Small Town, Big Business


June 20, 2017

A reservoir project in Missouri will provide water for 11 rural counties, as well as hundreds of jobs. One small Missouri business is doing its part to make the long-awaited project a reality.

Although water won’t be in Sullivan County for a few years, the economic ripple effect of the East Locust Creek Reservoir project has begun. One immediate beneficiary is Better by Design, a small construction business based in Brookfield, Missouri, which recently earned a contract from the North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission to clean up a portion of the future lake bed. That contract has in turn led to more jobs.

Lois Rodríguez, President of Better by Design, explains, “We hit the ground running: since October, we went from two full time employees and several part-time employees to five full-time employees and, at times, thirteen part-time employees.”

To navigate the government contracting maze, Lois sought help from the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, or P-TAC. She has since seen her business grow by leaps and bounds.

Lois Rodríguez’s advice for other small business owners just staring out is to take advance of the knowledge and information provided by P-TAC. “Quit spinning your wheels trying to break in by yourself, because it’s almost impossible if you don’t have someone helping you who knows the environment, knows the culture, and knows what it takes to get in,” explained Rodríguez.

Some of her early projects, such as residential and commercial landscaping, led to heavy civil projects, with the help of P-TAC counselor, Jana Weitkemper. Lois’s government clients have included the Missouri Departments of Transportation and Conservation, the U.S. Air Force, and the USDA. Lois believes her Missouri P-TAC counselors have played a big part in the growth of her business.

For more information on Missouri’s Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, you can go online to