Cape Girardeau economy in a good place

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - High energy price, and a shortage of product supply. A recent survey says these things are a result of regional flooding, and are slowing down the Midwest economy.

But one town seems to be bucking that trend. John Mehner, the CEO and President of the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce, says recent sales tax receipts are some of the best he's ever seen.

One business owner agrees, saying this is a great time to be in business.

"People don't have as much money to spend, but people have to spend money, they have to do something," said Andrew Whaley.

Whaley started a Calix Coffee Bar on Broadway in Cape Girardeau in a time that most people say it isn't worth the grind. But he says when the economy is down, it can be the best time to find an open space. The space he chose is in Cape Girardeau.

"There's a ridiculous amount of potential in Cape Girardeau," said Whaley. "There's a ridiculous amount of potential in this corridor and this community."

"I think things in our area are trending in the right direction," said Mehner.

City documents show for the last three months, sales tax receipts have increased from that time last year.

"It's the first time that has happened in quite some time, really since we went into the downturn," said Mehner.

Mehner says interest in the business in Cape Girardeau isn't just from people living there.

"We've had an awful lot of first time inquiries into this area from outside folks," said Mehner.

While the coffee shop owner moved from California to open his shop, another new business, Kaleidoscoops, opened in the area because the owners live in Cape Girardeau.

"The first few weeks were the busiest, we had customers lined out the door for about 2 hrs straight," said Kristy Winter, an employee.

But a strong start, doesn't necessarily mean a business will last. So that's why Mehner says he thinks what businesses are looking for is in Cape.

"I know a lot of people that look at our economy at least in the Cape Girardeau area remains fairly stable," said Mehner.

A stability that business owners hope stays, so they too, can stay in business.

"Everyday, more and more people finding out that we're here," said Whaley.

Mehner said specifically sales tax numbers for the hotel and restaurant industry have increased in the past few months.

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