rural economy

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media and KBIA

The town of Brookfield, Missouri, in the north-central part of the state is a close-knit community. Population: about 4,500. Becky Cleveland, who grew up in town, says the area looks a little different today.

“When I was a kid, like I said, there was four grocery stores,” she says. Today there is just one and a nearby Wal-Mart.

Walking down Main Street past a few vacant storefronts among the businesses, it’s plain to see the town isn’t in its prime any more. Brookfield, though, is more vibrant than many other rural towns, Cleveland says. Rural life used to be centered around the farm, but farms today don’t work like they used to, which has caused a drop in jobs and left some small towns struggling for survival.

Bigstock image

Pro Food Systems Inc. is planning to add 43 jobs within the next five years at its operation in Holts Summit.  The new headquarters will have three components: a breading and blending facility, a logistics service center and print companies.  The company said it will invest $6 million dollars into the new headquarters.

Missouri Department of Economic Development Spokesperson John Fougere said the Department used tax credits and other incentives to encourage Pro Food Systems into expansion.

State grant could boost some rural economies

Sep 19, 2012
Cows
File Photo / KBIA

Several agricultural projects in Missouri are benefiting from a state grant program aimed at boosting the economies in rural areas of the state.

The Missouri Value-Added Grant Program announced this week that it’s granting $370,000 to six agricultural business projects across the state. The program is funded through the Missouri Agriculture and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) and gives funding based on creation and development in rural agricultural business.

maria figueroa armijos
University of Missouri

Microsoft, Staples, and SouthWest Airlines.

What do these companies have in common? Yes, they're big companies, they employ a lot of people and they're successful. But here's one more thing--all of these companies were created in a period of economic downturn.  The Fortune 500 is littered with stories like this.

Business Beat spoke with Maria Figueroa-Armijos who's one of the authors of a new study which suggests that certain types of entrepreneurs are on the rise and it’s not in spite of the recession--it’s because of it.