Missouri Minute: Creative Planning makes its largest acquisition; developers pitch Springfield sports complex

Hello, MBA readers,

As airports and airlines continue to face depressed demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Aviation Administration has announced $1.2 billion worth of infrastructure grants for beneficiaries that include three Missouri airports. The main airports in Kansas City, St. Louis and Joplin will receive grants to repair taxiways, with a total of $22.8 million distributed between the three. At the same time, Kansas City and St. Louis have announced the addition of service to the popular tourist destination Cancun, Mexico, in the coming months. In other news of rapid ascents, Kansas City-area financial advisory Creative Planning has announced its latest and largest acquisition to date, purchasing an Atlanta firm that has $1.6 billion in assets under management. It’s the 12th acquisition in two years for Creative Planning. Meanwhile, state records show nearly 100,000 people across the state have been added to the Medicaid rolls since the onset of the pandemic. Experts cite a boost in funding for the program, as well as increased financial hardship and job losses for Missourians, as reasons for the surge.

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Creative Planning acquires Atlanta firm in largest deal yet
The fast-growing financial planning firm based in the Kansas City area bought Atlanta-based TrueWealth, which has $1.6 billion in assets under management and 39 employees. It’s the biggest purchase ever for Creative Planning, which has acquired 12 firms in the last two years. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Missouri airports land nearly $23 million in federal infrastructure grants
The Federal Aviation Administration awarded $22.8 million to three airports in the state. Kansas City International Airport and Joplin Regional Airport will both get about $7.9 million, and St. Louis Lambert International Airport will receive a $7.1 million. (MBA)

Sports complex proposed near Springfield airport
Private developers want to build a $17 million, 106-acre project featuring venues for soccer, basketball and volleyball. The city manager said the facility would attract sports tourism and serve as an anchor facility for amateur sports tournaments. (Springfield News Leader)

St. Louis University hospital moves 200 patients to new facility 
The $550 million facility, called the Grand New SSM health St. Louis University Hospital, opened its doors for 200 patients on Sunday. The new facility, with 10 floors and over 300 private patient rooms, focuses on upgraded technology and modern design. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Columbia Public Schools to start completely virtual for fall
With COVID-19 cases on the rise, the Columbia School Board voted for public schools to start the school year next week completely virtual. The previous plan was to conduct classes using a hybrid model of in-person and remote teaching. (Columbia Missourian)

Firm receives $500,000 state contract for COVID-19 consulting 
The state signed a $522,000 contract with the Virginia-based McChrystal Group, using emergency federal funds, to organize collaboration between state agencies and the governor’s cabinet in response to the pandemic. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Repertory Theatre of St. Louis to resume in-person shows in 2021
The nonprofit organization further postponed its opening date from December 2020 to March of next year. Performers are working to create virtual experiences, and officials said in-person events will follow all health protocols. (St. Louis Business Journal)

KC, St. Louis add American Airlines flights to Cancun 
Kansas City International Airport and St. Louis Lambert International Airport have added seasonal flights to the popular tourist spot in Mexico for the fourth quarter of 2020. (St. Louis Business JournalKansas City Business Journal)

Kansas City theater extends furlough for 75 employees 
The Alamo Drafthouse in Kansas City signaled in a state filing that it plans to continue furloughs for 75 workers, citing uncertainty about reopening plans. (Kansas City Business Journal)

University receives $875,000 for senior oral health program
A.T. Still University of Health Sciences was awarded a three-year grant worth $875,000 from the St. Louis City Senior Fund. The funding will support a program focused on oral health for seniors. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Gateway Arch rides resume
Tram rides to the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis restarted on Tuesday with limited capacity. Patrons are required to wear face masks and advised to make reservations beforehand. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Say that again

“Basically, we’re like the arbiters, or we’re like the gatekeepers for the rules now. You’re putting it on a waitress at a bar to enforce mask policy. I just don’t think it’s fair.”

That’s Eddie Garland, a bartender at Harry’s Bar and Tables in Kansas City’s Westport district, speaking about the enforcement of public health measures at bars, KCUR reports. After reopening in May, Harry’s briefly had to close again in July after some employees tested positive for COVID-19. The employees said they were never contacted by contact tracers in order to disclose who else may have been infected. Many employees say health ordinances are being flouted and that they are tired of having to enforce the rules. They also say that the city should release records of places where outbreaks have occurred so the public can better protect themselves.

Go figure


That’s the increase since March in the number of Missourians receiving Medicaid benefits, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services. In March, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act began allowing extra funding for Medicaid, while also stating that those who were already enrolled in the program could not be dropped, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Officials believe that these changes, in combination with the financial hardships and loss of work that many Missourians have faced during the pandemic, have led to the increased number of beneficiaries. The number of recipients is expected to rise even more once changes to eligibility are enacted following voters’ recent approval of Medicaid expansion in the state.

Hello, my name is


This financial technology startup has announced plans to relocate from offices in San Francisco to Cape Girardeau, the St. Louis Business Journal reports, and it’s eyeing expansion into the St. Louis market. The firm was recently awarded one of four $50,000 grants in Cape Girardeau’s 1st50K startup competition. Upswot makes software that lets small and medium-sized businesses share data from apps they regularly use with their financial institutions in an effort to help the financial institutions assess risk and deliver insights. The company hopes to expand operations to St. Louis in the future, and has applied for the Arch Grants competition, which offers funding and other resources like 1st50K does.

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


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