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REDI Report – November 14, 2015

Expansion of DTMP a good example of  home-grown jobs

This has certainly been a week to celebrate, in my opinion, in Lebanon and Laclede County as a forthcoming expansion at Detroit Tool Metal Products (DTMP) was officially announced. With this expansion, the company will create 30 new jobs in Lebanon and Laclede County, while also investing more than $4 million in new equipment and buildings. If you happen to see someone from DTMP while you are out and about, I encourage you to both congratulate them on this week’s news and thank them for their continued investment here.

I have mentioned this before, but I think it certainly bears repeating that we must make an effort to help our existing companies grow and prosper. While the attraction of a brand new industry or business may generate the most sensational news headlines, it is actually our current companies who will create 70 to 80 percent of the new jobs in our economy. Lebanon and Laclede County have been on a good streak as far our economy is concerned over the past few months and our existing employers are one of the true key factors behind this recent success. On behalf of Lebanon-REDI, I want to thank DTMP for keeping your local location at the top of your investment options. As a company that has locations elsewhere in our nation, DTMP certainly had the right and opportunity to locate this forthcoming expansion in another part of the United States, or the world for that matter. But due to several factors, including the work ethic of the existing labor force at DTMP’s Lebanon facilities as well as local, regional and state partnerships, Lebanon became the location of choice for the company’s latest expansion project. We will all reap benefits from this announcement.

Speaking of choices, the holiday season is right around the corner and we will all have the chance to decide where we shop for those gifts for the important people in our lives. I urge everyone to strongly consider shopping locally during the holidays, and really all year long. You are helping a friend and neighbor when you take your business to a local outlet. These are the same people who then take your contributions to their businesses and use them to circulate money locally by also making purchases here, supporting civic and nonprofit entities in the community, sponsoring school related and other similar functions, and paying their share of expenses that help fund improvements in our community and county.

I want to commend the Local Makes Sense committee, which is part of the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce, for working hard to find new ways to extend this message of “shop locally” to the masses. I’m excited about the activities that the Local Makes Sense organization is working on to get the “shop local” message out there. We must stop and think about the effects of spending money outside our Lebanon and Laclede County borders. When we do, we help fund someone else’s street improvements, other cities’ upgrades and in general, others’ quality of life. It also makes it more difficult for our local businesses to simply stay in business and we certainly don’t want to see us lose any businesses here. While I know we can’t always get “everything” here, I think we can all do our best to make an effort to buy those things we can.

Thank you all for reading and have a wonderful weekend.

(Brian Thompson is the President/Chief Executive Officer of Lebanon-REDI. He may be reached at his office at 200 E. Commercial Street at 417-533-5627, by mobile phone at 417-288-9737 or by e-mail at brian@lebanonredi.com)