Missouri Minute: Hazelwood warehouse to cut 166 jobs; Southwest adding St. Louis flights

Good morning, MBA readers,
Weeks after ending a contentious 40-day labor strike, General Motors plans to make another “major announcement” today in Missouri. GM President Mark Reuss and elected officials are expected to gather at the company’s assembly plant in Wentzville for the announcement, which follows an earlier promise by GM to invest $1.5 billion at the site to build its “next generation” of midsize pickup trucks. Scroll down to learn more about the event and other business news from around the state.

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Speaking Startup: How to ‘shop local’ this holiday season
We’re often encouraged to “shop local” during the holiday season. But what’s the best way to do that? In this week’s podcast, we hear from Austin Barnes, who helped create a holiday gift guide featuring products from an assortment of Kansas City makers, crafters and more.

Stay alert

GM President to make announcement Friday in Wentzville
Gov. Mike Parson, Sen. Roy Blunt and others will join General Motors President Mark Reuss as he makes a “major announcement” at the Wentzville Assembly and Stamping Plant on Friday morning, two months after GM workers ended a 40-day nationwide strike. (Associated Press)

Hazelwood warehouse to cut 166 jobs
Health care products company Prestige Brands is consolidating, resulting in the shuttering of a Hazelwood warehouse operated by XPO Logistics. Workers will be laid off starting Feb. 7. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Number of uninsured Missouri children continues to rise
Missouri’s rate of uninsured children has grown quicker than any other state in the nation, according to a recent Georgetown University analysis, which shows the state’s rate of uninsured children under the age of 6 has risen from 3.6% to 5.3% between 2016 and 2018. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Southwest adds flights to 2020 summer schedule
Southwest, the largest carrier at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, will add new flights to its summer schedule, which runs from June to August. Sundays will see an increase of 22 flights, while Monday-Friday flights will rise by 14. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Garmin chairman donates $20 million to Los Angeles hospital
Min Kao, the co-founder and executive chairman of Olathe, Kansas-based device maker Garmin, will donate the money to help build a new Kao Autoimmunity Institute at a nonprofit hospital in Los Angeles to advance research on rheumatologic diseases. (Kansas City Business Journal)

KC law firm wins $7 million federal settlement
Three-person firm Brown & Curry won a settlement with the U.S. government for 82 veterans who were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of physician assistant Mark Wisner at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Leavenworth, Kansas. Wisner was sentenced to 15 years in 2017. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Missouri prison entrepreneurship program graduates second class
Ten students graduated from a 10-week entrepreneurship program at a women’s correctional facility in Vandalia. The program, facilitated by the Missouri Women’s Business Center and the Missouri Department of Economic Development, helps inmates develop business plans. (KBIA)

Work to start on Southwest Crossing Apartments in St. Louis
A judge agreed on Thursday to allow an affiliate of the Sansone Group to be appointed receiver of the 328-unit complex in South St. Louis. The property was previously managed by T.E.H. Realty, which Freddie Mac alleged failed to pay sewer bills or make improvements to the building. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Say that again

“We’ve had over (recent) years, three floods of record, on the Meramec, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. We can avoid flood damages by protecting natural areas and preventing them from being developed.”

That’s Barbara Cherry, the floodplain and nature-based solutions strategy manager for the Nature Conservancy’s Missouri chapter. In a study published this week in the Nature Sustainability journal, Nature Conservancy and other institutions found that every $1 spent on acquiring undeveloped properties in the 100-year floodplain returns $5 that would be spent to mitigate flood damage, St. Louis Public Radio reports. The report proposes that cities purchase flood-prone lands along the rivers and keep them free of development.

Hello, my name is

Readout Health

Unusual for medical device startups, this St. Louis company has started selling to consumers less than a year since its founding, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports. Readout Health has developed Biosense, a pocket-sized device that samples a person’s breath to measure ketone levels. The chemical is produced by the liver and serves as a key measure for people on a keto diet, which increases fat consumption while reducing intake of carbohydrates. The device, invented by two brothers in San Francisco and Toronto, caught the attention of St. Louis entrepreneur Jim McCarter, who was working for diabetes care company Virta Health in San Francisco. McCarter brought the device to Biogenerator, which provided a startup grant in February and hired entrepreneur-in-residence Jim Howard as Readout’s CEO.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning. Make it a stupendous weekend.


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