Perryville, Mo., was featured in a Forbes Online series on Reinventing America. The article, titled "How a Small Town in Missouri Became a Manufacturing Oasis," was written by contributor Ken Sweet. He and more than a dozen other Forbes contributors and staff writers are focusing on the challenges facing towns, cities and traditional industries across the nation and highlighting the growing number of surprising success stories, like Perryville's. The article discusses the role of the Perryville Development Corp., a public-private partnership, in the growth of Gilster-Mary Lee, TG Missouri and Sabreliner. The article can be found online at www.forbes.com.
* Old Town Cape brought home awards for Best Economic Restructuring Project and Volunteer of the Year during the Missouri Main Street conference in St. Louis last week. The Operation Main Street: Business Success Series was named the 2012 Best Economic Restructuring Project by the Missouri Main Street organization.
The project was started as a way to directly recruit businesses into the district and enhance the viability and sustainability of businesses in the downtown area. Based on the needs of the project, the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship developed a custom designed training program that included financial counseling, needs assessment, mystery shopping and an action plan competition at the end of the project. The program was offered at no charge to the businesses within the Old Town Cape district.
Missouri Main Street's 2012 Volunteer of the Year award went to Claire Bruce, owner of Merchapolitan and Sloan and Themis. Bruce started on Old Town Cape's Economic Restructuring Committee in 2009. As a strategic marketing professional with a background in market research, consumer behavior, marketing and program planning, Bruce has used her skills to interpret the Downtown Market Analysis from the DREAM Initiative. She was also the brains behind the Operation Main Street: Business Success Series. Previous Missouri Main Street award winners include Outstanding Public Official Heather Brooks and Business Excellence Award for Annie Laurie's Antiques in 2011.
The organization will hold its 25th annual Charles L. Hutson Auction at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Dockside: The Upper Deck, 4 N. Spanish St. Both a silent and live auction are planned with items donated from local businesses including fine jewelry, antiques and artwork. The auction is the largest annual fundraiser for Old Town Cape. All proceeds will benefit Old Town Cape and downtown revitalization efforts. Auction items include a Takamine Jasmine guitar, 24-diamond two-tone lady's watch, a gold necklace with diamonds, St. Louis Cardinals tickets, a private wine tasting and a Victorian tea party. For tickets, call 334-8085.
* Saint Francis Medical Center has been named one of the top 100 "Best Places to Work in Healthcare" by Modern Healthcare magazine for the fifth consecutive year -- an honor no other employer in Missouri has achieved. The program is open to companies across the health care industry including hospitals, service companies, suppliers, payors and others with at least 25 employees. Saint Francis was the only hospital in the state named to the list for 2012. Modern Healthcare's Best Places to Work in Healthcare designation recognizes innovative health care workplaces that engage and inspire employees. Saint Francis' policies, practices, benefits and demographics were thoroughly reviewed inorder to be selected for this group. In addition, a randomly chosen group of 350 employees were asked in-depth questions about eight core areas: leadership and planning, culture and communications, role satisfaction, working environment, relationship with supervisor, training and development, pay and benefits, and overall satisfaction.
* Big River Broadband's phase one towers for its broadband network deployment will be operational today. The new towers will be fully operational, making Big River's 4G LTE Broadband Internet service live. Tower locations can be seen on the company's website and include 18 towers concentrated mostly in Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois and Cape Girardeau counties. Towers are also in Bollinger, Madison and Perry Counties. Big River Broadband is a recipient of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus grant. This process of tower releases will continue on until all 58 towers Big River is using to deploy the network are servicing regions of Bollinger, Cape, Madison, Perry, Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois and Washington counties. Packages, including bundles with Big River's telephone service, range from $29.99 to $89.99 with current limited time offers allowing for three months of unlimited data and $10 off monthly fee.
* FOX 23 KBSI has added a live national morning news show, "The Daily Buzz," to its lineup. It premiered today and airs in more than 175 TV markets across the United States. The program includes news, weather and the latest social media and entertainment trends. "What makes this news and entertainment program special is that it is broadcast live Monday through Friday in the Central time zone. All three of the major networks are on a one-hour delay when their shows air in this market," KBSI Fox 23 general manager Mike Smythe said.
* Film and digital media company Relentless Inc. opened a new office in Cape Girardeau on Wednesday, relocating from Jackson. Its new office is at 637 Broadway, Suite A, in downtown Cape Girardeau. The company is made up of Tempe, Ariz., and Cape Girardeau campuses, as well as an administrative hub in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
Southeast Missourian business editor Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or email@example.com.