In an article by Susan Thomson, “Plentiful Green Space along Interstate Drives Economy of Tiny Missouri Town” the town of St. James, Missouri went through a process to attract manufacturers in order to bring in jobs and improve their economy. Sitting next to a major interstate, Interstate 44, St. James realized that its land near the interstate had great potential.
Securing state and federal grants, issuing its own grants, and giving land incentives for businesses that bring in jobs, not only did St. James bring in a Wal-Mart distribution center but even attracted a Tacony Corp. vacuum cleaner manufacturing plant that had previously been located in Taiwan.
Tacony Corp. was, “unhappy with the quality of the vacuum cleaners it was making in Taiwan and with the engineering expertise there for product development.” In order to help the vacuum cleaner manufacturer the city secured $153,240 in state/federal grants and an additional $50,000 of its own money to upgrade and improve conditions allowing for the business. Since they came in in 1997, Tacony Corp’s plant grew from 30 to 150 employees.
While Wal-Mart and Tacony Corp were the primary businesses brought in by St. James’ effort, they now say that similar cases are unlikely to occur “given the current international business climate.”
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