The head of one local economic development group said his organization is starting to get off the ground.
Jonas Arjes, director of the Taney County Business Development Partnership, said he has been busy laying the foundation and building the framework for future success.
Arjes started his position with the organization in January.
The partnership was formed with financial commitments from Taney County, the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and several other towns throughout the county.
In December, Arjes received continued funding from the Hollister Board of Aldermen.
He told aldermen the organization has managed to secure additional funding from 15 private businesses.
Those contributions totaled $73,500, Arjes said.
Arjes said the first year has been about building the organization itself.
“We’re definitely playing the game at a much higher level than we were before,” he said of economic development.
The Taney County Business Development Partnership was established to help attract and grow non-tourism-based businesses, Branson Chamber CEO Ross Summers said at the time.
“I feel positive we have all the tools and assets for Taney County to be successful,” Arjes told Hollister aldermen.
The city committed $5,000 to the organization, matching its funding for 2012.
Arjes has spent considerable time this year working on an enhanced enterprise zone for the county.
The EEZ designation would allow the county, and all of the other taxing districts, to abate property taxes for new and expanding businesses.
The county’s EEZ application was submitted in November. Arjes said he expects it to be approved by the state department of economic development by the end of January.
Arjes said the process involved getting ordinances passed by every municipality in the county, which was 19 in all.
Alderman Phil Carman asked Arjes to point to specific accomplishments of the partnership.
Arjes said there has been only one new business, a small manufacturer in Bradleyville, which he has had a direct hand in bringing to the area.
The company employs three and could expand to as many as eight to 10, he said.