Business Notebook: Chambers and county treasuer issue sales tax reminder; agriculture grants available

With October just days away, the Cape Girardeau County Treasurer's Office and the chambers of commerce in Cape Girardeau and Jackson are reminding retailers, restaurants and other businesses of the county's new sales tax rate going into effect Thursday.

In June, Cape County voters approved a half-cent (0.5%) law enforcement and public safety sales tax with an effective date of Oct. 1.

In years past, the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) would have sent "courtesy rate notification letters" to notify businesses of tax rate changes. However, the DOR recently discontinued the notification process and is encouraging entities responsible for paying sales tax to regularly check the DOR's website for any rate changes.

According to Cape County Treasurer Roger Hudson, the best way for business owners to check and confirm their new tax rate is to go to the DOR's website,, click "Business," then click on "Find Sales and Use Tax Rates," and then click the box labeled "Click Here to Begin."

From there, taxpaying entities can enter their business address, change the "Transaction Date" to 10/01/2020, and then click "Search." The site will then calculate an updated sales and use tax rate summary.

State announces agricultural grants

The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) announced last week it is accepting applications for "value added" agriculture grants that add value to Missouri agriculture products and the economy of Missouri's rural communities.

According to information supplied by MASBDA, grant applications will be considered for value-added agricultural business concepts that "lead to and result in development, processing and marketing of new or expanded uses or technologies for agricultural products, and foster agricultural economic development" in rural areas of the state.

Grant applications will be considered for expenses related to feasibility and marketing studies, legal assistance, marketing and business plans, operational consulting and prospectus development for cooperatives.

The maximum grant amount is $200,000 and grants will be awarded on a competitive basis with scores based on their economic development potential as well as a number of other factors. Applicants are required to provide a 10% cash match toward eligible expenses, which do not include operating expenses, salaries or capital improvements.

The grant application deadline is 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, for consideration in the January 2021 funding cycle.

More information can be found on the MASBDA's website,

College opens student food distribution center

ULLIN, Ill. — Shawnee Community College has opened a food distribution center, called The Cupboard, to provide essential food items to SCC students who may be facing food insecurity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cupboard provides weekly distributions to students thanks to donations made by The Saints Foundation of Shawnee College, along with several SCC student clubs and organizations.

For more information, or to contribute to the foundation, all (618) 634-3211 or email

Members join development board at Saint Francis

Marvin Adams Jr.

Four new members — Marvin Adams Jr., Kimberly Likens, Daniel Presson and Susan Layton Tomlin — recently joined the board of directors of the Saint Francis Health Development Board, the for-profit arm of the Saint Francis Healthcare System.

Kimberly Likens

Adams is president of First State Community Bank, was previously vice president of commercial lending, and brings extensive experience with expansion projects, real estate construction and financial feasibility studies to the board.

Daniel Presson

Likens is a media sales consultant with KFVS12 and has been a Saint Francis volunteer for many years, serving on The Friends of Saint Francis Board of Directors. Since it began in 2016, she has served as co-chairwoman of the Friends Gala.

Susan Layton Tomlin

Presson is director of career services at Southeast Missouri State University. He serves as president of Red Star Neighborhood Revival and is a member of the Cape Girardeau City Council and Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce Work Ready Coalition.

Tomlin is an attorney with Layton & Southard in Cape Girardeau, specializing in estate, probate and real estate law. She has served on The Friends of Saint Francis board as well as other community boards.

The Saint Francis Health Development board identifies expansion opportunities in new and existing markets. Board members can serve a maximum of four three-year terms and must be approved by the bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

Counseling center reinstalls several board members

Anna Berkbuegler

Community Counseling Center reinstalled several members of its board of directors earlier this month.

Jackie Majoros

The organization's board comprises 10 members representing the five counties served by the Community Counseling Center — Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry and Ste. Genevieve.

Jan Ward

Four board members were reinstalled for one-year terms:

Melissa Whitaker

* Anna Berkbuegler of Perryville, a preemployment transition specialist for the University of Missouri College of Education who taught 30 years in the Fredericktown School District. She has been a member of the Community Counseling Center board since 2001.

Kim Browne

* Jackie Majoros of Cape Girardeau, who joined the board in 2013 and has been board treasurer since 2015. Majoros is a financial adviser for First State Financial Management, a subsidiary of First State Community Bank in Cape Girardeau.

Wesley Royer

* Board president Jan Ward of Cape Girardeau, who joined the board in 2009 and has been board president since 2017. Ward is coordinator of the counseling program at Southeast Missouri State University and also serves as director of the university's Approved Play Therapy Center.

David Ramsey

* Melissa Whitaker of Cape Girardeau, who joined the board's policy committee in 2013 and has served as board secretary since 2017. She is an artist and illustrator and for years was employed by Realty Executives Edge of Cape Girardeau.

One board member was reinstalled for a three-year term:

* Kim Browne of Bloomsdale, Missouri, who has been a member of the board since 2017. She is a nurse practitioner at Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital and represents Ste. Genevieve County on the Community Counseling Center board.

In addition to reappointing members during the board's September meeting, two members who jointed the board in 2015 were recognized for their five years of service:

* David Ramsey of Perryville, a retired educator who taught from 1977 until 2004 in the Perry County School District and from 1995 until 2015 at Mineral Area College.

* Wesley Royer of Fredericktown, Missouri, a vice president with First State Community Bank in Fredericktown.

Hospital achieves valve-replacement milestone

The Heart Valve Center at Saint Francis Medical Center achieved a milestone earlier this month by performing its 200th trans catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure since the program began in September 2014.

TAVR is reportedly a safer alternative to open-heart surgery, offering patients with severe aortic stenosis a minimally invasive surgical option, offering the potential of quicker recovery times as well as less postoperative pain and discomfort.

Aortic stenosis occurs when the aortic valve narrows, restricting blood flow from the heart. Patients with severe aortic stenosis often need valve replacement surgery. However, some patients are not good candidates for open-heart procedures, making TAVR a more viable option.

TAVR involves threading a catheter through an artery, usually in the leg, to replace the aortic valve.

Charter relaunches internet access offer during pandemic

Charter Communications last week announced a relaunch of its "Remote Education Offer," making free internet and Wi-Fi access for two months to households with K-12 graders, college students and/or educators. The promotion is available for those who live in a Charter Spectrum market who do not currently have Spectrum internet service.

Charter initially introduced the free connectivity program to assist students and educators transition to online learning during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the initial launch of the program, Charter added 448,000 households to the Charter Spectrum service between March and the end of June.

In addition to its remote education promotion, Charter also announced it is making high-speed broadband more accessible through Spectrum Internet Assist, its low-cost broadband program available to eligible low-income households and seniors.

Awards & Recognitions

Ellen Seyer

Ellen Seyer, a 28-year member of the Notre Dame Regional High School faculty, has been named recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Director Award for the Southeast Region of the Missouri Choral Directors Association (MCDA).

This is Seyer's second Outstanding Director Award from MCDA, having also been recognized in 2004.

Seyer is director of the school's concert choir, treble choir, mixed chorus, men's choir and select singers. Along with her classroom duties, she is responsible for moderating the school's Encore Club and Tri-M Honor Society. She also serves as vocal director for Notre Dame's spring musicals.

Kay Thompson

Jackson Dental practice administrator Kay Thompson has achieved the distinction of Fellow in the American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM). The fellowship recognizes her professional and educational achievements in dental practice administration and is awarded only to those who have completed requirements set forth by AADOM.

Jackson Dental owners Dr. Cody Bell and Dr. Rob Etherton say their practice will benefit from Thompson's knowledge in practice leadership, dental insurance management and patient relations.

A resident of Altenburg, Missouri, Thompson has been with the practice, located at 3100 E. Jackson Blvd., for 10 years.

Chamber Notes

The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce's next First Friday Coffee program, scheduled for Friday morning at the Century Casino Cape Girardeau Event Center, will feature representatives from three industries and business areas that are booming during the COVID-19 pandemic — real estate, entrepreneurship and economic development.

Doors will open at 7 a.m. with the program starting at about 7:40 a.m.

Due to the pandemic, seating will be limited to 100, and preregistration, face masks and social distancing will be required.

For those unable to attend, the program and sponsor announcements will be available on the chamber's Facebook page.

Registration is open until 2 p.m. Thursday through the chamber's website,

The Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon-cutting Tuesday to mark the opening of River's Edge Funeral and Cremation, 749 Enterprise St. in Cape Girardeau. Social distancing will be encouraged at the event, scheduled for 11 a.m.

Business license applications

Bill Stanfield of Cape Girardeau filed a business license application last week to open Westside Investments LLC, doing business as WINKS, at 2505 Veterans Memorial Drive. The convenience store is scheduled to open Nov. 1.

Carnelious Jones of Baltimore submitted a business license application last week on behalf of OMO-Energy & Technology Inc., a wholesale distributor of petroleum products, lubricants, oils and greases, at 338 Broadway, Suite 501, in Cape Girardeau.

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