Southeast center gets First Step curriculum

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University, due to the success of its Operation JumpStart small business development program, was selected as the exclusive distributor of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation's FastTrac First Step training program and materials to agencies throughout the United States.

"The First Step curriculum has always been an important component of our entrepreneurship training program," said Dr. James Stapleton, executive director of the center.

The center's staff will now be working with hundreds of agencies like theirs throughout the United States to support their small business training programs. The center has launched a new website at that enables affiliate agencies to order training materials, schedule training programs and connect with other affiliates. The site also allows entrepreneurs who have completed an Operation JumpStart program or are considering starting a new small business to connect to other entrepreneurs.

Since the Operation Jump Start classes began in 2006, hundreds of small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs have attended 38 sessions. Graduates have started more than 200 small businesses, creating more than 350 jobs.

* Remodel underway at Sam's Club: Along with an extensive interior remodel going on at Sam's Club in Cape Girardeau, crews are making a significant addition to the building. "The whole front of the building will have a new look," said Jamie Matchell, store manager. A 25-foot by 300-foot addition will be constructed on the front side of the building, according to building plans on file at city hall. This will create an additional 7,500 square feet. Sam's will be adding a pharmacy, rotisserie and ready-to-eat meals section, Matchell said. Work is scheduled to be finished in October, Matchell said. This is the first addition to Sam's Club since it opened in Cape Girardeau in 1997.

* Waterwork Specialties to open Cape Girardeau location: A Bonne Terre, Mo.-based equipment supplier, Waterwork Specialties Inc., will soon open a showroom, office and warehouse facility in Cape Girardeau. The company has purchased a building at 779 Enterprise, according to Tom Kelsey, commercial broker with Lorimont Place, Ltd. who handled the building sale. The 5,200 square-foot building and surrounding property was previously owned by Keith Cotner with Cotner K Electric. Waterwork Specialties is owned by Daniel Degonia. In addition to the company's home office in Bonne Terre it has a branch office in Springfield, Mo. The company is a distributor of water and sewer products for use by contractors and municipalities. Its products include water and sewer pipe, valves, hydrants, fittings and castings, meters, meter tiles and accessories, backflow preventers and regulators, PVC fittings and accessories.

* Antique shop adds ice cream: Spanish Street Mercantile, 26 N. Spanish St. in Cape Girardeau, has converted part of its antique store into an ice-cream parlor. The area is furnished with ice-cream related antiques owner Charles Bertrand said it took more than a year to pull together. He is making his own ice cream in an antique ice cream machine that dates back to the 1940s. Ice cream flavors are strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. He plans to add homemade pies and cobblers to his menu in the future. The ice cream shop is open the same hours as the antique store, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

* Bank of Missouri honored: The United States Small Business Administration has recognized The Bank of Missouri as a Top Community Bank Lender in the Eastern Missouri SBA District for 2010. The award was presented during Small Business Week at the Grand Opening of a new Dedicated SBA Business Banking Center at The Bank of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. The Bank of Missouri is an independent community bank locally owned and operated with more than $840 million in assets and locations in Perryville, Jackson, Cape Girardeau, Marble Hill, Springfield, Ozark, Republic and Columbia.

* SOTO teams up with Carrington: SOTO Property Solutions in Cape Girardeau is now an affiliated property manager for Carrington Property Services LLC. As an affiliate, SOTO will take over the management of foreclosed rental properties in Southeast Missouri, owner David E. Soto said. This program allows tenants of foreclosed properties, with a valid lease, to remain in that property at least through the term of the lease. Carrington Property Services is headquartered in Orange County, CA with regional offices located throughout the country and a network of nearly 150 local property managers.

* Company receives Safety Award: Jerry Lipps Inc. off Cape Girardeau was presented a Platinum award by Great West Casualty Company & CM Brown & Associates as part of the 2010 National Safety Awards Program. This is the fifth year in a row that Lipps has qualified for a safety award from their insurance carrier. The National Safety Awards program recognizes carriers with awards based on their year-end preventable accident results.

* New location: Check Please has moved to 519A W. Main St. in Jackson, next to Pizza Pro. It was previously at 2054 Walton Drive.

Southeast Missourian business reporter Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or

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