Southeast Missouri

Regional Economic Development, Inc.

Moving together under one vision—to encourage creative ideas, growth for businesses of all sizes, and opportunity for the talented individuals who fuel them. A new era of economic development is underway.

Southeast Missouri

Regional Economic Development, Inc.

Moving together under one vision—to encourage creative ideas, growth for businesses of all sizes, and opportunity for the talented individuals who fuel them. A new era of economic development is underway.

SE MO Redi

Starting Over on Economic Development

In July 2021, Cape Girardeau Area MAGNET, the area’s sole economic development organization, announced renewed organizational plans focused on improving future economic development opportunities.  It expanded its board of directors for the first time in decades to include private business leaders who personally invested in the organization, as well as appointees from local city and county governments who historically funded the organization and served on the Board.

The new expanded board reviewed proposals from several organizations and ultimately engaged Ernst & Young LLP Economic Development Advisory Services (EY) to facilitate a strategic planning process. 

The strategic planning process was to consist of three phases:  a Competitive Assessment, Vision Creation and Goal Setting, and a Strategy and Implementation Plan.  Over the course of several months, the consulting team used new 2020 Census data to complete a regional Benchmark Analysis.  EY engaged with dozens of stakeholders through interviews, focus groups, a community survey, and webinars.

Lastly, they conducted workshops with a strategic planning subcommittee made up of a variety of community stakeholders.  These efforts culminated in a report the consulting team provided to the MAGNET board near the end of 2021.

The Need

Redevelop Magnet

Upon completion of the first two phases of the strategic planning process, the Ernst & Young team strongly encouraged the MAGNET board, in late February of 2022, to reconsider its next steps.  The consulting team indicated it did not believe MAGNET, in its current form, had the organizational capacity to successfully carry out an implementation plan of economic development strategic priorities. 

They suggested that realizing the long-term economic development goals of the Cape Girardeau Area were likely to be far more successful if MAGNET was redeveloped to build an inclusive coalition of allies to actively engage in the difficult work that would be necessary to address emerging and long-term threats to economic vibrancy.  Therefore, although initially conceived as a traditional five-year economic development plan, the strategic engagement with Ernst & Young turned to an immediate effort to organize the rebuilding of the MAGNET organization.  

The organizational redevelopment framework provided by Ernst & Young consultants consisted of three distinct phases:


Activate the MAGNET board to build a better community-wide understanding of current economic challenges and buy-in for why more proactive, collaborative, and regional economic development is important for the future.


Identify how the organization can leverage the assets and opportunities of the Cape Girardeau Area, and with strong economic development champions, strategic partnerships, increased resources, and a high-quality organizational team, create a diverse and more prosperous economic future.


Activate the programs and resources necessary to achieve the Cape Girardeau Area’s economic development goals.

Board Members Called Into Action to Create New Goals

Since the completion of the engagement with the Ernst & Young team, the MAGNET board organized itself into four working action teams.  The teams were organized to lead and support functional activities of the redevelopment plan, including ally engagement, communication, personnel, and programs and initiatives.  Several board members with economic development experience or strong relationships with business and industry also began scheduling meetings with various stakeholders throughout the Southeast Missouri region.

Based on considerable input and data the board received, it established the following set of strategic goals for the next five years:

Goal 1:
Business Growth and Innovation

Grow Cape Girardeau Area’s economy by strengthening high-performing companies and industries, diversifying businesses and career opportunities, and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Goal 2:
Talent & Workforce Development

Expand Cape Girardeau Area’s skilled workforce by closing gaps in affordable and accessible trades, digital and professional technical training, and attracting and retaining students and workers needed to grow the local economy.

Goal 3:
Branding and Marketing

Bolster Cape Girardeau Area’s business development and talent attraction efforts by clarifying, evaluating, and leveraging the area’s brand identity.

New Vision

New Organization, New Brand

Moving forward, as the organization’s goals extend beyond predominantly trying to recruit new businesses, the board saw the need to change the name to better signify the scope of efforts and communicate its new ethos. The new name of the organization is

Southeast Missouri Regional Economic Development, Inc.

The abbreviated name and associated logo describe the organization’s goal to be more regional, proactive (ready for the future) and more collaborative (ready to partner).

What's next

Initiatives, Programs, and Investment

The continued development of SE MO REDI’s strategic implementation plan, and the associated initiatives and programs it plans to deploy to achieve its new goals, are being guided by board members who are leading working committees of community stakeholders with interest and expertise in:

Talent and Workforce Development - Vocational Trades

Talent and Workforce Development – Digital Trades

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Business Recruitment and Retention

The working committees are researching and assessing initiatives, programs, and activities that have been used successfully in other regions to achieve the desired outputs and outcomes SE MO REDI hopes to generate to attain its new goals.  Committee members are also meeting with partners in the area to align these efforts with existing programs or initiatives in hopes of leverage or enhance existing resources and talent.

The working committees plan to complete their work and make recommendations to the SE MO REDI Board of Directors before the end of the year.  The recommendations will include implementation plans for each of the tactical areas, which will include detailed estimates of outputs (activities) and outcomes (impact).  These outputs and outcomes will be used to create a dynamic scorecard, which will be used to report progress to the public, investors, and stakeholders on an ongoing basis.

Stay Tuned

More to Come

SE MO REDI will use this website to provide updates on the initiatives and programs it plans to deploy, estimated economic outcomes that could be generated, and the estimated investment required to do so.  There’s plenty more to come.

Our Location

Where is Cape Girardeau, Missouri?

Located on the Mississippi River in the southern part of America's Heartland, Cape Girardeau offers a mix of southern hospitality and midwestern charm. We are the best little city you've never heard of, but that doesn't mean we are secluded! Cape Girardeau sits on I-55 with convenient access to Southern Illinois via the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge. The city is the economic center of Southeast Missouri and one of two principal cities of the Cape Girardeau-Jackson, MO-IL Metropolitan Area, with a population of nearly 100,000 people.

Cape Girardeau is home to a State University with Division 1 athletics, major retailers, a healthy manufacturing industry, two healthcare systems, and a growing tech industry. Housing costs are lower than the national average, and residents enjoy fast commute times to work.

The Cape Girardeau Regional Airport offers direct flights to Nashville with connections worldwide. Or you can be in St. Louis in less than two hours to catch a flight from Lambert International Airport or enjoy a night out watching Cardinals baseball or Blues hockey.

With a low cost of living, close proximity to airports, major Metros, sports venues, hotels, shopping, dining destinations, and recreation, Cape Girardeau is more than just a place to call home. It's a place you can grow your world.

Our Location

in Missouri makes transportation of goods easy & efficient.

We Are 3 Hours

From Memphis, TN, the nation's distribution center.

Over 90 Million

people live within a one-day drive of Jonesboro
About the Region

About Cape Girardeau, MO

Located in Craighead County, Jonesboro serves as the economic focal point for a 12-county area.  With a consistently growing population of over 100,000 people, Jonesboro's data and demographics match-up favorably and often outshine much larger communities. With a cost of living that is 15% below the national average and utility prices that are among the lowest in the country, Jonesboro is a secure investment.


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Cost of Living

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Who We Are

Jonesboro, Arkansas is ready to welcome you.  We are a welcoming city of over 75,000 people eager to take you in as one of our own.  From the green wrapped Hickory trees of Crowley’s Ridge to the snow-white cotton of the Mississippi Delta, Jonesboro is a vibrant and growing community that’s ready for you to join our family.

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Meet Our Dedicated Team

Our agency can only be as strong as our people our team agenhave run
their businesses designed.

Jamey Nanson

Tax Advisor

James Robert

It Specialist

Jamey Nanson

Tax Advisor

Mrs Lina

Marketing Specialist