THE OZARKS, Mo. — Buy Missouri week is back this year which is an effort created by Governor Mike Parson a few years ago to draw attention to local businesses across the state.

Now Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe has taken over the program and today he is meeting with some businesses in the Ozarks.

Lt. Gov. Kehoe says that Buy Missouri is a website that helps level the playing field between small and big businesses.

“If Missourians have a choice to buy a window that’s made in Missouri versus a window that’s made in Iowa, they may choose quality and price pending, the window made in Missouri,” Kehoe said.

During a visit to the Waterwheel Leather Company, Kehoe shared more about some unexpected benefits of the program.

“What has spun out of that is, we’ll be visiting Buy Missouri companies or potential Buy Missouri companies and they will talk about a packaging need or something, a supply, a part, a component they need to make their product,” said Lt. Gov. Kehoe. “And the governor or I, because he’s been to a lot of these companies and now I’ve been to them all, can say ‘hey, wait a minute we know somebody in St. Joseph, Missouri that makes that and maybe. So the kind of side benefit that’s been kind of fun is hooking Buy Missouri companies up together to find out how they can help each other out.”

Waterwheel Leather Company owner, John Seawright, showed him his products.

“Here at Waterwheel Leather company, it’s a company I created, most of anything I make is by hand, and I try to source all my stuff locally,” Seawright said.

Kehoe is visiting both current Buy Missouri members and prospective future members to continue growing the program.