Missouri Minute: Shoe companies resist tariff hike; Google takes step toward KC data center

Good morning, MBA readers,

At least two Missouri companies have joined over 200 footwear firms in denouncing President Donald Trump’s plan to increase tariffs on Chinese goods, which could could be as high as 67% on some shoes. Meanwhile, a Google affiliate took a significant step toward establishing a $600 million data center in the Kansas City area. Plus, a billion-dollar proposal could take a Kansas City-area energy company private. Scroll down for these stories and other top business news from around the state.

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From our newsroom

House speaker’s hyperloop group continues planning, anticipates September report
An effort to bring a hyperloop track to Missouri continued Tuesday as a committee met in Jefferson City to plan for the futuristic transportation system.

After Missouri-Kansas border war truce, analyst says states must grow ‘from within’
The “historic handshake” between Missouri and Kansas should mark the beginning of economic collaboration between the two states, according to a new Brookings Institution analysis.

Springfield’s Efactory receives $1.25 million federal grant
The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded a $1.25 million grant to Springfield’s Efactory, a resource center for entrepreneurs and startups. The funds will be used to expand the Robert. W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, which houses the Efactory.

Stay alert

GOP state lawmaker to challenge Parson for governor
Rep. Jim Neely, a physician from Cameron, announced Wednesday that he will challenge Gov. Mike Parson for the Republican nomination for Missouri governor in 2020. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

St. Louis firms call on Trump to scrap tariff hike
More than 200 footwear companies, including Caleres and Elan Polo in St. Louis, urged President Donald Trump to cancel an added 15% tariff on Chinese goods that will take effect next month. (Reuters, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Google affiliate signals selection of KC for $600 million data center
A company operated by Google on Tuesday executed a deed that would grant it several lots within Hunt Midwest Business Park, marking the tech giant’s first move toward building a proposed $600 million data center near Kansas City. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Blackstone seeks to take KC energy giant private
New York-based Blackstone Infrastructure Partners issued a preliminary proposal Tuesday to acquire all outstanding Class A shares of Tallgrass Energy at $19.50 a share. Blackstone paid about $3.3 billion in February to acquire a 44% stake in the Leawood, Kansas-based company and full ownership of the general partner that operates and manages the publicly traded entity. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Thousands apply for jobs at Sedalia steel plant
About 2,300 people have applied for 250 job openings at the $400 million Nucor steel plant under construction in Sedalia. The plant, which is set to open in November, has already hired 153 workers. (Missourinet)

Second Missouri judge pauses CAFO law
Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green has banned enforcement of a new state law intended to shield large feedlots from local health regulations. Green’s decision, which delays the law until a Sept. 16 court hearing, follows another judge’s ruling last week that delayed the law’s implementation. (Associated Press)

Workers charge KC hospital for ‘anti-union retaliation’
Tech and lab workers at Truman Medical Center on Tuesday filed an unfair labor practice charge against the hospital, claiming “management is escalating their harassment and intimidation” as workers seek unionization. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Page opposes Bi-State transit board power shift
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has expressed his discontent over a new Illinois law that gives St. Clair County another permanent seat on the Bi-State Development Corporation’s 10-member board. Page said he contacted Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week to discourage him from approving the bill, which Pritzker signed into law this week. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Retail executive to replace Goedeker’s co-owner
Goedeker’s, the Ballwin-based appliance and furniture retailer, has hired Doug Moore to replace longtime CEO and co-owner Steve Goedeker, who is retiring. In the last three decades, Moore has served in executive roles at hhgregg, Sears and Circuit City. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

St. Louis spice maker lands HomeGoods deal
Hot Charlie’s has agreed to sell its food seasoning at more than 800 HomeGoods retail locations nationwide. Before the deal, the brand was sold in more than 90 retailers across Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Say that again

“Everything has blown up so fast, that now we’re really scrambling to get these things. When we talk to employers out here, restaurants are still the No. 1 requested thing. Basically within a four-mile radius of Logistics Park, there’s like one quick-service restaurant. And when you’re talking about a large number of employees out here with 30-minute lunch breaks, that gets difficult.”

That’s James Oltman, president of ElevateEdgerton!, a public-private partnership in Edgerton, Kansas. Over the past six years, Logistics Park Kansas City in Edgerton has attracted $1.1 billion in private investment from companies like Amazon and UPS, The Kansas City Star reports. At the start of each day, the small Johnson County town nearly triples in population with the arrival about 4,500 employees who work there. Now, the town is trying to bring restaurants, shops, housing and hotels to accommodate the rapid growth.

Go figure

That’s the number of surplus registered nurses that Missouri is expected to have by 2030, according to a Modern Healthcare report. While some states are projected to face a shortage of skilled nurses, Missouri will have the fifth-largest surplus in the next decade, according to the report. Nationally, employment for registered nurses is projected to grow much faster than all other occupations through 2026, with about 204,000 job openings each year.

Hello, my name is

Design Downtown STL
Members of an advisory committee on Wednesday announced this new project, which will focus on revitalizing parts of downtown St. Louis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Design Downtown will consider feedback from residents and stakeholders through interviews, events and an interactive map. The one-year planning process is expected to cost about $600,000.

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


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