The statewide Buy Missouri program creates local business connections and spreads the word about Missouri-made products.
9-16 October is the fourth annual Buy Missouri Week, which promotes the purchase of goods and products made in the state.
Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe with the program to host Buy Missouri Day 2021 virtual and promote Missouri businesses and products through social media.
Buy Missouri Day 2021 virtual features a one-hour video showcasing the work and stories of Buy Missouri’s manufacturers, companies, and retail locations.
Governor Mike Parson founded the Buy Missouri Program in 2017 while serving as Lieutenant Governor. The initiative is an attempt to strengthen the state’s economy by recognizing and promoting Missouri businesses and manufacturers.
The program continues to be led by the Office of Lieutenant-Governor Kehoe, who endorsed legislation introducing the second Saturday in October as Buy Missouri Week while he was in the state Senate.
“When I travel the state, I am amazed at the ingenuity, initiative, and creativity of Missourians,” Kehoe said in a press release. âBuy Missouri Week is promoting great products made right here in Missouri. The week also reminds Missouri residents that when we buy Missouri-made products, we are supporting our friends, family, and neighbors who work and own those businesses. “
As of July, 447 companies in 90 counties were registered as Buy Missouri members, meaning they are recognized for making products with at least 51 percent Missouri materials.
There are 16 Buy Missouri members in Cole County, including the Blacksmith Distillery in Lohman.
Mike Broker, chief executive officer and co-founder of Blacksmith Distillery, said he joined the Buy Missouri program after creating a bicentennial bourbon to celebrate the state’s 200th anniversary and to promote the initiative to others.
“Of course we’re made in Missouri, we only use Missouri grains to make it, so we said, ‘Yeah, let’s be a part of it promoting the local stuff,'” Broker said.
Despite being a weekend deal, it’s difficult to track sales comparisons, Broker said the 2.5-year-old distillery recently bought another Buy Missouri member a private label batch of 200 bottles.
“They found us through Buy Missouri because they are also a Buy Missouri member,” said Broker. “In that respect, it has absolutely influenced us.”
Broker said he is monitoring the Buy Missouri program to find potential sellers in the state who could help Blacksmith Distillery make promotional items such as hats, shirts and bottles.
He said the programâs developing community is exciting.
“As more and more companies (Buy Missouri) join and it grows, they will look, like us, at who else is on this program and how we can support them,” Broker said.
Kehoe also believes in the program’s growth.
“It’s been a great year for the program and we’re well on our way to reaching 500 members by the end of 2021,” said Kehoe.
There are 21 Buy Missouri members in Boone County, 10 in Osage County, and nine in Callaway County. The surrounding counties – including Gasconade, Moniteau, Morgan, Miller, and Maries Counties – have a total of 15 members.
In addition to Buy Missouri members, the program this year introduced Buy Missouri Retail Partnerships, which recognize retail locations that sell Missouri-made products across the state.
The Buy Missouri program advertises its members and retail partnerships on its website.
The initiative currently has 21 retail partners across the state, including Dogwood Vintiques in Jefferson City.
Callaway County and Boone County each have two Buy Missouri retail partners, while Osage County and Miller County each have one. There are currently no other trading partners in neighboring counties.