Missouri Minute: Biden takes Missouri primary; Hy-Vee shuttering KC facility

Good morning, MBA readers,

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the Democratic presidential primary in Missouri with about 60% of the popular vote. Biden’s victory in Missouri and at least three other states Tuesday enhanced his lead over his chief rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. In non-electoral news, Tuesday brought significant shakeups for two of the state’s largest supermarket operators. Hy-Vee said it will shutter a Kansas City fulfillment center as it moves order fulfillment to retail stores, and Schnuck Markets announced CVS will take over its in-store pharmacies. And in St. Louis, there’s fresh hope for the revival of the troubled Loop Trolley, which a local developer said could return to operation this spring, funded by revenue from a local taxing district. Get more on those stories and the rest of the day’s top business news below.

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Biden handily takes Missouri primary
Former Vice President Joe Biden took about 60% of the vote in Missouri’s Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, while Sen. Bernie Sanders captured about 35%. The candidates will split 44 delegates based on performance in Missouri’s congressional districts and the remaining 24 based on the state’s popular vote. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Four St. Charles County residents quarantined for possible coronavirus
Two men and two women are self-quarantined at home due to possible exposure to coronavirus while traveling, just days after the state’s first case was found in St. Louis. (KSDK)

Hy-Vee shutters KC facility, potentially laying off nearly 600
The Iowa-based grocery chain is closing four fulfillment centers across the Midwest, including one in Kansas City, affecting up to 583 local workers. The center opened last year as part of a $90 million investment in Kansas City operations. Hy-Vee is now shifting grocery pickup and delivery operations to retail stores. (Kansas City Star)

CVS to take over Schnucks pharmacies
The country’s largest pharmacy chain said Tuesday it will acquire and operate 99 of 110 pharmacies in grocery stores operated by St. Louis-based Schnucks. The other 11 will close. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Kauffman funds study addressing local economic disparity
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has awarded a $380,000 grant to Accelerator for America, a national think tank focused on economic development, to address economic disparity in Kansas City. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Digital Ally buys more time before its stocks are delisted
The Nasdaq exchange has granted Digital Ally an extension until June 30 to improve its market value, after the company laid out a strategic plan last month. The Lenexa, Kansas manufacturer of law enforcement gear was warned last July that it was below the $35 million value requirement for all listed stocks. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Developer says Loop Trolley on track to reopen in April
In a recent email to local officials, developer Joe Edwards said the St. Louis Loop Trolley could “resume four-day operation this April” without any bailout. Instead, Edwards said, the 1-cent sales tax district along the trolley route will continue to replenish its coffers even as the trolley remains offline throughout the first quarter. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Springfield manufacturer quadruples space with new building
Paragon Fabrication, a year-old firm that makes interior architectural elements, has signed a five-year lease in Springfield with Warren Davis Properties for a 30,000-square-foot building, more than quadrupling its available space. (Springfield Business Journal)

KC architecture firm promotes 10 local employees to associate level
BNIM has named three employees associate principals and seven others associates at its Kansas City headquarters. The firm named two more associate principals in Des Moines, Iowa, and two associates in San Diego. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Lululemon to test Springfield market
The apparel retailer plans to open a pop-up store concept in Springfield that may be converted into a permanent location after a test phase. The new store is slated to open in June. (Springfield Business Journal)

Say that again

“The other problem is simply nature. Whatever falls from the sky’s got to go somewhere.”

That’s state Rep. Don Mayhew, R-Crocker, addressing a bill in the state legislature that would essentially ban all commercial development in the 100-year floodplain, the Columbia Missourian reports. The House Committee on Conservation and Natural Resources heard the bill Monday, which aims to prevent damage due to flooding. Mayhew said damage prevention doesn’t have to do with restricting floodplain development, but rather with the state’s levee system, saying the bill is “attacking the problem the wrong way.” The bill would also require any property in the 100- or 500-year floodplains to be made eligible for flood insurance.

Go figure

$28.9 million

That’s how much St. Louis-based medical technology company Stereotaxis made in 2019 revenue, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. While it’s still less than the 2018 revenue of $29.3 million, the figure marks a breath of stability for a company that was delisted from Nasdaq in 2016 and was overloaded with debt until recently. Stereotaxis, which makes technology to treat irregular heartbeats, has since come back from the brink after a Los Angeles capital management firm led a $24 million recapitalization. That effort allowed the company to shed its debt and focus on research. “You had a company that had been stale for many, many years,” Stereotaxis Chairman and CEO David Fischel said. “We’re rebuilding, refreshing every aspect of the company.”

Hello, my name is


That’s the name of AOL founder Steve Case’s venture capital fund, which on Tuesday announced plans to reschedule its Rise of the Rest tour amid growing coronavirus concerns, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The tour was supposed to stop on April 24 in St. Louis, where agriculture startups would compete for $100,000 in funding. The tour is designed to provide funding opportunities and attention for startups in smaller cities that may go under the radar of coastal investors.

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

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