Regional Economic Development Inc., or REDI, proposed an Enhanced Enterprise Zone in Columbia in February. The state program offers tax incentives to businesses investing in economically depressed areas. On Monday, Columbia City Council voted to throw out the original proposal, and possibly start the process over. It’s not yet clear whether the same area would be proposed for an EEZ, but KBIA’s Sarah Redohl analyzed the old data to see how it measured up to the blight designation. She explains the original proposal didn’t include some of Columbia’s poorest neighborhoods.
Barbara Leonhard, 60, is an instructor in the Intensive English Program and English-language Support Program at MU. In fall of 2008, she met her Chinese student Brandon Du, who practices Tai Chi. Because of their common interests in Tai Chi, they spent a lot of time together. In 2009, Leonhard visited China after being invited by Du’s family.
In China, the United States is widely regarded as the best place to send students who want a quality education. KBIA surveyed MU students who came from China to the United States so that they could attend college at the University of Missouri. They were asked about the difficulty of the application process, what they like and dislike about the university and what they plan to do after they graduate. It was found that almost half of the students came to MU through an agency to help them with the college application process.
A proposed enhanced enterprise zone in Columbia has generated a lot of discussion for the last few months. Concerns about the designation of blight required for the EEZ have been widely discussed in the news and at city council meetings. On Monday, Columbia City Council voted to throw out the original proposal and possibly start the process over. In part 1 of her 3 part series on the EEZ program, KBIA’s Sarah Redohl explores whether Columbia is different from other EEZs.