Lee’s Summit companies stand to gain state incentives with new program

EDC StaffUncategorized

Lee’s Summit Journal – Guest Column by Teresa Evans

The Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council is excited about a state incentive program for new and existing businesses: Missouri Works. LSEDC has long helped local companies benefit from state program such as Missouri Quality Jobs, Customized Training, New Jobs Training, sales tax exemption for manufacturers, export services and workforce assistance. In the past three years, LSEDC has assisted several companies with plans for expansion.Teresa Evans Nine of these projects include a total of an estimated 209,000 square feet of building space filled with a projected capital investment of over $17,000,000 and an estimated 305 new jobs in the next three to five years. The average annual wage of these jobs is $42,000. In this same time period, 15 companies were approved with $2.7 million for new jobs/customized training, assessment grants and Missouri Quality Jobs. We now stand ready to help new or local businesses learn about Missouri Works’ program qualifications and how to access them.

Missouri Works is the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s new tool to support job growth, and is the latest addition to Missouri’s strong incentive program offerings available to companies expanding in or relocating to Missouri. With this program, more Lee’s Summit companies might qualify than under previous programs such as the Missouri Quality Jobs program (under which LSEDC assisted 13 companies since 2005 to earn eligibility for over $9,000,000 in benefits). These benefits were based on the projected creation of 1,090 new or expanded jobs with an average wage of $58,501.

In July, Governor Nixon signed new legislation into law. According to the Missouri Focus newsletter, “Missouri Works” unifies numerous existing incentive programs in a way that enables an increase in job-creation projects and great available benefits to those that participate.

To apply for the program, the company must create a minimum of 10 new full-time jobs paying at least $38,810 within two years of receipt of the state’s acceptance of the company’s notice to proceed, and the company must offer/pay 50 percent of health insurance. Once the company meets the new minimum job threshold and the average wage and health insurance requirement, they will retain the state withholding tax of the new jobs for up to six years and/or state tax credits.

Businesses not eligible include store-front, consumer-based retail trade; food and drink; public utilities; education; religious; public administration; gambling; healthcare and social services (such as hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes, mental health services, etc.); ethanol and biodiesel production.

Application forms are available now, and the State of Missouri Department of Economic Development will begin accepting completed forms on Aug. 28. If you anticipate hiring 10 new employees in the next two years at an average salary of $38,810, call Teresa Evans, Vice President, and LSEDC at 816-525-6617 for questions and assistance in submitting your paperwork. The LSEDC is a public/private partnership whose mission is to attract and retain investment and jobs in Lee’s Summit.

Teresa Evans joined the LSEDC staff in August 2002. Teresa came to LSEDC with 20 years of experience in education. She was employed by the Metropolitan Community Colleges working in student services as an academic adviser and more recently in employee development by coordinating and facilitating training needs for over 1,000 employees.