Missouri Minute: St. Louis economic development groups combine; Amazon to hire 1,000

Hello, MBA readers,

Five prominent private civic groups in St. Louis have merged in order to create a unified voice for advancing economic development. Known as Greater St. Louis Inc., the newly formed organization will focus on bringing new growth to the city, while addressing matters of equity and inclusion. Across the state, Amazon is making moves with plans for a new fulfillment center in Republic. The e-commerce company also announced it will hire 1,000 seasonal workers in Missouri to handle projected sales increases around Christmas. Of course, that’s not the only holiday on the horizon. And, despite concerns about the pandemic, many people are still finding ways to celebrate Halloween. The National Retail Federation predicts that spending for the holiday will reach $8 billion this year.


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Ameren Missouri to develop new solar facility
The 91-acre facility is planned for Montgomery County, about 75 miles west of St. Louis along Interstate 70. Pending approval, it could be completed by next October. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Amazon to hire 1,000 seasonal workers in Missouri
The e-commerce company is planning to hire 100,000 temporary workers nationally for the holidays. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Republic to get Amazon distribution center
No timeline or details have been released on construction, but city documents show an estimated real property investment for the building of $25 million. (Springfield Business Journal)

St. Louis closes on bond sale for convention center expansion
Officials said the sale covers the city’s half of a $210 million expansion of the downtown America’s Center complex. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Some St. Louis retailers board up storefronts ahead of election
A Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack are using plywood to cover their windows, and several other businesses are considering doing the same, to prepare for potential unrest next week. (St. Louis Business Journal)

KC Panera locations will be first to offer beer, wine
The nation’s second-largest Panera franchisee picked five Kansas City-area locations of the cafe and bakery chain to test alcohol sales. (Kansas City Business Journal)


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Halloween spending in the U.S. is projected to decline about 9% this year, according to the National Retail Federation. But, despite the pandemic, consumers are still planning to celebrate — and spend. Today’s graphic story illustrates some of Midwesterners’ planned spooky expenditures.


Say that again

“There’s all this money waiting for businesses to be helped in the state of Missouri, but we can’t get access to it.”

That’s Bobbie Bagby Ford, a B&B Theatres executive, speaking about the difficulties the company has faced in securing state funding, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. The Liberty-based cinema chain has urged its customers in an email campaign to appeal to lawmakers for the creation of a grant program to support the state’s movie theater industry. Similar plans have been carried out in other states, but Ford said Missouri’s distribution of CARES Act funding has made it difficult for businesses like hers to access the federal aid. Movie theaters are struggling to stay afloat as new releases have slowed and consumers have stayed away from theaters, making the need for government assistance even greater, Ford said.


Go figure

35%

That’s how much growth O’Reilly Automotive saw in its third-quarter profits, as compared to the same quarter in 2019, the Springfield Business Journal reports. The Springfield-based automotive retailer reported revenue increased 20%, to $3.2 billion, and third-quarter earnings totaled more than $527 million. The company attributed this growth to successes in its DIY and professional business.


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Arch Grants has announced the recipients of its annual $50,000 grants, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Nineteen companies were chosen, including 11 already based in the St. Louis area. The remaining eight companies will relocate to the area, as is a condition of the grant. There was a heightened emphasis on startups working on geospatial technology, which has been a focus of multiple recent efforts in St. Louis.


Hello my name is

Greater St. Louis Inc.

This is the new name that will be taken on by five private business groups in St. Louis, following their consolidation into one large nonprofit organization, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. The new group includes the St. Louis Regional Chamber, AllianceSTL, Downtown STL, Arch to Park and Civic Progress. The groups are merging in hopes of advancing economic development efforts in St. Louis. They cited the recent discussions over the privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport as a motivating factor towards the move, as they felt that there was a lack of a unified business voice in St. Louis. The group hopes to attract new growth to the area and address issues concerning equity and inclusion. Jason Hall, the CEO of Arch to Park, will lead the new organization. Andy Taylor, executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings, will be the first board chair.


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



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