Hello, MBA readers,
Following rejection in federal court, Bayer is considering taking the active ingredient, glyphosate, out of its Roundup weedkiller. A district court judge called parts of Bayer’s $2 billion proposal to settle future claims that Roundup causes cancer “clearly unreasonable.” But the German conglomerate, which inherited Roundup — and a host of legal complications — when it acquired Monsanto in 2018, said it plans to pursue other options to protect itself from future risk. Issues with glyphosate largely stem from the residential market, and Bayer plans to continue using it in products for the agricultural market. In capitol news, lawmakers are already pushing Gov. Mike Parson to call special sessions although the normal legislative session just adjourned in mid-May. The governor deemed these calls to be “too early.” Lawmakers are hoping to address issues including Medicaid funding, police budgets and election law before the next regular session begins in January. Meanwhile, weekly unemployment claims continue to drop as parts of the U.S. economy heal from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just over 5,800 Missourians filed unemployment claims during the past week, continuing a downward trend. Nationally, weekly claims dipped to 406,000, a pandemic low. However, the Department of Labor reported about 15.8 million people nationally are receiving unemployment benefits, nearly eight times as many as in August 2014, when the unemployment rate was the same as it is now. This has led some to contend that expanded unemployment benefits could be contributing to a worker shortage.
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Weekly unemployment claims reach new pandemic low
Nationally, new claims dipped to their lowest point since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 406,000 people filing. Missouri also hit a new pandemic low, with about 5,800 people filing claims. (Associated Press)
Medicaid expansion trial date set
A lawsuit looking to force Missouri to enact the voter-approved expansion of the health care program will go to trial June 18 in Cole County. (Missouri Independent)
Bayer weighs changing Roundup formula
After a judge rejected Bayer’s $2 billion plan to settle future claims that the weedkiller causes cancer, the German conglomerate is considering discontinuing the use of the active ingredient glyphosate in Roundup in the U.S. (St. Louis Business Journal)
Columbia City Council considers local online sales tax
Voters will likely see a local sales tax on internet purchases on city ballots in either April or August 2022. (Columbia Missourian)
St. Louis infrastructure group calls for $2.75 billion in projects
The St. Louis Regional Freightway, which focuses on the transportation of goods in the St. Louis area, released an annual list outlining roughly $2.75 billion in infrastructure improvements. (St. Louis Public Radio)
Pizza restaurant expands in KC, eyes franchisees
Lawrence, Kansas-based Pizza Shuttle is opening a new location in Kansas City’s Crossroads district, its third restaurant overall. Pizza Shuttle’s owners hope the new store can serve as a prototype for franchisees. (Kansas City Star)
Spirit starts St. Louis service
The first Spirit Airlines flight out of St. Louis Lambert International Airport departed Thursday. The carrier will operate nonstop flights from St. Louis to nine destinations. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
St. Louis officials delay another incentive discussion
The St. Louis Tax Increment Financing Commission delayed a decision on $14 million in tax breaks for a mixed-use project in the Cortex technology district until July. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Aladdin hotel goes up for auction
The historic downtown hotel is being sold through Ten-X Commercial, a digital marketplace for commercial real estate sales. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Say that again
“It really motivated me to see that there’s so many Black and brown and minority businesses in the region who are actually active and in business and for profit.”
That’s Eric Love, founder of Assembly On Demand, a company that assembles customers’ IKEA furniture for them. Love just completed the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Accelerator, a first-year program from University of Missouri-St. Louis. The eight-week program provided entrepreneurs with resources including $50,000 in equity-free capital, business coaching and professional introductions, St. Louis Public Radio reports. Love and the founders of other businesses that recently completed the program said the capital and connections offered a boost they had long sought. “In the cohort, we were really able to mesh, just because we all do come from pretty similar backgrounds,” Love said, “and we all can relate to the struggle of how to get funding or finding funding and being overlooked at times, when we know that we’re well qualified for the opportunity.”
Profits at banks in the St. Louis area rose 34% in the first quarter. For the quarter, profits at 61 banks based in the area totaled $209.7 million, up from $156 million at 63 banks in the same quarter last year. That nearly represents a return to pre-pandemic figures, the St. Louis Business Journal reports, but banks are proceeding with caution nonetheless.
— Sarah Unsicker (@SarahUnsicker) May 26, 2021
Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury, posted a thread on Twitter calling for Gov. Mike Parson to convene a special legislative session to extend the Federal Reimbursement Allowance, or FRA, tax. The tax on hospitals, nursing homes and other medical providers funds the majority of Missouri’s Medicaid program, and lawmakers adjourned earlier this month without approving it. Unsicker joins many other lawmakers calling for special sessions on a variety of issues that they feel must be addressed before the next legislative session begins in January.
Hello, my name is
The Italian word for “mentor” is the name given to a new coffee blend from Kansas City-based roaster Parisi Coffee. It’s the fruit of a partnership between Parisi and Sporting Kansas City. The new coffee blend’s name refers to Peter Vermes’ 13-year stint as manager of the Major League Soccer team, the longest tenure of any manager in MLS history, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.