ST. LOUIS (June 10, 2020) – Up to 10 communities in Missouri could benefit from a new program from Ameren Missouri designed to make it easier to attract new businesses across Ameren Missouri's service area.
Communities looking for help to offset the costs of preparing shovel-ready industrial sites for new business can now apply for a matching grant up to $15,000 from Ameren Missouri. The Site Readiness Planning Grant program, administered by Ameren Missouri's economic development team, aims to spur business growth by supporting the availability of competitive industrial sites, parks and buildings.
"We know the economic downturn the last few months has presented many challenges for the communities we serve, but many of them have continuously worked to attract and grow business in the area," said Matt Forck, vice president of community, economic development and energy solutions at Ameren Missouri. "That is why we created the Site Readiness Planning Grant program, which offers matching dollars to help those communities tackle the financial barrier for getting their site certified under the Missouri Certified Site Program. More certified sites in the area means more potential for economic growth."
Ready-to-go, improved properties have been proven to help communities compete for new business investment and job growth. Since 2016, certified sites in Missouri have resulted in more than $250 million in new investments and 442 new jobs, according to Missouri Partnership.
Ameren Missouri will award up to 10 qualifying communities throughout the summer or until the program funding has been expended. On average, the cost to prepare a site for certification is between $20,000 and $30,000. Grant recipients must use the funds for services required to achieve Missouri Certified Site certification and the property must be served by either Ameren Missouri electric or natural gas services.
“Ameren Missouri’s Site Readiness Planning Grant is a huge win for Missouri communities,” said Missouri Partnership CEO Subash Alias. “The Missouri Certified Sites program is an important tool in our toolbox that allows us to provide quality, low-risk, shovel-ready sites across the state for companies investing here which is also a key goal for our important Raise the Bar—Compete initiative. Ameren Missouri’s willingness to help fund the needed studies on industrial sites will increase Missouri’s ability to meet the needs of expanding businesses that will create jobs and opportunity for Missouri residents.”
Ameren Missouri also offers one of the best economic development incentive (EDI) rates in the country for qualifying businesses looking to expand or locate to its service territory. Once approved, businesses can receive up to 40 percent off their base electric rates. The incentive program is just one of the benefits included in Ameren Missouri's Smart Energy Plan, which is adding increased investments in the state.
This Site Readiness Planning Grant Program and EDI benefit both business and residential customers. Everyone's rates stay lower by spreading out the fixed costs of generating and delivering electricity. Applications for Ameren Missouri's Site Readiness Planning Grant program for communities and the EDI for businesses can be completed online by visiting AmerenMissouri.com/economicdevelopment.
About Ameren Missouri
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.