Missouri Minute: Beyond Meat to expand facilities; Hawley targets social apps

Good morning, MBA readers,

Soon, you may not get to endlessly scroll through social media feeds and timelines if Sen. Josh Hawley gets his way with his newest proposal. Also in faraway Washington, it’s anticipated that the president of the Kansas City Fed could be one of two votes against an expected rate cut today. Meanwhile, Beyond Meat, the Missouri-born company that makes plant-based meat alternatives, is raising more money and plans to expand its manufacturing in the state. This newsletter is not endless, but you can keep scrolling until you’re all caught up on the most important business news of the day.

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From our newsroom

Columbia bar, restaurant owners protest plan to restrict drink deals
Bar and restaurant owners showed up Monday at Columbia City Hall to speak out against a proposed ordinance that would restrict late-night drink specials in the city. They say the ordinance won’t reduce excessive drinking but will hurt their businesses.

New group looks to boost investment in women-led startups
A newly formed Columbia angel investing group is looking to help remedy gender-based discrimination in local investing. The group, which held its first networking event on Thursday, wants to “propel the early-stage growth” of women-led companies, according to one of its founders.

Social entrepreneurs share tips for starting, growing businesses
The latest installment of the St. Louis Venture Panel Series featured a cross-section of founders from socially minded startups in the St. Louis area. The event, hosted by Washington University’s Skandalaris Center, aimed to answer questions about becoming an entrepreneur.

Stay alert

Beyond Meat to raise more capital, expand Missouri plant
Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said the plant-based meat producer is planning another stock offering three months after its IPO to raise funds for an expansion of its manufacturing facilities in Columbia and the purchase of new equipment. (Reuters)

Hawley proposes ban on autoplay, infinite scroll on social media
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s new bill would ban “addictive” features on social media apps, such as infinite scrolling on Instagram and Twitter and autoplay on YouTube and Snapchat. (Washington Post)

KC Fed chief could vote against rate cut
Esther George, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, is expected to join Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren in voting against the anticipated interest rate cut Wednesday. (Reuters)

FEMA approves disaster aid for 68 Missouri counties
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved public assistance for governments and nonprofits in 68 Missouri counties affected by the recent flooding and storms. Preliminary assessments have identified $49 million in damages to local infrastructure. (Associated Press)

Clayton Sheraton to lay off most of staff
The Sheraton Plaza Clayton Hotel will close for seven to nine months for a $20 million renovation and permanently lay off 82 of 87 workers when the work begins Oct. 1. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Hyperloop roadshow plans KC visit
Virgin Hyperloop One’s XP-1 hyperloop test pod will travel to cities across the country starting next month, including a stop in the Kansas City area on Sept. 14. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Build-A-Bear expands board for its largest shareholder
Overland-based Build-A-Bear Workshop will expand its board to eight members and appoint David Kanen, president of Kanen Wealth Management, as a director. Kanen’s firm owns about 10% of Build-A-Bear. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Esports competition heads to KC
N3rd Street Gamers, a Philadelphia-based esports network, is partnering with Kellogg to host a National Championship Series event in Kansas City. The series, which starts in October, will award a grand prize of $15,000. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Missouri agency’s ‘leadership training’ costs over $1 million
The Missouri Department of Corrections is on pace to spend over $1.1 million for three years of “leadership training” by The Chad Carden Group of Jefferson City. The training program has received mixed reviews among the agency’s 11,000 employees. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Say that again

“Our community, especially African American communities, have been decimated by the war on drugs. And a lot of folks who were involved in the illicit forms of marijuana sales have now been shut out of this industry in many ways.”

That’s Cheryl Watkins-Moore, a biologist and co-owner of REAL Cannabis Co. in St. Louis. Watkins-Moore tells St. Louis Public Radio that entrepreneurs of color may find unique barriers to entering the state’s fledgling medical marijuana industry, from a lack of generational wealth and connections to a fraught history with a formerly illegal drug. She adds that the state’s blind application process, which won’t take diverse ownership into account, could hurt their chances.

Go figure

At least that many affluent students from a Chicago suburb have qualified for financial aid at major Midwestern universities, including the University of Missouri, ProPublica Illinois reports. According to ProPublica’s investigation, some parents have given up legal guardianship of their children so the kids can declare themselves “financially independent,” which allows them to receive federal, state and university aid. An MU spokesman said the school is investigating and has already flagged accounts that have benefitted from the loophole. This comes just months after another college admission scandal involving wealthy parents exploiting the system to get their kids into school.

Hello, my name is

Kirk Matthews
Gov. Mike Parson has hired the former Missouri lawmaker to oversee changes to the state Medicaid program, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. As “chief transformation officer,” Matthews will be responsible for slowing the rising cost of the $10 billion program, which makes up a third of the state budget. Matthews, a Republican, represented parts of St. Louis, Franklin and Jefferson counties in the Missouri House from 2015 through 2018. In 1997, Matthews founded Inpatient Management, a physician practice management firm in St. Louis.

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


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