LAMAR, MO -- After years of high unemployment in Barton County, officials finally to see a decrease.
Small businesses like Fast Eddies Hot Rod Shop are helping to stimulate the local economy.
Walk into Eddies Hot Rod Shop and you might feel like you're stepping back in time.
New Mustangs made to look like 1969 Shelbys and cars torn apart from the Joplin tornado retro-fitted as classic beauties.
"People actually started seeking us out," Eddie's Hot Rod Co-Owner Brian Brewer says.
That wasn't always the case for co-owner Brian Brewer says. Like many small businesses in Barton County, the hot rod shop suffered after the 2008 economic downturn.
"It's been a struggle in areas, but we've been able to overcome it," Brewer says.
With the unemployment rate at 13% Barton County officials decided to take action.
"The most important part of my job is working with businesses like Fast Eddies to help them expand because we know this is where jobs will come from," Barton County Economic Development Director Robert Harrington says.
Harrington says by giving businesses tax incentives to create more jobs, Barton County's unemployment rate dropped four points to 9% in the last year.
"Local companies in the area are expanding as well as our hospital. So it's picked up and looks like the future is bright," Harrington says.
Ford Motor Company has hired the hot rod shop to retro-fit cars.
The owners hope this will create even more jobs in Lamar.