Ferguson and surrounding communities

The St. Louis area and cities throughout the nation have experienced challenges over the past year. There are important socioeconomic and race issues our region must address, and we are addressing these challenges and remain committed to reaching out and working together to invest in our future.

 

Today, many of the impacted businesses in Ferguson and the surrounding communities have re-opened and are providing a vital service to our community. We, and the St. Louis region as a whole, stand with these small businesses, employees and members of the community. We are committed to the long-term viability and vitality of the area and fully support the many reform efforts that are taking place across the region.

Wall Street Journal Reporter Simon Constable interviews St. Louis Regional Chamber President and CEO Joe Reagan (4 minute video).

St. Louis Regional Chamber
Messaging: Ferguson One-Year Anniversary 

The St. Louis area and cities throughout the nation have experienced challenges over the past year. There are important socioeconomic and race issues our region must address, and we are addressing these challenges and remain committed to reaching out and working together to invest in our future.

  • The challenges faced in metro-St. Louis are realities of most communities across the U.S.
    • St. Louis offers an outstanding quality of life for many, but like many regions across the U.S., there are underlying challenges of race, socioeconomics, education and community policing.
    • Too many of our schools are unaccredited and parents are cut off from quality choices for their children, while many of our citizens have been left behind in an increasingly competitive, global, knowledge economy.
    • Michael Brown’s tragic death exposed another reality: deep mistrust of the justice system and a widening gap in income, education and opportunity. In far too many neighborhoods, police are perceived as an occupying force and municipal courts the means for “taxation by citation.”  
  • Our challenges are being addressed in a direct, honest manner working towards real change.
    • We are engaging in honest public dialogue, working collaboratively with the broader community to understand justifiable grievances, and are proposing systemic change to restore trust.
    • The Ferguson Commission, a diverse body created by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, has spent the past year examining the community challenges brought to light and will soon lay out recommendations for improving communities.
    • Many corners of St. Louis are working together to address these challenges – public sector, businesses large and small, non-profits, clergy and community activists – engaging in honest public dialogue, working collaboratively with the broader community to understand justifiable grievances, and are proposing systemic change to restore trust. 
  • Positive change does not come through short-term fixes and St. Louis is focused on improving the community for the long haul. 
    • In September the Ferguson Commission is expected to recommend significant changes to policy, systems and practices that the rest of us can commit to make, and the rest of the country may want to emulate.
    • It is anticipated changes will include a near tripling of the amount of police training on racial profiling and legislative changes to the use of deadly force law. 
    • The U.S. Department of Justice, Better Together, and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) have closely examined our policing practices, identifying real solutions including proposed recommendations to improve public safety outcomes.  These include straightforward measures such as cross-deputizing City and County police officers, the establishment of regional hiring, training and use-of-force standards, and more complex solutions such as department mergers.   
  • State and local authorities are making very real changes focused on justice, education, racial disparities and economic fairness.
    • The Ferguson Police Department is making real changes to better reflect the community it serves.
    • The Missouri Supreme Court took control of the Ferguson Municipal Court, the state legislature passed a comprehensive bill to reform St. Louis County’s municipal courts so that our police departments will no longer be used as tax collection services, and our jails no longer serve as pauper prisons.
    • The Governor’s office, St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis are implementing very real changes in community policing including requiring department accreditation, increased standards and police oversight, and specific changes to Peace Officer Standards & Training.
    • Various initiatives, including Ferguson 1000 Jobs and the Urban League’s Save Our Sons, are working with private sector partners to reduce economic disparities and improve economic outcomes for more residents of our community, as well as to create jobs with large and mid-size employers in the region.  
  • The business community is playing a very real and active role in transforming St. Louis and helping us meet the challenges we face.
    • St. Louis companies large and small have invested millions of dollars so that more minority students can get a good education and the skills they need to find a job and a career.
    • Emerson has donated over $4 million to help their neighbors in Ferguson and broader parts of North St. Louis County with, among other things, college, technical school, and private high school scholarships.
    • Centene chose Ferguson to build a new claims center with 200 jobs. Monsanto donated $1 million to four non-profit organizations to strengthen communities in Ferguson and North County. 
    • The $1 million Small Business Relief Program has allocated $753,000 to 73 businesses to date.

Small Business Relief
If you are a small business that has been impacted by the events in Ferguson and the Grand corridor and the surrounding communities, please contact our Recovery St. Louis help desk by phone at 314-206-3235, online at http://www.stlregionalchamber.com/Recovery or by email at RecoverySTL@stlregionalchamber.com, about the Small Business Relief Program and other assistance.

#ShopFerguson
Support the hard working businesses and employees in the impacted areas. Here's how to get there and where to #ShopFerguson.
Google Map
www.shopfergusonmo.com

Donate
You can also get involved, even if you can’t get to Ferguson, by giving to:
The Reinvest North County Fund

Events
And we encourage you to enjoy a Community Event in Ferguson. Find out more on the Ferguson City Walk website.

This page updated on June 4, 2015