JOPLIN, MO.--- New businesses are coming to Joplin in the new year, and that means more jobs for local residents. New businesses have been popping up all around the Joplin area in the last two years.
"We have 150 new employers in town. That includes places like Longhorn and Huhot and many others as well. Those companies have added about another 500 full time jobs," said Rob O'Brien, Joplin Chamber of Commerce.
O'Brien say without the national exposure, some of those businesses may have gone elsewhere.
"Joplin handled the tornado and how people responded in a very positive way to rebuilding, gave Joplin some national positive recognition that have brought some of those companies here that might not have considered Joplin in the past," said O'Brien.
Michael Runyan lives in Joplin. He says new jobs will help others in the community.
"I have a job so I won't be looking anymore, but there's a lot of people that don't have jobs and it's a good opportunity for people who are struggling and having a hard time to find work. I think it's really good," said Michael Runyan, Joplin Resident.
O'Brien expects the number of new jobs to continue to improve.
"Really where we are, we are back to the number of jobs in the area that we had not only pre-tornado but actually pre-recession," said O'Brien.
The May 2011 tornado destroyed or severely damaged 531 businesses, affecting almost 5,000 jobs. However, 450 businesses have reopened or are in the process of reopening. One of those new businesses has Michael excited about ice cream.
"One of my favorite things is Baskin Robbins. I can go and sample whatever I want to find the perfect ice cream for my mood," said Runyan.
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