Good morning, MBA readers,
Gov. Mike Parson put pen to paper and signed the state’s $30 billion budget on Monday. In Kansas City, propane giant Ferrellgas has gone quiet about its debt while the Big Slick philanthropic event is trumpeting a record-breaking year. Get caught up on these and other business headlines from across the state as you get ready to take on this Tuesday.
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From our newsroom
Fed report shows slight growth for Kansas City district, little change for St. Louis
A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank provided a generally optimistic view of the U.S. economy during April and early May, but some signals indicated a period of slower growth in the near future.
KC wins grant to boost minority-owned business through public contracts
Kansas City will receive a $50,000 grant to increase opportunities for firms owned by people of color to secure public contracts.
Parson signs $30 billion state budget
The spending plan includes $50 million for bridge repairs next fiscal year, another $50 million for a local cost-share infrastructure repair program and at least $1 million in additional funding for colleges and universities. (Associated Press)
Executives denounce abortion laws in Missouri, elsewhere
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, a St. Louis native, was among 180 fashion, media and technology executives who signed a full-page advertisement in The New York Times on Monday denouncing restrictive access to abortion. (Reuters)
Ferrellgas goes silent over $2 billion debt
The Overland Park, Kansas-based propane supplier has suspended all conference calls with analysts and investors as well as all dividend payments as it focuses on reducing its debt burden. As of April 30, the company held $2.09 billion in debt and $1.33 billion in assets. (Kansas City Business Journal)
A-B InBev invests in blockchain startup
ZX Ventures, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s venture arm, invested $1.4 million in a planned $7 million funding round for BanQu, a Minneapolis-based startup that uses blockchain technology to build an “economic identity” for people who do not have access to traditional financial services. (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal)
KC engineering firm to add 100 employees in Indianapolis
HNTB plans to open a new office in the Indianapolis area next month and hire about 100 workers over the next five years. (Indianapolis Business Journal)
Springfield to consider stricter age restriction on tobacco, e-cigarettes
The Springfield City Council plans to consider a proposal to raise the minimum age for buying cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vaping devices from 18 to 21 in an effort to curb early-age smoking. (Springfield News-Leader)
Say that again
“The unrealistic amount of self-promotion needed to reach people outside your own personal network — which can happen if the media picks up on your story — is the main reason 90% of GoFundMe campaigns don’t reach their goals.”
Graham Dodge, CEO of Sickweather, says crowdfunding health care costs is difficult not only because it can be tough to reach people outside of one’s own network, but also because crowdfunding platforms present HIPAA compliance issues. Dodge’s latest startup, Garnish Health, aims to address health care costs by creating a “reciprocating donation” platform through which all members share in other members’ medical bills, Startland News reports. The platform plans to use real-time health data to manage enrollment windows and reduce risk.
That is roughly the number of barges currently held in place along the upper Mississippi River due to high water and fast currents, Bloomberg reports. Due to recent storms and flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, the U.S. Coast Guard has closed the rivers to barge traffic, leaving farmers and commodity dealers scrambling to send crops to markets.
Kansas City – thank you from @RobRiggle @DavidKoechner @ericstonestreet #PaulRudd #JasonSudeikis, our celeb guests, families, volunteers, partners, sponsors & donors – you guys kicked #BigSlickKC10 out of the park! pic.twitter.com/TVxbjVNAoc
— Big Slick KC (@BigSlickKC) June 10, 2019
This year’s Big Slick Celebrity Weekend raised more than $2.5 million for Children’s Mercy Hospital, event organizers tweeted Sunday evening. The 10th annual event brought celebrities such as actor Paul Rudd and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes together for activities including bowling, softball and an auction. Since its debut, the event has raised more than $10 million for the Kansas City hospital, according to organizers.
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Kansas City confectioner Christopher Elbow is opening a new ice cream shop, Fairway Creamery, The Kansas City Star reports. But he will sell more than ice cream; he’s also including doughnuts in the mix. This is the second ice cream business for Elbow, who also owns Glacé Artisan Ice Cream.