Group will assist in local, regional economic development efforts
NEW MADRID -- New Madrid County has a lot to offer. And with a new county economic developer now on the job, businesses will soon know it.
On Oct. 29, the New Madrid County Mayors Association contracted with Strategic Resource Management LLC, a southeast Missouri consulting firm, to assist in local and regional economic development efforts.
Julian Steiner, managing partner for the firm, will lead the firm's efforts.
"I'm looking forward to an exciting time working with the mayors of New Madrid County. They have a lot to offer and I'm looking for good things to happen," Steiner said. "What I've spent the last month doing is meeting with economic development professionals both at the state and local level. I plan after the first of the year to begin attending the council meetings of each of the cities within New Madrid County."
"For the county, I think it's a great thing," said Mayor Bud Sisson of Portageville. "It will bring more business into New Madrid County, which will help."
As a resident of Bell City for the past 30 years who has worked in the consulting industry, Steiner said he is familiar with what this area has to offer for businesses and knows many of the local officials and other important contacts.
"One of my primary focuses will be the St. Jude Industrial Park and to see if we can populate that. New Madrid County has an amazing infrastructure -- especially the transportation infrastructure," he said. "I think the Mayors Association really wants to leverage that infrastructure, whether it's the St. Jude Industrial Park or other areas within the county."
Steiner said his firm will not be seeking any specific types of businesses.
"Whatever we feel is a good fit for the county, we would certainly look at," he said. "Our main goal is create and retain jobs for the citizens of the county."
Steiner noted the recent establishment of an Enhanced Enterprise Zone within New Madrid County. "That can be a financial benefit to new businesses coming in," he said. But, he added, "It won't only be seeking out new businesses, it will also be taking care of the businesses we already have as well."
Steiner said he thinks it is important to tap the potential for tourism.
"There's a lot of history in New Madrid County," Steiner said. "And agriculture can play a huge part in economic development."
The biggest challenge for economic development in the county will be overcoming the misperception of New Madrid County as a poor Bootheel county, he said.
While it is true the Bootheel has some of the poorest counties in the state, New Madrid County is not among them, Steiner said.