Life is good in Joplin!
With a population of more than 47,000, Joplin still has a “hometown” feel of safe, pleasant, residential areas, friendly people and neighborhood schools. Thanks to a market area of nearly 500,000 people though, Joplin offers a wide variety of shopping, medical care, services and job opportunities typically found in much larger cities. The cost of living in Joplin is highly competitive. In fact, the American Chamber of Commerce Research Association Cost of Living Index repeatedly places Joplin’s cost of living at nearly twelve percent below the national average, assuring Joplin’s role as a community with the lowest cost of living metropolitan area in Missouri and one of the lowest cost metro areas in the country. Yes, the secret’s out: the Joplin area is a wonderful place to work and live!
When potential new businesses look at our area they see a market area population of nearly 500,000, with more than $2 billion in retail sales. Those factors, along with low taxes and a rapidly growing population have helped spur unprecedented retail and restaurant growth in past five years. Other companies take notice of our diverse economic base that includes medical, retail, transportation and manufacturing opportunities and they see a cooperative community ready to join in partnership for mutual growth.
The Joplin Metro area’s position for serving national markets is nearly as advantageous as Chicago or Kansas City. A market of 5.2 million persons can be reached within a 150-mile radius of the Joplin area. Interstates 40 and 44 (eastwest) and US Hwy. 71 (north-south) connect to every region in the country as seen in the map below. Among its competitors, Joplin has the largest population within a 150 mile radius. Four airports within 110 miles serve the region, providing commercial and cargo service to markets throughout the world. Two Class 1 and one local railroad are an important part of the transportation system. Both UPS and FEDEX offer daily early morning deliveries in Joplin and Neosho through their regional hub at Springfield.
The City of Joplin seeks out and supports economic growth through an Enterprise Zone that allows for 100% abatement on new construction. It also grants extensive tax credits for new employment. The City also has revenue bond capacity and often makes grants to projects fitting specific targeted business sectors. The State of Missouri also offers a number of incentives that are appealing to new employers coming into the area, including the new Quality Jobs act which was, in large part, written by Joplin’s state legislators and the Joplin Chamber. This generally pro-business attitude in the general population is reflected on the City Council. The majority of Council members are business people and that ‘business majority’ has existed for more than twenty years. Our county government is also pro-business. There’s a saying that goes “life is what you make it.” In Joplin, we make it great!