August 30, 2021

Hannibal, MO. – On Wednesday August 25th, the Ignite Program held its first networking event for local entrepreneurs. Approximately forty individuals attended the event at the Mark Twain Brewery including small-business owners, bank representatives, CPAs, and other business support organizations. The event was sponsored by F&M Bank, who provided light refreshments for the guests. The event provided business owners with the opportunity to mingle and build relationships with each other, as well as with local professionals.

The loose structure of Ignite networking events allowed attendees to enjoy the evening however they pleased. Some relaxed with casual conversation and drinks, while one even showed up with a list of resources that he was hoping to establish connections with at the event. Panelists from the first Ignite event also attended, giving entrepreneurs a chance to chat with them and gain further insight.

“We are very encouraged with the idea of Ignite,” said Joel Booth, Vice President of Business Development at F&M Bank. “The fact that HREDC has taken the initiative to create an environment to surround and support entrepreneurs shows their commitment to their mission for our area.  F&M Bank was delighted to be a part of the networking meeting.  Networking is essential for small business owners and entrepreneurs to meet and utilize their neighbor’s businesses to support their own.  As America’s hometown bank, F&M is excited to continue to support America’s hometown entrepreneurs.”

Ignite will host a Financial Resiliency presentation from 5:00 to 6:30 on September 15 at the Mark Twain Museum. Another networking event will be held on October 27 from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Sweetwater Distillery in Monroe City.

The Ignite Program is a partnership between Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council, the Small Business Development Center, Northeast Power, and the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce. Ignite is dedicated to creating an ecosystem that attracts, creates, supports, and accelerates new and existing businesses in Northeast Missouri. For more information, visit

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