Member News January 2021

Member News is a monthly blog post dedicated to sharing Chamber members’ upcoming events or major news. If you have something to share email the Chamber’s Director of Communications and Marketing, Mary Kate Hafner, at

Want to MAKE A DIFFERENCE while getting FREE HELP during the summer?  The City of Columbia’s CARE program hires local teenagers and places them at area businesses, where they gain much needed real-world hands-on work experience while getting paid. CARE depends on partnerships with area companies (worksite partners) to provide the worksites for its trainees; however, 100% of the trainees’ wages are paid by CARE. Worksite partners are investing in our future by investing in our youth, while at the same time receiving free labor.  The youth trainees gain valuable employment experience and life skills while earning a paycheck.  CARE is a win-win-win situation for the trainees, the worksite partners, and the Columbia community as a whole.  Worksite supervisors are responsible for mentoring, training, explaining, demonstrating, monitoring, daily supervising, and evaluating trainees. For more information, contact Ron Schmidt at or (573) 874-6377.

Columbia Improvement District (The District) has purchased $20,000 in gift cards from local businesses to giveaway through social media contests, drawings, and District events. See more on The Dis

CoMo Cooks is open! The Loop CID and REDI are proud to announce that CoMo Cooks, a shared commercial Kitchen at Mizzou North, has received an operating permit from the City of Columbia health department and is now officially open for business.
CoMo Cooks will give all cooks a chance to turn their recipes into a business reality, regardless of background, income, or status. The goal is to increase entrepreneurial success by providing accessible, inclusive, and affordable kitchen space for starting and expanding local food-based businesses. Additional support provided by REDI and The Loop CID in the form of business coaching, shared branding, pop-ups, and other promotions will help local food entrepreneurs succeed.
The CoMo Cooks project will benefit the community by:

  • Encouraging the growth of local food entrepreneurs by reducing barriers and creating opportunities for those without easy access to a commercial kitchen, including those who have been impacted by racial, social, and economic inequality.
  • Supporting local and regional farmers by providing cost-effective space to produce value-added products.
  • Increasing the economic vitality of the Business Loop by developing a catalytic project that can spur new food-based businesses along the corridor.
  • Creating quality jobs that support upward economic mobility for the residents of Columbia and Boone County.
  • Providing a space that can be used in the future for business incubation, workforce development, food safety classes, and other training opportunities.

Boone County Family Resources (BCFR), an innovative, nationally accredited and person-centered organization, is seeking an Executive Director.  BCFR, established in 1976, supports Boone County residents with developmental disabilities to thrive in the community, connect with others and achieve their personal goals. For more information, visit


300 S Providence Rd
PO Box 1016
Columbia, Mo 65205