The Missouri House recently approved legislation that would provide a boost to the state’s small businesses, including many in rural areas. House members voted in favor of a bill that would expand the Missouri Works program so that more of the state’s small businesses would be eligible for workforce training benefits.
The sponsor of the bill noted that in many areas of the state there are small businesses that do not qualify to obtain the benefits provided through Missouri Works. These businesses fall short of the program’s qualification criteria such as number of workers employed, or health insurance benefits provided. The bill approved this week would allow these businesses to pool together with businesses that do meet all of the program’s criteria in order to receive benefits. Specifically, the bill would allow a group of businesses to qualify as long as the majority of them meet the program’s criteria.
The Missouri Works program, which was created by the legislature in 2013, is the state’s number one incentive tool for expansion and retention. The program helps businesses access capital through withholdings or tax credits to embark on facility expansions and create jobs. It works to assist companies with the training of employees in new jobs and the retraining or upgrading of the skills of full-time employees in retained jobs.
Supporters of HB 93 say the bill will help more small businesses take advantage of the Missouri Works program. The change will give the department more flexibility to distribute the program’s benefits throughout the state.