The news in St. Louis could not have been much worse last week.
Anheuser Busch, our greatest corporation and national business icon, is sold to a Belgium company, InBev.
Wachovia’s new St. Louis headquarters is raided by various authorities for reported investor money management violations.
American Airlines, our main carrier, announces more cutbacks and layoffs.
Starbucks announces it is closing 16 local coffee houses.
The police chief of the City of St. Louis is under fire for alleged favors his daughter received from a local towing company.
And a three pack of men’s underwear at Macy’s now costs $27. What are they lined with silk?
Some of these stories made national headlines (OK the underwear one did not). It doesn’t put St. Louis in a very good light, does it?
Yet, the area remains a great place to live. We have our arts, theatre, professional sports and beautiful parks. Of course there’s the world class zoo where no admission is charged. And the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the best anywhere.
Plus our share of very good restaurants, good public schools, and relatively quick access for local travel (as soon as Highway 40 is completed and running again).
And of course The Gateway Arch (they can’t sell that, can they?)
Housing is affordable and the economy relatively stable, especially combined with the wild swings on the coasts. In fact Missouri consistently has the lowest gasoline prices in the nation.
So why not tell the world about it?
The 2009 Major League Baseball All Star Game will be held in St. Louis.
Now is a great time to start beating the drums and letting the media know about our fair city.
Between now and then, those who regularly promote and publicize the St. Louis area (such as the Convention and Visitors Bureau and Regional Commerce and Growth Association) should “attack” like never before.
PR pros from across the area might also lend a hand and use their connections to spread the word about the Gateway to the West.
A little extra effort might go a long way to helping corporations “feel good” about their St. Louis location. Who knows, it may even help to attract some new businesses to town.
At the very least it should keep companies from thinking,”Will the last business out of St. Louis please remember to turn out the lights.”