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The Moniteau County Regional Economic Development Board met last Wednesday to discuss upcoming plans for its ongoing programs, namely this year's Startup Moniteau program.

Startup Moniteau, which helps locals interested in starting a business in Moniteau County by facilitating training via the LaunchU business planning course, had its first introductory mixer last week in Tipton. The second mixer is set for next month on Oct. 8, this time at The Gathering Place in California, with those who decide to participate set to take part in the LaunchU course Jan. 5-Feb. 11 in 2021. This year's participants will share in a pool of startup funds totaling $9,000.

Another of MRED's ongoing program offerings, Central Missouri Business Leaders, is set to begin meeting again starting today, with a tour at the Gokey USA plant in Tipton. The tour will end in a ribbon cutting with the Tipton Chamber of Commerce for the new retail space in the facility's factory store.

The group has been gauging preferences for the time and date of its regularly-occurring monthly meetings as well, and aims to restart once that is set in stone.

The group also discussed the Economic Development Administration grant monies, first mentioned at last month's meeting, that are set to go toward a sort of "Buy Local" campaign. MRED president Mike Kelley said the group hopes to enlist area students to help MRED come up with branding and advertising campaigns for the project. Kelley said it won't explicitly be a buy local campaign but something similar that encourages people to help out area businesses that have been affected by the recent economic downturn resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

MRED's next regular monthly meeting is set for Oct. 14 in Tipton.

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