PROJECT SPIN: CANON CONCRETE COMPANY
In 2020, Canon and Leslie Smith faced an uphill battle to find financing for their ready-mix concrete business.
Seasoned contractors themselves, Canon and Leslie identified a need for ready-mix availability in the Springfield/Christian County/Branson region. What started out as a running joke became a viable idea to build a concrete plant to service this beautiful slice of the Ozarks.
They soon they had all their ducks in a row for the budding project - a business plan, a potential site, and the support of the local Highlandville community - but finding a source of financing stood in their way. Because they were moving down from northwest Missouri, banks from that region were hesitant to finance a project so far away, and because the couple were new to the Highlandville area, local banks were wary as well.
"We were right in the middle of COVID and banks were shutting down," said Leslie Smith. "Following through on those conversations we were having with the banks was very difficult."
Canon and Leslie brought their plight to Mayor Clint Ellingsworth, explaining that they couldn't find financing and may have to look elsewhere to build their business. But Ellingsworth remained hopeful that the project could be brought to Highlandville.
"I said, 'well, wait a minute, let me contact Show Me Christian County,'" recounted Mayor Ellingsworth. "'And let me see if there's anything we can do.'"
Through contacts and conversations with regional partners, Show Me quickly found solutions to the Smiths' financing hurdle. The Smiths secured the site and began the process of developing their project.
Mayor Ellingsworth was ecstatic. "Not long after that, Canon and Leslie Smith walked into my office and said 'we're coming to Highlandville!'"
At the time of filming, the couple were wrapping up construction on the site, a project they undertook themselves, as a family. "Show Me Christian County has been an integral part in finding financing for Canon Concrete Company and helping bring our new business to the area to service Southwest Missouri," said Leslie. With brand new front-discharge trucks and a wealth of contracting knowledge and experience, the Smiths are excited to begin servicing the region.
Canon Concrete Company's Facebook page may be viewed here.