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Economic Development Alive and Well in Cape Girardeau
The newest segment of economic development is alive and well in the Cape Girardeau area.

For a long time, economic development was all about recruitment of new business and industry – period. Then the importance of business retention and expansion was realized and tourism entered the discussion resulting in economic development efforts being described as a three legged stool.

In the last decade, a fourth major area of prominence has made its way into these conversations. Entrepreneurship is a critical focus for all successful job creation efforts. Creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem and supporting start-ups plays a prominent role in long lasting job creation.

The Chamber is invested in local efforts along these lines. We work closely with Southeast Missouri State University which now has a major in Entrepreneurship and also operates Catapult Creative Center. Giving students both in class teaching and hands-on learning opportunities is reaping benefits.

Codefi is a private co-working space solely focused on providing the infrastructure and support needed to develop and maintain the environment necessary for entrepreneurs. Through Codefi’s efforts, the area has benefitted from 40 start-ups resulting in more than 130 jobs and more than $14 million in equity investments. The Chamber is a significant investor in Codefi and their programs.

This piece of economic development is here to stay and we are looking forward to our continued partnerships.
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