Nicole Lunger/Missouri Business Alert

Missouri Minute: Sprint loses court appeal; Parson launches 2020 campaign



Good morning, MBA readers,
We start this week with some seemingly inevitable news: Gov. Mike Parson has officially launched a campaign to keep his job. Elsewhere, Sprint’s previous courtroom victory against a smartphone reseller was reversed in federal appeals court. Meanwhile, state officials are blaming unregulated gaming machines at gas stations for $50 million in lost lottery revenue. Scroll down to read these stories and other top business news from across the state.


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American exports to China sink amid trade war
Chinese officials say August imports from the U.S. fell 22.5% to $10.3 billion after Chinese tariff hikes prompted companies to cancel orders. China’s exports to the U.S. dropped 16% to $44.4 billion in the same period. (Associated Press)

Parson launches 2020 gubernatorial campaign
Gov. Mike Parson announced Sunday that he’s seeking a full term as Missouri governor, a post he inherited after Eric Greitens resigned in scandal last year. That sets up a potential general election contest between Parson, a Republican, and Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway, the only Democrat and woman currently in a statewide office. (Associated Press)

Mallinckrodt reaches settlement in Ohio opioid cases
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, which has corporate offices in St. Louis, has agreed to pay $24 million to Cuyahoga and Summit counties in Ohio and donate $6 million in opioid addiction treatment drugs. The deal comes amid reports of a potential Mallinckrodt bankruptcy due to opioid-related lawsuits. (Washington Post)

Sprint loses cellphone trafficking appeal
In a 3-0 decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court has overturned a $26.9 million judgment against Wireless BuyBacks, which Leawood, Kansas-based Sprint has accused of wrongfully reselling Sprint customers’ phones at higher prices. (Reuters)

Missouri officials blame digital slot machines for $50 million in lost lottery revenue
Officials say around 14,000 unregulated gaming terminals at gas stations and other businesses in Missouri are responsible for an estimated loss of $50 million in lottery revenue. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

KC tech firm adds new data software for home health care providers
WellSky has launched new data analytics software that deploys algorithms to give outpatient health care providers population- and patient-specific insights. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Stenger aide gets 15-month prison sentence
A federal judge on Friday sentenced Bill Miller, former chief of staff to Steve Stenger, to 15 months in prison for his role in the former St. Louis County executive’s corruption. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Missouri implements Fast Track workforce training grants
The state has begun offering Fast Track Workforce Incentive grants to working-age adults who seek higher education or job training. The grants are available to Missouri students who earn less than $80,000 when filing jointly or $40,000 on their own. (Columbia Missourian)

$50 million apartment complex planned in Springfield
Los Angeles-based developer College Town International has announced a new five-story, 194-unit apartment complex that will cater to college students and young professionals in downtown Springfield. The company plans to begin pre-releasing apartments ranging from studios to four-bedroom units in spring 2021. (Springfield Business Journal)

Post-Dispatch building developer seeks $35 million in subsidies, tax credits
StarLake Holdings, the developer planning to convert the old St. Louis Post-Dispatch building into offices for Square, hopes to finance about half of the $70 million project with local subsidies and state and federal tax credits. StarLake, which bought the building for $3.5 million, has applied for $11.8 million in tax increment financing from the city and over $23.5 million in state and federal tax credits. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Yield Lab names eight companies for new startup competition
The Yield Lab Institute has selected eight companies to participate in the inaugural Manure Challenge, a new startup competition focused on manure management technologies and products. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Schnucks asks customers to stop open carry in stores
St. Louis grocer Schnucks has issued a statement asking customers to stop openly carrying firearms in its stores, with the exception of law enforcement officers. Schnucks’ new policy follows similar moves by national retailers like Walmart and Walgreens. (KSDK)


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As tariffs and trade tensions rise, Missouri exports have fallen. Exports from the state totaled $3.37 billion for the second quarter, according to a new report from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. That was a decrease of about 15% from the same period last year.


Say that again

“Focus on folks who can really be an asset to you as an organization.”

That’s Kerri Thurston, CFO of Kansas City fintech startup C2FO. Speaking at a recent event, Thurston outlined the company’s strategy for selecting its investors, Startland News reports. She said C2FO, which raised $200 million last month, looks for financial backers who have the kind of global reach to help the company scale worldwide. C2FO’s most recent funding round was led by SoftBank and included investors from Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Germany, according to Thurston.


Go figure

$64 million
That’s how much the cost of a new 800-room convention hotel in downtown Kansas City has ballooned since it was announced in 2015, The Kansas City Star reports. City officials first noticed the increasing cost when developers of the Loews Kansas City Hotel submitted two budgets last year, including one that was about $57 million larger than the initial cost of $310 million. Since then, the project has incurred another $7 million in cost overruns, which were disclosed at a Tax Increment Financing Commission meeting on Friday. The project, which was initially backed by Hyatt, is receiving tax subsidies through tax increment financing, a community improvement district and a portion of the city’s convention and tourism sales tax.


Hello, my name is

SixTwentyOne
Three Kansas City architects officially launched this new firm last week, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. The firm’s name comes from the day its founders, Jacob Littrell, Kara Bouillette and Dan Brown, decided to start their own business together. The founders say Kansas City has few new architecture firms and they saw an opportunity to offer a fresh perspective in the market. The principals, whose skills range from residential to commercial to academic buildings, have a WeWork space in the Crossroads Arts District.


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

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