SEEDS Symposium to Explore Regional Economic Development Sept. 30 in Virtual Webinars


The Southeast Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Symposium (SEEDS) will highlight important issues faced in local communities on Sept. 30 in virtual webinars hosted by Southeast Missouri State University’s Harrison College of Business and Computing.

This virtual symposium will include three separate webinars at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on Zoom. The webinars are free and open to the public, and registration is required at

SEEDS symposium participants include guest speakers and audience members who are professionals affiliated with businesses, governmental entities and nonprofit organizations. The purpose of SEEDS is to gather professionals from these various backgrounds and discuss important issues faced in the southeast region of Missouri.

“We like to think of SEEDS as a ‘meeting of the minds,’” said Dr. David Yaskewich, chair of Southeast’s Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance. “When people bring different experiences and perspectives to the table, it is interesting to see where they agree or disagree.”

The symposium will provide an excellent opportunity for students to learn about the business and economic environment in the surrounding region, added Yaskewich. SEEDS is an opportunity to connect professional experts with students and for students to learn about potential career paths, understand new dynamics in the economy and learn from trained professionals.

Symposium virtual events include:

10-11 a.m.: Finding Our Way After Wayfair: Use Taxes and Missouri
Erick Creach, attorney and director of St. Louis office of Gilmore & Bell, P.C.

This session will cover the legal implications of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota vs. Wayfair in June 2018, which allowed states to begin collecting taxes from remote sellers who do not have a physical presence in their state. The Missouri Legislature is expected to someday pass legislation that will allow municipalities, counties and the state to collect use tax revenue from remote sellers who are physically located in other states. Most states have already passed this type of legislation. This session will include a discussion on how state laws on sales and use taxes in Missouri differ from other states prior to the Wayfair decision. Any new legislation to tax sales by remote sellers will have to define a level of activity that creates an “economic nexus” within the state. The concept of “economic nexus” will be analyzed. This session will also provide examples of successful and unsuccessful attempts to pass local use taxes in Missouri.

Noon-1 p.m.: The National Economic Outlook
Kevin Kliesen, business economist and research officer with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The COVID-19 pandemic caused what many have referred to as the “Great Lockdown,” in which many businesses either shut down or limited their operations in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, several key performance indicators have characterized the second quarter of 2020 as a period with the sharpest economic decline in U.S. history. The overall economic impact has been substantial, and yet dissimilar, across several industries and occupations. Third quarter economic numbers are expected to be much better. This session will include an overview of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a forecast for the upcoming year.

2-3 p.m.: Making Virtual Meetings Matter
Matthew Homann, founder and chief executive officer of Filament

Collaboration and teamwork are essential aspects of many professional careers. After the COVID-19 pandemic has forced some businesses to continue operations remotely, many employees have faced the need to develop a relatively new skill — collaborative problem-solving in virtual settings. For some working professionals, this has been uncharted territory. This session will provide advice on how people can get the most value out of virtual meetings. Without a solid strategy, many people can miss out on opportunities that exist before, during and after Zoom meetings to enhance their productive value. The advice provided in this session can be useful for those working in variety of virtual environments, whether it be the virtual boardroom, classroom or anything in between.