From the publisher: We don't do coast

Thursday, October 25, 2018

There is something about the Midwest: we are hardworking. We know what it means to treat someone well. We are situated centrally, hearing multiple perspectives. They’re qualities people on the coasts are seeking in business, which Gary Rust II and Jeff Rawson discuss here in “Made in Southeast Missouri.”

This edition of B Magazine is dedicated to our Midwestern-ness and the local Southeast Missouri business owners who do the work of creating our communities each day.

You know: small business owners do it all. There’s no safety net. You’re the boss, and for the job to get done, you either have to do it yourself or lead a team.

The challenges are many: insurance, customer acquisition, marketing. You name it.

There are also several benefits. The idea that one can make something or provide a service that adds value to someone else is rewarding. It’s not the life for everyone, but I’m sure every business owner would love to have employees who share the entrepreneurial mindset.

To celebrate it in this issue of B Magazine, we feature several small and family-owned businesses throughout the region. It’s a range from small to large operations.

Jon and Debbie Ortmann talked to me for one story from their Patton, Missouri, facility. They had just moved in, and there was a lot of work to be done. Wood stacked up to dry, equipment newly set up to complete jobs. Still, the couple enjoys what they do.

“We love working for ourselves and working together,” Debbie said.

Jon added, “The rewards are directly correlated to how hard you work,” noting if you get up each day and put in an honest day’s work, “the likelihood that you’ll be successful is pretty high.”

For this couple, one of their big wins was providing 500 pens and 500 letter openers for the 45th presidential inauguration.

As businesses grow, the need to hire increases. For “___,” Jon K. Rust spoke to a number of manufacturing leaders about their challenge to fill jobs. Most didn’t want to go on the record, as hiring has become increasingly secretive. Others would talk, but go only so far to share how they attract talent. It’s an interesting challenge — go public and risk competition or stay quiet and hope you can quietly maintain success without the advantage of marketing. It’s a decision facing manufacturers.

The cover story for this edition features the business of beer and how craft beer is influencing the market, from the perspectives of local distributors and brewers. It features Dewayne Schaaf, owner of Cape Girardeau’s new brewpub, Ebb & Flow.

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