·       Why you should build and tell stories

·       Selling by teaching

·       Become a platform for others to get what they need

·       Deliver a remarkable marketing experience


Dexter BBQ


April 25, 2017


11:30 a.m. doors open (drinks, food and ice cream available
12 – 1 p.m. program


Also, please note: 
The Advertising for a Cause grant is back. Nonprofit organizations are welcome to apply for an award of up to $120,000 of local/regional advertising and strategic creative services. Visit for more information.

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Old Town Cape’s Tunes at Twilight spring series begins Firday, May 12, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Tunes at Twilight is a free downtown outdoor concert series held at the Common Pleas Courthouse Gazebo at Lorimer & Broadway in the Old Town Cape, Inc. district.

This year’s spring lineup is:

Friday, May 12

7 p.m.

The Gordon’s

Friday, May 19

7 p.m.

Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole

Friday, May 26

7 p.m.

Maggie Thorn

Friday, June 2

7 p.m.

Gary Nicholson

Friday, June 9

7 p.m.

Moho Trippers: Annie Sellick & Pat Bergeson

Friday, June 16

7 p.m.

Kimberly Dahme

The fall series for Old Town Cape’s Tunes at Twilight will begin Friday, August 11, 2017.  Old Town Cape’s Tunes at Twilight is sponsored by SoutheastHEALTH, Cape Air, Primo Brands, and CarGO.  Financial assistance also comes from The Missouri Arts Council.

For more information and to stay up to date with event changes in the case of bad weather, visit Old Town Cape online at or on Facebook at

Old Town Cape is a community driven, not-for-profit organization that utilizes the Four-Point Main Street Approach ™ to preserve, promote, revitalize, and enrich the historic, cultural, and economic landscapes of downtown Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Old town is your town – be a part of it! 

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The second annual Peeps for Paws benefits Howie's Harvest pet food bank and the SEMO Food bank. The doggie egg hunt is held at Dogtown dog park and will be expanded to both sides of the park this year. Admission is $5 or 5 human food items per dog. Monies raised will go to purchase good quality pet food for distribution by the Food Bank at their area mobile dispensaries. Sign up forms are available at Busch Pet Products and Deer Creek Doggie Day Camp or online at


Dogtown, Cape's dog park, located in Kiwanis Park


April 15, 2017 (in the event of rain, it will be held the following Saturday, April 22)


1-3 p.m.

Contact Name

Stacy Busch-Heisserer


Event Sponsor

Busch Pet Products & the Cape Parks and Recreation Department

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LaunchU Startup Class

LaunchU is a five-week hands-on course that coaches aspiring entrepreneurs and startups through the business planning process to determine business feasibility, including the actual development of a professional, Small Business Administration-approved business plan, pitch and financial forecast. The course consists of instruction from a certified facilitator, small group activities, one-on-one business coaching including access to market research data from the SBTDC, local experts as guest speakers, the LaunchU Startup Handbook, and a three-month license for LivePlan. At the end of the course, participants pitch their businesses to win a startup assistance package including a $500 cash prize from the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau and a marketing package valued over $5,000 from Digital Fire. Second place will receive a $500 cash prize. Scholarships to reduce the cost of the course from $175 to $99 and class seats are limited, so advance registration is required. To enroll, visit, complete the scholarship application and pay online.


Economic and Business Engagement Center at 920 Broadway


4/17-5/15 on Mondays & Wednesdays



Contact Name

Gabrielle Penca


Event Sponsor

SEMO Small Business & Technology Development Center


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Eat Wings Raise Funds

Visit Buffalo Wild Wings any of the following dates from open-close to support the following organizations:



About the event

Cape Jaycees

April 26

Fundraiser to help raise money for Cape Jaycees

Alpha Phi

April 24

Fundraiser to help raise money for new sorority

Badge Gives Back

April 23

This is a fundraiser to help a new organization raise money to help our local law enforcement and first responders.

From 3-5 p.m. enjoy:
- Emergency Vehicle (kids fun)
- River Eagle beer tasting (adults fun)
- Brad Berry and DustinSitzes acoustic singing

Boys and Girls Club

April 19

National Boys and Girls Club Community Day. Come in and eat 10% of ALL sales go back to help our local Boys and Girls Club

Trinity Lutheran School

April 17

Fundraiser to help raise money for Trinity School

Cape Public Schools Foundation

April 12

Fundraiser to help raise money to help the foundation out.

East Elementary Jackson

April 10

Fundraiser to raise money for East Elementary Jackson

Scott City School

April 5

Fundraiser to help Scott City Junior Class

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