The fate of Missouri State University's Efactory business incubator and Jordan Valley Innovation Center may be on the line after budget withholdings by Gov. Mike Parson, officials said this morning.
At the crux of the issue is the Efactory and JVIC's appropriation from the Missouri Technology Corp., which was defunded through Parson's order earlier this month amid the coronavirus pandemic. The withholding of roughly $2.9 million is the MTC's entire budget, according to an Efactory news release, and now the state is calling for the funds already expended to be paid back, according to media reports.
"This is concerning not only for our programs and our successful operations, but sets a very dangerous precedent for all publicly funded entities. Historically, budget withholds have been forward-looking only," Efactory and JVIC officials said in the release. "We know these are tough times. We were fully expecting a withhold of future funds. The situation we find ourselves in now exceeds the definition of a withhold."
The Efactory and JVIC's fiscal 2020 MTC appropriation was $161,539, which was matched locally via the organizations' operational fund.
Efactory officials said future withholdings in the third and fourth quarters would be sustainable, but having to pay back first- and second-quarter funds that already have been spent "would be devastating to our programs,” according to the release.
"To terminally defund entrepreneurship and innovation efforts is a fatal misstep on behalf of our state government. It’s a move that our community will likely not recover from," the release reads.
The Efactory's funding also includes a $350,000 Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity Program grant. The organization is currently in year two of the three-year grant, according to the release.
Last year, the Efactory announced a $1.25 million grant from the federal government.
The Efactory ranked No. 1 on Springfield Business Journal’s 2019 list of the area’s largest business incubators. The organization reported 30 tenants, 930 total startups assisted and 1,570 jobs created.
Demand is ramping up as COVID restrictions relent.
This poll is not a scientific sampling. It offers a snapshot of what readers are thinking.
Jessica Burkland, a Missouri State University business instructor in the Department of Management, says now is a great time for innovators to start a small business for several reasons. Burkland, who owns Activate Consulting & Training and volunteers as a small business mentor for SCORE of Southwest Missouri, shares three things entrepreneurs should know.
Local Musician Barak Hill talks about how he started writing music and earning money from his skills. He says his first motivation to start making money was to get music to pay for itself.
Heather Kite, owner of startup business Rooted Deep Farms, talks about tough times during the winter of 2020-2021. She says determination was a necessary component that kept her going.
Jeramey and Julia Henson, co-owners of HM Dentworks Academy, discuss the importance of family in work-life balance. They say you can’t make up for the major life events. HM Dentworks Academy is also co-owned by Chris McWhirter.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistry Pottery, talks about her struggle with PXE, or Pseudoxanthoma elasticum, a disease that affects the eyes. She says that despite her struggle, she is ultimately thankful.
Jessica Burkland, a Missouri State University business instructor in the Department of Management, talks about small business start-up trends in a post-pandemic year. Burkland, who owns Activate Consulting & Training and volunteers as a small business mentor for SCORE of Southwest Missouri, says startups that offer new services and products to help people work from home or that enhance mental health could find greater success.
Jim and Debbie Meinsen, co-owners of TCI Graphics, say the past year has been one of the toughest they have faced. Now in the company's 50th year, the couple says they learned a few things in 2020.
Charlie Rosenbury, president of Self-Interactive, calls on his experience in programming to illustrate lessons he has learned running a business and life in general. Springfield Business Journal's 90 Ideas is presented by Great Southern Bank.
Darline Mabins talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about growing up after a tragic accident took the lives of her mother and older brother. Mabins is now the regional branch sales manager for Arvest Bank. No Ceiling is an SBJ podcast, going in depth with local women, sharing their journey to the top of their professions.
Caleb Scott, owner, coach and player for Queen City Insane Asylum semi-professional football team, talks about the ways that the team works to support each other on and off the field. Scott says you can’t force people to become leaders, they have to come naturally.