Housing and Business Retention and Expansion Initiatives

From a recent survey by Stronger Economies Together, the Chamber and IDC pinpointed two crucial areas of focus for the Ste. Genevieve area—increasing available housing and retaining and expanding area businesses. The Housing and Business Retention and Expansion Initiatives make up our current focus for helping the Ste. Genevieve area grow and thrive into the future.

Stronger Economies Together

Stronger Economies Together (SET) is an initiative of the Southern Rural Development Center and funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development division. The goal of SET is to bring neighboring rural counties together to create an economic development plan. Since it’s increasingly difficult for one county alone to attract new businesses and growth, SET helps counties harness the strengths of the region as a whole for collective benefit. SET looked at four counties in our part of Missouri—Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, Iron, and Madison—and helped the regions put together a plan of action for attracting new business and economic growth to the area.

Housing Task Force Initiative

In the past several years, the population of Ste. Genevieve proper has failed to grow. From the SET study, it was determined that a shortage of available housing was a key factor in the area’s lack of growth. Homes in the middle price range, $175,000–225,000, were especially scarce. Despite strong job opportunities in the health care and skilled labor fields, workers simply couldn’t obtain proper housing and were forced to commute or find employment opportunities elsewhere.

The Chamber and IDC are actively reaching out to those in the housing sector—builders, developers, realtors, etc.—to see where the challenges to building are. Bringing those challenges before city and county officials is the next step in working towards a solution and ultimately more rooftops so more people can live in our great community.

Business Retention & Expansion Initiative

The Business Retention and Expansion Initiative (BRE) is focused on outreach to existing businesses on the issues that are key to their planning processes, including workforce strategies surrounding the retirement of the baby boomer generation, access to training programs to build specialized skills or certifications, finding land or capital for expansion, or ways to improve community relations. The overall mission of the IDC’s BRE program is to better understand these challenges, to facilitate growth and improve access to resources in order to contribute to the overall growth of our community. 

The Chamber and IDC are also committed to keeping an open line of communication with these businesses, so their needs are always known and being addressed.

Since these initiatives are in the early stages, it’s also important to get feedback and buy-in from the community. The goal of these initiatives is to ultimately improve the quality of life in the Ste. Genevieve area through increased economic opportunity. The Chamber and IDC welcome your ideas and your voice to the conversation. If you’d like to learn more about how you can help support these initiatives, get in touch with us from the link below.