The St. John’s business administration was given a $5.3 billion upgrade last year, and officials said the money will help them do their jobs better.
St. Louis Business Administration Director Michael S. DeGraaf said Thursday that the upgrades are aimed at making the agency’s financial operations and communications better, and also help it focus more on helping people and businesses.
“I think we are making a real commitment to our employees, our customers and the community that we will do a better job of keeping them on top of our business,” DeGraaeaf said.
He said the $5 billion in funding is needed to help the St. Johns expand its network of community service providers.
St Johns Mayor Kevin Johnson called the money a “critical boost” to help businesses.
He said the new business office building will bring the agency closer to its mission of helping people with chronic illnesses and their families.
St John’s is one of more than 30 cities and counties in Missouri with a business office, according to the Missouri Business Association.
St Johns had about 30 businesses when the city was founded in 1863.
The city has been struggling to attract new businesses.
The city is facing a shortage of staff, and more than a dozen businesses have closed in recent years, said St Johns Business Association President Robert F. Williams.
Williams said the city has also had to raise its property taxes to cover the cost of paying for a new office building.
The business administration is a federal agency that provides economic development and workforce training.
The agency also helps cities and other local governments with infrastructure projects.
St Joes chief financial officer Kevin Henson said the agency has been a key partner for St John’s in recent times.
Henson said in the past year, St Johns business administration has increased its workforce from 1,000 to about 3,000, and it’s added more than 3,500 employees in its office.
St Louis business officials also hope to get the new building finished this year.
Hynes said St John s office will be in the process of starting construction on the building and then installing a large solar-powered roof over the building.
Higgins said the company is also seeking to expand its work with the St Louis Department of Corrections and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.