Starting Over on Economic Development Starting Over on Economic Development

In July 2021, Cape Girardeau Area MAGNET, the area’s sole economic development organization, announced renewed organizational plans focused on improving future economic development opportunities.  It expanded its board of directors for the first time in decades to include private business leaders who personally invested in the organization, as well as appointees from local city and county governments who historically funded the organization and served on the Board.

The new expanded board reviewed proposals from several organizations and ultimately engaged Ernst & Young LLP Economic Development Advisory Services (EY) to facilitate a strategic planning process. 

The strategic planning process was to consist of three phases:  a Competitive Assessment, Vision Creation and Goal Setting, and a Strategy and Implementation Plan.  Over the course of several months, the consulting team used new 2020 Census data to complete a regional Benchmark Analysis.  EY engaged with dozens of stakeholders through interviews, focus groups, a community survey, and webinars.

Lastly, they conducted workshops with a strategic planning subcommittee made up of a variety of community stakeholders.  These efforts culminated in a report the consulting team provided to the MAGNET board near the end of 2021. Read more at


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