COVID task force issues recommendations for small businesses
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A task force created to consider how to help Missouri’s small businesses recover from the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic issued several recommendations on Monday.
The Show Me Strong Recovery Task Force, created by Gov. Mike Parson last year, met with small business owners in seven cities, conducted a statewide survey of small business owners and worked with the Federal Reserve to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses, the governor’s office said in a news release.
Some of the recommendations include improving child care availability and affordability; expanding hospitality industry apprenticeships; creating a single business portal to streamline interaction with state agencies; and promoting existing state programs to support small, women- and minority-owned businesses.
The task force, which disbanded Dec. 31, also recommended developing strategies to help improve supply chain disruptions, especially for manufacturing, distribution and commercial trucking.
In other focus area, the recommendations include establishing a program to connect more Missourians to high-speed internet and expand a cell tower network to expand wireless access across the state.
“As our state’s economy has recovered, it’s important to continue to support our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy,” Parson said in a statement.
He said the task force produced “thoughtful recommendations designed to benefit hardworking business owners statewide.”