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Missouri Minute: WeWork to open second KC space; Parson OKs later school start



Good morning, MBA readers,

The WeWorkification of the world continues. In Kansas City, the coworking space operator is opening a second location. In other news, Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill that will delay the start of school in an effort to boost the state’s tourism industry. Plus, what’s in a name? Plenty, if you ask makers of “Missouri bourbon.” Before you unplug from your inbox for the weekend, read on to get caught up on these and other top business headlines from around the state.


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From our newsroom

Speaking Startup: CBD in Missouri; an innovation district in KC
In this week’s podcast, we check in with Kristen Williams, the CEO and creative director of a Columbia CBD startup called Hempsley. We also chat with Kevin McGinnis, a former Sprint executive now working to build an innovation district in Kansas City.

Seeking scholarship support, MU athletics pitches to local businesses
Representatives from the University of Missouri athletic department are soliciting funds from members of the business community to provide scholarships and other financial support for student athletes.


Stay alert

Parson OKs later school start date
A bill signed Thursday will delay the start date for Missouri public schools by an extra four days. Supporters say the move will boost the state’s tourism industry. School organizations argue that local school boards should be able to decide when school begins. (Associated Press)

WeWork to open second KC office space
WeWork, the global operator of coworking spaces, will open a 101,000-square-foot space in the Lightwell building in downtown Kansas City. WeWork’s announcement comes shortly after The Port KC board unanimously backed incentives to redevelop the site. (Startland News)

Commercial janitorial firm expands with East Coast deal
St. Louis-based 4M Building Solutions has acquired Rhode Island’s Heritage Healthcare Services, which provides housekeeping services to senior living facilities and long-term care hospitals across the East Coast. The deal adds 375 workers to 4M’s existing roster of about 3,100 employees. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Western Specialty acquires KC-area business
St. Louis-based Western Specialty Contractors has acquired Great Plains Roofing and Sheet Metal, which brings 60 to 70 workers in the deal. Western Specialty says the deal will allow for a “one-stop” shop for building needs in the Kansas City area, where the company already has two locations. (Kansas City Business Journal)

University City wins microbrewery property in lawsuit
The St. Louis County Circuit Court has ruled that a property belongs to University City after a developer scrapped plans to open a microbrewery there. Developer Tim O’Donnell purchased the land from the city for $100,000, which was under market value, and put the property back on the market after investing $150,000 to develop the space. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Shackelford to leave Digital Sandbox for ECJC role
Jeff Shackelford will serve as senior vice president of investment capital and financial operations at the Enterprise Center in Johnson County, where he will lead the Fountain Innovation Fund and Mid-America Angels. He will continue his role as executive director of Digital Sandbox until a successor is hired. (Startland News)

Federal grand jury indicts KC workers for alleged overtime fraud
Six Kansas City public works employees were indicted for allegedly making bogus reports of damaged street signs to collect $58,000 in overtime pay. (Kansas City Star)

Vendors to sell old Arrowhead seats to Chiefs fans
Jackson County is set to approve a contract proposed by Schneider Industries of St. Louis and S&S Seating of Indiana, which would allow the companies to sell 30,000 seats that were removed from Arrowhead Stadium. The contract is expected to yield the county about $267,000 if just over 10% of the old seats are sold to collectors. (Kansas City Star)


Say that again

“When you close down such a large part of the city with the distances, you have almost no landlords left to lease to. And the ones that want to, want to charge $30- to $40,000 nonrefundable deposits because of this.”

That’s Bianca Sullivan, an attorney and aspiring cannabis entrepreneur in Kansas City. Some cannabis entrepreneurs, like Sullivan, worry that a proposed 750-foot buffer separating dispensaries from schools and churches may be too restrictive, KCUR reports. Kansas City’s liquor stores adhere to a smaller buffer zone of 300 feet. Meanwhile, St. Louis has adopted no buffer zone for its medical marijuana dispensaries to make it easier for businesses to enter the market.


Word to the wise

Missouri bourbon
Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday signed a bill giving this term a very specific definition, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. According to the bill, distillers must meet three criteria if they want to call their product “Missouri bourbon” or “Missouri bourbon whiskey”: The entire distilling and bottling process must take place in Missouri; the product must be aged in oak barrels made in Missouri; and all corn used in the mash must be grown in Missouri. The measure comes a year after 30 Missouri distillers banded together to form the Missouri Craft Distillers Guild.


Hello, my name is

Jay Nixon
The former Missouri governor, now an attorney with the Clayton law firm Dowd Bennett, is representing a Michigan college in a lawsuit against his alma mater, the University of Missouri, over an MU grad’s last will and testament, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Sherlock Hibbs bequeathed $5 million to MU to establish three chairs and professorships in its business school. Hibbs’ will stipulated that those posts be filled by people who espouse the theories of Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. According to the will, if MU is not compliant, the money goes to Hillsdale College. The suit claims MU has not met its obligations under Hibbs’ will.


It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.

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