Despite a weakening national economy, business expansion has continued in Southeast Missouri.
Fifty-two new businesses were recorded in the second quarter in the seven-county region tracked by the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning and Economic Development office. Ten business closings were reported, resulting in a net gain of 42 new businesses.
Thirteen businesses reported expansions.
About 410 new jobs were created in the region, with about 86 jobs lost as a result of business closings.
Cape Girardeau County led the region with 21 new businesses, followed by St. Francois County with 18 new businesses, with retail and service industry growth accounting for most new development. Of the 52 new businesses, 28 were retail and 24 provided services of some kind.
No new manufacturing operations were reported.
The business scene throughout the area has been a busy one, said Ron Steele, regional economic development planner for the commission. New businesses, expansion of existing ones and business closings are common occurrences, said Steele, who keeps tabs on business openings and closings in the commission's seven counties of Cape Girardeau, Bollinger, Iron, Madison, Perry, St. Francois and Ste. Genevieve.
Steele and others involved in keeping tabs on business activity say business growth is continuing in Southeast Missouri.
During the first six months of 2001, more than 60 new-business permits were issued by the Cape Girardeau Finance Department. Fifteen expansions and nine closings were reported.
A total of 120 business starts were recorded throughout the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning and Economic Development region, with 26 expansions and 18 closings.