Missouri Minute: KC Fed announces diversity efforts; Schnucks to close three stores

Good morning, MBA readers,

The St. Louis Cardinals walked away from the weekend winless, losing two home playoff games to the Washington Nationals. But at least someone in downtown St. Louis had cause for celebration: Businesses there see about $3 million in economic impact from home playoff games, according to downtown officials. Speaking of cash infusions, Kansas City fintech startup C2FO, fresh off a $200 million venture capital round, is using some of that funding to buy up its largest competitor in India. Start your week by getting up to speed on those stories and other business news from around the state.

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UAW ups workers compensation to $275 a week as strike continues
The United Auto Workers will boost its payments for roughly 50,000 General Motors workers who have been on strike for nearly 30 days, the union announced Sunday. The move follows the union’s decision to counter an offer from GM late Friday, promising a “tentative agreement” if the company accepts. (CNN, CNBC)

KC Fed creates division for engagement, inclusion
Kansas City Fed President Esther George has created a new division to address community and economic issues, promote women and minorities in banking, and encourage diversity and inclusivity. Tammy Edwards was elevated to senior vice president and head of the Community Engagement and Inclusion Division. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Animal health company names new leader
Novus International, an animal feed and nutrition company in St. Charles, has hired a former Novus executive to take over as president and CEO when Francois Fraudeau retires at the end of the company’s fiscal year. Dan Meagher, who will take the top post at Novus April 1, had been president and CEO of another animal health company, Agrivida, which also has an office in St. Louis. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Schnucks will shutter three stores next month
The St. Louis-based grocery chain will close three locations Nov. 10 due to declining sales, affecting about 190 workers. The company said it will offer those employees the chance to transfer to another store. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Gambling complaints have nearly quadrupled in Missouri
Since 2018, the number of complaints to the Missouri State Highway Patrol about illegal gambling terminals has ballooned from 39 to 145 so far this year. A Missouri House committee chair said the legal debate over these machines at businesses across the state will likely end up in the state Supreme Court. (Missourinet)

MU research facility gets $6 million gift from alum
University of Missouri alumnus and businessman Jim Fitterling will donate $6 million to the school’s NextGen Precision Health Institute. (Columbia Missourian)

St. Louis Loop Trolley asks county for $700,000
The Loop Trolley Company has asked the St. Louis County Fund for $200,000 to stay open through the rest of the year and another $500,000 to operate next year. Without financial help, the trolley could cease operations by Nov. 15, Loop Trolley’s president said. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Kirkwood businessman pleads guilty to embezzling $3.8 million
Bryan Vonderahe, former CFO of The Boyd Group, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in a $3.8 million embezzlement case. According to a federal indictment, Vonderahe issued 500 company checks to himself between 2012 and 2019. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Go figure

$3 million

That’s the estimated local economic impact of a St. Louis Cardinals playoff game, Downtown St. Louis Inc. CEO Missy Kelley tells St. Louis Public Radio. Much of that impact benefits hotels and restaurants, the local economic development official said, as 40% of fans at the playoff games come from outside the St. Louis region, including Southern Illinois. “So it is a significant impact to the economy,” she said.

Hello, my name is

Priority Vendor
That’s the name of the latest company to be acquired by Kansas City’s C2FO, Startland News reports. Priority Vendor is an India-based company that, like C2FO, operates an online marketplace for working capital. The deal, announced last week, comes two months after C2FO closed a $200 million funding round. The acquisition will allow C2FO to expand its presence overseas and fulfill its global vision, founder Sandy Kemper said.

Say that again

“We’ve grown very tired of these unfunded things that come from the state legislature. We just can’t afford to do it anymore.”

That’s Lewis County Sheriff David Parish, who says the state is passing on the cost of holding state prisoners in county jails, the Columbia Missourian reports. In 2019, the state allocated $44 million to reimburse counties for state use of their jails. Officials say it wasn’t enough, and the state accrued roughly $35 million in unpaid tabs to counties across the state.

Show me

As the United Auto Workers strike continues, today’s graphic takes another look at the auto industry in Missouri. As of 2017, motor vehicle manufacturing accounted for 12,000 jobs in Missouri, or about 8% of all durable goods manufacturing jobs in the state. Overall, 159,000 people worked in durable goods manufacturing, according to the University of Missouri’s Economic and Policy Research Analysis Center.

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


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