Missouri Minute: Walmart launches next-day delivery in St. Louis; Zea Biosciences moving to St. Louis

Good morning, MBA readers,

As we embark on a short workweek, there is no shortage of business news from across the state. In Jackson County, legislators are calling for thousands of property reassessments to be thrown out after residents saw their home values balloon. Elsewhere, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has overhauled the board of an economic development agency that was recently embroiled in scandal. Plus, Walmart wants to sway St. Louis shoppers away from Amazon. Scroll down for these and other top headlines from around Missouri.


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From our newsroom

Q&A: Retiring Shelter Insurance CEO Rick Means on competition, his industry’s future
Rick Means will retire from his position as president and chief executive officer of Columbia-based Shelter Insurance in August. Means has spent nearly all of his adult life with Shelter, starting as a claims adjuster and working his way through the ranks to lead the 2,000-employee insurance company.

Sisters’ startup EdSights uses AI to help schools improve retention
Sisters Claudia and Carolina Recchi grew up in Italy and encountered challenges when they moved to the U.S. for college. That was part of what motivated them to found EdSights, a startup using artificial intelligence to collect data from students and help universities increase retention rates.


Stay alert

Page hopes to restore trust in economic board with new appointments
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page on Friday announced five new members to the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership board. The appointments do not include a member of Page’s cabinet, a departure from predecessor Steve Stenger, who pleaded guilty to corruption charges last month. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

MFA to close five service centers in Missouri
The farm supplier, which owns 135 centers in Missouri and neighboring states, will close Agri Services centers in Bronaugh, Columbia, Essex, Fulton and Springfield. (Columbia Missourian)

Teachers union wins injunction in lawsuit against Columbia schools
The injunction, issued Thursday by a Boone County judge, allows the Columbia Missouri National Education Association to continue to represent Columbia teachers during an ongoing lawsuit against Columbia Public Schools. (Columbia Missourian)

Walmart launches next-day delivery in St. Louis
Walmart will offer the service on orders of $35 or more in a bid to compete with Amazon’s e-commerce domination. St. Louis shoppers can choose from 220,000 items on Walmart’s website, the company said. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Wyoming brewery enters St. Louis market
Melvin Brewing has opened a 12,700-square-foot location in Eureka that is expected to create 45 new jobs. The facility, which includes a full bar and private event space, is equipped to brew and package 1,500 barrels of beer. (St. Louis Business Journal)


Say that again

“I’m proof that we can accomplish the entrepreneurial dream right here in KC and feel like it’s my duty to pay that forward.”

That’s Don Peterson, who has been tapped to lead the LaunchKC Health Accelerator, Startland News reports. A veteran of the health care and data industries, Peterson retired as founder and CEO of Infusion Express last year. Startups accepted into the Health Accelerator will receive at least $50,000 in funding from Nueterra Capital as well as software development and legal services from program partners.


Go figure

300,000
That’s how many parcels of land in Jackson County are covered by recently issued property reassessments. The Jackson County Legislature on Friday unanimously called on the county executive to discard these reassessments, which have generated widespread backlash from residents, KCUR reports. The average assessment jumped 18% this year, and about 22,000 informal appeals have been filed with the county’s assessor.


Hello, my name is

Zea Biosciences
The Boston-based biotech startup plans to move its headquarters to St. Louis by the end of the year, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Zea, which focuses on plant cell replication, decided on St. Louis after an evaluation of eight cities, citing the pool of plant science talent there. Founded in 2015, Zea has raised about $6 million. The company has 15 full-time and 10 part-time employees, with plans to hire up to 50 people in St. Louis.


Word to the wise

Impact investing
This type of investing focuses on yielding social or environmental benefits as well as financial returns. For the last 24 years, Kansas City-based Travois has made $230 million of impact investments in Native American communities to help build affordable housing. Now, the firm is in the process of creating a new open-ended impact fund to attract socially conscious investors, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.


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


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