Missouri Minute: Poplar Bluff manufacturer gets steel tariff exemption; Bayer moves to expand dicamba use to corn 

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It’s Friday. Finally. As you’re working for the weekend, read up on a big opportunity for student startups from across the state, a breakthrough for a Poplar Bluff manufacturer that’s been hit hard by steel and aluminum tariffs, and a lunch meeting between the governor and a high-profile donor.

From our newsroom

Meet the Missouri students vying for statewide startup supremacy
Twelve student startups are converging in Columbia on Friday to pitch for a share of $30,000. We visited with student founders from MU, Missouri S&T, UMKC and UMSL to learn about their businesses and a new program aimed at boosting student entrepreneurship.

Stay alert

State revenues down 4.3 percent 
Much of the decrease is due to an 8.2 percent drop in individual income tax collections at the end of March. (Associated Press)

Poplar Bluff-based nail maker gets steel tariff exemption
Mid-Continent Steel and Wire said business dropped 60 percent since last June, when the 25 percent tariffs on imported steel took effect. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Undeterred by lawsuits, Bayer moves to expand dicamba use to corn
The parent company of Monsanto has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to expand dicamba use to corn, even as over 1,000 farmers are suing Bayer for damages to their crops due to dicamba drift. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Senate proposes tax break ban for flood zone development
The bill would prohibit tax increment financing projects in federally designated flood plains everywhere except the Kansas City area. (Associated Press)

Kadean Construction to build business center near KCI
The Fenton-based builder was awarded an $11.5 million contract for the nearly 203,000-square-foot LogisticsCentre III. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Sears to debut new smaller store in KC area
The so-called “Sears Home and Life” store, which focuses on appliances and home services over clothing, will open in Overland Park, Kansas, over Memorial Day weekend. (Associated Press)

Columbia officials consider new rules for marijuana businesses
The city’s development services manager said new ordinances should be in place by mid-July, before the state starts accepting applications for medical-marijuana facilities in August. (Columbia Missourian)

Say that again

“The governor and I had a productive lunch conversation about the future economic growth needs of a state we both dearly love.” 

That is what Rex Sinquefield, St. Louis billionaire and prominent political donor, said of a lunch meeting with Gov. Mike Parson Thursday in a statement to the Kansas City Star. Also present at the table was economist Arthur Laffer, the chief architect of the controversial 2012 tax cuts in Kansas. The meeting raises questions about the future of Missouri’s tax policy, as Sinquefield, who has donated $1 million to Parson’s re-election campaign, has long been a proponent of eliminating the state’s income tax.

Show me

Today’s graphic offers another look at Missouri exports. It may be no surprise that more than half of Missouri’s 2018 export income came from three countries — Canada, Mexico and China. But did you know that Australia is on the rise as a market for Missouri exports? The Show-Me State’s sales Down Under have surged 56 percent over the last decade.

Go figure

27 percent
That magic number is how much revenue grew at two different St. Louis-based companies last year, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

St. Louis law firm Bryan Cave’s revenue soared to $899 million in 2018 from $593 million in 2017 after Bryan Cave merged with another firm, emerging as Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

Clearant, a credit card payment processor in Clayton, reported a revenue jump to $408 million for 2018. Last year, the company acquired a software vendor in Utah and a software developer in Maine.

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