Missouri Minute: State COVID-19 hospitalizations hit record numbers; census end stokes undercounting concerns

Hello, MBA readers,

The number of people being hospitalized for COVID-19 is on the rise in Missouri, with this week bringing three straight days of record numbers for hospitalizations in the state. Missouri ranks fourth nationally in the number of reported COVID-19 deaths over the past week. Against that backdrop, state officials continue to prepare for the eventual arrival of a coronavirus vaccine. On Thursday, Gov. Mike Parson announced the state’s plan for distributing a vaccine once it is available for use, with health care workers among the first wave of Missourians slated to receive inoculation. Meanwhile, Friday morning marked the end of 2020 census collection across the U.S. The abrupt end to the census stoked some concern locally about undercounting of certain communities and the funding implications that carries.


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COVID-19 hospitalizations in Missouri hit record numbers
The state set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations on three straight days this week, including 1,443 on Wednesday. Some Kansas City hospitals are turning away ambulances because their beds are filled. The state’s seven-day average positivity rate, 17.9%, was more than triple the benchmark suggested by the World Health Organization. (St. Louis Post-DispatchKansas City Star)

Abrupt end to census stokes undercounting concerns
With a Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday moving the 2020 census end date to Friday, up from Oct. 31, local officials worry that residents may not be counted. That could cost Missouri communities federal funding and, potentially, representation. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

State submits plan for eventual COVID-19 vaccine distribution
The months-long, multi-agency effort calls for health care workers and staffers at long-term care facilities to get the first round of vaccines in the state. (MBA)

State budget writers remain unsure about cost of Medicaid expansion
After voters approved expansion, officials are grappling with how much it will cost to provide subsidized health insurance to an additional 230,000 Missourians. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

KC tenants chain themselves to courthouse doors in protest
A group called KC Tenants protested eviction proceedings at the Jackson County Courthouse on Thursday morning, demanding a moratorium on evictions. (Kansas City Star)

Branson aldermen extend mask mandate
The city’s governing board did not specify an end date for the mandate. (Springfield Business Journal)

Bass Pro and related entities plan 300 seasonal hires in Ozarks
The plan from Bass Pro Shops and other Johny Morris-owned properties is part of a larger initiative by the outdoor sports retailer to bring aboard 7,000 total seasonal workers. (Springfield Business Journal)

Kansas City’s GlynnDevins acquires digital marketing agency
GlynnDevins, which specializes in marketing for senior living, said the acquisition of Cleveland-based LinkMedia 360 is the next step in its growth strategy. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Waddell & Reed stock hits 52-week high on acquisition rumors
Shares for the Overland Park, Kansas-based financial services company reached $18 a share on Wednesday and were trading just below that Friday morning amid rumors that JP Morgan Chase was considering buying the company. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Rockhurst University names new business dean
Myles Gartland, who has served as interim dean of the Kansas City university’s business school since last year, will fill the role on a permanent basis. (Kansas City Business Journal)


Say that again

“I don’t think most Americans understand the severity of the problem. I call it corporate redlining.”

That’s Orv Kimbrough, CEO of Midwest BankCentre, a community bank in St. Louis, addressing a decade-long decline in Small Business Administration loans to Black businesses, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. Dating all the way back to the 2008 financial crisis, loans to Black-owned businesses have decreased by 84%, with the coronavirus pandemic only worsening the situation. While 17% of white-owned businesses had shuttered as of April, according to a Stanford University study, 41% of Black owned businesses were forced to cease operations due to the economic fallout from the pandemic. In general, businesses located in predominantly white neighborhoods are twice as likely to receive SBA funding.


Go figure

$200,000

Missouri’s Administrative Hearing Commission is requesting that much to pay for additional attorneys and court reporters needed to process pending medical marijuana lawsuits, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. This funding comes from the newly created Veteran’s Health and Care Fund, which is meant to receive all profits from the state’s medical marijuana program. However, the fund has already been tapped to cover nearly $1.7 million in legal fees from lawsuits claiming unfair practices in the issuance of medical marijuana licenses in the state. In total, $19 million has been deposited into the veteran’s fund, meaning that if the latest request is approved, almost 10% of the original revenue meant to assist veterans will have been spent fighting the state’s legal battles.


Hello my name is

Pro Athlete 

This Kansas City-based sports retailers was awarded the the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s “Mr. K Award,” given annually to the chamber’s small business of the year, Startland News reports. The award was named after Kansas City entrepreneur Ewing Marion Kaufman and is one of the top honors to be awarded by the chamber. According to the chamber, Pro Athlete is considered one of the best places to work in Kansas City. In addition to a brick-and-mortar location, the retailer has a large online presence. Pro Athlete says its JustBats subsidiary is the nation’s largest online baseball bat dealer.


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



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