Missouri Minute: Postal protests demand aid; St. Louis housing prices climb

Good morning, MBA readers,

Unemployed Missourians will soon receive nearly double their typical amount of unemployment assistance after the state became one of the first approved for President Donald Trump’s new relief program. The program will draw up to $44 billion from federal funds typically used for natural disaster relief, and Missourians could begin seeing the supplement as soon as this week. As unemployed workers welcome the arrival of temporary relief, the airline industry is bracing for the departure of its own short-term aid. Once federal pandemic funds for the airline industry run out in October, American Airlines expects to cut 19,000 jobs and Delta Airlines plans to furlough nearly 2,000 employees. And, amid those widespread economic woes, the housing market in parts of Missouri continues to show signs of strength. A new report suggests that home prices in the St. Louis area have increased more than 5% since this time last year.


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Postal protests demand aid, restoration of funding
U.S. Postal Service employees across the country rallied to call for Senate approval of an aid package and reversal of funding cuts to the service. In St. Louis, postal workers were joined by labor leaders and elected officials who reiterated the importance of the postal service to the community. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Kansas City Royals sign broadcast deal with Sinclair
The baseball team has entered into a multiyear contract with Sinclair Broadcast Group, the owner of Fox Sports Kansas City. The network has been the team’s exclusive television broadcast partner since 2008. (Kansas City Business Journal)

St. Louis housing prices increase
Despite slowing slightly in April and May, prices in the metro area rose 5.1% over the last year, reflecting a larger trend seen across the nation. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Airlines announce additional layoffs, furloughs
American Airlines said it will cut 19,000 jobs in October after federal stimulus runs out. Delta Airlines has issued a similar statement, announcing that more than 1,900 pilots will be furloughed following the cessation of federal aid. (Wall Street JournalFox Business)

St. Louis soccer club to disband
Professional soccer club St. Louis FC will cease operations and disband after the 2020 season, citing the financial impact of COVID-19 as a reason for the decision. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Kansas City Ford plant to close temporarily
The plant will temporarily cease production for about two weeks in October to retool for 2021 models of its F-150 pickup truck. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Garmin advances in smartwatch market
The Kansas City-area device company ranked No. 2 for share of the smartwatch market over the first six months of the year, according to a market research report. Garmin’s 9.4% market share ranked ahead of Huawei and Samsung, but still far behind Apple’s 51.4% share. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Missouri Business Alert, journalism school announce $3 million gift
The business news publication housed within the University of Missouri’s journalism school received the gift for an endowment to secure its long-term future. The funds came from a journalism school alumna who asked that her identity remain confidential, but expressed support of the publication’s educational mission. (MBA)


Say that again

“It’s like a therapy, I would say. Spending time in something that is good not only for you but also for the environment. The feeling of planting something, seeing it grow, taking care of it every day — it’s rewarding.”

That’s Guillermina Garcia, who participates in a Spanish-language urban agriculture class through University of Missouri Extension, speaking about what gardening has meant for her. The class reaches Spanish-speakers all over the world, and it offers one potential way to address health disparities faced by Latinos in the U.S. Across the country, Latinos have higher rates of obesity and diabetes, and access to fresh food — or a lack thereof — contributes to those heightened health risks. Plus, at a time when food insecurity is a growing concern across the U.S., gardening can help families access needed nutrition.


Go figure

$300

Missouri is set to begin paying an extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits under President Donald Trump’s executive order, which has created a new program to address some facets of pandemic relief, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The order came after Congress stalled in negotiations over a new relief bill. The program will provide up to $44 billion in supplemental unemployment benefits across the country, tapping into funding typically used for natural disaster relief. The extra money will nearly double the state’s standard unemployment assistance.


Send tweet

That’s one of multiple posts from social media users lamenting the cancellation of the annual Kansas City Renaissance Festival. The festival is one of many large functions that were scheduled to take place over the next two months — and especially during Labor Day weekend — that have been canceled as the coronavirus pandemic continues to raise health concerns for in-person events. The Renaissance Festival announced its plans after events such as the Kansas City Irish Fest and the Kansas City Air Show were canceled, The Kansas City Star reports. As the pandemic continues, it’s unclear when large events will be deemed safe again, and many will have to either cancel or go virtual.


Hello, my name is

AOUT

That’s the ticker symbol for American Outdoor Brands, which debuted on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Tuesday. The stock opened the day at $16.15 per share and closed at $17.78. The Columbia-based company, which sells outdoor products such as knives and fishing tools, made its initial public offering following the completion of its spinoff from Smith & Wesson, the firearms seller.


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


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