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Business leaders join forces aiming to build our economy - KOAM TV 7

Tri-State business leaders join forces aiming to build our economy

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Leaders from three states converge in Carl Junction, Missouri for a conference on economic growth.

Today's meeting was a chance for business owners and others in dozens of communities to voice their input of how to be equally successful.

Patrick O'Bryan's business in Pittsburg, Little's, helps to preserve part of the historic past on Broadway Street.  His bottom line targets a profitable present.

O'Bryan is also a Pittsburg City Commissioner.

"This is like all other ideas, one thing does not happen independent of the other thing," says O'Bryan.

Economists say these ideas are within a seven county area:  Barton, Jasper and Newton in Missouri; Crawford, Cherokee and Labette in Kansas; and, Ottawa County in Oklahoma.

"Realizing how every one of the cities in this seven county area positively impact each other," says conference coordinator Clifford Wert, co-chair of Joplin Regional Prosperity Initiative.

Business owners, government workers, and school officials from this target area want to strengthen this impact.

The group called the Joplin Regional Prosperity Initiative has involved those from outside Joplin since 1997.

Their new goal is better communication, cooperation, and connection across not just county, but state lines.

"We find that we lose shopping dollars to the neighboring cities, but on the other hand, we also get shopping dollars from the surrounding neighborhoods," says O'Bryan.

They're also building new incentives for business managers outside this region.

"It's hard to get a man and wife to a small town if they're not going to be happy," says O'Bryan.

Future projects from the Joplin Regional Prosperity Initiative may include research into, and funding for, walking trails, and other attractive forms of entertainment.

"The biggest challenges are people having that attitude 'that is a great place to be - I can economically thrive in this area,'" says Wert.

It's a goal without limits, whether it be demographic or time.

For more information on the Joplin Regional Prosperity Initiative visit http://www.joplinregionalstrategy.com/

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