Missouri Partnership CEO, Subash Alias, provides an inside look at our organization’s pipeline and discusses Missouri’s role in assisting growing companies during the pandemic.
With just under two months remaining in the calendar year, I’m taking a close look at our pipeline – at just how many companies we have on the field and are moving towards the goal line of investing in Missouri. Our pipeline is more robust than one might expect in the middle of a pandemic. COVID-19 has certainly changed the rules of the game, but one thing remains the same – growing companies need new facilities.
It’s no surprise that certain industries have exploded during the pandemic. E-commerce is just one of several examples. Major online retailers are searching for strategic locations for new fulfillment centers. They need to fill orders and get products into customers’ hands quickly and efficiently. Missouri is arguably the best location in the U.S. for distribution centers. Our state’s central location, robust infrastructure, and access to talent and raw materials are huge advantages for any company that needs to manufacture and distribute products to customers fast.
E-commerce giant Chewy, Inc. recently announced plans to build one of its largest U.S. fulfillment centers in Missouri. The company sells a variety of pet-related products online and is currently building a new 800,000 sq. ft. facility in Belton, Missouri. BoxyCharm is also opening a new distribution center in the state, investing $50,000,000 and creating 250 new jobs.
Major investments from these companies confirm and solidify Missouri’s position as a top location for these types of operations. And as I look at our pipeline, there’s no denying that more distribution centers will be opening in the state in the coming months.
Our pipeline reveals another trend in this era of COVID-19 – the importance of food safety, traceability, and secure supply chains. The pandemic has changed our eating habits and forced us to examine our food sources. Missouri has a world-class agriculture economy that is firmly based on traditional commodity crops and livestock, generating $88 billion each year. I believe Missouri has a key role to play in the future of the world’s food supply.
Manufacturing continues to be a large number of our projects, as well as tech. Missouri is projected to be one of the top 10 states in tech job growth over the next five years. The state has positioned itself in the center of the Midwest tech hub, and companies such as Accenture Federal Services (AFS) have taken notice. AFS recently selected St. Louis, Missouri, for its new Advanced Technology Center, creating 1,400 new technology jobs in the state.
As more trends emerge from the pandemic, I’m sure our pipeline will change to reflect the needs of companies. It is fascinating to watch the correlation between the two. I can’t think of a more rewarding job than to help companies land in Missouri and watch them grow here.