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Online pet retailer set to open 800-employee Missouri operation

Online pet retailer set to open 800-employee Missouri operation

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JEFFERSON CITY — An online pet store is poised to build a fulfillment center in Missouri employing 800 workers.

Florida-based Chewy, which has eight other warehouse operations around the country, chose a location in Cass County on the state’s western border over a site in Tennessee, according to an application for tax incentives it submitted to the state.

The Missouri Development Finance Board is scheduled take up a state loan package Tuesday worth $2.8 million to help the company buy equipment to  run the plant.

The company also is receiving sales tax breaks from local governments.

According to the application, most of the jobs at the facility will pay about $31,000 annually.

The decision to locate in Missouri comes as the state is seeing its jobless rate improve after rocketing into the double digits at the beginning of the pandemic.

Missouri’s unemployment rate fell more than two percentage points to 7.9% in June as people returned to work following the state’s easing of shutdown restrictions in May.

However, Missouri retailers were still down almost 14,000 jobs from June 2019, and accommodation and food service had 62,000 fewer jobs than a year ago.

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