Missouri Minute: UM System to hike tuition; SoftBank to sell T-Mobile shares

Good morning, MBA readers,

As higher education continues to face fallout from the coronavirus, the University of Missouri System announced Thursday that it will increase tuition by 2.3% for students at all four of its campuses. The statewide system also plans to restructure some student fees. The changes come after the state cut more than $52 million from the system’s budget. Also continuing to feel acute effects from COVID-19: nightlife and entertainment businesses. One of the latest victims is the Outland Ballroom, a concert venue in Springfield that announced it will be shutting down after 17 years in business. Despite the wide-ranging economic toll of the pandemic, hope for a reasonably speedy recovery persists. According to a new survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 60% of respondents believe that business will be back to pre-crisis levels within nine months.

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UM System to hike tuition, fees for upcoming school year
The statewide university system’s board voted Thursday to raise tuition at all four campuses by 2.3%. Also Thursday, a system curator said moving to online classes after Thanksgiving could cost MU about $2.8 million per week. (Columbia Missourian)

St. Louis Fed survey shows COVID-19 impact on area businesses
Some key insights from the bank’s survey indicate that businesses may be opening faster than customers are going back to stores. However, 60% of survey respondents expect demand to be up to pre-crisis levels within nine months. (St. Louis Business Journal)

SoftBank to sell most of its T-Mobile shares
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, which was the majority owner of Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint before the wireless company’s merger with T-Mobile, will sell two-thirds of its stake in T-Mobile next week. The transaction is expected to be worth about $20 billion. (CNBC)

$80 million mixed-use development planned for east KC
The new development, called The Offices at Overlook, could see $80 to $100 million invested in the area over multiple phases. The 685,000-square-foot complex falls within Kansas City’s Swope Park Opportunity Zone. (Kansas City Business Journal)

TechAccel subsidiary acquires assets of biotech startup RNAgri
RNAissance Ag, which develops RNA-based insecticides for crop protection, purchased RNAgri, which develops RNA interference products that regulate genes. RNAissance is a subsidiary of TechAccel, a venture development organization in the Kansas City area. (Kansas City Business Journal)

St. Louis hospital gets over $16 million in virus relief funds
As a “safety net” hospital, St. Alexius Hospital received $16.5 million from the federal CARES Act. It got another $5.1 million in Paycheck Protection Program funding. Americore, the hospital’s parent company, is currently looking for a buyer for the south St. Louis facility. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Show me

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Americans still plan to celebrate dad this year on Father’s Day — just maybe at more of a distance than normal. Nearly six in 10 people who responded to the National Retail Federation’s annual Father’s Day survey said they planned to celebrate the holiday virtually this year. The survey also looked at spending plans. Close to four in 10 respondents said they would purchase a subscription box, with delivery-based retail proving especially popular among consumers between the ages of 25 and 44.

Go figure


That’s the number of jobs added in Missouri in May, according to monthly state unemployment data. The jobless rate in the state decreased slightly, to 10.1% in May from 10.2% in April. Though Missouri’s labor market showed signs of rebounding from the impact of COVID-19, the state’s May jobless rate was more than three times higher than it was last year.

Say that again

“The Northland is once again an ATM machine for the bureaucracy in downtown Kansas City.”

That’s Luann Ridgeway, a member of the Clay County Commission, threatening to withdraw federal COVID-19 relief funds the county gave to Kansas City if the funds are not spent within Clay County, KCUR reports. Parts of Kansas City and Clay County overlap, but the city is in other counties, and the county includes other municipalities. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has said Clay County’s funds will be distributed in the county. The Kansas City Council voted in May to distribute the funds in Clay County, with the exception of administrative costs that cannot be divided along geographical boundaries. The disbursement has been a contentious issue between officials before. Lucas said in May that Kansas City should have received an additional $4 million based on the city’s population.

Send tweet

Tributes like this one, from the Twitter account for the band Big Damn Horses, proliferated on social media after news that a popular Springfield concert venue and bar would shutter. The Outland Complex, which includes the Outland Ballroom, Outland Bar and Front of House Lounge, is closing down after 17 years in business, the Springfield Business Journal reports. A Facebook post from the Outland Ballroom cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for the closure. The business was on the verge of bankruptcy, according to the post. It started a GoFundMe campaign to crowdsource the funding it needed to stay afloat but couldn’t reach the $15,000 goal.

Hello, my name is


The health technology startup was born in Kansas City and was recently acquired by New York-based Rethink Autism, Startland News reports. TheraWe provides a HIPAA-compliant way for parents to connect with therapy centers remotely via video conferencing and mobile applications. Founder Kirby Montgomery conceived the idea for the startup three years ago while pursuing his master’s degree at the University of Kansas. TheraWe, which received proof-of-concept funding from Digital Sandbox KC, will now get national exposure as an offering of Rethink Autism, which offers cloud-based health tools to nearly 20,000 parents nationwide.

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


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